When it comes to skincare, many have long been under the impression that more is more – the more active-packed serums you apply, the glowier your skin will be. However, just as living life to excess always backfires eventually, excessive skincare efforts can leave behind a trail of destruction too, in the form of a compromised skin barrier, redness, irritation, and in some cases acne. Enter: skinimalism, the angel to that extreme skincare devil on your shoulder, and a tonic for our times (and bank balances).
What is skinimalism? Well, according to Pinterest’s 2021 Trend Predictions Report, it describes the stripping back of our skincare (and make-up) routines in favour of a more minimalist approach; whether that means reducing the number of products and active ingredients in our routines, or simply wearing less foundation to allow our real skin to shine through. It’s about taking a few steps back, harnessing the power of multitasking products, and ultimately committing to a more sustainable (and often cheaper) beauty routine.
The constant barrage of information around new ingredients and formulas has left many consumers confused, and as a result overdoing it. “The most common thing I see with new clients is irritation, sometimes in the form of rashes, inflamed breakouts, redness and flare-ups of conditions like peri-oral dermatitis,” says facialist Debbie Thomas. “This is because using too many products, trying new formulas each day, layering incorrectly or combining too many actives overwhelms, overstimulates and confuses the skin.” Overwhelmed, the skin essentially gives up, and we never see the benefits of the actives we’re using.
So, how to transition from a slather-fest to a skinimalist regime? First, it helps to know the facts. “A good formula does it all,” points out Colette Haydon, formulator and founder of Lixirskin. “There is no such thing as a product which is good for one part of your skin and not the other – all skin shares the same everyday needs.” With this in mind, you can avoid buying two moisturisers – one for day and one for night, for example – and stick with one well-made formula. See? Easy and affordable.
Equally important to know is that a single multitasking product, when formulated well, can contain more than one active ingredient, and at the correct ratios for the skin. “When we, as consumers, try and blend several one-ingredient serums to achieve the same result, it is almost impossible,” says Thomas. Some ingredients actively work against one another; others do a similar job; and then there are those that actively enhance each other. To truly understand all of these things takes the expertise of a good formulator, one with years of experience. Googling simply won’t cut it – one reason why so many are getting it wrong.
Both experts advise against routines that comprise 15 products and multiple steps. Instead, they say, it is better for the environment and your skin to take it back to basics – or to “skinimise” what you’re using. While Haydon has created an entire skincare range, Lixir, around the concept of multitasking products, other brands like Allies of Skin and MZ Skin also offer carefully considered, multi-pronged formulas. Then there is the rise of online dermatology brands, like Skin + Me, that offer custom-blended skincare formulas (which often contain more than one active), care of dermatologists.
So, what are you waiting for? The simple life awaits.
Lixirskin Electrogel Cleanser
£25, available at Lookfantastic.com.
MZ Skin Cleanse & Clarify Dual Action AHA Cleanser And Mask
£58, available at Feelunique.com.
Read more: The Best Cleansers
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler [+ Hyaluronic Acid] Gel Face Wash
£7.99, available at Lookfantastic.com.
SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF Antioxidant Serum
£145, available at Lookfantastic.com.
Allies Of Skin Multi Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum
£72, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk.
This Works Stress Check CBD + CICA Booster
£38, available at Spacenk.com.
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF30
£30, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk.
Murad Oil & Pore Control Mattifier SPF 45
£35, available at Marksandspencer.com.
Lixirskin Universal Emulsion
£29, available at Lookfantastic.com.
Kate Somerville +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer
£79, available at Spacenk.com.
Sisley Phyto-Blanc Le Soin Correcting Brightening Moisturizer
£241, available at Selfridges.com.
Read more: The Best SPF For Face
Medik8 Crystal Retinal 20
£89, available at Facethefuture.co.uk.
Paula’s Choice CBD Oil + Retinol
£47, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk.
Chantecaille Gold Recovery Intense Concentrate PM
£300, available at Lookfantastic.com.
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