Skin Fasting 101 – Here are the benefits of skin fasting, what it could mean for your skin, how to do it, how often to skin fast & more!
One of my favorite bloggers to follow, Alison Wu, introduced me to the idea of “skin fasting” a few weeks ago on her Instagram stories. It was my first time ever hearing of something like this, so I was immediately intrigued. She was fasting from all skincare & makeup products for one week. I knew I had some time coming up where I could completely commit to skin fasting, so I went for it!
Update: I would not recommend skin fasting as of 2021, this post was solely done for an experiment.
The idea of skin fasting is sort of a new trendy thing to do in the skincare realms of the world. Dating back to the time of Hippocrates, it was believed that fasting in general was used as a universal method to facilitate healing the body. Now the idea of fasting from food is a completely different conversation, but basically the benefits of skin fasting helps the skin get back to it’s natural ability to breathe & to heal on it’s own.
Skin fasting requires you to step away from the products you use every day on your skin. Whether that may be oils, serums, masks, cleansers, toners, soap, sprays, peels, or any cosmetics. It’s actually crazy to take a step back & think about how much product we are constantly putting onto our skin.
Up until my skin fast, I truly can’t remember the last time I didn’t use anything on my skin!
Yes, I go makeup-free quite often, but I ALWAYS stick to my skincare/cleansing routine. Which got me thinking whether or not my skin was dependent on the products I’ve been using. Could I be masking an underlying issue through the use of specific products?
I mentioned in my post on intuitive eating that since switching my diet to plant based, my skin has been pretty reactive & in full honesty, my skin hasn’t been this bad for years. The inflammation that I’ve been experiencing was another reason why I wanted to give skin fasting a solid attempt. I also wanted to let go of the dependency I have on my products. For me, I have feelings of fear associated with breakouts, whether they be big or small. I wanted to release some of this fear during my skin fast & leave my skin be, just be, without any anxiety or dependency on products.
What would Skin Fasting Mean for you?
In all honesty, your skin fast can mean whatever you want it to mean. You can use it as a way to release fear regarding a skin condition, like I did, or you could simply use it as a reset button. If you’re willing, I think skin fasting can be a great option for anyone, especially if you are struggling with any sort of skin impurity, since “fasting” can be used as a healing mechanism to help neutralize the skin.
With excessive cleansing & moisturizing, we weaken the natural protective barrier of our skin. So through skin fasting & cutting back on the amount of products used on a daily basis, you are then able to strengthen the natural protective barrier!
How long do you have to Skin Fast for it to “Work”?
I skin fasted for an entire week. I had to “break” my fast for a few hours in the middle of the week, but for good reason, I go over it below! Do what feels right. I read somewhere that if you can’t commit to a full fast, try only using 2-3 skincare products for a few weeks. After a few weeks, introduce the rest of your routine slowly, & try to be mindful of what your skin actually needs. Another simple way to fast would be to eliminate using a moisturizer at night. This will help your skin rely on it’s natural oils to keep the skin hydrated!
No matter if you’re able to fast for an entire week or just a few days every month, I’d say give it a try!
Tips for Maintaining A Skin Fast!
- Drink a lot of water!!! Try to double your water intake during the fast in order to make sure your skin stays hydrated!
- Rinse your face morning & or night with warm water. You do not wash your face, while skin fasting!
- If you feel like you really need a product, avoid feelings of restriction & choose it wisely!
- Try fasting from products once a week, if you can’t commit to an entire week! Take it day by day!
- Make a note to look at yourself in the mirror, & thank your skin. It does a lot for you, every single day. Treat it kindly.
Here’s My Skin Fasting Details Day by Day!
Day 1 Summary:
Not going to lie, the first day was tough. I don’t think I’ve ever missed something more than I did my chapstick LOL! So aside from my lips feeling like they were ready to crack in half, I powered through.
The night before I began my fast, I picked my face pretty badly which unfortunately resulted in even more redness & inflammation. Picking is such an awful habit of mine, & if you know, you know. Once you start, it’s hard to stop! So something else that I focused on during my skin fast was the amount of time I touched & or picked my face, because it’s something I do without even thinking about it!
Overall, the first day went pretty smoothly, I kept my hands off my face, & at night I used an all-natural Hemp Wash Mitt with warm water to “wash” my face. No cleaner, no soap, just water!
Day 2 Summary:
On Day 2, I noticeably woke up with less inflammation & no new active breakouts. I’ve been dealing with some bumps underneath my skin that haven’t really became full zits & I did begin to notice that some were starting to come to the surface. I refrained from touching or picking them, the best I could!
I was pleasantly surprised at the hydration of my skin because I anticipated that it’d be extremely dry, but in full honesty, it really hasn’t been. My lips on the other hand, HURT. They were a little bit red & they split on the inside. This made me aware of how much I find myself relying on my chapstick use.
Overall, my inflammation stayed pretty low throughout the day & I noticed that I really wasn’t missing too many of my everyday products.
Day 3 Summary:
Unfortunately I had to break my “fast” today because Devin & I had to do a TV interview. And sorry, but that called for a little makeup on my part haha! I didn’t feel too bad about it though…I only wore it for maybe just under 2 hours? After the interview, I immediately removed all makeup & washed my face to make sure I was going back to a completely blank canvas.
After I had my makeup on, I did decide to cave & applied lip balm sporadically throughout the rest of the day! My lips were in pain so adding back a little lip balm after two whole days of bare lips was definitely a treat!
Day 4 & 5 Summary:
It was encouraging to see a decrease in the smaller bumps under my skin by Day 4. Still, I wasn’t experiencing any intense dryness except for a little creasing under my eyes. Other than that, I wouldn’t say that my skin was really dry or oily!
To prevent further dryness, I made sure to cover my face as best as I possibly could when going outside. I’m in Canada for the winter & the air is extremely cold & drying so I tried to avoid it as much as I could while skin fasting.
Day 6 & 7 Summary:
As my skin fast came to a close, I have to say that I’m honestly really happy with the results. I feel like there has been progress made in regards to my skin & inflammation & I also kinda cut the dependency cord in regards to my products.
Tuning into my body was really big for me. I have a beautiful clear quartz pendulum, which is a spiritual healing tool used to make decisions or to provide clarity, & I used it while I tuned in & asked myself a few questions regarding my skin. I used the pendulum to ask if I’m resolving my current acne situation, what emotion is associated with the acne, if it’s done being resolved, & how close it is to being resolved.
Personally, I think my skin fast was definitely something that was worth while. It allowed me to let go of my control & just let it be! I think that alone, was the most important part for me to be mindful of this week! AND beyond!
Would you try a skin fast?