Skin Fasting: What, Why, Who and How?

You finally put together the perfect skincare routine. Your methods seem to be working, and your skin is glowing. You thought you’d never again have to go through the excruciating and wallet-emptying trial-and-error phase. Then, it all came crashing down a few months later. Old horrors returned, issues reemerged. You blamed the products, but you grew suspicious. What if it wasn’t their fault?

That’s when you came across skin fasting.

Skin Fasting: What and Why?

Allegedly, the idea of skin fasting originated nearly a decade ago from Japanese brand Mirai Clinical. Another notable advocate of the concept is director and chief plastic surgeon of Aesthetic Medical Center in Japan, Dr. Ryuichi Utsugi. The renowned plastic surgeon penned a book that popularized skin fasting, in which he detailed the steps that constitute the procedure.

Basically, the practice involves pressing pause on your skincare routine for a period of time. Stripped of products, the skin would tap into its own reparative and rejuvenating capacities. The skin’s natural protective barrier, which is said to be weakened by excessive product use, would also normalize and regulate itself.

The process is akin to intermittent fasting, which holds that abstaining from external substances prompts a complete reset in our bodies. For skin fasting, the targeted organ should attain a restored, healthy balance at the end. It sounds promising and simple enough to execute, yet results vary for individuals. As it turns out, skin fasting may not be as straightforward as it sounds, and it certainly isn’t for everyone.

 

 
Who?

If you have any of the following, you could benefit from skin fasting:

  1. An excess of nutrition in the skin from long-term use of highly nourishing products
  2. Dead skin cell build-up that hinders the effective absorption of skincare products
  3. Unstable skin conditions brought on by changing of seasons or menstrual cycles
  4. Oil-water imbalance that defies the most rigorous of moisturizing efforts
  5. A daily habit of wearing cosmetics

 

How?

Despite the name, skin fasting is really more like a diet than a fast. It does not mean the complete cessation of your skincare routine. Rather, it’s the simplification of skincare routine, of which CLEF is a big believer.

The procedure is usually carried out for seven days, ideally in humid environments to prevent the skin from dehydrating. One would gradually reduce product use in order to downscale their routine, like this:

Day 1: Cleanse with water and avoid all products

Day 2 to 4: Toner + hydrating serum (hyaluronic acid) + eye serum

Day 5 to 6: Toner + hydrating serum (hyaluronic acid) + eye serum + moisturizer

Day 7: Resumption of full routine + a moisturizing CLEF Copper Peptide 9-in-1 Mask


If you suffer from unstable skin conditions, consider doing it every two to three months. On the other hand, those looking to purge their skin of excess nutrition can pump it up to once a month. While the individual steps are customizable, there are some general rules to be observed.


Firstly, it’s best to avoid cosmetics during the period. Secondly, feel free to eliminate all but the eye serum, as it provides unique functions that are indispensable to the delicate skin around our eyes. Lastly, cleansing with a cleanser at night while skin fasting could minimize the risk of negative reactions. This is particularly important for those wearing sunscreen during the day. 

The CLEF Cleansing Gel, for example, is a great option even for sensitive or combination skin types. It gently rids your skin of impurities and helps lock in moisture, providing an extra layer of protection while your skin detoxes.

The Takeaway

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to skin fasting. But, regardless of your skin type, you could ease into the practice with one to two days of skin fasting per week to determine whether it works for you. Closely monitor the skin’s response, strategize accordingly, and return immediately to your usual routines if problems occur.


Happy skin fasting! Check out CLEF Skincare's Products HERE.