A while back I spent lots of time reading up on popular articles claiming that following a “fast” or “detox program” will result in clear, radiant skin. I wanted to have clear skin too, and since none of the products I tried had worked, I decided to go for it.
This is the theory of how fasting (or detoxing) works to treat acne:
First you choose what kinds of foods you’re going to give up during the fast. Mainly this would be meat, dairy, and fatty/sugary foods. When I did my fast, I gave up all foods except fresh fruits and veggies. Then you choose the length of time you will commit to fasting. Ten days is usually a good starting point, but a longer 30 day fast will give you the best results.
At this point it will take a lot of determination and self-control to be able to follow through with your fast. You’ll see several changes occurring both physically and mentally. My results weren’t as dramatic as many of the success stories I had read on the internet, but I did experience an extremely heightened mental awareness, weight loss, brighter and clearer eyes, and tons more energy. But did I have clearer skin? No, not really.
During my 30 days of fasting I had my normal hormonal acne, some weeks I was clearer than other weeks, but the fast seemed to have no remarkable effect on my skin. I was disappointed with my results and all the work I had put into it, and immediately following the fast I went back to my old diet. If I had kept going for 60 days, I may have seen better results. It all depends on the person, the type of fast, and the length of time you are willing to put into it.
Aside from the benefit of healthy skin, there are several other reasons I still recommend fasting:
-To detoxify your body of unwanted chemicals
-To break a bad habit (eating unhealthy foods, smoking)
-To prepare for a healthy diet change
-To give your digestive system a break from all the hard-to-digest processed foods, pesticides, insecticides, fatty foods, dairy, caffeine, and excess sugar that is normally being dragged through your body
-To gain self-control and confidence
-To give yourself an energy boost
However, there are three main problems to look out for when fasting:
1. It can be dangerous. Never do a fast that requires strict calorie restriction (i.e., a water fast) for a prolonged period of time. A healthy fast is one where you are providing your body with all the essential nutrients it needs while avoiding all the muck and guck you can’t use.
2. Sometimes fasting can cause break-outs. At the beginning of a fast, you may experience an increase of acne because your body is forcing out all the toxins from your blood all at once. Some of these toxins will be released through the skin, causing break-outs. This initial detox phase is enough reason for some people to decide never to try fasting, but if you push through it you will see results.
3. Fasting doesn’t last forever. If you do complete a fast, there is a good chance you will see several positive results including clearer, brighter skin, higher energy lever, weight loss, and heightened level of concentration. But these results are very difficult to maintain after the fast is over! The only way to see permanent results from a fast is to begin a strict healthy diet plan immediately afterward. This is a lot of work for someone who just wants desperately to have clear skin!
Simply put, a fast can definitely be a positive way to increase your health. I have fasted several times before, and have never had a negative experience. But if you are not serious about the implications of fasting and are looking for the quickest and easiest way to get clear skin, fasting is not the answer.