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What Is “Skin Fasting” and Why Should I Try It?

Fasting is a pretty trendy concept nowadays, in more ways than one. People fast (abstain from eating for a certain period of time/cutting out certain foods) to lose weight or for religious purposes. Many are fasting in the wardrobe department (aka, Marie Kondo-ing their closets), and now, people are beginning to fast with their beauty routines. What does this mean? Well, people are putting their skin on a “detox” for a few days in hopes that their skin cells will magically resurface and they’ll be #blessed with glowing, radiant skin.

                                                             Photo courtesy of Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Man Repeller is one of the first platforms to publish about this trend, and based off of the comments section, we can tell people are ~skeptical~. During these winter months where everyone’s skin is flakier than a Nature Valley granola bar, it’s unfathomable to think that some skincare addicts are cutting certain products (or all of their products) out in order to make their skin better. While there’s really no Scientific Evidence™ to prove that skin fasting truly works, various dermatologists and skincare companies have applied a good deal of their prior knowledge of skin care to back up their claims about the success of skin fasting. Unfortunately, using moisturizers and cleansers every day weakens your skin barrier because they strip away the natural oils and interrupt skin cell renewal. It’s kind of a double-edged sword: if you don’t take care of your skin, you’ll breakout, and if you do take care of your skin, you’re weakening your natural barrier.

One of the first groups to ever really develop this concept was Mirai Clinical, a skincare brand that uses Japanese influence on their products and has a holistic, simple message: “Less is more.” The founder and CEO of this brand, Koko Hayashi, took the logic and science behind fasting and applied it to skincare, thus the term “skin fasting.”

                                                             Photo courtesy of Bennie Lukas Bester on Pexels

“So… how do I do this whole ‘skin fasting’ thing?”

Take a couple of essential parts of your skin care routine, and completely cut them out for a day or two. It really can be as simple as taking a serum out of your routine, or you could go the whole nine yards and cut out skincare for a couple of days altogether. It all depends on the level of detox you want to achieve.

For example, if you cut your moisturizer out of your routine for a few days, you would obviously notice a dramatic difference in your skin. Your skin is used to that daily dose of hydration that your moisturizer provides, and if you cut it out, your skin will start to peel and get a little… well, gross. But, with all of that peeling and grossness, will also come a resurfacing of skin cells, which essentially means that your skin is going to produce natural oils in order to fight to keep your skin hydrated.

Mirai Clinical doesn’t recommend complete skin fasting (cutting out every step of your routine) for more than two days at a time, so you just have to be strategic about how you want to go about the whole skincare detox process.

Point blank, if you’ve tried almost every skincare regimen, fad and product under the sun, and nothing seems to be working, this might be a good option for you. It’s a different concept, and it certainly fits with the minimalism/detox trend that’s going on right now. This process might sound a little unsettling, but we’re willing to give it a shot. After all, you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Madeline is a journalism major at Hofstra University, and is a writer for HC Hofstra. If you're looking for her, you can probably find her at an Anthropologie, the beach, or eating peanut butter out of the jar.
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