In the search for radiant and glowing skin, we usually come up with complex skincare routines, using so many products. But sometimes, all your skin needs is a temporary break from all these products. That's where skin fasting comes in. This is a recent skin trend where you cut down on skincare products or stop using such products completely. Read on to learn all about skin fasting and the benefits it provides for your skin.
What is skin fasting?
Skin fasting is a relatively new trend that went viral on TikTok. It’s a concept that embraces taking a break from your normal skincare routine to help your skin improve the way it functions. So, you’re practically detoxing your skin by taking a short break from skincare products.
How to do a skin fast
There are different types of skin fasting. There really isn’t a skin fasting routine that's a one-size-fits-all. If anything, skin fasting should be a very personalized routine that depends on your skin type and skin concerns.
For example, some people skin fast by staving off skincare completely, not even using a cleanser or a basic moisturizer. Others skin fast by taking a break from products containing active ingredients. While this decision is entirely up to you, it's always recommended you use a moisturizer and a broad-spectrum sunscreen, regardless of your skin fasting method.
Additionally, the period of fasting also varies. Some people just take a temporary break for just a few days, while others may give their skin a few weeks to recover. It all usually depends on how your skin will react to skin fasting and what you're looking to achieve.
Tips for the best skin fasting
If you’re intrigued by the skin fasting idea and want to give it a try, here are some tips that can help you:
- Start slowly. Instead of completely eliminating all your skincare products at once, just start slowly and gradually reduce their usage.
- Stick with the basics. During the skin fasting period, stick to essential products like a gentle cleanser, a basic moisturizer, and sunscreen. This will make sure your skin remains moisturized and protected.
- Monitor your skin. Always ensure you pay close attention to how your skin reacts to skin fasting. If you start noticing any serious reactions, stop skin fasting right away.
- Reintroduce your products gradually. After skin fasting, gradually reintroduce the skincare products selectively. You can start with one skincare product at a time and observe how your skin reacts before you add another product.
- Consult with a dermatologist. If you have any skin conditions or concerns, it’s very important to talk to a qualified expert before you make any significant changes.
Benefits of skin fasting
While scientific research on skin fasting is very limited, a lot of people who have used this method claim it comes with several benefits. Some of them include:
Improved skin barrier function
Skin fasting allows your skin to reset and self-regulate, which may strengthen its natural barrier. As a result, this can help improve its ability to protect against external irritants and retain moisture.
Reduced skin irritation
Studies show that excessive use of skincare products, particularly those containing harsh ingredients, can cause skin irritation and sensitivity. Skin fasting might help calm and rebalance your skin, which reduces redness and inflammation.
Product overload prevention
Multistep skincare routines have become very popular. But sometimes, layering too many skin products can overwhelm your skin and potentially lead to problems like congestion and breakouts. The skin fasting technique can help prevent this product overload.
Some skincare ingredients like exfoliants or retinol can be a bit harsh and irritating on the skin. When you take a break from using these ingredients, it can prevent over-exfoliation and also give the skin time to heal and regenerate.
Potential risks of skin fasting
Before you start a skin fasting journey, it’s very important to know the potential risks. Some include:
- Dehydration. Depending on your environment and your skin type, taking a break from your skincare routine may lead to dry skin. Without sufficient hydration, it may compromise your skin’s moisture barrier.
- Aggravate skin problems. Research shows that if you suffer from specific skin concerns like acne or aging skin, you may require targeted topical treatments to address those problems. Stopping these treatments, even for a short period, can actually worsen these conditions.
Is skin fasting safe for everyone?
As with any skin technique, skin fasting has its pros and cons. That means it can be beneficial for some and not so great for others. If you have sensitive skin, you may benefit from skin fasting. It gives your skin a temporary break from any active ingredients that can trigger inflammation. Anyone experiencing trouble with their everyday skincare routine can also benefit from a break. It's especially beneficial for people experiencing more dryness, blemishes, or irritation than usual.
However, people with acne-prone and oily skin will not benefit from skin fasting. Dropping active ingredients that prevent and treat acne from their routine can cause more breakouts down the line. You should also avoid skin fasting if have skin disorders like eczema, rosacea, or other skin conditions that require you to use topical products to help.
That said, if you have a good skincare routine that works — don’t change it. Not everybody needs a skin fast. So, if you don’t see any signs that your skin may benefit from a temporary break, don’t disrupt your daily routine.
Skin fasting is definitely a trend worth trying if you're looking to simplify your skincare routine and give your skin a break. When you minimize or eliminate unnecessary skin products, you may improve your skin’s barrier function and reduce sensitivity. But it's important to approach skin fasting cautiously, listen to your skin’s needs, and adjust your products accordingly. If you have any specific skin conditions, always talk with a dermatologist before you make any changes to your skincare routine.
How long should I fast for skin?
There's no rule of doing skin fasting, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Simply start with short breaks like a day or two and gradually increase to a week or longer as your skin adjusts.
How do I start fasting my skin?
You should start skin fasting by easing into it. Instead of completely eliminating all your skincare products at once, start slowly. Stick to a gentle cleanser, a basic moisturizer, and sunscreen. If you wear makeup, keep it light and breathable.
Is skin fasting good for oily skin?
Oily and acne-prone skin may not benefit from a full skin fast because they tend to breakout regularly. They require topical products to help prevent or heal breakouts.
Skin fasting is a Japanese beauty hack that emphasizes reducing or stopping the usage of skincare products for a short period of time to let your skin reset and rejuvenate.
Some of the benefits skin fasting can provide for your skin may include improving your skin barrier function, reducing skin irritation, and preventing product overload.
You may benefit from skin fasting if you have dry or sensitive skin, as this temporarily relieves it from any harsh ingredients that can cause inflammation.
If you want to try skin fasting, start slowly by taking away one skin product at a time to see how your skin reacts instead of stopping all your skincare products at once.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. Sunscreen Faqs.
- Indian Journal of Dermatology Venereology and Leprology. Sensitive skin: An overview.
- The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients.
- Cochrane Library. Topical treatments and skin‐resurfacing techniques for skin ageing.