What is skin fasting?
Skin fasting is a skincare trend that focusses on stripping back your entire skincare routine and mostly relying on your skin’s natural processes to do the job. It’s basically Marie Kondo-ing your bathroom cabinet and getting rid of all the unnecessary products in your routine. It minimises the amount of products that you’ll use, relying on the theory that less really is more.
What are the skincare benefits?
Skin fasting allows your skin some time to work on regenerating itself, rebuilding its natural acid mantle and getting back to its regular pH levels – which should always be the ultimate goals in skincare.
Many of the skincare benefits actually link back to how using too many products could be causing more harm than good. Many people don’t realise that layering skincare ingredients can be detrimental, often causing harsh reactions or at the very least, rendering products useless. Over complicating skincare routines essentially confuses the skin, often causing excessive oil production or making it used to working hard to removing toxins, rather than rejuvenating itself. The important thing to realise is that the skin is actually quite powerful and can rejuvenate itself on its own, however we often interfere with this process with excessive cleansing or applying too many products.
Skin Fasting also minimises the risk of people committing the ultimate skincare sin – layering different active products on top of each other without really knowing what you’re doing. Best case scenario in doing this is you’re actually cancelling out the active ingredients (the part of your skincare product that gives your skin the benefits) and worst-case scenario is that some of these ingredients can react with each other and cause a reaction.
For example, if you apply a Glycolic Acid to remove dead skin cells, then apply a product with Salicylic Acid, you can cause major reaction to the skin by stripping it which can be too harsh for your skin to handle. Or another great example is applying Vitamin C in conjunction with AHAs or BHAs – Vitamin C is really unstable, so any acids you layer it with will destabilise the pH balance and render it completely useless (or aka a total waste of time and money)!
How can we try skin fasting?
Thankfully, skin fasting is really easy to implement! You don’t necessarily need to buy a whole heap of new products because it’s basically the opposite of trends like K-Beauty or 10-step routines.
The easiest way to approach skin fasting is by keeping the mantra “less is more” in the back of your mind. You want to try to strip back your entire skincare routine back until you’re left with only a couple, or for those trying to do it hardcore, no products at all.
This might sound scary to people who are used to more complicated routines, but the benefits really are endless. The best way to approach skin fasting is by doing it in stages (don’t go cold turkey)! You might start off by having a couple of makeup-free days a week, then slowly you stop using all the unnecessary products in your routine. What’s unnecessary you ask? Well, toners, sheet masks, mud masks, day creams, night creams and the list goes on. While all these products do have a place every now and then, applying them religiously every night is likely doing more damage than good.
Introducing the skin fasting trend gradually will work best on most skin types, especially if your skin is used to a lot of products or excessive cleansing.
A great routine to get you started is by removing all your make up thoroughly with a hard-working (but not stripping) cleanser like Biologi’s Bc Refresh Cleanser and once your skin is clean only apply minimal must-have products (like a multi-purpose serum such as Biologi’s Bf Restore Face and Body Serum), followed by sunscreen (and make up if you must).
Then in the evenings try a two-step cleanse using a micro fibre cloth and gentle cleanser. When you wake up the next day it should be ok for you to simply clean your face using just hot water (and a micro fibre cloth if needed), then applying a serum followed by sunscreen. Ideally you will only use one or two non-negotiable skin products that you need to get you through. For some this might be just a cleanser and a serum but please don’t forget about sunscreen if you’re heading outdoors (or sitting inside exposed to sunlight). Then just repeat your new routine each day for a few days, but ideally for a couple of weeks to really see the benefits.
When considering Skin Fasting, only introduce products that contain a high percentage of active ingredients and try to avoid products laden with ingredients like silicones and sulphites. Ultimately you want products that will do a few things at once - hydrate, radiate, reduce blemishes, target fine lines and protect the skin.
Why is now a good time to try?
Now is a good time to try it as we’re coming into the cooler months which can mean we’re not going out as often. That means you can deal with skipping make up every now and then and adjusting to the new routine. With skin fasting, there will be an adjustment phase where your skin might seem either too dry or too oily, which is just your skin reacting to getting used to the new routine. Once you push through this phase, you’ll be left with skin that feels revived and rejuvenated. Stripping back an overly complicated skincare routine can not only be liberating, but it is incredibly healthy for the skin.