We've said it before and we'll say it again - you don't need a 10 step skincare routine to achieve healthy, glowing skin. In fact skin sobering, the latest skincare trend doing the rounds on social media, holds a lot of merit to it. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of skin minimalism, which focuses on a reduced number of products, skin sobering describes the process of giving your skin a break from too many daily products and treatments. But before you go throwing out half of your beauty bar, let's unpack it properly!
What is skin sobering and why is it important?
Simply put, skin sobering is an effective way to allow your skin to reset and recharge. Just like your body needs a break from alcohol and other toxins, your skin can benefit from a break of too many products too.
As we know by now, your skin is the largest organ in your body and it's main function is to protect you from the environment (bugs, bacteria, viruses, pollutants, UV rays). However, overuse of some skincare products and treatments (particularly active skincare ingredients), can disrupt your skin's natural processes and lead to a range of skin concerns like dryness, irritation, inflammation and even premature ageing. So, by giving your skin a break from the overuse or improper use of skincare, your skin can naturally restore, balance and heal itself. In a nutshell, skin sobering is the way to go if your skin is becoming sensitised to the products you're using. Get to know more about sensitised skin here.
How can you practice skin sobering?
Skin sobering is super easy to do. Here's some simple ways to give your skin a much-needed break:
- Embrace skin minimalism: Simplify your skincare routine and focus on the essentials like a facial cleanser, exfoliant and moisturiser. By removing active ingredients from your routine like AHAs, BHAs, vitamin C and retinol (to name a few), your skin can focus on repairing and restoring itself from any sensitivities. We talk about the importance of balance and the skin microbiome here
- Avoid harsh ingredients and treatments: As mentioned above, it's best to remove active ingredients from your routine, for at least 28 days (the length of a skin cycle). Active ingredients include AHA's, BHA's, vitamin C and retinol. It's also a good idea to avoid salon peels, laser treatments and microdermabrasion too, during this time
- Go makeup-free: Embrace your canvas and let it breathe by going makeup-free! Do this as much as possible during your skin sobering period (it doesn't have to be all the time)
- Protect your skin: Help your skin to protect you from UV rays by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day. Better yet, avoid prolonged periods in the sun!
- Stay hydrated: Keep your skin hydrated from the inside out
How long should you practice skin sobering?
Everyone's skin is unique, so it really depends on how sensitised your skin is. Some people find that taking a break for a few days is enough, while others need more. We recommend restoring the skin microbiome over a period of 28 days (one month), which is the length of a skin cycle (get to know more about the skin cycle here). However the key is to listen to your skin and give it the time it needs to heal.
Skin sobering is a simple, yet effective, way to give your skin a break from the overuse or improper use of skincare products. It's perfect to apply when your skin is looking and feeling sensitised. By allowing your skin to rest, you can help it to restore its natural balance. So, enjoy a well deserved break! And when you're back, be sure to follow a healthy skincare routine that factors in the likes of skin minimalism, skin cycling and the microbiome. Here's to healthy, happy skin - always!