For some people a minimalist skincare routine is all about having a minimal amount of products. It might be to save time, space, money or to avoid over cleaning and treating their skin.
For others minimalist skincare is not about how many products they own, but using products with very few ingredients. They might focus on minimally processed natural ingredients. They might buy certain brands that contain few ingredients. They might make their own lotions and potions.
For some it’s about minimal packaging so they have minimal waste when they are finished.
My Minimalist Skincare Routine
Minimalism for me is about simplifying the things I do day-to-day and creating space to feel grounded and present. I hate feeling rushed. It makes me anxious. So I take my time with a short routine of rinsing my face with tepid water first thing in the morning and applying moisturizer and an eye cream. And later, after I’ve done my gratitude journaling, meditation, workout and had breakfast, I put on sunscreen and make-up. Though make-up is optional. It depends how polished I want to feel. I will write about my make-up choices in a future post.
In the evening I usually have very little energy so I want to gently cleanse my face and apply no more than a few products (serum, moisturizer and eye cream) and go to bed. I enjoy the process with a facial massage I learned from Reverse the Signs of Ageing: The Revolutionary Inside-Out Plan to Glowing, Youthful Skin, but often times I skip this step. I’m not a night person. At all.
In terms of the actual products I use, it’s varied throughout the years. I like to experiement – I’ve used drugstore brands like Neutrogena, fancy department store brands like Enro Laszlo, multi level marketing brands like Arbonne, and small independent brands like Stark Skincare.
Right now, I’m avoiding ingredients that cause me irritation – read more about my reactive skin here – so I’m using products recommended by Dr. Sandy Skotnicki author of Beyond Soap: The Real Truth About What You Are Doing to Your Skin and How to Fix It for a Beautiful, Healthy Glow as well as a few DIY recipes.
This past year I’ve also outsourced some of my skincare. I see a medical esthetician for a monthly treatment following a plan she created for me after I had a Visia Skin Complexion Analysis. It has included a series of Venus Freeze treatments, IPL (in the winter) and a bit of microdermabrasion.
Creating Your Minimalist Skincare Routine
Learn your skin type. I think seeing an esthetician or dermatologist can help you figure this out, but they may try to sell you their product line. An impulse purchase is not what you want to do as a minimalist so if you are still working on the refuse part of the 5 Rs, then do your best to determine your skin type on your own.
Ask yourself what you want from your skincare routine. Be specific.
Knowing your goals and what’s important to you ingredient-wise will help you decide on the right products and routine for you.
What is your budget?
How much time do you have for skincare?
Do you engage in any activities that may require specific products (like more sunscreen because you alpine ski)?
Do you have reactive skin and experience irritation on the regular. Do you know what is troubling your skin?
If you do have irritation you can see a dermatologist for a patch test to determine if you have a known allergy (I did that a few years back and it was helpful). Or you can consider going on a skin product detox. Much like a food elimination diet with a product elimination diet you remove the most common allergens and irritants for a period of time and then slowly reintroduce products one by one to figure out what is triggering what.
Then, when you have your answers, start researching brands that suit your needs and budget. Remember that there are effective products at all price points.
Also, research DIY product recipes if that interests you. Two of my favourite blogs on the subject are Madeleine Olivia and Wellness Mama. There are some super simple, inexpensive and effective options in your pantry. I think a mix of both choices is a great way to go.
If you are looking to simplify your skincare routine, I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions for me please post in the comments or head over to Instagram. It’s the best way to reach me.
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