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What Is Skin Fasting? A Dermal Specialist Explains the Trend

Skin fasting is a trend that involves paring back your skincare routine in order to let your skin reset. This means ditching the 10-step K beauty-inspired skincare routine completely and using just a couple of core products, or in some cases, using none at all.

The concept of skin fasting might sound bizarre, especially if you regularly see your favourite beauty Instagrammers layering on serums, creams and lotions, but this trend allows your skin to have a breather, particularly if it’s not all that happy.

To find out everything there is to know about skin fasting, we turned to Biologi’s dermal specialist, Lucy Macdougald, who answered all our questions about skin fasting and what you need to know before trying it for yourself.

What is skin fasting?

“Skin fasting is a beauty trend that is essentially revolutionising the way many people think about skincare,” Macdougald told The Latch. “For years we’ve been ingrained that more is more when it comes to skincare, but skin fasting flips this narrative on its head and shows that our skin can actually thrive when it is given a less is more approach. Skin fasting strips back your skincare routine to minimal, must-have products that it needs to reveal its best self.”

Why do people choose to forgo skincare?

While forgoing skincare products might feel unnatural, there are many upsides to doing so, says Macdougald, including saving time and money. Doing this also allows you to realise just how powerful your skin is on its own.

“The cells in the upper layers of our skin, known as the epidermis, are constantly replacing themselves to reveal beautiful new skin. However, some products can interfere with this process and throw the balance out of our skin whack,” Macdougald said. “Skin fasting focuses on getting rid of the products that are over complicating a skincare routine and only using the absolute necessities like a cleanser, serum and sunscreen.

“The reality is, your skin only needs a few products to flourish on its own. People are getting rid of unnecessary steps in their routine and rather than doing a whole 10-step process are instead choosing simply one or two multi-tasking products to do the job. Many people are also choosing to implement make up free days into their routine wherever they can, as this gives your skin a break.

“Skin fasting can best be implemented gradually so your skin gets a chance to adjust to the changed routine. Start off by taking away makeup a few days a week, then stripping back products gradually over a couple of weeks. Some people also like to implement skin fasting cold turkey, which can also be done, however sometimes skin can go through a few changes before it settles.”

What are the benefits of skin fasting?

“The benefits of skin fasting are seemingly endless!” Macdougald said. “Firstly, you will save time and money because you’re using fewer products. Secondly, what it can do for your skin is amazing.

“Overly complicated skincare routines can actually do a lot of damage to a person’s skin, sometimes without them even realising. This often happens because people will mix brands and layer ingredients which can have the potential to throw skin out of whack or minimise the efficacy of the products – or worse – cause harsh reactions.

“Many ingredients in skincare don’t actually ‘like’ each other so when someone haphazardly applies a few different ingredients on top of each other without really knowing what can happen this can affect the skin.

“Some active ingredients can cancel each other out, so therefore you are absolutely wasting money because you’re not getting the full benefits of the products. Then you’ve got the issue of active ingredients reacting with each other and causing things like skin burns or sensitivity over time.

“Skin fasting avoids these issues because you’re only using one multi-purpose serum which replaces your need for moisturiser, toner, day cream, night cream etc. The serum should encourage and not interfere with your skins own renewal process.”

According to Macdougald, there aren’t really any downsides to skin fasting except for a temporary period of purging as your skin gets rid of toxins but this typically only lasts for a few days. So, if you’re keen to give it a go, dive in!

What you need to know before trying skin fasting

“It is important to be patient in the process, as depending on your previous skincare routine, it might take your skin a couple of days to adjust,” Macdougald said. “Also take your time researching the products you will use, as you do want them to be multi-purpose, free from synthetics and provide everything your skin needs.

“When considering skin fasting, try to only introduce products that contain a high percentage of natural active ingredients (and avoid products laden with synthetics or ingredients like silicones and sulphites). The ideal product will do a few things at once – hydrate, radiate, reduce blemishes, target fine lines and protect the skin.

Biologi’s Bd Face Luminosity Serum is the perfect example of a multi-purpose serum that ticks all the boxes. Not only does it detoxify the skin, it moisturises, helps blemishes, reduces fine lines, nourishes and protects the cells.

“In fact, Biologi’s whole range of serums are so aligned with the concept of skin fasting, because we focus on a no-fuss approach to skincare. Our serums work by stripping back your routine to cleanse, exfoliate, Biologi. With our serums, you don’t need to use a moisturiser or day cream on top, you just need a bit of sunscreen and you’re ready to go.

“At night some people might like to add a bit more hydration, especially if they live in dryer climates or travel a lot, and for that we would recommend applying an oil over your serum, like Biologi’s Br Organic Rosehip Oil. Our Bc Refresh Cleanser is also a great addition for a skin fasting routine, because not only does it gently cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural oils, but nourishes, hydrates and helps to repair the skin’s barrier.”

As with most trends, it might work for some and not so much for others. So, do what works for you.

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