Should you try skin fasting?
Dr Shefali Trasi Nerurkar :
The field of skincare is probably one of the most vibrant areas of research currently. From organic to natural to new compounds, modern-day skincare is an evolved science that has something for even the tiniest epidermal evils. Just like nutritionally, fasting has emerged as the detox tour de force - it was only a matter of time before the concept crept in to skincare. People started talking about skin fasting in 2020. Skin fasting is a period of time when you give your skin a breather from any products - but different experts have different interpretations.
Celebrity dermatologist Dr Shefali Trasi Nerurkar suggests taking a break from any chemicals in the form of moisturisers, cleansers, toners, night creams and of course, make-up for a day. Dermatologist and aesthetic physician Dr Pallavi Sule advises doing away with application of one of the skincare products (her pick is a night cream) for one or two nights.
Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr Soma Sarkar, however, debunks detox completely as it doesnâ€™t hold any science behind it. â€œThe skin needs a detox if the products you are using are not right or causing an issue like irritation,â€ she says. Yet skin fasting is a bonafide trend.
Fast and Furious
Experts can see some merit in giving the skin a breather from products. Trasi says, â€œIn this era, we are at times overdoing or over treating the skin. Every once in a while skin has the right to breathe without any cream or cleanser or toner. This may improve the skin quality.â€ Sule mentions how going off one product for a day or two can help the skin recover from the weakened process of production of natural oils.
She adds, â€œIt can work as a way to detox but the skin does not need detox from â€˜allâ€™ products. Different skin types have different skincare needs. For instance, dry skin will need a moisturiser. Plus skin changes its needs according to seasons.â€ A good way to ease in to this fasting routine is to do away with products that do not suit you that season.
The concept was started by Koko Hayashi, founder of a US beauty brand Mirai Clinical that aims to bring in Japanese ideas of beauty to the western world. He claims that the Japanese have studied the skinâ€™s regeneration on a monthly basis and proved that â€˜skin fastingâ€™ improves your skinâ€™s condition and detoxify skin impurities. Even though Hayashiâ€™s claims donâ€™t find any scientific backing, many are ready to give it a whirl.
Sule suggests seeking advice from your dermatologist to know the right course for you.
â€œIf one is not following a good regime or we observe any overuse of products, go off that product, not the routine,â€ she cautions. Sarkar suggests taking a break from routine make-up once in a while but not skincare.
She says, â€œWhat you can do is to not overdo skincare regime - keep it simple yet significant.â€
What is it?
A new-age technique where a person avoids every kind of skincare product like lotion, toner, and serum. Skin produces a natural oil called sebum for countering moisture loss and products hinder it from doing its work. It allows your skin to â€˜breathe.â€™
How do you do it?
Stop using products for a certain duration and once your skin returns to its natural state, slowly re-introduce them.
What are the benefits?
It apparently strengthens your skin and helps it develop its own fighting mechanism
If you have a skin condition or use medicated products, ask your physician first. You will experience dry or oily patches at first
Good to Know
- Duration depends on skin type and season like spring (not too hot or cold) l Ideal time is once in 1-2 months. Or even one day in a week.
- Go off all or some products depending on your skin type.
- Drink lots of water, fresh juices and don't step out in the sun.
-If you have dry skin, try partial skin fasting and use coconut oil if you have oily skin, use a towel and not a cleanser.
(Writer is a dermatologist)