Skin Detox with Clay and Seaweed

3 Must-Have Skincare Ingredients for your Detox Beauty Routine

Detoxing isn’t only for your body and mind; your skin needs a little deep cleaning too. While everyday cleansing is great, adding detox to your skincare routine is important to get the glowing skin you desire. 

Over time, toxins, including the chemicals in synthetic makeup and skincare products, heavy metals in water, air pollution, and pesticides, can build up under your skin. And while the liver, kidneys, and digestive system remove waste and toxins from the body, you need extra help when it comes to cleaning them from the surface. Luckily, there are potent, natural ways to pull dirt and impurities from the pores and neutralize or remove environmental pollutants from the skin.

The Big Three Skin Detox Ingredients: Charcoal, Clay, & Seaweed

In cleansing products, look for activated charcoal, soft clays, and seaweed to scrub those toxins away.

Activated charcoal 

Works like a magnet to attract and absorb excess oil and pore-clogging dirt, bacteria, and chemicals. It comes in face washes, scrubs, masks, soap, and konjac sponges. Activated charcoal works best when it sits on the skin for a full minute, time enough to pull out impurities.

Soft clays

Such as bentonite and kaolin, work the same way as charcoal, by drawing dirt out of skin. But they also add the benefit of hydration, because moisturizing botanical oils such as lavender, sweet almond, and safflower are often mixed with the clay to soften it and make it easier to use.


Is rich in detoxifying minerals and stimulates circulation. By itself, seaweed isn’t as cleansing as charcoal or clay, but it’s often mixed with one or both of them in cleansers or masks, which boosts their effectiveness. Plus, sea algae have the antioxidant power to decrease the damage caused by environmental pollution, as well as UV rays that break down collagen and elastin.

Steam Out Toxins

The best way to detox through your skin is to sweat, and steam amps up the process. Many herbs, including turmeric, peppermint, and eucalyptus, can also encourage detoxification. Spa Vitale, at the Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, uses herbal compresses in its signature Thai Herbal Poultice Massage to detox by boosting blood circulation. Poultices are made of dried chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, turmeric, camphor, peppermint, cloves, and eucalyptus wrapped in muslin or cotton cloth. The poultices are steamed, and the moist heat helps the herbs penetrate the skin.

“Steaming releases the aroma and therapeutic properties of the herbs,” says Amal Abbara, lead massage therapist at Spa Vitale. “The herbs in the compress are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, and antioxidant. After a detoxifying Thai herbal massage, you feel refreshed, relaxed, and energetically balanced.”

Written by sherrie-strausfogel for Better Nutrition and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Looking for skincare products to kick-start your detox routine? Check out some of our detox-friendly products made with seaweed and clay.

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