I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you’ll never have perfect skin… and you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to get it. Our skincare routines have become long and complex as consumers are armed with more knowledge but also more confusion. 2020 specifically allowed us to explore more skincare but resulted in a lot of overload and overconsumption. Overloading your skin with too many products can disrupt the skin’s natural barrier, leading to breakouts, dryness, flaking, tight skin, redness, and overall skin sensitivity.
Instead, the trend is turning to using fewer products with a higher payoff. Put simply, “skinimalism” is about minimalism in your skincare routine. 2021 is all about routines that are focused, effective, and clear in their intentions. Let’s dive into how we got to such an overloaded place and what the skinimalist’s approach is to combatting it.
Pursuit of Perfection
Real skin has texture; real skin has pores. Any interpretation of a face that suggests otherwise is likely an artistic rendering of the truth. Nonetheless, we have been inundated with picture-perfect images of flawless faces on Instagram, leading us down a never-ending and unfulfilling pursuit of something that doesn’t actually exist. This quest made us fall prey to dubious marketing filled with vague and empty claims.
Show grace toward your natural face: freckles, acne, texture, pigment, and all. It’s not realistic to simply say embrace your “flaws” because some things are valid concerns and they can be bothersome. However, determine what is actually a problem and what are things you’ve been taught to believe are problems but would not ordinarily be bothered by otherwise. I promise there is no need for FOMO in skincare as everyone is on their own journey. Determine what your primary concerns are and focus on addressing them.
Brands spend big on influencer marketing knowing that consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by their favorite guru, esthetician, or dermatologist. The influencer market has grown so large, it is difficult for consumers to decipher what is true and honest and what is purely backed by financial motivation. While influencer marketing shows no sign of slowing down, it is important we as consumers take our personal skin condition and needs into account. Just because an influencer claims a product is great, doesn’t mean that it will work for you.
Be a conscious consumer. Consumerism in the beauty industry is rampant because we’re willing to buy things with no real motivation to back our purchase decisions. It’s OK to be interested in products your favorite influencer is pushing, but do your own research. Check reviews from various sources, read the comments, find other consumers who have tried the product, and take into account if their skin profile and concerns match yours. Several websites allow you to filter reviews by things like skin tone, skin type, age, and primary concern. Lastly, ask yourself why you want to buy this. Have you already been on a hunt for a product like this? Have you had your eye on it for a really long time but have yet to pull the trigger?
Single-ingredient serums are those that contain one active ingredient, and for the most part, not much else. Single-ingredient serums were touted as a cost-effective way to minimize and simplify routines. In actuality, the rise of single-ingredient skincare has made routines long, complicated, and confusing. A routine based on single-ingredient products relies on the consumer to play the role of chemist. The average consumer simply does not know enough about skin science to do this effectively and is layering several individual products that were not formulated to be together resulting in skin that is overwhelmed and irritated.
Swap single-ingredient serums for multi-ingredient serums that feature an appealing ingredient profile. These products feature 1-3 star ingredients in addition to a few key supporting actors that work together to better your skin. For example, many vitamin C serums are formulated with hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide is an increasingly popular addition in many products. If you feel you’re not getting enough of an ingredient, then use single-ingredient products as a booster. The benefit of multi-ingredient serums is that the ingredients are already formulated to work in synergy. This means less concern for adverse reactions and a simpler, faster routine that could be more cost-effective in the long run.
How to Become A Skinmalist:
Be sure you understand what an item is actually intended to do. For example, “brightening” does not necessarily equal a product that will fade dark spots, and if the brand does not call out dark spots specifically, then you shouldn’t expect it to do anything for that.
Limit your active ingredients. You do not need a cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer all with acne-fighting ingredients. See if you can get away with keeping your cleanser and moisturizer basic and let your serums do the work. This will help to avoid unnecessary duplication of ingredients. Your skin will thank you.
See a professional. Skincare is complicated, and the information we’re given is often conflicting and confusing. This is where estheticians and dermatologists come into play–use them! That’s what they’re here for!