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Acne and Liver Detox

author image Sara Clement
Sara Clement has been a writer, editor and social-media expert since 2002. A regular contributor for publications such as "Exhale," "Reflections of a Butterfly" and "The Giggle Guide," she is currently writing a book about grief and loss and coauthoring a sequel to "Being Ourself." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in premedical science and psychology/education from the University of Montana.
Acne and Liver Detox
After the skin, the liver is one of the largest vital organs in the body. Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

An essential part of the body's lymphatic system, the liver is responsible for cleaning the blood and regulating hormone production. Toxins from alcohol, environmental pollution, household chemicals, pesticides, processed foods and poor air quality are processed by the liver. Chronic acne may be caused by hormone fluctuations or toxic overload on a stressed or overworked liver.


Because the liver can be filled with harmful substances such as heavy metals, environmental pollutants and other toxins due to modern living, it may have a more difficult time processing additional substances like sugars, fats, alcohols and manufactured foods. When the liver is stressed, it is less effective at hormone regulation which can lead to troubled skin conditions.


According to Naturopathic physician Robert Ullman, a stressed liver may show signs of toxic buildup through the skin. The body may try to release stored toxins through excess waste through pores where clogs and blemishes may chronically erupt. Though skin issues attract attention, it is the underlying condition of a weakened liver that is the real concern. If an overworked liver is increasing acne, discuss your liver's health with your health-care provider for support, guidance and possibly increased longevity.

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Time Frame

A liver cleanse typically lasts between 3 and 30 days, depending on how long you or your health-care provider feels is necessary. Fresh, unprocessed natural foods and exercise will support the body's ability to effectively accomplish the liver detox. Do not attempt a liver detox without a physician's approval.


It is common, according to nutritionist and psychologist Carla Wills-Brandon, for a liver detox to initially cause an increased episode of acne and skin problems as toxins are removed from the liver. Additionally, a person utilizing the benefits of a liver detox regime may experience headaches, illness, and a general feeling of malaise. Once the detox is complete, the expected result is increased energy, a more effective immune system and healthier skin.


Herbal supplements may support liver function and body and skin purification during detox. Burdock root, milk thistle, dandelion and red clover have been used for thousands of years to cleanse the liver and improve health. Check with an herbalist for a complete list of safe herbs for liver and skin health.

Expert Insight

According to herbalist and author Rosemary Gladstar, drinking 8 to 10 cups of water infused with lemon juice as well as a weekly inclusion of beets into your diet will support liver and skin health for proactive liver detox on a regular basis. Taking care of your organs on an ongoing basis will provide more benefits than opting to detox an unhealthy lifestyle every few years.

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