According to the research by online beauty retailer Escentual.com, 65 percent of women apply a full face of makeup every day, while only 25 percent of them would go completely barefaced for more than one day per week.
It seems like a pretty quick and easy theory to test out, with experts saying you should notice positive results within a month. But I already regularly go without makeup for two (or more) days per week. I don't like the feeling of heavy makeup on my face and I suffer from dry skin so keeping it hydrated is more of a priority to me. Plus, I work from home so I don't have to worry about what anybody thinks about how I look. If I do have a "I-can't-go-out-of-the-house-like-this" day, I'll pop on sunglasses and a beanie hat to do the school run incognito.
Talking to friends and family about the 5:2 skincare plan, I soon realised that the women in my life fall into two very different camps. There are those who wear very little makeup, who are happy to go out in public without it and would think nothing of it if I confiscated their makeup bag for a couple of days. Then there are those who rarely — if ever — step out of the house without makeup on. Among this group, there are different levels of reliance on makeup but all of them would draw the line at venturing outdoors without at least a little concealer and mascara on.
So when I asked around for a 5:2 guinea pig the response was a resounding "no thanks" — at least when it was clear that no freebies would be involved. "A makeup challenge? Absolutely!" one friend initially enthused. "What products do you want me to try out?" "Um, no products," I admitted. "No makeup at all, for two days a week, for a month."
"But your reward could be the best complexion you've ever had!" I protested weakly as she dissolved into laughter and popped off to the bathroom to reapply her lippy.
Even my dermatologist friend wasn't up for the task, although she agreed that it was highly likely to achieve the desired results. "Most makeup seeps into our pores throughout the day," she said. "And if you don't take it off properly at night, it can lead to a build up, which can make the collagen and elastin in your skin break down.
"But I feel so much better with makeup on," she added hastily.
And therein lies the argument against applying the 5:2 concept to makeup. It's not just about looking a certain way. Makeup is an extremely powerful tool, with the ability to give a woman a huge self-confidence boost. It seems that most of us would happily put up with the occasional breakout, pimple or wrinkle in return for greater self-esteem.
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