I’ve been downsizing my skin care routine these days, choosing just a few products to use together for a period of time, rather than slathering everything onto my face in one day. This pared-down routine was so enjoyable, and on top of that, my skin has been looking better than ever.
It was only six months or so into this experiment of mine when I realized what I’m doing has a name—skinimalism.
Simply put, skinimalism—”skin minimalism,” if broken down into the words that comprise it—is just one word for a super simple skin routine.
For some, it means the paring down of your ten-step routine in favor of a few simple skincare products that work.
Yet another explanation for skinimalism is a routine with products that marry both makeup and skincare. (You all know Iris & Romeo is my favorite skinimal product—an amazing product that gives you antioxidants, SPF protection and a natural makeup look all in one.)
But the basic idea behind it is the use of fewer products that deliver results, in both skincare and makeup.
This term has been gaining steam lately online, as people discover the beauty of focusing on just a few products at a time.
There’s no official rule for how many products constitute a minimal routine; it’s the idea that you’re keeping things as simple as you can, with the end goal of irritating your skin less, and therefore having happier, healthier skin.
So let’s dive in!
My version of skinimalism has helped me cut down on redness and inflammation—two things that always happen when I’m using too much of an active ingredient (like retinol, AHAs, Vitamin C or other powerful ingredients), or when I’m combining too many products.
Don’t get me wrong—these powerful ingredients are amazing to use on their own, and they absolutely help with issues like wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. But when you go overboard on them, they can lead to irritation and inflammation, which is precisely what you don’t want happening with your skin.
Inflamed skin is angry skin. It’s a sign that you did some damage to it, and it’s healing itself. And moreover, inflammation is pro-aging. Not where we want to be!
Like I said, there are no hard and fast rules for skinimalism, but here are some starting points and what works for me:
Decide what skin issue you’d like to focus on, and then choose one active to address it. For example, for wrinkles and fine lines, I like to use a retinol product. For clear pores, I like a strong BHA or AHA product. And for overall brightening, I like Vitamin C.
Find a cleanser and toner you like, and add that into the routine.
Stick with this program for as long as the products last, and resist the urge to swap something out just because you want to try something new.
For someone who has a giant stash of beauty products (guilty as charged!), this approach has had an unexpected benefit—finally working through all the amazing products I have!
It also will help you truly understand if what you’re using is actually working on your skin. By focusing on one (or just a couple) powerful products, you can tell what really works, reduce the chances of having any bad reactions.
And finally, because the routine is so simple, not only are there fewer chances for bad product interactions, but you’ll also know what to cut out if there are.
I’m doing a whole post on this next Tuesday! Come back for details then. I’ll share what products I’m using and loving.