IS THE SECRET TO BETTER SKIN USING NOTHING AT ALL?
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Moderation is a sign of our times. After decades of ballooned consumerism, the inclination to Ms Marie Kondo levels of minimalism is a sign that we’re finally getting our act together. We purchase investment pieces rather than binge on fast fashion; we cull our homes of needless clutter and dispose of it as knowingly as possible, not just for our own self-satisfaction, but so that we don’t accelerate the sixth mass extinction.
Don't Be. Become.
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This philosophy was certain to penetrate the grooming world, a place where sustainability, toxic ingredients and clean living are all burning topics. And though we are fans of logically streamlined skincare routines, does the internet-born trend for skin fasting, such as using nothing at all on your skin, take things a step too far? Much like elimination diets that want you to juice or abstain from solids for days on end, skin fasting stresses that you forsake your adored products so that skin can “detox”.
Skin abstaining plays into the Hippocratic idea that starvation allows the body to heal. Advocates believe that, without the crutches of daily cleansing and moisturising, the skin’s natural systems can kick back into gear after years of lying inactive. The skin, like other body systems, has its own homeostatic harmonising mechanisms and doesn’t need help to ‘detox’. Moreover, it’s very uncertain what these ‘toxins’ that everyone seems to fixate over actually are. So, unless you’re mainlining asbestos or painting your face with lead, there is very little need for you to put your skin or body through the pain of detox.
Like most social media movements, the guidelines of skin fasting are delightfully vague. You could give up your moisturiser for one night a week or you could abandon your entire routine for a month and see what materialises, we don’t advocate it, though.
At best, a grooming slowdown will merely starve the skin of vital nutrients and leave it experiencing horribly itchy and dry. Furthermore, it will be subjected to ultraviolet rays, which will do far more long-term damage than an unpronounceable ingredient in a face cream. There are established benefits for using sunscreens and certain antioxidants to repair damage and enhance dermal matrix thickness. Stopping these completely is excessive unless they cause inflammation.
There are, of course, a handful of cases where simplification is needed. If you’re overly attached to your 124-step South Korean “glass skin” regimen, then heed the words of Donald Anthony. If your skin is getting irritated, then it’s quite likely that too much product is being used and things need to be dialled back. Acid peels as these can leave the upper layer of the skin (epidermis) over-exfoliated and highly sensitive. Often the epidermis is so overstimulated and exfoliated that other products cause the skin to become reactive.
In summary, less is always more but using nothing at all dear reader, is simply ridiculous.
GET YOUR ESSENTIALS
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A U T H O R
I M A G E
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