Skincare trends – skin-fasting

Every couple of months something new will pop up on social media. It could be a new product, an alternative ingredient, or a new skincare trend. Some trends make our teeth itch and are just terrible advice. This refers to social media posts that extol the virtues of using baking soda or lemon juice on your skin. That’s a firm no, don’t do that.

However, other trends seem more logical. The question remains, are they worth the hype? One trend that is gaining popularity is skin-fasting.

What is skin-fasting?

The term was coined by the Mirai Clinic, a Japanese beauty company.

“The purpose of skin-fasting is to strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier that is weakened by excessive nourishing, to normalize the secretion of natural oils and support the natural rejuvenation process. This natural barrier protects your skin not only from dryness, but also from any other outside stressors, like UV rays, pollution, and cold temperatures.“

Source: Mirai Clinic

By their definition skin-fasting can mean skipping your moisturiser once a week in the evenings or forgoing your entire evening skincare routine. You should still cleanse your face. They recommend skin-fasting only once or twice per week to avoid excessive dryness. Likewise, they don’t recommend practicing skin-fasting when you are not feeling well.

On the surface, their advice sort of makes sense. It is as simple as giving your skin a rest. However, as with all things Internet, it got distorted along the way.

The first thing that needs to be clarified – skin-fasting doesn’t detoxify the skin. Our skin secretes oil and sweat, but it doesn’t detoxify. The human body is a magnificent thing, and our liver and kidneys eliminate the toxins from our body. Unless you suffer from a medical condition, which impacts your liver and kidneys’ function, these organs will do their job.

Likewise, any theories that eliminating moisturising products from your routine will make your skin LESS dry are just that – theories and anecdotal evidence. There are no scientific studies to support these claims. And you know we love our science at Ishtar HQ.

That said – there is no reason not give skin-fast a try.

We’ll be frank – sometimes we skin-fast, albeit by pure accident. For example, when headaches or migraines hit, washing our face and layering our Hydro-Magic serum is the limit of what we can do.

Alternatively, sometimes in the mornings, there is no time for an extensive routine. If that is the case, our bare minimum (and this is non-negotiable) is to cleanse our face and apply sunscreen. We were lucky enough to find our HG sunscreen that doubles as a moisturiser and SPF.

Can you benefit from a skin-fast?

In some cases, but we would phrase it differently. It is not a skin-fast per se, more of a skin-diet (another trend that originated from Korea). If you over-exfoliated your skin or went a bit wild with actives, it is always good to go back to your baseline routine. Cleanse/treat/moisturise, and that’s it. Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser, treat with a skin-repairing serum, and apply your normal moisturiser.

If your skin is irritated or inflamed, the same applies. When you feel your skin returned to normal, start to introduce other steps into your routine one by one. That way it will be easier to detect the culprit that caused irritation in the first place.

As with everything skincare – Your Mileage Might Vary (YMMV). There is no one way to healthy skin. To see results, it takes persistence, time, and above all patience. By all means, it is ok to skip our routines once in a while. So long as we have an established routine.

Roberta Striga