Skin fasting: Everything you need to know about the new(ish) skincare trend gathering momentum.

Don't get us wrong, we love a new beauty trend. But more often than not, they require us to spend money on products that we may or may not actually need.

Skin fasting, the hyped skincare trend that's been circulating the beauty industry for a little while now, requires none of that.

It actually asks us to do the opposite.

Watch: Seven ways to improve your skin while sleeping. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

See, skin fasting is the act of removing your skincare products with the aim to 'detox' the skin. The term was originally coined by the Japanese skincare brand, Mirai Clinical, who suggested skin fasting "to strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier that is weakened by excessive nourishing, to normalise the secretion of natural oils and support the natural rejuvenation process."

But is it really that good to stop using all of your skincare products at once?

We got expert advice from PHD qualified scientist and Qr8 founder Dr Michele Squire and Skin Therapist Tegan Mac, as well as our resident beauty gurus, Leigh Campbell and Kelly McCarren, to see what this trend actually is and whether we should be giving it a go.

What exactly is skin fasting?

"Skin fasting isn’t a new concept, but one that pops up regularly in the beauty press. It typically refers to simplifying your skincare routine down to the basics (cleansing, moisturising, sunscreen), rather than going without skincare completely," Dr Michele told Mamamia.


"One theory of skin fasting is that skin has a tolerance level, and when it gets overwhelmed by too many layers or too many actives, we should minimise skincare for a period to help skin settle down and ‘reset’. Another school of thought is that skin gets ‘used to’ the same products and can do with a time out. Yet another involves leaving skin to ‘breathe’ or ‘detox’ every now and then."

OK, so should I skin fast?

After a listener of the You Beauty podcast asked co-hosts Leigh Campbell and Kelly McCarren whether it's necessary to have periods without products to let your skin breathe, Leigh had a very stern response.

"The short answer is no," Leigh began. "Your skin does not breathe, believe it or not. Skin is our biggest organ, as we know, but skin is fed through our blood. 

"Having said that, I wouldn't wear a hectic, full face of makeup and not cleanse it off at night. But it's fine to do all the things that make our skin glowy. Daily skincare is great. Morning and night, great. You don't need to let your skin breathe," she continued.

Leigh did suggest maintaining good hygiene practices such as changing your pillow case regularly (particularly if you have acne-prone or oily skin).

Listen to the whole You Beauty episode here. Post continues below.

And it seems our skincare experts agree.

"Firstly, let’s deal with the issue of going without skincare completely. This isn’t a great idea because the basic products involved in cleansing, moisturising and sunscreen each fulfill important roles in helping our skin feel clean, soft and supple, as well as keeping it protected from the elements (especially UV radiation, the major aging trigger). Do you need to double or triple cleanse, or apply multiple serums and moisturiser and oil? In most instances, no, but a basic skincare routine is a good idea for everyone," Dr Michele said.


Skin Therapist Tegan Mac explained that the only time she recommends stripping it back is when you're having a negative reaction.

"The only time I recommend people to strip back to a cleanser and moisturiser/SPF is when they’re having a negative reaction to something and we’re trying to figure out what’s causing it," Tegan explained to Mamamia

"If someone feels they’re using too many products, the solution is not to 'skin fast', it should be to figure out what you actually need and don’t need, which can be as simple and comparing the products you have and looking for double-ups.

"If your skin has issues, look at ways to be healthier with lifestyle, diet, water intake, stress and any other potential causes. We can’t blame all of our skin concerns on product build up, that doesn’t make sense to me. Good skincare should always be beneficial and your skin shouldn’t need a break from it," Tegan confirmed.

So there you have it.

Looks like skincare trends without any actual products might just be too good to be true.

Feature image: Getty.