'Skintermittent Fasting' Is Here To Simplify Your Skincare Routine

Skincare trends are popping up everywhere, all the time. So much so that it's kind of getting hard to keep up. Not only that but there's so much to factor in when deciding if a product or a method is right for you and your skin's needs. When creating the perfect skincare regime for yourself, you need to know the type of skin you have, what problems you want to tackle, which ingredients play well and which can't be mixed, and so on. 

After figuring all of this out, there are also seasonal swaps you need to make, along with switching the entire routine up completely from time to time. If you're overwhelmed and would like a break from constantly having to implement something different into your existing regime, "skintermittent fasting" could be for you. Instead of making you try something new yet again, this trend completely simplifies your skincare routine.

Taking a break from active ingredients

While its name is reminiscent of the intermittent fasting dietary method, "skintermittent fasting" doesn't work the same way, although it can lead to similar results, just for your skin instead. According to Kunal Malik, MD, a board-certified general and cosmetic dermatologist, "skintermittent fasting" refers to taking a break from using active skincare ingredients that may be too harsh on your skin.

"Similar to intermittent fasting for overall and gut-health, intermittent fasting for the skin may support a decrease in inflammation and irritation by way of avoiding pro-inflammatory ingredients," Malik shared with PopSugar, adding that you need to be persistent for the best results. As Malik elaborated, "By avoiding stronger acids like alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, physical or chemical exfoliates such as retinol and retinoids, you can allow the skin's epidermal barrier to reset and rebuild." 

Fellow board-certified dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, also emphasized just how important it is to truly give your skin a break every so often regardless of whether you want to try this particular trend. "Your skin is already a bionic organ that heals and grows autonomously, sometimes impeded by unnecessary skin care. Skintermittent fasting allows you to reduce the barrage of unproven ingredients on the skin," she said. 

What to focus on when you're on a skin fast

The main point of this skincare trend is to get back to the basics. "Skintermittent fasting is all about keeping it simple with a focus on ingredients that hydrate, restore, and protect the skin," Kunal Malik says. Essentially, you should stick to using a gentle cleanser, a good moisturizer, and a daily sunscreen. If you want to continue using your usual products, make sure they don't contain any of the ingredients that you're trying to avoid.

The length of your skin's fast is going to depend on its needs. If you use a prescribed product for a specific issue you're dealing with, don't stop using it without consulting your dermatologist first. Otherwise, "skintermittent fasting" can last for as long as you feel it's necessary — but don't go overboard. "If you want to give it a shot, try avoiding your serums for a week ... Or maybe avoiding scrubs on your face for some time," celebrity dermatologist Dr. Kiran Sethi, MD, advised Vogue India.

If your skin noticeably glows up after cutting out active ingredients, you'll know something you've been using has damaged your skin's barrier. In that case, try adding the products back one by one while closely observing how your skin reacts to each one because it could be that you're just overusing certain ones. Give your skin the love it deserves by listening to it and it'll thank you in the long run.