How long could you go without cleansing, toning, hydrating, or the pleasant relaxation of a face mask? A day? A week? A month?
If you’re a beauty guru, a beauty blogger, or just interested in beauty trends and treatments, you probably know what skin fasting is.
But if you’re hearing this term for the first time, it might be interesting to learn more about this skincare trend that’s been buzzing in recent years.
The term “skin fasting” was introduced by the Japanese holistic beauty brand Mirai Clinical, and is basically “starving” the skin for a period of time, depriving it of any beauty products in order to rejuvenate and renew it naturally. Options range from taking a complete break from cosmetics for one or a few days, to simply reducing the many steps and products of the daily beauty routine, and opting for a more minimalist approach.
Despite the fact that “skin fasting” is quite trendy, there are not many professionals who recommend a complete break from the skincare routine. On the one hand, the idea of skin fasting sounds promising, but it is important to know that there is no rigorous scientific evidence in its favour.
According to the theory of “skin fasting”, the skin should be allowed to “breathe” and “reset” itself, with the idea that deprivation of cosmetic products will stimulate it to renew itself naturally within an individually chosen period of time. According to the proponents of this method, stopping the usual cosmetic procedures for one or several days is able to normalize the skin’s natural protective barrier, and refraining from applying products regulates sebum to the necessary amount, as opposed to artificially added ingredients that prevent it from producing enough sebum on its own, and consequently make it drier.
However, many experts do not support this theory, as the skin can become dry for a number of reasons – skin conditions such as eczema, seasonal dehydration and age-related changes that affect sebum production. Stopping the right cream for dry skin on the face or body for some random period of time does not and cannot alert the skin to produce more of its own amount of sebum, which may be in deficit due to any of the reasons mentioned. Moreover, maintaining soft, supple and hydrated skin requires more than the natural amount of sebum.
Even if you are an advocate of “skin fasting”, it is not advisable to stop using all cosmetic products. Cleansing is a key step in your daily skincare routine, and removing sweat, dirt, bacteria and impurities is a must for both personal hygiene and preventing premature ageing.
Not cleaning the skin is not the only thing that can cause problems. Depending on the skin type of the face, lack of sunscreen can increase pigmentation, and lack of exfoliation can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells. In some cases, simply stopping certain types of products can cause more harm than good. A typical example in this regard is acne-prone skin, as taking a break from acne products can cause the condition to worsen, whereas a regular routine is a must for dealing with this sometimes quite stubborn problem.
Although the extreme version of this method is not advisable, most experts agree that implementing a ‘diet’ instead of total abstinence can be beneficial if it leads to a sensible reconsideration of the number of products used for the daily routine.
Layering multiple products on the skin can lead to neutralisation of their beneficial effects, developing sensitivity, irritation and even eczema or rash if the products do not work well in combination. When it comes to skincare, more is not better and using too many products is not only a waste of time and money but can also damage the skin.
Every skin type and every age needs special care, so daily facial care with the right products should not be neglected. Achieving the optimum balance requires careful selection of products due to the fact that they have different ingredients, and should not lead to oversaturation. Therefore, it is better to use products from one manufacturer’s line where the experts have thought in advance about the balanced combination of ingredients.
Another option is to buy a product of the “smart formula” type. For example, an eye cream that is also suitable as a makeup base. These products are great because they help avoid overloading the skin, save time and money, and last but not least, an environmentally friendly and responsible consumer choice as they reduce waste.
Beyond question, optimizing the daily routine and excluding unnecessary products is beneficial for skincare. The trend of limiting excessive use of cosmetics makes sense given the growing popularity of a beauty routine made up of multiple steps, some of them completely unnecessary. The skin should be cleansed, toned, hydrated and nourished, but within reason, and don’t forget the sunscreen.