Will skin fasting make a difference?

will skin fasting make a difference

By now you’ve probably heard of skin fasting and have many questions. Is it or isn’t it a good idea? Does your skin really improve? What exactly is skin fasting? Is it the secret to clear, refreshed skin?

Well, much as there are people who believe in fasting in order to clear the digestive system and improve their physical health, this trend recommends doing the same for your skin. The theory is that your skin should be able to rejuvenate and protect itself using the natural oils your body produces. In other words, our skin gets ‘lazy’ and is not functioning as well as it could due to all the products and actives we use on it.

The concept originated with Koko Hayashi, creator of the Japanese company, Mirai Clinical Body Care. Hayashi believes skin fasting enables the skin to heal itself. The theory is your skin will start naturally producing the oils it needs and will basically ‘reset’.

Browse through the numerous articles on the internet and you will find that opinions are strongly divided. There are people who swear by skin fasting and feel it improved their skin health greatly but, conversely, there are as many people that found it uncomfortable and saw no benefits at all.

There are various methods of skin fasting:

  • Use no products at all over a seven-day period, only washing your face with cold water in the morning and warm water at night. Then assess whether this worked for you or not.
  • Commit to a regular seven-day skin fasting regime, every second month.
  • Don’t use product at night in order to encourage your skin to start developing its own moisturisation levels.
  • Cut down to the bare basics, i.e., cleansing, toning and moisturising each day, but avoid adding extra layers of all the other products you have in your daily skin regime.
  • Put your skin on a make-up free diet for seven days.

The most commonly accepted definition of skin fasting is the first point above, although we would add that, if you do this, ensure you keep hydrated by drinking lots of water and don’t forego sun protection.

Would we recommend skin fasting?

Honestly, it is a very personal choice and you need to take your skin type and lifestyle into consideration before making the decision.

We certainly would not recommend it for anybody under a dermatologist’s care – rather listen to what a professional who knows your skin and your problems has to say. Similarly, ageing skin or exceptionally dry skin would probably not benefit from a skin fasting regime.

However, if you find it takes you around 30 minutes every morning and evening to apply and use all your skincare products, then skin-fasting could be an option. Cosmetic and personal care products are fairly multi-functional these days and manufacturers have put a lot of research and development into their products before launching them. You may find you don’t need all those products and three or four will work just as effectively on your skin. In this case, you could try skin fasting for seven days and then slowly start re-introducing your skincare products. Stop adding product when your skin looks and feels good to you.

For those of you who wear a lot of make-up every day, a make-up ‘fast’ might also be a better option. Give your skin a break for a few days and allow it to breath naturally.

We’d like to end with this comment, though: there are many people who are on ‘lifelong’ skin fasts – people who due to their circumstances are not able to buy any sort of product to protect their skin. And the ageing effects and sun damage are usually pretty obvious. There is no doubt in our minds that a well-chosen, effective range of products used on a daily basis is the ideal scenario for most of us.

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