Skinimalism: It’s hard to say, but easy to do. The phrase might be new, but the idea is not. Skinimalism or skin minimalism is basically just a skincare way of saying “less is more”.
Skinimalism is focused on simplicity. Rather than using a cocktail of products, it can be distilled down to a minimum of three key elements: Cleansing, hydrating, and protecting.
Have you ever looked in your bathroom and wondered how you ended up with four different cleansers, a couple of toners, six moisturisers and several serums, oils, balms, masks and actives?
When it comes to skincare, many of us have been under the impression that more is better. The more active-packed serums you apply, the better your skin will look. But, just as with many excesses, too much can be detrimental. Overdoing your skincare efforts can leave a compromised skin barrier, redness and irritation.
Dermatologist, Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan, noted the impact skinimalism is having on the beauty community more widely. “I see this trend permeating into the way we approach skin care and makeup. For a while in lockdown, people were indulging in elaborate skin care routines with the temptation of trying every new skin active or peel at home. The rebellion certainly has made us realise that the skin is a well-programmed ecosystem that is able to closely calibrate according to its needs and does not like being overwhelmed with random topicals.” Trust that your skin is an incredible organism and with time will work out to rejuvenate itself without needing a host of products.
The key to making skinimalism work is consistency. “It’s almost more important than the ingredients,” says dermatologist Dr. Hartman. He recommends committing to a routine for a few months before deciding whether it’s working. How many times have you thrown away a container and started something different before the first one is empty? “I think most people never get to an empty bottle. They don’t have enough patience or fortitude to stick with something until it runs out.” But most products are designed to last three or four months, which is around the same amount of time needed to produce results.
Using too many products, trying new formulas each day, layering incorrectly or combining too many actives can overwhelm, overstimulate and confuse the skin. Overwhelmed, the skin essentially gives up, and we never see the benefits of the actives we’re using.
Skinimalism is a movement toward embracing your real skin. It describes the stripping back of your skincare routine to take a minimalist approach. This means reducing the number of products and active ingredients in your routine. It’s about taking a few steps back and committing to a more sustainable and more affordable routine.
In addition, skinimalism is an ideal of banishing the perception of perfect beauty, unrealistic beauty standards or covering up & fixing flaws, and don’t get me started on filters. Skinimalism encourages you to go #unfiltered and embrace the real, beautiful you or loving the skin you’re in.
Just because skinimalism works for some people doesn’t mean it will automatically be a perfect fit for everyone. If there are some aspects you’re interested in, give them a go. If there aren’t, stick to what you love and what makes you look and feel good. There’s no one right way to build your beauty routine, so doing what works for you and your skin is the most important thing. You don’t have to throw out everything in your cupboard, just focus on the few products that do the most good for your skin. Quality over quantity.
At a minimum, try to find something to clean, something to nourish, and something to protect and if you have problem skin, something to treat. Simply keeping your skin clean, hydrated and protected can make a big difference and having healthy skin is what matters. You also can’t underestimate the power of combining a healthy diet, exercise, reducing toxins and getting enough water and sleep.
For cleansing, look for products that contain as few ingredients as possible and avoid cleansers that contain harsh exfoliants like crushed walnut shells, which can cause micro-tears on the sensitive skin of the face.
The jury is out on the need for a toner. I personally like it after cleansing to remove any residual cleanser and to make the skin feel fresh and ready for moisturising.
Even if you have oily skin, moisturising is a must to keep skin hydrated and prevent water loss. As we age, the skin naturally loses the ability to hold moisture, so it’s important for all ages and skin types to moisturise daily.
To protect your skin, you can look for a multi-purpose product in a moisturiser that contains a sunscreen. And remember, sunscreen isn’t just for summer.
No matter how many products you use, working out a skincare routine that works for you can take time. It can take weeks for products to make a difference in your skin’s appearance, so it pays to stick at it and be patient as you usually won’t see results after just a couple of uses.
For skinimalism, the result should be a simplified version that will save you time and money, all while being more friendly to the planet. Less product, less packaging, less waste.
This is how I got into making skincare. I started replacing the items in my bathroom with simple, natural products that I knew what the ingredients were. I slowly ditched all the unnecessary items that didn’t really work or I just never bothered to use; like the caffeine infused under eye roller, the sea minerals foot scrub and the fake tan. So why not join me in keeping it simple, natural, affordable and sustainable. But, there’s nothing stopping you and some girlfriends from having a spa day and spoiling yourselves every now and again as well.
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