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Post in Skincare Aware

Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

I've been seeing a lot of blog posts and articles lately about reducing the amount of products in a skincare routine. So, I wanted to start a thread to see if anyone else (who, like me, has a dozen or more skincare products on rotation) is interested in this or already trying this. 


On one extreme, there's skin fasting (I found out about this on the Man Repeller blog), which is a theory that if you temporarily forgo skincare products except for, like, a cleanser to remove makeup, then your skin can breathe and detoxify.


Then there's skip care (I saw this in an Elle article), which, from what I gather, appears to involve paring down your skincare routine to only the items that work best on your skin.


Finally, I came across a post on Refinery29 today about a minimalist Scandinavian skincare routine, which honestly just sounds like a fairly normal skincare routine before the rise of K-beauty. The post quotes a dermatologist who states that the only products a person with fairly normal skin needs are an AHA/BHA cleanser, an antioxidant serum, a moisturizing SPF, and a retinol.




Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@txcatx, very interesting topic, bound to bring a plethora of viewpoints!  It was a splotchy red break-out that ended my 6 up 6 down skincare regimen.  Now, I only cleanse, moisturize & SPF daily.  I use Sunday Riley Luna oil alternately between a weekly hydroxy acid treatment & seasonal scrub or mask.  I'm careful of products w/ too many plant extracts & vitamin C, as I believe it to be what caused the terrible reaction.

I must say, having skin which tends to be dry, I would never consider a skincare fast.

Without a protective barrier, skin will lose hydration. I can't afford to lose the hydration.  Some product may clog pores, but skin doesn't actually breathe and as far as skin detoxify, well I will keep that opinion to myself.

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@byme4u  Heh, I’ll voice my opinion Smiley Happy : “skin detox” is one of the skincare industry’s biggest marketing scams. Skincare products can protect our skin from toxins, but they can’t detoxify our skin. Any brand that claims its product can detox skin is lying. My opinion’s based on my own research and input from 2 of my doctors (including a dermatologist). The liver can actually detox. So can the kidneys. But skin cannot. And acne =/= toxins. 


Also: yeah, I think any of us dry skin types would really suffer through a skincare fast. Even back when I wasn’t using serums, I used a moisturizer. Nowadays, the only times I skip moisturizer or hydrating serums are when I’m sick with a migraine. During a migraine, I get nauseous if anyone—including myself—touches my skin, so I don’t touch my face unless absolutely necessary. My skin ends up so flaky and patchy dry, it takes 1-2 weeks of post-migraine skin pampering to restore balance. So nope, no intentional “skin fasting” for me. Smiley Very Happy

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

Agreed @WinglessOne @byme4u Slap some buzzwords onto a product and it'll sell quickly. Quick, someone make a discussion post on skincare industry's biggest marketing scams and myths! 

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

It’s funny that “skip care” is a thing needing a cool buzzy name. 😂 It’s what I’ve always done to my skin. I try various new products, sure, but only the most beneficial stay in my routine—and they often replace former products. 


Right now, the absolute best (most beneficial and needed) skincare product for my 47 year old skin is sunscreen. Next best would be AHA, hydrating antioxidant serum, and moisturizer—though I could probably use certain sunscreens as moisturizers. And of course I have to wash my face with something besides water at night. My undereyes need something firming, so I use a separate serum for that. I could use that same serum all over my face if I wanted, but I don’t have many lines/wrinkles or crepey skin elsewhere. 


Skin fasting would make my face a desert. 

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

I use a cleanser, exfoliator, toner, and two moisturizers (one day, one night).  Retinol may be the be all and end all for others, but I'm allergic to it (in any form).

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

I keep thinking I'd love to cut my routine back, but then never can figure out what isn't essential 😂


I think the trend of one-functional-ingredient skincare hasn't helped much, at least for me. It's nice to be able to customize what I put on, but I've amassed so many "boosters" that it boggles my mind some days. I slap it all on every night and hope for the best, but some days I wonder if my skin really is any better off now than it was two years ago. (I think it is, but better enough to justify the massive routine? Maybe not...)

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@RGbrown I know! Like, why do I now have so many bottles of The Ordinary single functional ingredient potions? I miss the days when companies crammed as many benefits as possible into one BB/CC cream.

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@txcatx Skin fasting for me always ends in a terrible breakout, unfortunately. Longer bouts lead to red, dry, irritated skin patches. I need moisturizers- lots of them, and different weights for different seasons- in my lineup.


I agree that a lot of us, myself included, could probably pare down our skincare. When I look in my bathroom cabinet, I see a lot of products that perform essentially the same functions for my skin. For example: exfoliating cleansers and masks and serums- I could probably do with just two of those at a maximum. 


Ultimately I think of skincare as tools to "fix" and maintain my skin, so while the number of steps I do doesn't really vary, I like having a lot on hand to cater to how my skin is doing depending on the weather/ my stress levels/ recovery from other (mostly retinol) product use. Just like you can't use a wrench to do a screwdriver's job, a clay cleanser and an oil cleanser are going to have very different effects on my skincare outcomes and I wouldn't want to be without whatever I felt I needed 

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

I did exactly this without knowing it was a “thing”. This time last year, I had a 10-12 step routine-using a product for every single concern I felt I had. Now, my routine does change with the weather, but I have completely downsized. After a TON of research and watching amazing estheticians like Caroline Hirons, I’ve come to realize the Retinol is the only product I absolutely must have. 


For daytime, I simply cleanse, Essence, exfoliating serum, Vitamin c, eye serum, eye oil and SPF. 


For nighttime, I first cleanse with a balm, second cleanse with my Clarisonic, Essence, Retinol, Vitamin C and Squalane...along with my eye routine. That’s it. 


What really bums me out is now I have hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of product that I simply don’t feel I need. I will use them, but I wish I knew then what I know now.


I base my entire skincare routine around Retinol. I don’t care about wrinkles and lines on my forehead-Botox fixes that issue perfectly and I’m not ashamed of it. My undereyes have always been my biggest concern and I have found my Holy Grails. The texture and glow that I currently have is exactly what I’ve been trying to achieve and I thank Retinol for that. I currently use A-Passioni, but after I’m done with this tube, I’m going switch to prescription strength. Once I do, my skincare routine will be set in stone. No more $200 bottles of Good Genes, no more $100 bottles of Framboos....just some good old fashioned Retinol. 

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@darlyndar I also believe in the power of retinoids!  I really think that Retin-A is the most magnificent step in my routine Smiley Happy

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@darlyndar I just started looking at Caroline Hirons' website and she really seems knowledgable. I'm enjoying it.

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

She’s absolutely amazing at what she does, @sprocketta . She is doing an entire series on Retinol. It’s so informative. She’s also ridiculously hilarious. She has no idea but we’re best friends. Lol! 

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

Iiiiiiiinteresting.  Seeing as I juuuust am getting into skincare (early 40s) I'd have to beg to differ.  My skin enjoys being taken care of.  My previous 'routine' involved a cleanser. Very minimalist.  

I would hope everyone follows the 'skip care' you mentioned, as it is important to use products that work best on your skin.  Why would anyone keep using a product that doesn't work? That article, although I haven't read it, seems hokey.


Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@l8totheparty , I definitely agree. My skin enjoys being pampered. At 38 and waaaaaaaaay too much money spent jumping on the skincare bandwagon, I’ve just come to realize that Retinol, Vitamin C, SPF and Botox are what my skin loves and thrives on. Botox may not be for everyone, but I love it. 

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@darlyndar I haven't dipped my toes into a retinol yet, and I'm on the light side of the vitamin C so far (although my skin reacts well, so I may try a heavier formulation)

Indeed, way to much money on it all, but it's for the best Smiley Happy

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

@l8totheparty Absolutely! I definitely think dipping your toes into Retinol will be beneficial in every way. ❤️

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

I have accidentally skin fasted by forgetting skincare items on vacation and my skin was not happy. I do have a lot of products but I like that I can mix most of them together to save time. For me cleanser, serums, eye cream, moisturizer, spf, and retinol are what works best so they are my minimum.

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

I think this goes hand in hand with being realistic about how much you’ll actually do. You can have all the skin care in the world but it’s useless if you don’t use it. For me especially in the morning I like to keep it to a few steps because I know I won’t get up early enough to do more than a few steps. I used to do more but I was getting overwhelmed. 


That said - once I did a sort of accidental skin fast and it did not end well. I went to my parents for Maybe 7-10 days for Xmas two years ago and just grabbed like a cleanser and one moisturizer . My skin freaked out and it took weeks  to get it back on track after (and my parents do not live in a different climate or anything ) . Maybe it was one of those things you had to wait s few weeks to settle but initial testing was a big nope from me 

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

I’m opposite, @Kim888 . Since I work nights, my daytime routine is more in-depth and nighttime consists of minimal, yet effective products. But you’re absolutely’s all about being realistic with the time and effort you will put into your routine as well as your expectations. We all start off in our skincare journeys wanting a quick fix...and that’s companies “hook, line and sinker”. We spend hundreds of dollars with the expectation of looking amazing after 3 days. That’s just not the case for anyone on this planet. Research, knowing your skin inside and out (literally), and most of all PATIENCE is what will get your skin to where you want it to be. I’ve always said, you can spend all the money in the world on makeup but it won’t help a thing if you don’t take care of the skin you put it on. ❤️

Re: Skin Fasting, Skip Care, Minimalist Skincare

I find this very interesting @txcatx .  I go through phases mostly according to how much time I feel I have with my skincare.  But I do feel that sometimes we need to take a break and step back from having so many steps.  I've found that at times when I do this, I find that my skin isn't really missing something that I thought was doing so much? 

I'll be interested to see how everyone feels about stepping back a bit!  Great thread idea!

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