A while ago, I spent a lot of time reading popular articles that said following a “quick” or “detox” program will result in clear, glowing skin. I also wanted to have clear skin, and since none of the products I tried had worked, I decided to do it.
Here’s the theory of how fasting (or detoxification) works to treat acne:
First, you choose what type of food you are going to leave out during the fast. Mainly this would be meat, dairy, and fatty / sugary foods. When I did my fast, I gave up all food except fresh fruits and vegetables. Next, you choose the amount 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 go through with your fast. You will see various changes that occur 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 extremely heightened mental awareness, weight loss, brighter and clearer eyes, and much more energy. But was her skin lighter? No, not really.
During my 30 days of fasting I had my normal hormonal acne, some weeks it was lighter than others, but fasting did not seem to have any noticeable effect on my skin. I was disappointed with my results and all the work I had done, and immediately after fasting I was back on my old diet. If it had continued for 60 days, I could have seen better results. It all depends on the person, the type of fast and the amount of time you are willing to dedicate to it.
Aside from the benefit of healthy skin, there are several other reasons why I still recommend fasting:
-To detoxify your body of unwanted chemicals.
-To break a bad habit (eating unhealthy food, 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 the excess sugar that normally creeps through your body.
-To gain self-control and confidence.
-To give you a boost of energy
However, there are three main issues to be aware of when fasting:
1. It can be dangerous. Never do a fast that requires strict calorie restriction (i.e., a water fast) for an extended period of time. A healthy fast is one in which you provide your body with all the essential nutrients it needs while avoiding all the dirt it can’t use.
2. Sometimes fasting can cause flare-ups. At the beginning of a fast, you may experience an increase in acne because your body is expelling all the toxins from your blood at once. Some of these toxins will be released through the skin and cause breakouts. This initial phase of detoxification is reason enough for some people to decide never to try fasting, but if you do, you will see results.
3. Fasting does not last forever. If you complete a fast, you will most likely see several positive results, including clearer and brighter skin, a higher energy level, weight loss, and a higher level of focus. 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 start a strict healthy diet plan immediately afterward. This is a lot of work for someone who just desperately wants to have fair skin!
Simply put, a fast can definitely be a positive way to improve your health. I have fasted several times before and have never had a negative experience. But if you are not taking the implications of fasting seriously and are looking for the quickest and easiest way to clear skin, fasting is not the answer.