Less Is More: Why You Should Simplify Your Skincare Routine
Discover the benefits of simplifying your skincare routine and achieving better results with fewer products.
By: Jordan LaFragola
Less Is More: Why You Should Simplify Your Skincare Routine
With the new year in full swing, I am seeing so many posts on social media about decluttering your home, your wardrobe, and even your digital space. By removing excess items, you can look after and maintain things much easier, saving you time and energy, which ultimately makes your life better. I wholeheartedly believe that the same principle applies to your skincare routine, but with even more benefit because it also impacts the health of your skin. In this post, I’ll explain why less is more when it comes to skincare and how to simplify your routine for less stress and better results.
The case for using fewer skincare products.
Your average skincare product typically contains around 20 or more ingredients. If your routine consists of a cleanser, a toner, a serum, a moisturizer, and an eye cream, you are potentially exposing your skin to more than 100 ingredients in a single session. That’s a lot of information for your skin to process. If you were sensitive to just one of those ingredients, it would be extremely difficult to figure out which it was; this is something I often see with my clients.
When a client comes to me with skin redness and irritation and they can’t figure out what is causing it, the first thing I have them do is remove as many products from their routine as possible. I tell them to stop using serums, retinol, essences, toners, etc., and use a simple cleanser and moisturizer. Often, the reduction in products will clear the issue completely!
Another reason I recommend using fewer products in your routine is that many ingredients have the potential to interact in a negative way with other ingredients. For example, using a vitamin C serum with a retinol product can cause severe irritation and redness. There are too many variables, and unless you are spending a ton of time making sure all of your products will work together, you could be harming your skin without even knowing.
What does your skin need on a daily basis?
The first step to figuring out how to simplify your skincare routine is to understand the actions that your skin needs on a daily basis, then figure out the least number of products needed to complete those actions.
Cleansing & Moisturizing are non-negotiables.
At the very least, everyone needs their skin to be cleansed and moisturized daily. Cleansing removes all the dirt, oil, and impurities from the day, and moisturizing nourishes and protects your skin.
Toning & Treating are helpful additions.
While everyone can benefit from cleansing and moisturizing, most people would also benefit from a little extra skincare TLC in the form of toning and treating. Toning is done after cleansing, and its purpose is to remove any last traces of makeup, dirt, excess oil, etc., that your cleanser did not remove, but most importantly, to reset the pH of your skin to the correct level. Your skin thrives best when it is slightly acidic (around a 5 on the pH scale) and most cleansers are on the alkaline side (around 9 or 10), which can disrupt your skin’s barrier function if you do not reset it with a toner.
Treating refers to any additional ‘booster’ products aimed at targeting specific skincare concerns, such as uneven texture, acne, fine lines, or hyperpigmentation. These are your serums, hyaluronic acids, vitamin C, retinol, etc. These types of products are not necessary for a basic skincare routine, but if you are trying to treat a specific skin condition, they can be quite impactful.
Do you need a different skincare product for each step of your routine?
If you wanted to simply cleanse and moisturize your skin, you would need to use a cleanser and moisturizer respectively. Those are two entirely separate functions and need separate products to perform.
However, if you were looking to cleanse, tone, treat multiple skin concerns, and moisturize, you could end up with five or more products in your routine. You could go this route, although this would potentially expose your skin to the negative effects of having too many ingredients in your routine, as discussed above. Instead of using separate products to achieve each result, I recommend finding products that serve multiple functions so you can reduce the total number of products that you need in your routine.
How to simplify your skincare routine.
The best way to simplify your routine is to use the least number of products that can achieve the most results. I purposefully designed both our Face Oil and Cleansing Clay with this in mind, making them the perfect two-step routine that targets the complete range of skincare concerns. Each product contains only ten ingredients, all of which are actives.
Cleanse (Exfoliate) & Tone
Our Cleansing Clay is a thick blend of deep cleansing oils (Safflower, Meadowfoam, and Castor) mixed with gently polishing Kaolin clay, Apple Cider Vinegar, which is astringent and acidic to tone your skin, and skin-safe essential oils that are antibacterial, antimicrobial, powerful skin cleansers (Vetiver, Frankincense, Lavender, Cedarwood, and Valerian).
This cleanser will effectively remove all traces of dirt, makeup, and impurities from your skin. The Kaolin clay will even provide a light exfoliating action, gentle enough for everyday use, eliminating the need for a harsher weekly exfoliant. The best part is that adding Apple Cider Vinegar gives this cleanser an acidic pH, so you don’t need to use a toner afterward; your skin will be perfectly balanced with one simple cleanse.
Treat & Moisturize
Say goodbye to multiple finishing products when you use our Face Oil to moisturize your freshly cleansed skin. I formulated it with a base of three carrier oils (Sacha Inchi, Apricot Kernel, and Pomegranate Seed) that soften, smooth, and protect your skin like any good moisturizer would. I also included an infusion of Vanilla and Saffron, plus the addition of skin-safe essential oils (Sandalwood, Frankincense, Lavender, Rose, and Oud) geared towards brightening, evening out pigmentation, fighting acne and skin irritation, targeting fine lines, increasing cell turnover, stimulating circulation, and improving the overall appearance of your complexion. Essentially, it covers the full spectrum of what you would look for in serums and targeted finishing products.
The result is a lightweight oil that does the work of a moisturizer, hydrating serum, anti-aging serum, brightening serum, acne-fighting serum, and more in one simple step. The oils even have a natural SPF of about 10/15, providing light sun protection as well!