Does skin fasting work? How to do it & what to look out for

asian woman smiling hand on cheek Dry skin

Is “skin fasting” effective?

To effectively practice skin fasting, you need to have the right knowledge.

This is because skin fasting has risks and it is very important to understand those risks in order to maintain healthy skin.

Here, we will discuss the benefits and risks of doing skin fasting, recommended safe skin fasting practices, and skincare methods to maintain the skin’s barrier function.

What is skin fasting?

asian woman looking at mirror hand on cheek frown

Skin fasting is the act of using nothing on your skin.

It refers to spending time without using skincare items such as lotion, as well as makeup items including base makeup.

Facial cleansing is done with water or lukewarm water only, and no moisturizing items are used after cleansing.

This care method recommends leaving the face bare.

Skin fasting gained attention as a countermeasure against the increasing variety of skincare and cosmetics products.

But skincare is essential to protect the skin from UV rays, outdoor dryness, pollen, and other irritants.

Without skin protection and moisturization, it is impossible to maintain healthy skin.

So, is skin fasting really effective?

Skin fasting is effective for acne and pores

According to the Internet, skin fasting is said to have the following effects:

  • Improving the skin’s ability to heal
  • Preventing and improving dryness
  • Preventing and improving acne
  • Blemishes become less noticeable
  • Reduces appearance of pores
  • Reduces clogging from dead skin cells
  • Reduces skin damage due to friction
  • Saves money on skincare
  • Saves ime spent on skincare

It’s difficult to make a generalized statement about what skincare method is right or wrong because the effects of skincare vary depending on your skin type and skin compatibility.

But considering the skin’s structure and the modern skin environment, some of the above effects CANNOT be expected from skin fasting.

Those are…

‘Improving the skin’s ability to heal’ and

‘Preventing and improving dryness, acne, blemishes, pores, and clogged pores.’

A strong and properly-functioning skin barrier is essential to achieve these benefits, but skincare is essential to maintain a strong skin barrier.

In today’s world, where there are increasing UV rays, allergens, dryness, and other external stimuli, it’s difficult to maintain a normal skin barrier function without skincare. 

According to an article published by the Journal of Society Cosmetic Chemists Japan, “skincare improves the barrier function and maintains a healthy condition of the skin.”

It’s also widely known that the skin’s barrier function is impaired by dirt, dead skin cells, excess sebum, dryness, and UV rays.

If you don’t wash or cleanse your face and don’t replenish it with water and oil, you’re damaging your skin’s barrier function.

Among the above list, the benefits that may be gained from skin fasting are ‘reducing skin damage due to friction’ and ‘saving time and money spent on skincare.’

Since frictional irritation is one of the cases of your skin’s barrier function deteriorating, the ability for skin fasting to reduce this burden is an advatange.

Nonetheless, skin fasting fails to protect and moisturize the skin, which leads to other forms of skin damage.

For financial and time savings, if reducing those are a priority over changing your skin, then skin fasting can be effective. 

It’s dangerous to suddenly do skin fasting

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If you suddenly do skin fasting, you risk causing skin problems.

For example, if you try a new skincare routine that aims to moisturize, you can check the compatibility of that routine with your skin based on the feel and texture of the product.

If you feel stickiness or other discomfort after practicing this new moisturizing routine, you can prevent skin problems by changing the moisturizer or adjusting the amount of its application.

But skin fasting has no set definition as a skincare routine, and there are no means for moisturizing, protecting, or caring for the skin.

This means that skin fasting has no adjustable option or skincare item. All you can do is… nothing – even if your skin is getting worse.

Since it’s difficult to immediately solve skin problems like dryness, the damage may become more severe while waiting for the effects of skin fasting to appear on the skin.

If you experience any skin discomfort after practicing skin fasting, you should consult adermatologist to determine whether you can continue with that skincare routine.

People with sensitive skin are especially advised to do skin fasting under medical supervision.

If your skin is strong and healthy, skin fasting may work for you

Skin fasting may be safe for people with strong, healthy skin.

If your skin barrier function is strong and stable, you may be able to maintain a healthy skin condition without the need to moisturize or protect it from external stimuli. 

But skin condition can change suddenly due to aging, hormonal imbalance, and other factors.

Even if you feel that your skin is strong, you should consult a dermatology before doing skin fasting.

‘Mini’ skin fasting is recommended for people with dry or sensitive skin

For people with dry and sensitive skin, skin fasting IS NOT recommended for you because of the high potential for damage to the skin’s barrier function.

But skin fasting could be good for dry and sensitive skin. This is because you can save money and time, and also reduce irritation caused by friction on your skin.

That’s why mini skin fasting is a great option.

Mini skin fasting is a skincare routine where only the minimum necessary skincare items are used.

There’s no set requirement for mini skin fasting, so you can adjust and change the skincare items according to your skin’s compatiibility to them.

Here are the 3 basic recommendations when doing mini skin fasting on dry and sensitive skin.

Skin fasting from makeup

Try to stop using some of the makeup products you usually use.

Carefully select the items you use to reduce frictional irritation to the skin.

We recommend ‘fasting’ from eye makeup.

The skin around the eyes are extremely thin, and is particularly vulnerable to frictional irritation. 

Eye makeup can cause wrinkles, sagging, and hyperpigmentation.

Since you’ll be staying away from eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara, a color-correcting primer can be applied to brighten the eye area. This will reduce the frictional irritation to a single product.

Limiting makeup items to ones that can be removed without the need to use a makeup remover can also reduce frictional irritation.

Skin fasting from daily skincare items

Mini skin fasting will be more effective if you limit the number of skincare items you use.

We recommend using all-in-one skincare items.

Using skincare items that can wash and cleanse your face at the same time will significantly reduce the amount of frictional irritation to your skin.

That being said, you shouldn’t choose a strong cleanser or scrub too hard.

Skincare items designed for sensitive skin can be used to cleanse and wash your face without causing strong irritation.

We recommend gel-type all-in-one skincare items, such as Aquatect Gel.

Aquatect Gel is perfect for a low-stimulating and safe skin fasting experience.

Aquatect Gel is an effective moisturizer that replenishes water for hydration, and oil for long-lasting hydration retention. It is formulated with a golden waterto-oil ratio of 8:2 that keeps your skin moisturized and protected for a long time.

The long-lasting moisturization achieved by Aquatect Gel will slowly improve your skin’s barrier function, making it stronger against dryness and irritation.

It specializes specifically on moisturizing the skin. It doesn’t contain any ingredients that aren’t related to protecting and moisturizing your skin, such as fragrances and coloring.

Aquatect Gel is also a 7-in-one skincare product.

  1. Lotion
  2. Milky products
  3. Creams
  4. Serums
  5. Body cream
  6. Face mask
  7. Makeup base

You skincare is complete with just this ONE product, which significantly reduces the amount of times you touch your sensitive skin and irritate it.

It’s perfect for skin fasting.

Curious to know more about WHAT this product is?


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Mini skin fasting to protect your skin against UV rays when going outside

UV rays cause significant damage to the skin’s barrier function.

People with dry or sensitive skin SHOULD NOT neglect UV protection, especially if they have dry or sensitive skin.

People with dry or sensitive skin should take UV protection measures by doing mini skin fasting with 2 sun protection measures:

  1. Use an SPF 20-25 and PA++ sunscreen that protects against daily UV rays
  2. Wear sunshades and hats that physically protect against UV rays

It’s important to take care of the skin from the inside

asian woman eating rice with chopsticks

To restore the skin’s barrier function – which is the goal of skin fasting – lifestyle improvements are also effective.

In addition to moisturizin and protecting he skin with skincare, improving lifestyle habits such as diet and sleep can be expected to maintain a normal skin barrier.

Maintain a well-balanced diet

A well-balanced diet nurtures healthy skin.

Nutrients from food are essential for skin renewal.

According to an article published in the Journal of the Japanese Society of Nutrition and Food Science, there is a relationship between nutritional intake from food and the amount of water in the skin and water evaporation.

The ideal diet for maintaining healthy skin is a well-balanced intake of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals that build skin cells.

Carbohydrates, which are often feared, are also essential for beautiful skin. Carbohydrates help maintain the body’s water content. A lack of carbohydrates can lead to a lack of water in the skin, resulting in dry skin.

Improve sleep quality

During sleep, growth hormones are secreted, which have the function of repairing skin cells.

Because skin turnover is negatively affected if skin cells are damaged, the secretion of growth hormones are extremely important for maintaining healthy skin.

It is ideal to get at least 6 hours of sleep, but if this is difficult, aim to get good quality sleep.

Avoid consuming caffeine and using smartphones before bedtime, and change your bedding to create a relaxing sleep environment.

Relieve stress

Stress is another factor that reduces the skin barrier function.

In a journal article, titled “Relationship between Skin Status, Nutrient Intake, Metabolism, and Autonomic Nervous System Activity in Young Women,” it is stated that mental stress affects the barrier function of the outermost layer of the skin, indicating that it is necessary to reduce the mental burden caused by stress in order to maintain healthy skin.

Find a stress-relieving method that suits you and rest your mind and body.

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and cigarettes

Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking greatly damage the skin.

Excessive alcohol consumption puts a strain on the liver and can cause skin problems such as swelling, dullness, and itching.

Excessive consumption of sugar in alcoholic beverages can also cause inflammation such as acne.

Tobacco is extremely damaging to the skin as well.

Besides accelerating skin aging and causing acne and rough skin, smoking also increases the possibility of skin cancer and other serious diseases.

To maintain healthy skin, it is recommended that alcohol be consumed in moderation and that smoking be discontinued.


Skin barrier can be preserved through effective skincare and lifestyle modifications, rather than skin fasting.

  • Be aware that skin fasting can cause skin problems
  • Mini skin fasting is recommended over skin fasting for dry or sensitive skin
  • With mini skin fasting, it is important to reduce irritation on the skin and select effective skincare items
  • Skincare and lifestyle improvements are more effective than skin fasting in maintaining healthy skin
  • The key to improving lifestyle is to improve diet and sleep quality, reduce stress, and cut back on alcohol and cigarettes






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