Quick confession: When it comes to beauty products, I’m about as low-maintenance as you can get.
Surprised? I don’t blame you! I mean, come on...I founded a skincare company. Shouldn’t I be obsessed with all kinds of different products? Whether skincare, hair care, makeup—it just never interested me.
Sure, I wear a little makeup from time to time (usually special occasions), and I’m hard-pressed to turn down a spa day with friends every once in a while. But I was never one to experiment with the latest makeup techniques (is the smokey eye even a thing anymore?) or trendy, “exciting” ingredients in beauty products (I’m sorry, CBD and probiotics do what?).
Nope. I’m a no-nonsense, tried-and-true supporter of what actually works—and nothing more, thank you very much.
By using active ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and ceramides, I’m passionate about helping you achieve your healthiest skin yet, by doing the least amount of work. The truth? Your skin doesn’t need a deluge of ingredients in order to be healthy and radiant. In fact, the more we layer, the worse it can get. Product overload often leads to irritation or sensitization from too many actives, long lists of botanical ingredients and completely unnecessary products (ahem, toners anyone?!).
The bottom line? Stop forcing yourself into believing your skin needs more ingredients or steps to stay healthy—or worse, ward off the “impending doom” of aging.
Instead, learn to embrace the low-maintenance lifestyle: a simple skincare routine is really all you need. To prove it, I’ve compiled five reasons minimal self-care practices are totally worth it, so you can enjoy healthy, glowing skin every single day!
1. Minimal routines just work better.
Fact: Your skin wasn’t designed to be overloaded with ingredients and products—especially active ingredients. Instead, there are only a few active ingredients that can be beneficial if you’re struggling with skin issues (think: mild breakouts, uneven skin tone or dehydration). Ingredients like vitamin C, peptides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, fruit acids and ceramides are incredible, but they should only be used once a day and in the right product.
Formulation is why skincare brands exist, so it’s our responsibility to help the consumer use these ingredients at the right time of day, in the safest way possible. One of my biggest problems with the skincare industry is when brands carelessly throw amazing ingredients into serums, toners, eye cream or even sunscreen. The overuse of these actives is not only completely unnecessary, it can lead to major irritation.
Instead, let’s be concise. Finding a product line that responsibly uses a good mix of the right active ingredients—without overlapping them with multiple products—is the way to go. One thoughtfully formulated serum in the morning and one at night is more than enough! At Otto Skin Goods, we use a system called single note formulating. Translation? Each product is a stand-alone product, meaning it contains active ingredients that aren’t found in any other product we make. We also formulate our products with the right active ingredients in the best type of product (cleanser, serum, face oil) and at the right time of day or night.
Discovering the least amount of active ingredients you need to help keep your skin healthy and glowing allows those ingredients to just work better.
2. There’s less risk of sensitizing your skin
Repeatedly using the same ingredients, especially potentially allergenic botanical ingredients, can lead to allergic reactions and irritation. Overloading can lead to sensitization which can present as red, painful, rough, itchy skin that’s frustrating and unsightly. Remember: less is more—especially when it comes to botanical ingredients.
Over the last few years, clean beauty has become more sought after. Because of this, skincare brands have started to over utilize botanical extracts. One of my biggest complaints is when brands have a “signature” or “proprietary” blend that they use in every product in their skin care line. Buyer beware: this is anything but helpful, and often leads to irritation. Specifically, flowering extracts are some of the most highly allergenic skincare ingredients. Applying them on the skin multiple times a day in a variety of products could eventually lead to an allergic reaction.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking botanical ingredients. In fact, they can be a great way to *enhance* active ingredients—but only if utilized correctly. Look for products that contain fewer than five botanical ingredients per product, and avoid flowering extracts in the compositae family (ragweed family), like arnica, burdock, calendula, chamomile, echinacea, geranium, goldenrod, dandelion, sunflower, tansy and yarrow.
3. It’s better for the environment
Using fewer skincare products is not only better for your skin—it’s also better for the environment, too. These days, skincare brands are encouraged to be more sustainable, and one of the best ways to support this is to encourage minimalism. Fewer products means less packaging, less shipments and decreased waste, overall. Empowering you to use healthy, multitasking skincare staples allows you to focus on the very best packaging options—from recyclable glass, post-consumer recycled paper products and shipping materials. It also allows you to focus on obtaining the very best sustainably sourced raw ingredients. Not to mention, simple formulations lead to less shipping expenses to create the products in the first place. It’s a win-win!
4. Healthy skin goes beyond great skincare
Practicing a shorter, more efficient skincare routine leaves more time to focus on other healthy practices that improve our skin’s health. Eating a healthy diet (like these healthy skincare smoothies), getting more sleep, exercising and sun protection are just a few ways to get healthy, glowing skin from the inside out. Bottom line? A low-maintenance skincare routine helps you keep your priorities in balance and allows for more time to focus on other aspects of a healthy life.
5. It leaves more time for what’s really important
Let’s be honest: beauty is so much more than our appearance. If I’ve learned anything over the last few months, it’s that embracing our unique differences is what really makes us beautiful. Developing meaningful relationships and having a healthy, realistic love for yourself is what real beauty is all about. Can I get an amen?
Healthy, beautiful skin doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re low-maintenance like me, learn to embrace it by finding skincare products that support your minimalistic ideals. I would never be able to do an elaborate 21-step routine, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to forgo skincare altogether! Instead, find a brand that aligns with your beliefs and lifestyle—trust me, you’ll make time to stay consistent and stick with it.
(Photo credit: The Bellepoint Company)