If you have a super busy life and you need to simplify, you may be interested in a minimalist skincare routine.
This is a new trend hitting the beauty industry that is catching on. The idea is to use fewer skincare products while still enjoying the same age-defying and healthy-skin benefits.
Sounds good, right? But does it really work?
What is a Minimalist Skincare Routine?
Take a minute to look into your bathroom cabinets. If you’re like most of us, you’ll find a lot of skincare products there.
You have your cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, sunscreens, masks, exfoliators, and more. Just looking at all of it might be enough to stress you out.
Now imagine cleaning out that entire cabinet and replacing everything there with 3-5 products.
Feels better, doesn’t it?
That’s what minimalist skincare—also called “skinimalism”—is all about. Addressing what your skin needs with fewer products.
It wasn’t that long ago that we all did this anyway. We splashed a little water on our faces and off we went. Later, we may have used soap, but it’s only in the last several decades that we’ve all overloaded ourselves with skincare products.
And it’s no wonder. Every day we hear about new ingredients that we absolutely must have in our skincare regimens or new products that we should be using if we want to look our best.
By the time you’ve gotten everything that you’re supposed to have for beautiful skin, you’re piling on upwards of six or more products per night.
There are indeed new ingredients today that can help our skin. The more dermatologists learn about how the skin works, the more compounds they can use to help delay the appearance of aging and promote a more youthful look.
A vitamin C serum can help brighten dark spots, for example. A clay mask can absorb excess oil. Ceramides can help plump skin and hide wrinkles. Antioxidants protect skin from pollution and other environmental assaults. Collagen may help tighten and strengthen skin, and of course, many plant extracts can help ease inflammation, cool irritations, and soothe sensitive skin.
Easing Stress with a Minimalist Skincare Routine
All this sounds great, so we buy and we apply until our cabinets are full. Then we realize we’re spending 20-30 minutes a night running through our skincare routines, say nothing of all the money we’re spending on those products. What happened?
For most of us, it’s gotten a little crazy. On top of that, we’re beginning to find that piling one product after another on the skin may be bad for it, potentially irritating it or clogging the pores.
Indeed, using too many products—especially if some of those products contain harsh ingredients—can damage the outer layer with time, leading to increased sensitivity and loss of moisture. Some of the products may interact with others, too, causing irritation or inflammation.
Besides, who has the time?
A Minimalist Skincare Routine Can Include Sustainable Skincare
Then there is all the waste. All those jars, bottles, and tubes into the trash.
Now that our society is thinking more about environmental sustainability, many of us feel uncomfortable filling our garbage cans with all these containers—particularly when we’re not even sure if they’re doing us any good.
Finally, some people had had enough, and they decided to sweep the cabinets clean and start over. With a renewed desire for a more simplified skincare routine, today’s consumer is beginning to embrace beauty minimalism.
You can think of it as decluttering your skincare routine.
How to Embrace a Minimalist Skincare Routine
If you feel like so many others—that your skincare routine has just gotten way too complicated—here are some steps you can take to adopt a minimalist skincare routine.
1. Review your current routine.
Pull out all the products you’re using on your skin and give them the once-over. How many do you have? Do you need all of them?
Now it’s important not to make drastic changes (unless you want to). Usually, the best approach is to take it slow. Put all the products in the corner, and pull out your basic three (covered in the next step).
2. Start with your basic three.
Cleanser, toner, moisturizer. These are the three basic products you need in any skincare routine, so it’s best to start there.
Look at the three products you have in these categories already. Make sure they are doing their jobs. They should match your skin type (creamy cleanser for dry skin, for instance, and liquid cleanser for oily skin), and leave your skin feeling fabulous. If your cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight and dry, you may need a different one.
3. Follow-up with an exfoliant.
The only other thing your skin needs—besides cleaning, toning, and moisturizing—is regular exfoliation. We must slough off those dead skin cells if we expect the skin to look its best.
Check over the products you have. You may already have an acid serum or mask that works well for you. If not, this may be something you’d like to add to your routine.
In response to the call for fewer products, many skin care companies are now creating multi-tasker products—those that can do more than one thing.
CV Skinlabs is one of these companies. The ingredients in each of our products are not only potent, but multi-functional, targeting more than one concern.
Our Rescue + Relief Spray, for instance, works great as a moisturizing toner but also helps soothe redness and inflammation for those with eczema, psoriasis, or skin wounds. It serves as a great midday moisturizer and the perfect after-shave.
Our Calming Moisture, as another example, is the perfect daytime moisturizer but also doubles as an overnight cream, a hydrating mask (when you leave it on for 10 minutes), a foundation primer, and an after-treatment for microdermabrasion or chemical peel.
Our Restorative Skin Balm is perfect as a lip balm, cuticle softener, and wound-healer, and also helps relieve cracked, dry hands.
Take a look at the products you have and see if any of them are multi-taskers. These are the ones you probably want to keep.
5. Buy only one new product at a time.
You know those department stores—they love to send you out the door with a group of products. It’s a good way for them to introduce you to several products that you may want to buy in the future, and let’s face it: It’s fun to try new products.
But that’s also how we go down the rabbit hole of piling our cabinets full of skincare products we don’t need. Instead, limit yourself to one new product at a time. Give yourself a couple of weeks to adapt to using only the basic three products, then ask yourself: what does my skin need?
If it feels a little dry, maybe you need a richer night cream. If you’re struggling with hyperpigmentation, maybe you need something with glycolic acid in it to help smooth out the skin’s appearance. If you’re missing sunscreen, look for that.
In other words, instead of listening to the store clerk, let your skin tell you what it needs.
Have you adopted a minimalist skincare routine?