Skinimalism 101: why a less-is-more approach is taking over our skincare routines

1 July 2022
By Nicole Saunders

If the mere thought of slathering on serum after serum makes you feel exhausted, then it's probably time to embrace the latest skincare trend, which champions a pared-back approach.

Given the ever-growing number of skincare products that promise to solve every imaginable complexion concern, it’s easy to feel the need to cram as many different ingredients into your beauty routine as possible. But while a lengthy and overly complicated regimen consisting of a mind-boggling number of steps was once the norm, more beauty buffs and experts are paring back their routines and adopting ‘skinimalism’.

So, what is skinimalism exactly?

“Skinimalism is a move away from the extensive multiple-step-routine trend that originated in Korea,” explains Emma Hobson, director of education for Dermalogica Asia Pacific.

To put it very simply, skinimalism is a pared-back approach to skincare. Rather than loading up your routine with various serums, exfoliators, masks, and treatments, skinimalism champions the straightforward-yet-effective skincare regimen.

Why should I give skinimalism a go?

There are a handful of reasons to go ahead and embrace skinimalism in your beauty routine. For starters, if your complicated multi-step skincare routine is starting to feel like a chore each morning and evening, it might be time to cull your regime to include the essentials only. 

“With time pressures on people coupled with a shift to a simpler, less complicated life, skinimalism has emerged into a daily routine with a concise line-up of multi-taskers supporting the time-poor but also a way to help balance the budget,” explains Hobson.

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But it’s not only your bank account and free time that will benefit: skinimalism could boost the overall health of your skin. Your skin should never be the subject of an at-home science project, but once you start slathering on an endless number of skincare products loaded with active ingredients, it can quickly become one.

While an extensive routine packed with various trend-driven ingredients and products might seem like the way to achieve your skin goals, often, the opposite is true. Over-treating skin with exfoliators, retinol-based products, and at-home treatments can quickly lead to sensitised skin that’s angry and inflamed.

“Simplifying your routine is great for anyone who tends to have sensitised, irritated skin that can be reactive to a more complex, active skincare mix,” explains Hobson. “By choosing multi-tasking premium skincare that uses state-of-the-art, proven ingredient technology, skinimalism is ideal for those that prefer a low-maintenance routine, but still want to achieve visible results.”

Skininmalism might seem as easy as decluttering your routine and simply using a handful of favourite products. But for your skinimalistic approach to skincare to be effective and deliver noticeable results, you’ll want to ensure you’re using the right select-few products. Here is some easy-to-follow advice that will help you do just that.

Avoid falling for short-lived fads and skincare trends by seeking expert advice and investing in products that address your concerns.

With numerous products launching daily, it’s easy to get caught up in skincare trends and hit ‘add to cart’ without giving it a second thought. While you certainly don’t have to overthink your routine, investing a little time into planning your regimen will pay off in the long run.

Look for products that target your specific skin goals and concerns. For example, if you’ve got well-balanced skin, you probably don’t need to include breakout-banishing salicylic acid in your daily routine. 

Of course, skincare can be overwhelming, and it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. If you’re unsure what ingredients will benefit your unique skin type, it might be an excellent time to seek the advice of a great skin therapist who can formulate the ideal routine for your complexion.

Try out next-gen multi-tasking products.

Most of us have more than one skin concern we’d like to address, which is why it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you need to purchase every skincare ingredient under the sun. Fortunately, next-generation multi-tasking skincare solutions are able to tackle an endless array of skin issues in just one product.

“A perfect example of this is Dermalogica Smart Response Serum,” says Hobson. “This lightweight serum provides four skin benefits in one: soothing, firming, brightening and hydrating. It utilises ‘Smart Response technology’ that can read signals in the skin to deliver what the skin needs, when it needs it, and where it needs it.”

Always start with the basics.

Not sure where to begin? Include the foundations of great skin within your routine, and you’ll be on the right track. Start with a great cleanser – look to spend your dollars on formulations that are multi-tasking and contain active ingredients. For example, cleansers formulated with chemical exfoliators will slough away dull skin cells, and those with the added benefit of vitamin C will help enhance skin luminosity. Invest in a hydrating moisturiser that works for your skin type, a nourishing serum packed with active ingredients, and then build from there. And if you really want to pare things back, choose a super-effective serum and moisturiser combo that you can use both morning and evening. 

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