When it comes to making progress or setting new goals, most of us tend to think about what we need to add. More walks, more travel, more time spent with friends. But could the key to having more actually be less?
We're talking about minimalism, defined as a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. Minimalism is not about restricting what you love or moving towards less, less, less, say Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, co-founders of The Minimalist. Instead, it's an effort to strip away excess and make room for non-material goals: more time, more health, more experiences.
This concept seems to be resonating right now, big time. Maybe its because we were stuck inside with all our stuff every day during the pandemic (hello, concert tees gathering dust). Maybe it's part of our overall quest to live more natural, less complicated lives. Whatever the reason, minimalism is having a big moment, and we think there are some good reasons to get on board—particularly when it comes to beauty.
One way to adopt the trend is through skinimalism. This word-blend is about stripping back our skincare and makeup routines with fewer products and less foundation. The end goal? Letting our real skin shine through while allowing more space for other life priorities. In addition to freeing up time and energy, skinimalism can benefit the environment and our wallets through reduced waste, packaging and purchases.
But does skinimalism mean we have to sacrifice our hard-won glow? Not at all. It's about finding the simplest, cleanest, most convenient way to shine. It's a change in thinking—understanding that a painstaking routine isn't always the answer.
Are You Overdoing It?
While it would be awesome if there were a direct correlation between the number of products we layer on and the results we see, it turns out, sometimes the opposite is true. Too many steps in a skincare routine can be overwhelming and actually prevent us from getting the results we want. For example, using too many products at once or switching formulas too often can cause irritation in the form of rashes, inflamed acne, or flare-ups of rosacea and psoriasis. Many common ingredients can even counteract one another. Right after a chemical peel, for example, slathering on Vitamin C is pointless because the acids will break the serum down. Similarly, retinol and benzoyl peroxide render each other useless if used together.
Picking the Right Products for You
Skincare is indeed a delicate dance, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Remember, the point of skinimalism isn't to use zero products, but to simplify by using only the right products for you. Some tips to get you started:
- Samples for the win: Finding your skinimal routine may require a bit of trial-and-error testing to find what works for your skin and beauty needs. (Hint: Have you met Birchbox?)
- Cutting steps: If your current skincare routine is exhausting, try cutting out a few steps and see how you feel. Maybe instead of makeup remover, followed by a cleanser, followed by a daily exfoliant, micellar water is all you need. A friend may swear by exfoliating, toning, and moisturizing each day, but your skin might thrive with a simple face wash, serum, and once-a-week mask.
- Multipurpose products to look for: Today's multipurpose solutions go way beyond that 3-in-1 shower wash. Look for concealers or foundations fortified with acne-fighting or skin-plumping serums. Creams often double as serums now, too, incorporating anti-aging ingredients or brightening agents like Vitamin C.
- Nutritional solutions: A common byproduct of healthy living is glowing skin. By drinking plenty of water, eating your fruits and veggies, and taking a daily nutritional supplement, you may find your skin needs fewer products than before. (Hint: Awesome Woman At-Home Skin Lab delivers skin-healthy nutritional supplements right to your door.)
Skinimalism Within Reach
With powerful products and a fresh mindset, a minimalist lifestyle can be joyful, freeing, and within reach.
Picture this: you're packing for a flight. Instead of filling your carry-on with beauty products, you just bring your core four. Ta-da! Not only do you have everything you need for a fresh face, you still have room for your book, snack bars, resistance bands—and the neck pillow fits, too?? Yes, yes it does.
While a self-described social butterfly, I find empowerment in my independence. Taking myself on a spur of the moment solo vacation, dinner dates to new restaurants or parts of the city where my company is solely the characters in the book I bring, visiting the local bar and getting to know the bartenders over a glass of wine… or 3. I find that intimate moments with myself leave me feeling brave, confident, and empowered to take on the world without depending on anything else as a buffer. It also gives me time to reflect, plan, journal and explore new places at my own pace.