As the name suggests, being a combination of “skin” and “minimalism”, the skinimalism movement is all about simplifying your skin care – saving time, money, and the planet’s resources – by creating a minimalist skincare regime that gets you a healthy, glowing skin with the bare minimum in your bathroom cabinet.
SKINIMALISM GOES MAINSTREAM
Around since early 2021, with #skinimalism popping up on TikTok and in social media beauty-focused threads, the once-niche trend has gone mainstream over the past 12 months with many beauty brands focusing on minimalist skin care regimens that hero highly effective, actives-packed, multi-tasking products that support healthy, balanced skin with an uncomplicated ‘three to five product’ skincare strategy. It’s a stark departure from the 10-step skincare routine that flooded social media in the form of beauty ‘shelfies’ all over skinfluencers’ Instagram feeds in 2010, causing “it” products to go viral, and sell out faster than a new lip kit from a Jenner sister.
HAS THE 10-STEP BUBBLE BURST?
As desirable the luxurious line-up of glow-getting lotions and potions perfectly positioned for an Instagram-worthy ‘shelfie’ was, turns out having a jam-packed bathroom shelf of cleansers, toners, exfoliators, serums, face oils, moisturisers, and other ‘10-step skincare’ must-haves, can overload the skin, causing sensitivity and irritation. It’s also time-consuming and expensive. All those late night ‘add to cart’ moments after scrolling through the ‘viral’ must-haves add up!
The expense of it aside, the 10-step skin care routine also isn’t as popular as it once was due to the fact that – as dermatologists have been saying for a while – ten steps means ten different products which means a whole lot of irritants and conflicting formulations in one skin routine, which opens your skin up to all sorts of side effects and long-term issues. Fact is, use of too many high-strength active ingredients can do more harm than good, damaging your skin’s barrier and making it more difficult to treat concerns like hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles.
BUT CAN LESS REALLY DO MORE?
The short answer? Yes. Sure, if you’ve been a 10-step fan for a few years, cutting out a few steps may feel like a radical thing to do but it’s not only really worth exploring (for your skin and your bank balance), it’s also really supported by the industry’s top skincare experts and dermatologists.
Not only does using fewer products drastically reduce the chances of negative side effects and unwanted ingredient-related reactions, but it’s more sustainable from a cost perspective – enabling you to stay consistent with your skincare regime all-year round rather than chopping and changing according to whether or not you got that performance bonus you were banking on.
If you’re keen to adopt a more pared-back skincare routine be prepared to put in a bit more effort when you start, as it can take a little time to figure out which one multi-tasking product gets you the results several different products used to. Also, be open to trying out gentler ingredients and plant-based alternatives like bakuchiol, nature’s answer to retinol.
SKINCARE TRENDS COME AND GO BUT GREAT SKIN IS ALWAYS ‘IN’
All the above being said, skinimalism, like any trend, may not be for everyone. If one of the highlights of your day is slathering on your many daily serums, creams and oils, and your 10-step routine isn’t irritating or damaging your skin, then stick to the ‘more is more’ approach for your bathroom cabinet and maybe give the ‘no makeup’ makeup trend a go instead. I mean, that skin of yours deserves to be showcased not covered up.