Starting fresh in the new year—heck, the new decade!—is the perfect time to prioritize what’s actually important. For many, focusing on your health is at the top of this list. Of course, healthy eating and exercise are essential to feeling great, but have you considered cultivating a skincare routine that’s intentional for your skin’s needs?
Not only is your skin the largest organ by size, but it also helps to filter impurities and harmful microbes, balance body fluids to prevent dehydration and regulate temperature. Since our skin plays such an important role in protecting our body, keeping it healthy is fundamental in your overall health and well-being.
But, I get it! Life is busy, and by the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is a 21-step beauty routine! Thankfully, this is completely unnecessary (phew). As with most things in life, your skin responds best to less.
So, ready to get started? Here are five tips to minimize your skincare routine without sacrificing results!
1. Less, but better.
Streamline your products by choosing those that offer better formulations, featuring higher percentages of active ingredients and multiple benefits. Also, look for products that are multitasking to save time and money.
Quick tip: Look for skincare that was designed for specific skin concerns or time of day. A day serum that hydrates and plumps but also fights pollution and environmental stressors is a win-win (psst...we have just the thing)!
2. Stop layering and mixing.
Layering multiple products or mixing up some cocktail or smoothie of skincare products is totally overrated and usually a way for brands to get you to buy more. I’m completely over it! The truth? The more you layer, the higher chance you have of sensitizing your skin—or worse, developing an allergy.
Let’s be concise. Look for products that your skin actually needs, and be careful not to repeat or overuse active ingredients. Using a simple day serum or night serum allows you to get high percentages of actives that are designed for that particular time of day. Most skin types benefit
from tried-and-true active ingredients such as Niacinamide, Vitamin C and antioxidants. So, look for products that simply, but efficiently combine quality actives and minimize everything else.
Quick tip: Beware of too many plant extracts and essential oils, because these often lead to irritation and empty promises.
3. Avoid over-exfoliating and cleansing.
Over-exfoliating with AHAs daily, physically scrubbing the skin and cleansing multiple times a day can lead to stripping away natural oils that help keep your complexion balanced and healthy. Avoid using strong acids daily, such as glycolic and lactic acid, and look for gentler options, such as fruit acids or gluconolactone, which are larger molecules that won’t strip and dehydrate your skin overtime. Using lactic or glycolic acid or a physical exfoliant on a weekly or bimonthly basis is more than enough.
Quick tip: Skip cleansing your skin in the morning and just rinse it with warm water instead. If you cleansed before bed, cleansing again in the AM is unnecessary!
4. Focus on keeping your skin barrier intact and healthy!
The best way to keep your skin hydrated, happy and healthy is to keep your skin barrier resilient. I find it a little humorous that there’s all this talk about the microbiome (I wrote a little about it here!). Real talk: Keep your skin barrier in good repair so that it can function to protect you against harmful microorganisms. This is way more important than adding unnecessary fermented ingredients on your skin in hopes of keeping your microbiome thriving. So, instead of focusing on your microbiome, simply protect it by keeping the skin barrier healthy and strong!
Quick tip: Look for a good cleanser or moisturizer that contains ceramides to keep your skin barrier in good working order, and don’t over exfoliate!
5. Keep it simple.
Try to keep your skincare routine simple and achievable. The last thing you want to do is make it so complicated that you never follow through. A few steps in the morning and a few at night is plenty! When you have time to add in something extra like a face mask or treatment, just be sure your skin actually needs the boost, and beware of over applying active ingredients. Make sure these “extras” serve a benefit that’s not already met in your consistent routine. Good examples of this are adding a glycolic toner a few times a week or a retinol overnight mask.
Quick tip: When adding a new product to your regular routine, make sure you patch test the product on your arm first. This will ensure you don’t have irritation or an allergy to a new product or ingredient before you slather it all over your face!
The bottom line? Keep it simple to get the most out of your skincare routine! Choosing products that are concise and feature multitasking active ingredients allow you to get the results you love (without overloading your skin!).
Want to minimize your routine without sacrificing results? Check out the entire Otto Skin Goods Routine! It’s a great mix of active ingredients specifically designed for day and night and is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types. Because 2020 should be the year you finally achieve your best skin yet!