The phrase ‘less is more’ has long been thrown around by fashion devotees, yet ‘more is more’ seemed to be the key when it came to beauty these past few years. With the rise of 10 step skincare routines a la K beauty, and contouring regimes to rival Kim Kardashian, it seemed that we couldn’t get enough of layer upon layer of products. That is, until now.
Enter, Skin Fasting, the new trend that any beauty junkie (or anyone wanting better skin for that matter) should try. It’s the no-fuss approach to skincare that puts your skincare routine on a diet, literally. Skin Fasting is a movement where people are cutting out all their products and going back to serious basics with one or two products only. But before you dismiss it as just another hyped up beauty fad, read on to understand the real science behind the idea. Lucy Kuper, Dermal Specialist at Biologi, the brand developed around the idea of ‘Skin Fasting’, explains:
“Stripping back an overly complicated skincare routine can not only be liberating, but it is incredibly healthy for the skin. There are many factors that can interfere with the delicate balance of the skin’s acid mantle—from washing our faces too much, through to the products we use and our lifestyle choices such as sun exposure or smoking. Almost everything that comes in contact with our skin can contribute to the breaking down of the acid mantle and disrupting the skin’s ability to protect itself. So by trying to minimise the overexposure of the things we can change, we’re allowing our skin to go back to basics (the way nature intended).”
The idea behind Skin Fasting is actually quite simple and makes a lot of sense. The theories mimic that of the cleansing reduction movement and why single-ingredient skincare has suddenly become so popular. Too many products, over-cleansing, layering products, or a an overly complicated routine can actually have adverse effects in many ways. Skin Fasting works because you’re allowing your skin time to balance out its own pH, you’re avoiding layering products (and coating your skin in chemicals) and eliminating the risk of causing harsh skin reactions to different synthetic ingredients. Skin Fasting strips your entire routine back just to natural, active ingredients that truly work.
“Skin Fasting works for a couple of different reasons that are related to your skin’s natural protective barrier. What many people don’t realise is that your skin can react to too much cleansing. Most people will cleanse their face in the morning and in the night, with some opting for double cleansing methods too. Whilst removing all product build-up and makeup is incredibly important, you’re also removing all of the skin’s Acid Mantle which is a protective layer over the face that your skin needs for a balanced pH.”
“The other advantage to Skin Fasting is that you reduce any chances of a common skincare mistake – layering different products on top of each other which are actually cancelling out the active ingredients. Active ingredients are the things in your skincare that give you the benefits, but some of these ingredients can react with other active ingredients. For example, if you apply a Glycolic Acid to remove dead skin cells, then apply a product with Salicylic Acid, you can cause major reaction to the skin by stripping it which can be too harsh for your skin to handle. Or another great example is applying Vitamin C in conjunction with AHAs or BHAs—Vitamin C is really unstable, so any acids you layer it with will destabilise the pH balance and render it completely useless (or aka a total waste of time and money)!”
Before you throw away the entire contents of your bathroom cabinet, consider approaching this trend in stages. If you’re normally a fan of 10 step routines followed by heavy make-up, Lucy suggests cutting out a few items first and see how you feel.
“The best way to approach it is by starting off with a ‘skin diet’ first, so cutting back your products to the bare minimum, then going cold turkey with none or just one product. Skin Fasting will allow you to say goodbye to those ‘hope in a jar’ products that might feel nice on the skin but don’t actually do anything, and hello to those multi-tasking heroes that will transform your face.”