It is essential to follow a skincare routine no matter what your skin type, age or what current skin concerns are. Having a solid, results driven skincare routine keeps skin healthy, glowing and ideally we look forward to prioritizing this self care time to connect with ourselves.
It is however easy to become overwhelmed by all the beauty products available today. We can quickly get wrapped up by the marketing, promises, influence, bells and whistles of the skincare industry.
I assure you that in my experience of working with hundreds of clients, using an over complicated and excess multi step routine is unnecessary and disruptive to the skin. Time is also of the essence and a luxury for many in today’s world. We all know that an overcomplicated routine of any sort that does not align with our schedules quickly goes out the window.
Contrary to what the conventional beauty industry and mass marketing establishments would like us to believe, a pared down minimalist skin care routine will absolutely keep skin thriving and is deeply effective in delivering skin supportive and nourishing results. I never had a facial client who did not benefit from a less is more approach to their skin care rituals.
It is first imperative to understand your individual skin needs before purchasing skincare products. This in relation to your skin type, skin conditions you are experiencing, as well as the season changes and climate you live in. You can check out my best summer skincare practices here to keep skin cool and bright skin during the warmer seasons.
Daily Minimalist Skincare Routine
Take time to connect with your skin. How does your skin feel? Do you have any current inflammation? Are you using any products that you intuitively feel aren’t supportive? Do you have 1 or 2 main goals for your skin? Ask yourself (and your skin!) questions so you know what you are looking for in products and are less likely to be swayed by influence and marketing.
This awareness assists us in discernment around purchases and prevents impulse purchasing where we end up wasting money on products that do not serve our skin. Which all brings me to the many advantages of having a minimalist skincare routine.
A minimalist approach to your skin care routine allows the skin care products you are using to do their job correctly. This avoids creating a pH imbalance or pH interference from too many products enmeshing on the skin and prevents pores from becoming clogged, aggravated and suffocating the skin with too many ingredients.
Layering too many products to the skin becomes heavy on a molecular level.
The skin begins looking dull and lackluster because too many ingredients are sitting on top of the skin and blocking your natural skin glow from reflecting. An over abundance of heavy products on the skin also slows down skin cell turnover due to this heaviness and will result in dull a complexion.
Incorrectly combining and layering active ingredient skincare products such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid or retinoids can be detrimental for the skin barrier.
Different hydroxy acids and chemical exfoliators have a different purpose. Some work to unclog pores and absorb excess oil, such as salicylic acid. Glycolic acid, on the other hand, works a bit deeper and is used more for anti-aging purposes.
Blindly layering these types of exfoliants on the skin becomes destructive to the microbiome and PH of the skin. If you are already experiencing any type of skin inflammation, incorrect use of exfoliants will further increase inflammation and sensitize the skin.
Multi-layered skincare routines also become complicated if you are trying to heal a certain skin concern or skin condition because you have no idea what is working and what is not working. I always recommended clients to begin a minimalist skin care routine by first pairing down to the basics, which is what we will get into shortly.
As you can see there are a variety of reasons why and how using too many products becomes stressful for the skin. There are overall numerous skin situations that I have seen clients experience from over complicated routines.
How To Create A Minimalist Skincare Routine
To curate a solid minimalist skincare routine, start with the fundamentals.
Ideally you want to curate each product with an intention. Give products time to connect with your skin so they have the capacity to deliver the results they have been formulated for. Depending on the product, you’ll need up to 4-6 weeks to see changes within the skin.
You’ll often see results quickest with cleansers, usually this means ditching stripping cleansers and opting for cleansers that do not strip the acid mantle. You’ll see results quickly in this scenario because you’ve stopped interfering with the skin’s natural PH every time you cleanse and aren’t disrupting your skin microbiome.
With serums, oils and active botanicals left on the skin, this is where you want to give or take 4-6 weeks to start seeing changes in the skin.
Last but not least we are all guilty of having products that wind up sitting in our bathroom that we do nothing with. This wastes products from a monetary expense and leftover products end up as run off into the environment. A minimalist skin care routine not only nourishes our skin but is supportive to the environment and striving towards a small carbon footprint.
Now for the fun stuff, let’s get rooted in a solid minimalist skincare routine! Naturally, I’m keeping it minimal with the recommended products below. These are products I can confidently say I resonate with, as I’ve either used them myself or seen them universally work on most all skin types throughout my facial clientele. Enjoy!
Step 1 Cleanse
Chronic use of harsh cleansers are deeply disruptive to the skin barrier. A gentle cleanser is a skincare routine must have no matter the skin type, concern or condition. A well formulated cleanser will remove make-up effortlessly so you can safely ditch the make-up wipes too. Less is more! To begin, love Marie Veronique EO Free Cleanser and Grown Alchemist Cream Cleanser. You may notice I mention these products often but that is because they are the bee’s knees when it comes to product lines and through all my experience with products, they each offer a fantastic price point for their products too!
Step 2 Skin Tone
Laurel Skin delivers absolute botanical purity to the skin and I love their way their hydrosol collection delivers single ingredient skin medicine to the complexion. You’ll find calendula, chamomile and California rose throughout their single ingredient hydrosols collection. These are an incredible way to align with a minimalist approach for your skincare routine.
Step 3 Skin Serum
Although the term serum is often interchanged between water based and oil based products, I refer to serums as water based products when layering our skincare products. Always apply water based products first, oils and moisturizers second. A quality Vitamin C Serum or Hyaluronic Acid serum are fantastic ingredients to seek out in water based formulas.
No surprise here, I’m a daily user of Mare Veronique’s Vitamin C serum and I have experienced my dark spots lightening with consistent use of this serum. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants for the skin and is essential for the skin’s collagen production to both repair and rebuild. Do not sleep on using a daily quality Vitamin C serum!
If hydration is a substantial concern for you, opt for Osea’s hyaluronic acid serum to layer under your face oil or moisturizer.
Step 4 Eye Products
Love a great eye product! The key is formulations that absorb well into the skin to avoid products leaking into the eye or causing make-up to smear. As much as I love oils and balms, they can become bothersome around the eye area. Kinship Eye Cream absorbs rather quickly into the skin, as it is a cream, which I really enjoy!
Step 5 Face Oil
When integrating skin minimalism into our skincare routine, you can’t go wrong with 1 ingredient products that you can use day and night! My most beloved single ingredient face oils are Plum Oil and Marula Oil.
While not as popular as other single oils, Plum Oil is is exceptionally high in antioxidants, a light molecular weight, making it a non-comedogenic oil (will not clog your pores) and is suitable for sensitive skin and acne prone skin due to it’s linoleic acid properties. Marula Oil is another anti-oxidant packed decadent facial oil. Marula oil is suited exceptionally well for normal to dryer skin types and is slightly richer in consistency than plum oil.
Pro Tip – Anti-oxidants are key to slowing down skin aging or anti aging. Oxidative stress and free radical damage break down skin tissue of all skin types. A key tip to an effective minimalist skincare routine is high quality, powerful anti-oxidant packed products intentional curated that deliver results within each use.
Step 6 SPF
A daily broad spectrum SPF is highly recommended by most board certified dermatologists to protect skin from excess from sun exposure. Instead of applying both SPF and make-up, you can easily opt for a tinted SPF and ditch the extra step of applying foundation. Suntegrity SPF offers a well formulated SPF 30 and is available in a variety of wonderful shades.
Pro Tip – Apply non-chemical SPFs, tinted or not, as you would foundation. We tend to rub and work most products into skin, which isn’t wrong but SPF product piling may happen with mineral based SPF due to the mineral content. Apply your mineral SPF when skin is still slightly slick from oil and paint or lightly feather it onto your skin instead of fully attempting to rub in. This was always a super helpful tip for clients!
Through a skin minimalism approach, we are able to pare down the amount products we use and the amount of ingredients our skin has to recognize and metabolize without compromising results. Skin minimalism allows our skin more time to rest, rejuvenate and offers our intentionally curated skincare products the space to deliver superior results.