What is skin fasting and should you be doing it?

The concept of skin fasting came from a Japanese skin care company and involves eliminating the use of skin care products for a period of time. The idea is that your skin will recover from product overuse and will become more reliant on itself to repair skin issues rather than relying on cleansers, moisturizers, serums, and other products.

Is skin fasting for you? While there is no peer-reviewed scientific data that I have been able to find to support the new trend of skin fasting, it can be beneficial to certain patients, particularly those with new onset irritation or redness.

Similar to the microbiome in our gut, we have a microbiome on our skin that consists of trillions of microorganisms, primarily bacteria, that are essential to healthy skin. Using products or cleansers that are advertised as antibacterial or cleansing the skin too frequently can strip the skin of its natural oils and nutrients, which can disrupt the skin’s natural barrier and lead to irritation and breakouts. It is important to note that facial skin takes over 2 weeks to turn over, so results from fasting will not be apparent until after that period of time.

For most patients, they need to slim down their skincare regimen rather than going on a complete fast. There are so many products on the market and many patients are layering multiple different products on their skin day and night in addition to frequently changing the products they are using. I constantly aim to simplify my patients’ skin regimens and prevent redundancy in the products they are using. Keep it simple with 3 or 4 products – a vitamin C, a mineral sunscreen, a collagen builder in the evening, usually a retinoid, and a moisturizer if needed. If there are additional products you would like to use, you can try adding them back in one at a time for two weeks at a time to see if it makes a difference in your skin.

Happy skin dieting everyone!

Check out Dr. Dickson sharing her expert advice on skin fasting on Spotlyte here!

Click here to find out what products Dr. Dickson recommends!

#skincareroutine #skintips @drlaurendickson

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