An average beauty enthusiast spends at least 30 minutes consuming beauty-related content that usually includes a cocktail of vlogger videos, music-laced makeup tutorials, reviews and flatlays. The ever-expanding beauty industry has made us more curious, to the point that we not only overload our makeup drawer with eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks and highlighters, but also hoard everything that’s a cult product within skincare. However, evidence suggests that overuse of skincare products, especially, when done incorrectly, can cause sensitivity, breakouts, and dullness. To counter this, a lot of this have adopted skin fasting and what better time than quarantine? Let’s discuss the concept of skin fasting and safe habits you can practise.
What Is Skin Fasting?
Just like it sounds, skin fasting is all about restraint in your skincare routine. If your skincare routine contains 10-12 steps or products right now, the idea is to aid our skin’s natural maintenance system and in some cases, even let your skin detoxify and breathe sans layers of actives we’ve gotten used to.
Skin fasting may especially be useful to those of us who are seeing redness, breakouts, dullness to eliminate unnecessary products, or ingredients that may not be showing results altogether (mind you, it takes at least 12 weeks to see results).
What Can You Skip During Skin Fasting?
The best place to start would be by reading labels. From body products that are full of artificial fragrances, as well as sulphate and paraben-laden products, can be skipped during a skin fast. I tried to get rid of my bath gels that are overly smelly with fruit toppings usually found in frozen yoghurt.
If you’re using particular exfoliants with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acids, or rather, overusing them (they shouldn’t be used more than twice a week), you can give that a pause or bring the usage down.
What You Shouldn’t Skip During Skin Fasting
Well, cleansing your face shouldn’t be skipped for one. Dirt, bacteria, pollution gets collected on our skin, even when indoors, so don’t skip washing your face with a mild, pH-balanced cleanser at least once a day.
Moisturising, at least, in my view, shouldn’t be skipped. You don’t have to get into peptides or growth factors or anything fancy: use a facial oil or a day cream on a damp face and lock that moisture in.
The second ingredient that most experts recommend not stopping is retinol. Your skin takes some time to get used to it, so don’t consider stopping it for weeks if you’re considering a skin fast. There’s no point in making your skin get used to it again, so what I would recommend is to speak to a dermatologist if you want to reduce the usage, or bring it down when fasting.
The last step you shouldn’t skip is sunscreen. Sun protection, especially when stepping outdoors or using retinol, vitamin C etc., is imperative for your skin. In fact, most experts, even during quarantine, spoke at length about using sunscreen even when indoors because 75% of UVA rays can seep in through a window.
Acne-Prone Skin & Fasting
According to Paula’s Choice, skin fasting would be a bad idea for someone battling hormonal or pustular acne. Skin fasting essentially means using lesser products which would also include salicylic acid, retinol or isotretinoin or anything else you’re on. I’m the biggest fan of a minimal skincare routine (my mom always says, eat well and your skin will shine) but acne is another deal altogether. If you have to fast, try intermittent fasting–there have been studies that have suggested fasting to help with acne, ageing, a variety of health issues as well as weight loss. Switch to vegan milk, whole foods, greens, nuts and seeds to reduce inflammation inside your gut which will definitely make your skin glow!
I Tried Skin Fasting Without Planning It And Here’s What Happened
With quarantine in place, I completely stopped using makeup which was a boon for my lips that are always chapped due to my addiction to matte lipsticks. That was a big difference because I wasn’t touching makeup and stick to a no-nonsense skincare routine. I also eliminated a few products that weren’t really doing anything for me or were loaded with artificial fragrances or sulphates.
AM: PM Skin Fasting Routine
Face Mist (whenever I feel like it, it’s really hot here in New Delhi, India)
DIY mask with aloe vera or gramflour+ rosewater
Eye cream (whenever I remember)
I have seen many good skin days during the quarantine period, and I do think a lot of people I know and follow, have got hoards of skincare products and will benefit from a simplified skincare routine via skin fasting.
Would you try this? Let me know.