Is it time to embrace “skinimalism”?

Dr. Shaaira Nasir, consultant dermatologist at sk:n, reveals the benefits of a simple and stripped-back approach to skincare.

Hair & Beauty

With trends such as the “three-product morning routine” and “simple night-time skincare regime” circulating social media, it is evident we have a hunger for skin minimalism.

In fact, Pinterest recently reported a 4x year-on-year increase in searches for "how to get naturally glowing skin" in 2021, and a 180% year-on-year increase in searches for "natural everyday make-up".

But is the term “skinimalism” just a buzzword or when it comes to skincare, is less more?

Here, Dr. Shaaira Nasir, consultant dermatologist at sk:n shares her expert insight into the benefits of skinimalism and how to adopt a minimalist approach for an effective skincare regime.  

The Benefits of Skinimalism

There is no doubt that stripping back our skincare regime can benefit the back pocket, ultimately fewer products will cost less. However, the real benefit of skinimalism happens when using fewer products, as this can significantly reduce the chance of irritating conditions such as acne and eczema.

Many of us use similar ingredients in our skin care routines twice without realising it, for example acid in a face wash and then toner, which can lead to problems with skin barrier interruption and cause these skin conditions to flare up.

Reducing the number of products which can irritate the skin, such as acids, retinols, and vitamin C, limits the risk of irritation.

Skin cream

The Do’s and Don’ts

When adopting a minimalist approach to skincare, it’s important we consider our skin type and any concerns we have and based on this select products for the problem we want to solve.

For example, those with dry skin will want to opt for gentle cleansers and creamier/thicker moisturisers.

If you want to use acids, gentler acids such as lactic acid are best to avoid irritation. Those with oily skin will benefit more from foaming washes and gel moisturisers.

We can sometimes fall victim of adding to our skin care routine if we don’t feel we are getting the desired results and over time end up using many more products than we started out with.

However, by stripping our skincare regimen back to a few products which specifically target our skin concerns, we can tackle problems much more effectively.

Where to start?

Take things slow and ease into a basic skincare regimen. By waiting a few weeks in between making changes it’s much easier to assess which products are helping and which products are harming our skin.

Start with a basic skincare regime which includes a cleanser, moisturiser, and SPF. Then add in products based on skin needs for example, those wanting to focus on wrinkles and fine lines may want to add vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol at night.

If adding in new products wait 3-4 weeks before adding in a new one, to give the skin a chance to adapt to one skincare product at a time in case of skin reaction.

Glossier Invisible Shield

Which three products should always feature in our skincare routines?

To form a basic skincare regime, begin with a face cleanser which is suitable for your skin. The kind of cleanser you use depends on your skin type. Hydrating/gentle cleansers are best for dry skin whilst foaming cleansers are best for oily skin.

Follow your cleanser with moisturiser, hyaluronic acid moisturisers can be used by all skin types, and SPF (factor 30 and above).  

In terms of layering, begin by washing the face, then applying moisturiser, then finish with SPF (only in the mornings).

Always layer the lightest to the thinnest product and wait a few minutes for the products to absorb before adding to this to avoid pilling.

Less is more

By reducing the number of skincare products we use, it enhances the way they work. Using too many active ingredients such as acids, peptides, vitamin C, retinol and so on can cause significant skin irritation.

So, it really is true to say that less is more and, in this case, better for our skin.

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