What is skin fasting and where did the concept originate?
"Skin fasting is the notion that if you take a break from your regular skin care routine it allows the skin to recalibrate or reset. The idea is believed to have originated from a Japanese company several years ago that advocated taking a break from skin care products such as moisturiser stops the skin from getting used to products and allows the skin to produce its own oils to aid hydration. There is no real scientific evidence to support this theory."
How does one practise skin fasting?
"Skin fasting or skin minimalism involves reducing the amount of products that you are using in your skin care regime. This may mean avoiding make-up for a few days, not using topical skin care or simply paring back what you are using to the bare minimum."
Is skin fasting is beneficial?
"In some cases, it can be beneficial. Whilst the scientific evidence is limited to support the theory that you need to take a break from your skin care regimen, if someone is using the wrong skin care products for their skin type, overusing skin care, or simply doing too much to their skin they can actually worsen the condition of their skin."
When is skin fasting appropriate?
If your skin has been upset by too many strong treatments
"Overstimulating the skin with harsh skin care ingredients may disrupt the natural protective skin barrier leading to an altered skin microbiome, skin sensitivity, dehydration or breakouts. If someone has a red irritated skin then less is best to allow the skin time to repair without constant stimulation."
If heavy makeup is causing you to breakout
"Some products such as makeup primers, heavy silicone-based makeups and heavily pigmented make up can be comedogenic resulting in small bumps or breakouts in the skin - a condition called acne cosmetica. Laying off the make-up and switching to a pure mineral-based makeup free from comedogenic ingredients would, therefore, be highly beneficial to improve the condition of the skin."
When is skin fasting not appropriate?
"If someone has a skin care regime that is working for them and it is effectively treating a particular skin condition such as redness or hyperpigmentation then discontinuing product use may not be beneficial and may even undo the good work that has already been done. For example, when it comes to SPF, if you are going outside it is important to use a good quality SPF to protect the skin from ultraviolet damage."
Instead of an extreme skin fasting approach, what would you recommend?
Detox your beauty stash
"Do a skin care and make up detox. Go through all of your products and find a simple skin care routine that works for you. We can often accumulate numerous products in the bathroom cabinet, many of which may well have gone past their use-by date."
Find the skin care routine that works for you and stick with it
"It is not wise to mix and match too many products. Stick to the same routine to give your skin a chance to benefit from therapeutic skin care ingredients. If you are noticing breakouts, dryness, redness or irritation you may actually need less not more when it comes to skin care. Many professional skin experts are offering online consultations which provide an ideal opportunity to go through your products with an expert to determine what stays and what goes and also be shown how you can apply and use the products correctly for your particular skin type."
Use heavy makeup sparingly
"Makeup is a big one as thick, heavy makeup can cause congestion. Save the heavy or brightly coloured/pigmented makeup, makeup primers, and shimmers for special occasions and check-in with a skin care expert to determine what the best products are for your skin."
Exercise caution around fragrance and harsh ingredients
"The skin is a living organ and the largest organ of the body. Not only does the skin have a waterproof protective barrier made of lipids, amino acids and sweat, it is also home to millions of microorganisms that make up your skin microbiome. These microorganisms protect us from harmful substances and are thought to communicate with our immune cells to signal when the skin may be in threat.
"If we bombard the skin with ingredients that are detrimental to the skin barrier function and microbes this can lead to skin inflammation. We are therefore seeing a trend of moving away from harsh ingredients in favour of a more minimalist approach to skin care. Ease off on the heavily fragranced shower gels, lotions, tanning gels etc. on the body and look for more natural ingredients that are not full of harsh chemicals."
La Roche Posay Toleriane Caring Face Wash, $27.99, available at priceline.com.au
Press Beauty Mr. Rose Balancing & Correcting Facial Oil, $59.95, available at pressbeauty.com.au
INKIKA Loose Mineral Foundation SPF25, $59, available at inikaorganic.com/au
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