Are Detox Breakouts Normal? Everything You Need To Know (+How To Fix)


Written by: Liz Brown - Oct. 27, 2020

Detox Breakouts  

So, you just started a new detox, and now you’re breaking out, what gives? Whether this is your first time detoxing, or you have already been around the detox block a few times, you may be wondering why you experience skin breakouts during this time. Well, you’re not alone, and the good news is, it’s completely normal!

In this article we’ll answer all of your detox breakout questions including:

 Are Detox Breakouts Normal? Everything You Need To Know (+How To Fix)

Is It Normal To Breakout During A Detox?

Yes! It is completely normal to breakout during a detox. 

If you’re unfamiliar with how detoxing works but want the benefits of detox tea, you must trust the process. Breaking out is sometimes part of that process. In fact, it’s actually a good sign that your detox is actually working! Hear me out… 

What Causes Detox Breakouts?

Detox breakouts are a normal part of the detoxification process, but not everyone experiences them! If you notice a breakout after starting a detox, you probably want some sort of explanation…

In order to understand what causes detox breakouts, you must learn how detox tea works. But without getting into too much detail, here’s the quick answer…

When toxins exit your body, they leave the same way they enter—through your breath, your gut and bowels, your urine, and… your sweat

“Okay, so what does that have to do with my breakout?” Let me explain…

The liver is an essential organ in the function of the body’s lymphatic system. During a detox, your liver is responsible for cleansing toxins from the blood, regulating hormone production, and assisting the immune and drainage systems. You see, toxins need a place to exit your body quickly, and because the lymphatic system lives just below your skin, they can easily escape  through the pores in the form of sweat.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body and has two types of pores—sweat pores and oil pores. The primary purpose of your oil pores is to provide lubrication to help keep the skin supple, moisturized, and healthy, whereas sweat pores allow for sweat to travel from your sweat glands to the surface of the skin to help maintain your body temperature by evaporative cooling.

When your body sweats, the toxins can often build up in the skin as they make their way to the surface. When the toxins mix with the natural oils of your skin (this oil is called sebum), it can cause a buildup and, can sometimes  result in an acne flare up. 

So, even though breakouts can be annoying, experiencing a breakout during a detox is actually a GOOD sign that your body is in the process of flushing out toxin buildup!

How Long Do Detox Breakouts Last?

Detox breakouts vary from person-to-person and many people may not experience skin breakouts during detox at all. But regardless of how long it will last, it’s important to note that a detox breakout is only temporary. (And that’s if you have a breakout at all!)

But to answer this question directly—a detox breakout can happen anywhere from 2 to 3 days to a week after you’ve started detoxing and really shouldn’t last for more than 2 weeks, tops. If you’re naturally prone to acne and your blemishes worsen, your skin should return to normal within the same time frame.

When it comes to skin issues, people often wonder if there are any individual factors about their skin that could potentially contribute to the problem. Here are some fast facts about your skin and detox breakouts:

  • The size and behavior of your pores can be partially responsible for a detox breakout. When a pore becomes clogged with dirt, bacteria, or in this case, environmental toxins, the oil within your pores builds up and causes them to expand. If your pores can’t expand fast enough to account for the increase in oil, acne occurs. 
  • Your skin type DOES NOT contribute to a detox breakout. Despite popular belief, a detox breakout is an equal opportunity skin condition. So, whether your skin is oily, dry, or tends to be a combination of the two, you do not have an increased likelihood of a detox breakout. 
  • Having acne-prone skin DOES NOT increase your chances of a detox breakout. While it’s true that acne-prone skin can temporarily worsen during a detox, having acne-prone skin is not an underlying factor in whether you’ll experience a detox breakout or not.
  • The amount of toxins in your body can affect the length and intensity of your breakout. If you have a pretty hefty buildup of toxins in your body, you could develop more blemishes than someone with less toxin accumulation. But again, this is a good thing, and means your body is releasing those toxins and helping you to get healthier! 

How To Prevent Skin Breakouts During Detox

We know that skin breakouts can occur during a detox… but the good news is that there are a few things you can do to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

  • Remove any makeup before doing any physical activity. Because toxins can be released through perspiration, it’s best to remove any makeup before working up a sweat. Doing this will minimize the accumulation of debris on your face when you start to sweat and reduce your chances of a breakout.
  • Cleanse your face daily and use oil-free moisturizer if your skin type permits. Keeping your skin clean can prevent dirt and oil from clogging your pores, and ultimately help make room for the toxins that need to be released. Similarly, an oil-free moisturizer (if your skin type permits) can help keep excess oil at bay.
  • Drink LOTS of water. Drinking 8 glasses of water each day will not only keep your skin hydrated during the detoxification process, but it will help your kidneys flush out toxins  through your urine.
  • Reduce your intake of added sugar and high-fat foods. Sugar contains oxidative properties that can provoke acne breakouts. High-glycemic foods can spike your blood sugar causing a burst of inflammation throughout your entire body. Insulin spikes can increase the production of skin oils and can contribute to acne. By reducing your intake of foods like white bread, candy, fried foods, ice cream, soda, etc. you can minimize a potential breakout. 
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating low-glycemic foods that contain zinc, vitamin A and E, and antioxidants can lower your risk of breakouts due to their anti-inflammatory properties. This includes foods like blueberries, salmon, dark leafy greens, nuts, etc.  
  • Exercise regularly. Stress is a common trigger for breakouts. Regular exercise is a great way to reduce stress and increase your metabolism. And as long as you cleanse your face and remove your makeup before exercising, you shouldn’t have to worry about clogged pores as a result of working out. 

The Bottom Line On Detox Breakouts

Detox breakouts can be frustrating, trust me, I get it! But always remember that they’re actually a GOOD sign that your body is releasing harmful toxins and your detox is working!

Also keep in mind that they’re only temporary and the benefits of detox will far outweigh a few blemishes. 

Happy detoxing!