My lockdown skincare journey – Does skin fasting work?

I’ve been very lax with my blog over the whole of lockdown, it’s all been so strange.  On the one hand there’s been a lot more spare time, but on the other hand time seems to have sped up.   So it’s time to get myself motivated again and put out some great content for you all.

I’ve been thinking about how much my skincare routine has changed over the past year and how the requirements change when you don’t go anywhere.  Apart from the odd Zoom or Webex meeting, I haven’t been wearing any makeup, and even then I’ve found that minimal makeup looks better on a mature face. 



I started lockdown with my usual, very multi-step am and pm skincare routines.  Morning would be a light cleanser, toner (alternate days of an acid toner or a spritz of the Claudalie Beauty Elixir), Vitamin C (alternated with the acid toner), a peptide serum, hyaluronic acid, moisturiser and SPF.  Evenings would entail a double cleanse with a makeup remover and then a cleansing balm, perhaps used with my foreo for a deeper massage; a couple of times a week I would use an exfoliator (such as Elemis papaya enzyme peel), then a light toner, a retinol product, whatever serums I was testing, a night cream or a moisturising sleep mask and a facial oil a couple of times a week.  I’m not a massive fan of eye creams for myself, everyone is different but I’ve yet to find one I can use constantly without my under eyes looking puffy.


My skin loves the moisture surge of a good mask


At the beginning of lockdown I’d seen quite a few articles about skin fasting, the idea where you go without skincare products for a few weeks or perhaps just 2 days a week, in order to allow the skin to reset itself and produce the natural oils we need.  My skin has become drier with age, so I thought while I was stuck in the house I would give the skin fasting a go.  I went to the extreme and used absolutely no products, not even a SPF (but I did this when there was no sun and kept away from windows).  

After a week my skin felt and looked amazing, maybe I was on to something!  After a couple of weeks, my skin felt dry and tight and looked dull, but I persevered for another few days.  Where were these natural oils that were supposed to appear?  I didn’t get to the 3 week mark.  My skin was crying out for some pampering and I could feel the relief when I started using products again.



However, I did think that some sort of change was required and decided to move my nighttime routine up a level and try an online dermatologist service.  My Instagram kept popping up with adverts for Dermatica and the reviews were very good, so I decided to give it a go.  As an online dermatology service it can prescribe treatments with a far higher active ingredient level than you can get over the counter.  It’s a simple process to join up, you fill in an online form and send 3 photographs of your face.  These are examined and then you receive your medication every month (the first month is free) for £19.99 + postage.  I was given a mixture of tretinoin and niacinamide.  I’ve built up my retinol levels for a few years so I haven’t had any adverse reactions to the medication, but if you’ve never used retinol in any form, then you might find this a bit harsh for first use.  You could always mix it with your moisturiser to act as a buffer on your skin.  £19.99 may seem like a lot each month, but this product has slimmed down my nighttime routine so much that I’m actually saving money!



I tend to still do the same morning routine as before lockdown, it’s my chance to try out products for my blog, but my evening routine is now a double cleanse, my dermatica product and then a basic moisturiser.


The most important part of your skincare routine!


In conclusion, would I recommend the skin fasting?  I don’t think it helped my skin in any way, maybe a different skin type could see some sort of improvement.  I won’t be doing it again.  One thing I can recommend is the Dermatica product (there are other online dermatologists available such as Skin + Me which also has great reviews), I just wish something similar had been available years ago because I would have started in my 30s rather than my 50s.


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