With all the crazy and scary things happening in the world right now, the last thing you are going to want to focus on is your skin care routine and we totally get that. In fact, this lockdown period could actually be a much-needed break for your skin as it gives you the time to temporarily pare down your skin-care routine, to give your face a much needed break.

Skin fasting is all about minimizing your skin-care routine for a set period of time to allow your skin to reset itself. Sounds too confusing or counterintuitive, lets break it down then:

What Are The Benefits Of Skin Fasting?

A skin fast allows the skin to return to its natural homeostasis. The theory behind this new beauty fad is that when we use skin-care products, we are conditioning our skin to react in a certain way, and this can throw off its natural, self-regulating cycle.

Based on this theory, it is believed that applying a moisturizer (for example, it could be any product really) could signal to our skin cells that it does not need not produce as much natural sebum, causing us to form a reliance on our moisturiser. Does this make sense?

By temporarily stripping away the use of products this way, it is believed that it allows our skin can get back to what it does naturally, without any external assistance or interference.

In other words, by eliminating all skin-care products, you are allowing your skin to ‘reset,’ and, in turn, improving the way your skin functions.

Of course this could go either way. For example, if you are eczema prone and have a compromised skin barrier, eliminating potentially irritating ingredients will encourage healing. But, eliminating products with healing and moisturising ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides may leave you worse off, despite the simplification of your routine. So this all depends on the condition of your skin.

How Does It Affect My Daily Routine?

You could liken this to the different variations of intermittent fasting, all of which have a similar overall goal. And, just like with intermittent fasting, different variations of the overall concept seem to work for different people. This is an important point to bear in mind as everyone’s skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for the next.

Because the overuse of active ingredients can cause irritation over time, limiting the use of these products from time to time can be beneficial.

What should you be fasting from, and who should try it?

If you suspect that your skin needs a break from actives like retinol, AHAs, BHAs and Vitamin C, try taking them out of your routine one by one until your skin has returned to baseline and then slowly introduce one product at a time, back into your routine.

There is one product that you should never fast from and that’s sunscreen. Although we’re all at-home for the foreseeable future, sun protection is still a must, even while lounging indoors.