Does Skin Fasting Really Work?

We spoke to three dermatologists to understand whether skin fasting really detoxifies the skin or is it just another fad.

The moment the wedding day gets locked, brides get frantic about looking their best on their big day. Expectedly, they want to try every possible skincare routine they come across. Adding fuel to this frenzy are the various trends doing the rounds on social media and skin fasting is one of them.

We spoke to three dermatologists to understand whether skin fasting actually allows the skin’s natural maintenance system to work or is it just another fad.

Dr Jaishree Sharad, India’s leading celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and founder, Skinfiniti, Mumbai, India

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Skin fasting is when you give up your skincare routine for a day or a few days and not apply anything to your skin. It can vary from stopping a night cream to using a face wash or just giving up the entire routine. There is, however, no research as such to prove the same. Moreover, the toxins released from the body are not released from the skin; they are discharged from the liver and kidneys. If you do skip your usual skin routine, you are most likely to damage the skin rather than protect it.

Dry as well as oily skin both need their own kind of skincare routine and to skip it will only exaggerate the issue. Nowadays with the kind of pollution and stress that we live in, not really following the skincare routine will definitely harm the skin and make it age faster. It is alright to skip applying a moisturiser or a night cream at night but removing makeup and cleansing the face at bedtime is a must, so is applying sunscreen in the day.

Dr Rashmi Shetty, celebrity dermatologist, an aesthetic medicine expert and an author

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This has become another trend on social media but honestly, skin fasting does not really work. It is just that you could leave your skin without make-up for a few days; for example, leave your eyes bare of mascara. Just that you are not putting stress on it every day. But if you are not putting any moisturizer once in a week or so and hope that some magic will happen on the skin on its own, you will be disappointed. If you do not want to put anything on the skin, do not ever put anything on it. Like the good old days that your own skin glands will moisturize it and your own skin’s dead tissue on top will protect it. In that case, whatever happens in the regular weather will happen and you should be okay with it. So, that’s the real thing. But if you are putting up certain products every day and just give them up for one day, it is going to do nothing.

Dr Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist SL Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai and Director, The Esthetic clinic, Mumbai, India

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Skin fasting is the latest talk on Instagram. Social media is flooded with before and after pictures of influencers experimenting with this trend.

What is Skin Fasting?

Skin fasting is an ancient Japanese method to a healthier skin that glows from inside. In simple words, skin fasting is leaving your skin bare of any skincare or makeup products for a few days or weeks and let the natural process take over. Skin fasting is quite similar to intermittent fasting or body detoxes that we do. It might seem strange to leave your skin bereft of the skincare products that it has been used to for so long.

How does it work?

Since it is a part of the body’s defence mechanism, our skin has an inherent ability to repair and restore itself. The skin cells and tissues regenerate themselves and the dead cells are removed. The glands produce the natural Sebum oil that prevents dryness and ageing. When you stop using the external products, skin looks inwards for prevention, protection, and the natural process kicks in.

Who can do skin fasting?

Skin fasting’s purpose is to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and then slow reintroduce the products to the skin. Dermatologists are recommending skin fasting on a regular basis but with a word of caution; it is not suitable for every skin type. Here are some dos and don’ts of skin fasting:

Dos

  • Consult your dermatologist before starting
  • Start by washing your face before going to bed and sleep without applying any product on your face.
  • Wash your face with lukewarm water the next morning and pat dry.
  • Keep drinking lots of water during the fasting period. Water helps heal the skin from the inside. Hydration is very important for the skin.
  • Keep a close eye on the results, if you see any unnatural redness or feel any irritation then get the right treatment immediately.

Don’ts

  • Do not do a skin fast if you are undergoing any treatment for a skin condition
  • Do not do a skin fast if you have recently had a chemical peel or dermabrasion done
  • Just because it is, a trend does not mean you have to do it. Do not do a skin fast if your first attempt is not a success.

You can begin with skin fasting for one night a week and then gradually move to week-long fasts. Keep in mind that results vary and the time of results for skin fasting varies too. Therefore, follow your inner instinct in skin fasting to enjoy great results.

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