When it comes to skincare, there is no one-size-fits-all method. What works for one person may not work for someone else, which explains why a quick search of skin fasting on Google shows that the reviews are mixed—some people love it, while others wouldn't recommend it. The buzzy skincare trend focuses on taking a break from your skincare products as a way to detox or reset the skin.
If you're intrigued but aren't willing to give up your 10-step skincare routine, don't panic. There are a couple of ways to try skin fasting that involve keeping your holy grail products. However, if your skin is experiencing sudden breakouts, excessive dryness, or irritation, you might want to consider this method of restoring your skin to its happy, healthy, and glowing state. Learn exactly how to skin fast, plus its benefits, ahead.
What is skin fasting and how do you do it?
"Skin fasting is where you eliminate some skincare products for a period so your skin detoxifies and resets," says New York City-based esthetician Taylor Worden. "The goal of skin fasting is to let the skin get back to its natural oil production and repair your skin's natural barrier."
So, how do you do it? It depends on your skin's needs and concerns. "Some [people] eliminate all skincare products while others minimize the use of active ingredients," says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D. Both experts agree that if you do want to cut down your skincare routine, it's essential to continue using a cleanser and moisturizer, at the minimum, and say that you should always use sunscreen during the day—no matter what.
If you're experiencing skin irritation, dryness, sudden breakouts, or any other uncomfortable skin reactions, Dr. King says it can be helpful to take a break from potentially irritating skincare ingredients such as retinoids, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and vitamin C for a week or two or until the skin heals. Once the skin heals, Dr. King says slowly introduce products into your routine one by one so you can figure out what caused the initial reaction and avoid future irritations.
What are the benefits of skin fasting?
On top of alleviating potential skin irritations and concerns, Worden says skin fasting can help determine what products work best for your skin type. "Using fewer products is usually better for your skin," she says. "When skin fasting, you may realize you are using the wrong kinds of products or have too many." Additionally, it could be a way to save some money in the long run as you'll use less product.
Is skin fasting necessary?
While both Worden and King agree that skin fasting has its benefits, it isn't necessary to do. Dr. King says many people don't need to take a break from their skincare routines unless they're experiencing irritations or recent skin concerns and aren't sure of the cause. So, give it a shot if it sounds like something you could benefit from trying—or don't! Ultimately, it's all about doing what works best for you.