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The diet that has nothing to do with food and the danger of denial

Let’s be honest, the 5:2 diet sounds tough. Aren’t people fainting on the streets? Are they still alive? When a 5:2 diet that has nothing to do with food emerged just last week, the world was filled with a sense of smugness. Finally, something doable: namely, not putting makeup on for 2 days out of 7. Huh?

This concept is apparently something that many women can apply to their lives. According to a recent study, 2/3 women wear makeup every day of the week and 70% of women who have skin problems due to excessive use of foundation.

If you’re wearing a full face of makeup every single day then it’s probably advisable that you change things up a bit. There are obviously many benefits to be found in going bare faced or even simply reaching for a concealer instead of a heavy base. The advocates of this ‘diet’ claim that makeup clogs pores and prevents skin from functioning normally.

Going makeup-free for two days a week will enable the body to detox from harsh chemicals, toxins, and pollutants that may be lurking in the makeup products you apply”

Indie Lee, Eco-beauty Entrepreneur

However, some argue that the new technology found in most foundations isn’t going to cause any issues with your skin:

“If the makeup you’re wearing makes you look good, feel good, and doesn’t irritate your skin, there’s no reason to do a ‘detox’”

Howard Murad, Dermatologist

The reality is that staying free from makeup may enable your skin’s appearance to improve, but it’s not a vital change we need to make since the way our skin actually regenerates and how harmful our makeup is has been debated. The bigger issue here is that of ‘the diet’. Should we really structure our lives in this way?

It’s an age-old debate. Why diet when you could just eat healthily? Why structure our lives when we could just, in a wild act of self-assertion, decide whether or not we want to wear makeup that day? Victoria Coren Mitchell writing on the issue for the Guardian points out how women of the 1950s yearned for freedom from their strict self-imposed schedules of wash days/baking days/general domestic boredom. By controlling what we can/can’t do on a specific day, our lives become a repetitive cycle of denying ourselves the freedom to simply live. I’ve got a feeling we’re not in the 1950s any more, but we’ve become obsessed with structure and control; allowing and denying; guilt vs achievement when it comes to what we’ll ‘let’ ourselves do.

It’s not very healthy. We’re split into the categories of ‘women who care too much’ and ‘women who care too little.’ We’re told that goodness comes through restriction and order. Don’t eat that; don’t wear that much makeup (even though we’re ‘expected’ to at least wear some); don’t allow yourself to look like you’re trying.

I implore you: try and free your skin every now and again but wear makeup whenever the hell you want to because it’s a brilliant thing that makes so many of us feel empowered. Eat healthily when you can but eat the whole cheesecake if life permits. But more importantly, in all aspects of life: be nice to yourself. Allow yourself the freedom to feel good.


Edited by Caroline Chan





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Naomi Upton


Naomi is a third year English student at Nottingham University and Co-Editor in Chief of HC Nottingham. Naomi would love a career in journalism or marketing but for now she spends her time beauty blogging, attempting to master the delicate art of Pinterest, being an all-black-outfit aficionado, wasting time on Buzzfeed, going places, taking pictures and staying groovy. 
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