Skin Fasting: Unmasking the New Skincare Trend

Our skin is constantly exposed to stressors; harsh weather, air pollution, UV rays, and of course, a variety of dirt, dust and bacteria. The list goes on, and it all contributes to wear, tear and the inevitable ageing of our skin.

So, in our great attempt to fight back – to protect and rejuvenate our skin – we slather ourselves with cleansers, toners, moisturizers, makeup and the like, trying to find that miracle solution that will keep our skin healthy, youthful and positively glowing.

But sometimes that skincare routine can feel like a grind – rinse, lather, repeat. Moisturize, slather, lather, rinse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Perhaps our skin is just as tired of the whole routine as we are?

We’ve talked before about intermittent fasting and the benefits that can have on your body. Skin fasting takes that same idea and applies it to your epidermis, so you, and the skin you love, can relax and find equilibrium.

Let’s take a look at this fascinating beauty trend to see if it’s right for you!

What is skin fasting?

Popularized by Mirai Clinical a Japanese beauty company, skin fasting is something of a counter-culture movement to the beauty industry. Instead of encouraging you to buy every new product that hits the shelf, skin fasting is all about letting your skin find balance – naturally.

The idea goes back to Hippocrates and his belief that fasting is a healing process for the body. In this case, that fast means foregoing the use of beauty products and skincare potions in an effort to give your skin room to breathe and recuperate. By giving your skin a ‘break’ from products, some (like Mirai Clinical) believe that your skin will detoxify, neutralize, and restore itself to a natural moisture level and sebum (oil) balance.

The great thing about skin fasting is it’s probably the safest beauty trend out there! Unless you have skin conditions that require medical ointments, giving your skin a break is, at worst, going to help you find your trouble spots.

The problem with skin fasting

“But, will skin fasting actually benefit my complexion?” you ask.

The best answer: Maybe

Skin fasting is entirely based on anecdotal evidence. Some people report better results than others, but there’s no scientific evidence out there (or at least not that we’ve found) pointing to solid, reproducible benefits of skin fasting.

The other problem with skin fasting is that it doesn’t typically take into account any preexisting skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or if someone is living in a harsher climate (such as extreme cold or dryness).

So be wary, and don’t expect miracle results if you do dabble in skin fasting.

The real benefit of skin fasting

Skin fasting is a chance for you to discover which skincare products are actually working for your skin!

Perhaps that moisturizer is actually making your skin more oily than it should. Or maybe your favorite mascara brand is the culprit of your dry, irritated eyes at the end of the day. You’re bound to discover something new when you experiment with the frequency or the brands of the beauty products you’re using!

Ultimately, skin fasting will help you to pare down the products you’re using, pointing you in the direction of which ones are most beneficial, and which ones you can eliminate entirely from your skincare routine.

How to do skin fasting

There’s no real instruction manual here. Skin fasting to you could be completely cutting out every single beauty product you’re using, or just minimizing the number of products you’re using on the daily.

Skin fasting is all about experimenting with what you think your skin will like!

Here’s a good start if you want to try a skin fast:

  • Rinse with only H20 – One to three nights per week, try rinsing your face with water (as well as a good face-cloth scrub) to clean away the day’s dirt, but without a cleanser.
  • Skip the night cream routine – Try one to three nights per week without using a night cream. Allow your skin to breathe through the night.
  • Skip the make-up – Try a few days (or even a whole week) without any make-up. Not only will this free up your pores, but you’ll also save on some product!
  • Boost your water intake – The 8, 8oz glasses per day is a good amount to aim for, but try to increase this during your skin fast, as it will help hydrate your skin from the inside out.

It’s all about the experiment

It’s always good to try new things, especially when those things are as safe and easy as skin fasting. Perhaps this technique will be super beneficial in your trials, or perhaps you'll realize the products you're currently using are completely right for your skin. Whatever happens, be sure to enjoy the experiment!


Feature photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash