242: When A Liver Detox Can Help Your Skin (And When It Can’t)

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As you might already know – I’m not a fan of liver detoxes or liver cleanses when you’re struggling with chronic skin rashes.

But there are some exceptions to this which I think are worthwhile to share.

Especially given the massive amount of marketing online constantly telling you that you need to detox your liver, understanding the nuance can be really helpful.

There are instances where a liver detox makes sense, and other times where it absolutely does not (and could make your skin worse).

So let’s dive into this so you can make a more educated decision about what is and is not right for your liver and skin!


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In this episode:

  • My thoughts on liver detoxes versus liver nutrient support
  • What skin issues could benefit from a liver detox
  • Histamine Overload + liver detoxes
  • Lab suggestions to help you identify liver dysfunction


Liver detoxes can cause major flareups and reactions that you probably didn’t intend, especially if your liver is already struggling.

Psoriasis is one instance where a liver detox can sometimes be really helpful if there is a lot of liver dysfunction.


Woman thinking about doing a liver detox

When A Liver Detox Can Help Your Skin (And When It Can’t) (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #242 of the Healthy Skin Show!

Today I want to tackle questions around liver detoxes – when a liver detox could be helpful, when is it best to avoid doing one, and is a detox better for certain types of rashes versus others!

This is a big topic and as many of you know who have listened to the show for a while, I’m not a big fan generally speaking of liver detoxes.

Various kits, products, and even eating plans are marketed all over the internet telling you that the one thing you’re missing is to detox your liver.

What many of these things fail to specify is that your liver has its own ability to detoxify.

The obsession with detoxing your liver is largely misguided by way of fairly false analogies (like the one about your liver being a fish filter).

Misinformation like this can make you feel like you’ve got to cleanse your liver because all it does is clean up your body and store toxins.

A notion that many of us are constantly bombarded with in Western society – that your body is dirty and for whatever reason, it just can’t be kept clean enough. 

Now with that being said, there can be a time and place for a liver detox so I figured this would be a great opportunity to discuss this topic further so that you can make a more educated decision on whether a liver detox is right for you.


Health Supplements

Why Liver Detoxes Are Often Unnecessary (And Could Make Your Skin Rashes Worse)

Before we go any further, I do want to clearly say that I see the good intentions behind doing a liver detox.

BUT the reality is that they’re often too harsh and not supportive enough for what most people truly need at the beginning of their skin healing journey (especially for eczema, rosacea + chronic hives).

And for some, liver detoxes or cleanses can cause major skin flareups and reactions that you probably don’t want.

One of the biggest reasons why is because your liver needs support in the form of the appropriate nutrients MORESO than it needs to be detoxed.

That’s why I talk so much about nourishing the liver to do what it’s meant to do since those pathways need specific nutrients that your body doesn’t make.

Liver detoxes won’t likely improve those specific nutrient stores that your liver needs (even those based on botanicals/herbs) .

AND some people can react negatively to them, especially if they have a ragweed allergy (since most liver detox herbs like milk thistle and dandelion are in the ragweed family).

And it’s why P2 Detox Balance is my go-to liver support to give the liver detox pathways for Phase 2 (and even for Phase 3) the nutrients it needs to start working more efficiently.

Especially if you suspect or have known gut microbiome issues that you want to work on because your liver must be running well before you start tackling the gut issues to avoid a flare up.

I talk about this in my 3-part liver detox seriesPart 1 (episode 177), Part 2 (episode 186) and Part 3 (episode 190).


Alarm clock and healthy foods to aid a liver detox

When Does It Make Sense To Do A Liver Detox

Because I generally don’t recommend liver detoxes, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a time or place where a liver detox could be helpful.

One of those instances would be in cases of psoriasis.

With psoriasis, we know from research that liver dysfunction and metabolic issues unfortunately go hand-in-hand.

I discuss these connections and research that I’ve found in episode 217. I’d highly recommend you check out if you’re not aware that psoriasis can increase your risk of other health conditions.

So in this instance, a liver detox can sometimes be really helpful if there is a lot of liver dysfunction.

This could look like elevated liver enzymes (ALT, AST, GGT), elevated lipids, high fasting blood sugar, a diganosis of diabetes, or if you’ve been told that you could have or have been diagnosed with “fatty liver” (more formally known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) or any type of liver fibrosis or cirrhosis.

{Check out this article for more on lab values that can be helpful to ask your doctor for HERE!}

My suggestion is to ALWAYS support the liver first before adding in detoxifying ingredients or products because again – if there is an insufficient amount of key nutrients (like glycine, glutathione and other nutrients required by your liver), a liver detox could just throw your system out of whack even further.

With all other chronic skin issues that I talk about here on the Healthy Skin Show and work with in my clinical practice, a liver detox would only make sense if liver dysfunction is still present after other root causes have been worked through to a significant degree.

AND that whatever products or formulas that are used do not contain any known cross-reactive allergens in them (especially for people who struggle with the allergy/eczema/asthma combo or those with chronic hives/urticaria).

Someone struggling with significant Histamine Overload is likely not a candidate for doing any liver detoxes until their histamine reactivity is noticeably reduced without the use of more antihistamines.

I have repeatedly been told by clients and readers that liver detoxes made their skin worse. Some have commented that they felt that the liver cleanse they did “broke them” such that the flare they were experiencing got worse and seems unending.

So if you’ve been nervous about doing a liver detox – I don’t blame you for your concern.

The better step would be to first support your body’s nutritional needs (since insufficiencies are inherently stressful).

And then identify your root cause combo so that you can decide whether it’s the right time for a liver cleanse or more prudent to start tackling other issues first.

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts to share about this, leave a comment below so I can address them.

Thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode!

Liver detoxes can cause major flareups and reactions that you probably didn’t intend, especially if your liver is already struggling.

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.

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