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What is ‘skinimalism’ according to the experts?

What is ‘skinimalism’ according to the experts?

Discovering the most pared back trend in beauty

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by choice? Nowadays we’re inundated with so much to choose from – from our coffee order to our washing machine settings (we’re still lost on this one) – and beauty’s no exception. With complex, ten-step skincare routines now the norm for many, sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin. However, according to a recent Pinterest trend report, the antithesis to the complex routine is on the horizon for 2021; say hello to skinimalism.

This new trend will be a welcome change for anyone who’s lost interest in layering too many products onto their skin, and instead prefers using a select few essentials to keep their complexion looking and feeling healthy.

Skin expert Dr Fabusiwa believes the trend is born from ‘information overload’. “Every week a novel product or revolutionary ingredient is being recommended to us,” she says. “People can get caught up in the hype and before you know it, you’re piling on one active ingredient after the next without putting much thought into how they're interacting with each other, as well as with our skin.” This can of course lead to undesirable effects, with skin concerns such as sensitivity, irritation and inflammation all possible if you overload the skin’s barrier. With this in mind, skinimalism is a trend that’s welcomed by dermatologists and doctors like Dr Fabusiwa, “The benefits of a simple skin routine are the kinder-to-skin ingredients that are sustainable to your skin and the environment,” she says.

But it’s also important that, no matter how stripped back your routine becomes, you don’t leave out the ingredients that work for you. Dr Fabusiwa suggests focusing on the three basics first – cleansing, moisturising and wearing SPF. “It's important to focus on these steps and make sure you're doing them right – pick the right cleanser for your skin type and cleanse for 60-seconds, moisturise according to your skin's needs and then diligently apply and reapply your SPF.” If there’s one thing that should never be left out of a stripped back routine, it’s the often-skipped SPF.

“SPF is a frequently forgotten element of our skincare routines, especially in the winter, but it’s also the most important one,” warns Dr Fabusiwa. “Damage from the sun's ultraviolet radiation is universal and can lead to a myriad of insults to the skin.” So, if there’s one core essential to a successful skincare routine, whether it’s maximalist or minimalist, it’s SPF. “When it comes to sun protection, it's important to wear it daily, even when indoors and in winter. It's also vital to reapply your SPF throughout the day, remembering to apply it diligently to the often forgotten (yet over-exposed) areas such as the lips, ears and neck,” says Dr Fabusiwa.

So, now you know the core pillars to a good skinimalist routine. A cleanser – try choosing something gentle yet effective like the Tropic Smoothing Cleanser – a moisturiser and an SPF (factor 50 always), but what if you have skin concerns that you’d like to address? This is where you can slowly add in targeted solutions in the shape of serums or essences to work on specific areas. “After you have the fundamentals down, you can then build your skincare routine by adding in active ingredients to suit your skin's needs, such as bio-retinoids for acne-prone skin or hyaluronic acid for dehydrated skin,” says Dr Fabusiwa.

In a world where excess is rife and we’re often swamped with products, ultimately skinimalism is proof that less sometimes really is more.

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