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The latest beauty trend making the rounds is all about detoxing. First gaining popularity in Europe, the “5:2 skin diet” consists of skipping makeup for two days of the week (it was named after the 5:2 diet during which you fast for two days out of the week). This, it’s thought, is supposed to allow your skin to breathe and ultimately help you look younger. But is forgoing foundation really necessary?
“Taking a break allows the skin to replenish its natural moisture level without having layers of makeup occluding it,” says Karen Hammerman, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist at Vanguard Dermatology in New York City. “It also allows the skin to expel any makeup residue that has been left on the skin.”
However, Hammerman explains that you don’t need to take a two-day break for your skin to recover. “Properly cleansing the skin before bedtime allows a full night of makeup-free skin, which is a good break,” she says, recommending that you cleanse twice—first to remove makeup, and then again for a deeper cleanse to allow the skin to truly breathe.
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“Whether you decide to partake in the 5:2 skin diet or not doesn’t matter, as long as you are properly cleaning and caring for your skin,” adds Hammerman. “Your skin will be just as healthy with proper cleansing, safe makeup, and sunscreen.”
When it comes to makeup, she recommends avoiding anything with formaldehyde-related preservatives (DM hydantoin, phthalates, and oxybenzone are common ones) because they tend to aggravate the skin.
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DECLEOR Hydra Floral BB Cream 24-Hour Moisture Activator Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen ($39, decleorusa.com) is both formaldehyde- and phthalate-free. It’s also non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores), which is especially important for those with oily skin.
The bottom line is this: While you don’t have to take two-day breaks, it’s important to remove your makeup every night before bed since sleeping is when your skin rejuvenates itself. That—and washing your face properly every day—are all you need to let your skin breathe.
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