There’s one thing that you’ll constantly hear when browsing natural acne cures.
That one thing is detoxification.
Some people think it’s the greatest thing in the world while others dismiss it as too “woo woo.”
First things first…
Detox is NOT “woo woo” or bs. It’s real.
There’s a few issues though.
First is that most people have no idea about the body’s natural detoxification system.
The second is that people think that you can do a detox and magically everything is healed. And others like to go all in with detoxing but then go back to unhealthy habits once they’re done (think 3 day juice cleanse one week then pizza and vodka the next).
I want to clear a few things up when it comes to detoxing, so let’s get into it.
What Is Detoxification?
Detoxification is a natural process that happens every day in your body. Every cell needs to detox because the basic act of energy production produces toxins that need to be cleared from the body.
An easy way to think about cellular detoxification is to compare it to a fireplace. A fireplace keeps you warm and serves a ton of purposes. But if you don’t have a chimney or a place for the smoke to escape, it will build up and cause major problems.
Your cells have internal “smoke” that needs to escape for you to be healthy. This “smoke” accumulates from a lot of different metabolic processes in the body. Processes such as
- Fatty acid metabolism
- Amino acid metabolism
- Carbohydrate metabolism
- Intestinal dysfunctions
- Neurotransmitter metabolism
- Vitamin metabolism
- Toxin metabolism
- Detox dysfunctions and impairments
Here’s a picture of one of these pathways…
The lactic acid pathway is a perfect example of a metabolic pathway that produces toxins. The product of Lactic Acid fermentation, lactic acid, is toxic to mammals. This is the “burn” felt when undergoing strenuous activity.
Detoxification is the process of clearing out toxins from the body.
Why Extra Detoxing Is Necessary In Today’s World
Along with the natural processes of your body, you are constantly being exposed to more and more toxins every day. We are getting bombarded with more toxins today than ever in the history of mankind. Some examples include:
- Pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals sprayed on our food
- Hormones added into meat to make the animal grow faster and produce more milk
- Antibiotics in meat to prevent the animals from dying and sickness
- Fumes from cars and industry
- Toxic chemicals in our cosmetics
And much, much more.
In fact, more than 84,000 chemicals are put into American food and products each year essentially without safety testing, generating more than $763 billion in profits for the chemical industry.
All of these toxins puts more and more stress on the liver and the body.
This is why eating, drinking, thinking and living in a way that helps support our natural detoxification process is so important.
What Can Happen When Toxins Build Up In Our Body
Improper detoxification can cause hormonal imbalance, inflammation and chronic illness. Things like asthma, breast cancer and reproductive abnormalities can result from being overly toxic. Acne can be a result of toxicity because of the hormonal imbalances that too many toxins can create. To explain this, look at your liver.
The liver detoxifies the used hormones in our bodies. With improper detoxification, used or partially used hormones can recirculate into the blood. When this happens, the used hormones bind to receptor sites on cells. The receptor sites should be taken up by new hormones, not used hormones. When used and recirculated hormones bind to the cells, they don’t have the same effect and they actually block the receptors from the new hormones. That ends up throwing off the proper function of systems in your body. This is just one example of how toxins can contribute to acne and a lot of other diseases.
How You Can Reduce Your Toxic Load And Help Your Body Detoxify
To reduce our toxic load, we need to decrease the toxins in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the stress we put on our body and mind, and the environment we’re exposed to. Follow these steps to decrease the amount of toxins you are exposed to.
- Eliminate or drastically reduce processed your intake of processed foods. If not organic, foods are usually laced with pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and the plastic they come in is laced with BPA, phthalates and other toxins.
- Eat a real, whole foods diet comprised of organic and local foods as much as possible.
- Choose grass fed, organic, pasture raised and/or wild animals as they have the least amount of toxins.
- Don’t eat too much fish with high mercury content. Instead, opt for things like wild caught Alaskan salmon or a fish oil supplement.
- Use glass as opposed to plastic.
- Filter your drinking and bathing water.
- Use non-toxic, natural, or organic products such as toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, cleaning supplies and other household products.
- Use air filters to breathe in cleaner air in your home.
A lot of these resources can be found at http://www.clearnutrition.net/resources/
A full program can be found is the ClearSkin Nutrition book.
My Personal Story Of Being Too Toxic
I want to end this with a condensed version of my toxic story.
When I was getting into health and nutrition, I did a lot of detoxes. Week long juice cleanses and 2 day water fasts… colonics and wheatgrass shots. I read books on the subject and did the different cleanses in a healthy way (i.e. I prepared for them and eased into and out of them).
I believe these things helped, but even after doing all of those things, I still was experiencing cysts and fatigue regularly. It wasn’t until I actually did some functional medicine testing that I found out I had infections in my gut that were releasing endotoxins and lipopolysaccharides (endotoxins and lipopolysaccharides are fancy ways of saying “bug poo”). I also did testing for heavy metals and found out I had mercury toxicity. I did some protocols for these things and feel so much better.
I tell you this because I remember being told left and right that I had “toxins” and I needed to detoxify. But I didn’t know exactly what these “toxins” were. The functional testing really helped me to see what was going on. If you have the finances, you can schedule an appointment with a functional health practitioner and get tests done here.
You can also get a free Clear Skin Guide by signing up to the Clear Skin Nutrition newsletter. You’ll get over 20 things you can do to help lower the toxic burden on your body and clear your skin.