Minimalist Beauty Routine

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It’s been a rough 18 months for the world. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on everything from finance to skincare. The stay-at-home pandemic was all about embracing minimal beauty products and hone into what worked for our skin. Simplified skincare can sure beat being saddled with over a dozen products that sit around in our cabinets, rarely used after the initial few enthusiastic weeks. In practice, very few people have the time or motivation to have elaborate rituals every day. Further, many treatments react with each other and can reduce efficacy or even increase the risk of inflammation.

Most experts recommend the following for everyday use – cleanser, sunscreen, moisturizer, and serum. Everything else is either optional or for occasional use- for example, most dermatologists encourage exfoliators, but those should be used once a week. Most toners do absolutely nothing. Experts also warn against electronic cleansing brushes, which are too harsh on the face. Face rollers and gua sha are also best administered by trained professionals – most home users tend to overdo these.

The easiest way to cut down on the products is by experimenting with elimination. Take stock of all the products that you own and use only one from each category for the next two weeks. For example, if you have three moisturizers at home, pick one for the next two weeks and see if your skin responds to it. If not, move on to the next until you find the best in every category. Donate everything that does not work for you or repurpose it. (For example, moisturizers that do not work for your face can still be used on your body). Of course, save the products you use as occasional treats – such as face masks or chemical peels. A more sustainable option for single-use sheet masks is clay masks that come in a jar, which are just as effective and better value for money.

Skincare is not one size fits all, so do experiment and find out what works for you. Products that work well for your friends, family members, or even your favorite celebrities might not work on your skin. Also, beware of celebrities known to emerge out of $500 facials and facelift clinics endorsing drugstore skincare. We all know that is not how they got their flawless skin. Of course, if you have specific concerns such as acne, eczema, or rosacea, you will require specialized treatments to address them. But otherwise, the truest skincare will come from the nutrition you provide to your body – eat colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins, and that will likely do your skin much more of a favor than trying on 25 different serums and gels. Skincare is a booming industry – 130 billion dollars strong – and it got that way by making people believe they needed far more than they do. Pick your basics and stick to the routine -that will take you a lot further than trying out every new thing in the market.

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