Emily MacCulloch
Emily MacCulloch

How to Do a Post-Holiday Skin Detox

After all the revelry of the holiday season, it has become an annual tradition for me to do a serious detox once January hits. And while I also attempt to clean up my bad dietary habits (like mimosas and chocolate cake for breakfast every day), I’m specifically referring to detoxing my skin. With all my dairy, sugar and alcohol consumption, once the new year hits I can almost hear my pores screaming for a heavy duty deep clean. Here are a few of my fave mask treatments that I’ve been reaching for in 2017 to get my skin back on track with a clean (smaller pores) slate.


Bobbi Brown Instant Detox Mask
Hawaiian sea water (fancy!) and Amazonian white clay pull toxins and impurities out of the skin while helping to reduce pore size (yes please). The lightweight formula does a bang-up job of clearing out gunk without drying out my skin, which is rare for a clay-based mask. Plus, how cute is the apothecary-like tube design?

Masque Bar by Look Beauty Charcoal Peel-Off Mask
Charcoal is one of the latest buzzy ingredients to boast purifying properties. This mask looks a bit scary on (it’s pitch black), but it dries quickly without tightening on the skin and is fun to peel off (and not painful at all). In addition to charcoal, it’s got calendula and hibiscus extracts to soothe and tone skin.

Pür Dirty Girl Detoxifying Mudd Masque
This mask contains pascalite, a type of bentonite clay, to dig deep and unclog pores. I love using this mask through my T-zone as I see a big difference in oil production and pore size afterwards. But be wary when you use this, it dries really quickly so make sure you work one area of your face at a time. And warning: It feels super tingly on your skin.

Hot tip: Don’t forget to moisturize your skin post detox! With the hydration-zapping winter upon us, using a lot of clay and charcoal masks can leave the skin a bit thirsty. Two formulas I’m loving for a hydration boost are Biotherm Life Plankton Mask and Vichy Quenching Mineral Mask. I’ve been using the Life Plankton mask twice a week as an overnight treatment, and when I wake up my skin feels smooth, I’m less red and I’ve got a healthy glow. Vichy’s mineral mask is really lightweight so you get a heavy dose of moisture without weighing the skin down. I highly recommend both for oily skin that’s dehydrated.