You’ve probably heard of fasting – taking a break from eating food – and have wondered if the benefits are worth the discomfort. Or maybe your friends have jumped on a juice cleanse, where all they consume is juice for a few days? Most experts agree that there are some regenerative benefits to fasting, as it gives your body a break from the work of breaking down food and allows your cells time to rest. But what about trying a skin fast? Are there any benefits to taking a break from your skin care routine and going back to the basics?

The idea of a skin care fast has been out there for a while, and generally involves taking a complete break from your products for a few weeks to let your skin “reset.” During this break, you would only use water and possibly sunscreen. The idea is that your skin will figure out the right amount of moisture for optimal skin health. 

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While this sounds nice in theory (hello free time!), in practice it presents quite a few challenges. Our skin is attacked daily by pollution, free radicals, bacteria and the sun. If you have a condition like acne, eczema, melasma or rosacea, taking a break isn’t recommended as keeping these conditions under control requires a consistent routine. Water is generally insufficient to effectively remove the dirt and pollutants that our skin faces during the day. Switching to water instead of using a cleanser will give the bacteria on your skin a chance to grow and propagate like crazy, leading to far worse skin than before. Leaving all that dirt on your face makes it hard for your cells to rebuild as they are working to protect your skin. 

When it comes to moisture, our bodies change constantly. Factors like age, genetics and lifestyle all have a huge impact on our natural moisture levels. These factors can cause you to have naturally overactive oil production or naturally dry skin. There are some people blessed with naturally perfect skin, but if all our bodies were able to achieve the right balance naturally, skin care products would never have been invented! Age is also a huge factor as our ability to produce collagen, cell turnover rate, and antioxidant levels all change depending on which stage of life we are in. Therefore, taking a break from the products that help your skin look balanced and youthful doesn’t make a ton of sense.

The best time to start a skin care fast is when you are experiencing skin-related issues and want to figure out if one of your products is causing damage. The best course is to take it all the way down to just a face wash for a few days, then slowly add products back in one at a time. Make sure to give each product a few days before you add another as this will help you see if there is one particular product that your skin responds poorly to. In the end, if you are just trying to simplify your life, then you can cut back—but at a minimum use a high-quality face wash, moisturizer and SPF. Your skin does a lot to keep you healthy. Help it out by giving it the extra nutrients and moisture that it needs!

Author: Dr. Farhan Taghizadeh is the founder of Arizona Facial Plastics. Arizona Facial Plastics is an award-winning aesthetics practice in Phoenix, specializing in plastic surgery, cosmetical procedures and sexual rejuvenation. Book your free consultation today by visit or call 480-296-0488.