Beauty Myths: Detoxing

Google “Detox Diet” and you’ll be given nearly 6 million results.

Search “Detox” on Pinterest and you’ll have endless recipes for detoxifying waters, fruits, nuts, lists of foods to never eat, tips on detoxifying baths and wraps and body brushing and shampoo.

The general idea behind any product or diet that promises to help you “detox” is that your body accumulates toxins of some sort, and by drinking a certain type of water with certain fruits, or doing a certain exercise, or fasting, or taking a hot bath with Epsom salts, you can help your body leech out the toxins and from that experience weight loss, clear skin, more energy, etc.

Some of the Google image results from

Some of the Google image results from “detox” “detox water” and “detox diet”

The problem is that the toxins that are supposedly building up in your body aren’t really named or defined. Where exactly are they coming from? What is it about lemon water that suddenly kicks your system into overdrive?

The answer is that detox diets, products, etc, are a huge scam. In a healthy body, your organs can handle purifying your blood and excreting anything unneeded or harmful just fine. Your kidneys, liver, skin, even lungs all do this without needing anything besides a balanced diet and an appropriate amount of water (too much water can actually kill you, but that’s a story for another day).

Many of the diets and cleanses that claim to have amazing weight loss results are actually just the result of losing weight from fasting, or dropping water weight. So while there’s certainly nothing wrong with drinking lemon or cucumber water, it’s no more special than regular tap water.

As for the “detoxing” Epsom salt baths: Epsom salts are actually not salts at all, but rather mineral magnesium. In researching scholarly articles and research papers, I could not find a study that definitively showed a benefit to bathing with Epsom salts. So I’d say this is another one that, while not harmful, is not going to do anything to detox your body.

I’m not one to stop anyone’s fun if you truly enjoy doing cleanses, Epsom salt baths, or drinking special water, but I would encourage everyone to be skeptical of any miracle diet or product.

Consider the detox debunked!

detox debunked

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