Skin fasting means to deprive our skin of skincare-actives for certain periods of time allowing our skin to “rejuvenate and repair by itself, detoxify the skin and allow a complete reset” 🥴There are different degrees of skin fasting, from removing all skincare products (including cleansers, moisturizers and of course sunscreens … yes, sunscreen! 😮) to selectively remove potent active ingredients such as retinoids or acids. Timing for skin fasting is not well defined and can be a couple of days or several weeks depending on how hard core you want to go.
Science behind skin fasting: NONE 😠😡This unproven theory stated that skincare products coach our skin on what to do (is this actually bad?, I have not seen any successful professional athlete complaining about a good coach… just a thought). Thus, skincare-induced coaching throws off our skin's natural and self-regulating cycle… OK, let me rephrase this… by not applying skincare products for a period of time my aged or damaged skin will miraculously reset to a youthful and healthy condition … Do you see my point? … makes no sense!
Let’s divide skincare products in two categories to further elaborate about skin fasting: Basic skincare needs (sunscreen, cleansers and moisturizers) and resetting skincare (antioxidants, peptides, retinoids, acids, growth factors, etc.)
Basic skincare needs: (1) Sunscreen: no matter how much our skin tries, it would not be able to protect itself against solar radiations. Our endogenous SPF is about 10 for darker skin types and between 3-4 in lighter complexion, very different from the SPF30 suggested by dermatologists! (2) Cleansers: similar issue, skin cannot efficiently remove makeup, oxidized sebum, dead cells, dust or pollutants. Therefore not cleansing properly may trigger (or increase) inflammation, promotes pore clogging and results in skin dehydration (due to excess sebum production)... not a good idea… next! (3) Moisturizers: Here is when it gets even uglier! As we age (or in damaged skin) our barrier is compromised, meaning it is unable to preserve an intact separation with the environment, losing water faster than normal. Thus, it does not seem wise to remove ingredients that promote barrier healing such as phospholipids, ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids to mention some. A compromise barrier not only promotes inflammation, dehydration and cell damage but also leaves an open door for pollutants and pathogens (also alters our skin microbiome)...
Resetting skincare products: do you think that not applying retinoid, peptides, antioxidants or growth factors for a couple of days will actually affect skin biology? The answer is NO … once you have a well established skincare routine skin functions are modified accordingly. For example, external antioxidants help to replenish endogenous antioxidants and the function of organelles such as mitochondria. Thus, it will take more than a couple of days (or weeks) to alter this new acquired balance … Final thoughts: Skin fasting is the equivalent to stop taking your high blood pressure medication for a couple of days to allow our hearts and cardiovascular systems to reset to its natural stage (which is with an unnaturally and risky high blood pressure) … would you do it? … I do not think so …. So why are we willing to deprive our skin from what it needs to function proper?… as the rest of our organs skin gets older and needs help to preserve its function … coming soon … a better alternative skincare regimen optimization … when it comes to skincare more is less!
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