What to Expect:
“Three days down, eighteen to go!”
You may experience: Mood changes, minor skin irritation, or breakouts. Acne is a common detox symptom and is a great sign that your body is working to clear toxins!
Your best bet: Remember that awareness is key when it comes to your mood. Try not to react to those around you in a hypersensitive way, and remember that the change in your diet is likely affecting your mood more than you realize. For your skin, add milk thistle (tea, tincture, or capsules) and ginger tea to aid in detoxification. Take care to read the list of ingredients in products you apply to your skin for ingredients that may cause further irritation, such as parabens (found in a variety of lotions, cosmetics, and cleansing products), sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate (often in shampoos and body washes, listed as SLS/SLES), and oxybenzone (often in sunscreens and moisturizers). If you’re interested in switching to a safer, cleaner product, consider looking for one with charcoal in it for detox support, or check out the oil cleansing method, which uses natural oils to cleanse the skin instead of potentially irritating or harmful soaps.
Acne or skin rashes as detox effect
It’s common to experience either an outbreak of acne or some light skin rashes around day 4 on the 21DSD. Exactly why this happens varies depending on the individual, but some common reasons include: a shift in blood sugar levels as they even out; a shift in the hormones your body produces as levels are beginning to balance out or because your liver function improves and toxins and/or hormones are being more efficiently flushed from your system; or a shift in gut bacteria and resulting digestive function changes. All of these changes are normal and expected, and detox-related acne and skin rashes should clear up pretty quickly. If they persist after your detox, I recommend that you consult your physician.
Now may be a great time to review some of your skincare products as an extension of your detox. You certainly don’t need to do this to complete the 21DSD, but it’s a good reminder to examine how what you put on our skin is impacting your health. I recommend going to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website (ewg.org/skindeep) and searching their database for the products you use—they have a ton of information on ingredients in common skincare products and potential health concerns. You can also search the site for some safer, healthier options for skincare products.
The Dish from Diane:
Day 4 brings unique challenges and can be a big turning point. It’s often the beginning of some of the most uncomfortable days physically, but this is normal, and it will get better! Often people don’t realize how big a change it is to stop eating sugar and unhealthy carbs, and how that can change how you feel so profoundly. As you adjust to this way of eating, remember that prepping meals and snacks about every three to four days is a good idea. So today may be your day to get some food ready for the rest of the week. If you’re ahead of the game, then great! If you’re feeling nervous because you’re behind on that front, now’s the time to lean on more of your Quick Fix and Meal Math recipes.
- Review your skincare routine. If you’re struggling with acne or rashes, it may be from the detox, but you may also want to opt for some new skincare options.
- Post to social media using the hashtag #21DSD about your day 4 meals and experience. Tell us what other parts of your life are being influenced by your newfound healthy outlook.
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