By the time July rolls around, you might be regretting those terrible things you said about winter. Yes, the sunshine is glorious. We love having excuses to eat ice cream. We’re #blessed to be headed to the beach (or the mountains, or literally anywhere but the city) this weekend.
But until then, it’s five straight days of trying to shield your face from the city’s sticky summer grime. It’s straight-up hot and dirty—and not in the ways we like.
What’s worse: almost everything about summer contributes to skin pollution! Longer days mean more ultraviolet radiation, which oxidizes our cells and causes irregular skin shedding. A more stable atmosphere means stagnant air filled with particulate pollutants—which, thanks to elevated heat and humidity, stick to your skin and clog those pretty pores. So forget the green juice, Goop-ers...it’s time for a full-on face detox! Here are five ingredients to try.
1. Mineral Mud
Clays, muds and other minerals kick off our list of skin detox products; they’ve been power players in the beauty industry since Cleopatra’s time, and with good reason. Mineral mud packs a one-two punch, removing toxins in skin by physically drawing impurities out of the pores, as the mud dries, while dosing your complexion with healing minerals.
One potential downside, for those with sensitive skin, is that mud and clay masks can sometimes work too well—leaving skin feeling tight and dry. For this reason (among others), we love Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip Cleanser, which combines purifying green clay with hydrating natural oils in a soothing foamy gel formula that’s perfect for sweltering days.
2. Bamboo Charcoal
Yep, we want you to put that gnarly-looking black stuff on your face. Every few days, in fact, and here’s why: it’s simply unbeatable for detoxing skin. This gentle but hardworking powder actually binds itself to the even gnarlier-looking stuff that’s in your pores, effortlessly removing clogs with nary a pinch or pop. Bamboo charcoal is also proven to help your skin regulate oil production—especially helpful this time of year, when grease is definitely the word.
If you’re struggling with oily skin and uneven texture, try replacing your daily cleanser with Boscia Black Charcoal Cleanser; it’s formulated with artichoke leaf extract to visibly shrink gaping pores, Vitamin C to boost brightness, and glycolic acid to help fade dark spots. Bamboo charcoal is also a key ingredient in our TWILIGHT ZONE mask; read on for deets.
3. Tahitian Pearl
Let us not forget that Masktini was conceived in New York City, which is basically the birthplace of summer grime. That’s why we formulated our TWILIGHT ZONE Tahitian Detox Mask, a two-in-one cleanser and detoxifying mask, to deliver totally customizable cleansing. For an everyday do-over, massage warming cleanser into wet skin and work into a fragrant lather; for a deeper face detox, smooth over wet skin and leave on for 10–15 minutes before rinsing.
Why are these particular peals SO clutch? Black pearl powder is known to speed cellular turnover, detoxify pores and promote a smoother complexion. We also love the superior brightening benefits of Lapcos’ Metallic Sheet Mask in PEARL, which blends hydrolyzed pearl powder with pure botanical extracts—with bonus points given for travel-ready packaging.
4. Marine Botanicals
When it comes to detoxing skin, few categories are as loaded with benefits as that of marine botanicals—which includes kelp and other seaweeds, as well as all the beneficial varieties of algae. Already rich in essential proteins, enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, algae molecules also have the unique ability to help flush toxins from the body.
To maximize your exposure to these face detox ingredients, try a concentrated treatment like Osea’s Undaria Algae Oil; the algae is soaked for six months to distill its nutrients into their purest forms, then blended with açai, babassu, passion fruit and Ayurvedic sesame oils. On extra-hot days, cool off with Peter Thomas Roth’s Blue Marine Algae Intense Hydrating Mask.
5. Green Tea
The Japanese consume about 80,000 tons of green tea per year, and they’re not wrong; it’s loaded with antioxidants and is believed to support both mental focus and metabolic health. So what’s its role in skin detox products? Green tea is high in polyphenols, which help protect the skin from harmful free radicals while effectively removing toxins in skin.
Even better: according to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, the topical application of green tea has been proven to reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative disorders like photoaging, melanoma and other skin cancers. For your daily dose, turn to cult fave Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea—with its light fragrance and crazy-refreshing mist, it’ll DEF be the best seven bucks you’ll spend this summer.