Everything you need to know about skin minimalism

Less is more.

Harper's Bazaar India

The skincare universe has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last few years. We’ve gone from simply washing our faces and wearing sunscreen (and maybe moisturiser) to having convoluted 12-step routines that involve skincare tools and products from all over the world. However, this has also taught us that just because we are using 7,000 different products on our faces (we exaggerate for effect) doesn’t mean guaranteed results. In fact, it can leave our moisture barrier compromised and our skin irritated. 

Thankfully, most of us learned our lesson and cut back. And even though our skincare drawers are overflowing with impulse buys, cult-favourite (aka viral) products and of course, the bare essentials, not all of it has made it to our new and revised skincare routine. Before you judge us for hoarding, allow me to explain to you the trend that has made this possible—skin minimalism. Think about it like a capsule wardrobe for your skincare products. Only the most hardworking ones with a few actives and hero ingredients snag a spot in your daily routine. The rest are either for show or need to be pushed into an early retirement.  

Why adopt skin minimalism? 
Skin minimalism is more than a passing trend. Based on the ‘less is more’ philosophy, it preaches the use of fewer, more hardworking products to get targeted results. This way you know that your skincare concerns are being looked after. A sort of guarantee that an elaborate skincare routine just can’t offer you. Not to mention, by cutting out the clutter you’re saving on to your time, money and energy as well. It’s about prioritising and focusing on your skin’s needs instead of slapping various products on and hoping one or two of them actually get the job done.  

How to start a minimalist skincare routine 

Identify your skin type  
First things first, identify your skin type. Since skin minimalism is all about targeted results, knowing your skin type would tell you a lot about your concerns and the products that would work for you. For instance, if you have dry skin then you would know to include some heavy-based moisturisers in your routine. 

Prioritise the essentials   
All skincare routines, minus their bells and whistles come down to three things—cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen. However, let me tell you something. No one needs three foam cleansers. Once you have your bare essentials set, you move on to figuring out what your skin needs and what active ingredients would help your skin. And only invest in serums and creams with those actives. If your skincare routine has more than four to five products (unless they are dermatologist suggested) you should reconsider.  

Pick the right products 
No matter what product is going crazy viral on social media, you need to focus on products that work for you rather than the ones you have to work for. The best way to do this is to focus on products that perform two or more functions. Who doesn’t love a good multi-tasking product? For instance, pick a serum that hydrates and works to get rid of dark spots. A solution to two problems in one bottle.