The new year often comes with a deluge of resolutions—health goals, decluttering, career aspirations and more. Many of these require a lot of will power, planning, motivation and effort. Good for you! That being said, if simplifying your beauty products for 2024 is on your docket, you’re in luck. Although this task is life-changing, it won’t take you longer than an afternoon—and you can do it from the comfort of your home!
Ultimately, streamlining and simplifying your skincare will lead to a healthier, more radiant complexion. But it’s also great for your wallet, your precious time and your planet (more on that later). Keep reading for five ways and reasons to refresh and simplify your skincare routine in the new year…
1. Minimize Active Ingredients
Correctly using active ingredients in skincare is the number-one way to achieve optimal skin health and prevent damage to your skin barrier. The only ones I recommend are those your skin can tolerate, like vitamin C, retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides and exfoliating acids like glycolic, lactic and fruit acids. That being said, be sure to narrow these down by what your skin actually needs.
To start, collect all of the skincare products in your routine. Read the ingredients for each and write down all of the active ingredients listed. Next, identify which ones your skin needs and if any of them are causing irritation—especially during winter. During the colder months, you may want to swap out exfoliants, retinol or retin A with nourishing, hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Finally, you want to make sure you’re not using the same active ingredients in multiple products.
Once you’ve narrowed down which products you actually need, remember to use them only once a day, morning or night (not both!). If you do layer your skincare, make sure you’re not layering multiple active ingredients that could potentially cause irritation or damage your skin barrier.
2. Reduce “Natural” & Plant-Based Skincare
The era of “clean” and “natural” skincare is over. Instead, people are looking for real results in the most simple, effortless way possible. Low-maintenance routines that actually work.
Many plant-based skincare brands offer fluff with no science-backed active ingredients. These “natural” plant-based brands can’t offer real results because their ingredients have never been properly vetted for efficacy or safety. Just because something comes from nature doesn’t mean we should lather it on. After all, ragweed and poison ivy are considered “natural plants,” too.
Sadly, some of the most allergenic ingredients are those from the Compositae or Asteraceae plant family—including calendula, chamomile, yarrow, daisy, arnica, dandelions, sunflower, safflower, milk thistle and blue tansy. Unfortunately, many of these have been trending in skincare for quite some time.
The bottom line? Let’s get real in 2024 about the “natural” ingredients in our skincare. If it doesn’t have a proven track record or research-backed results, you could be facing a skin allergy in your future.
3. Save Your Time, Money & Planet
Simple is better for the environment, your time and your pocket book. Think: less packaging waste, less shipping waste, less steps in your routine and less money spent on unnecessary products. I call that a win, win, win!
These days, skincare brands are encouraged to be more sustainable, and one of the best ways to support this is to encourage minimalism. 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.
Quality over quantity is what 2024 is all about. No one has time for a seven-step skincare routine—nor do we have the funds. Let’s cut back on the excess and only spend money on products that actually work.
4. Don’t Overdo It
Fact: Streamlining and simplifying your skincare will lead to a healthier, more radiant complexion. The last thing you want to do is overload it with too many active ingredients!
Just because you suffer from multiple skin issues like hormonal breakouts, hyperpigmentation from sun damage and aging skin doesn’t mean you need to use multiple products. Rather, you need to utilize multitasking ingredients—aka, active ingredients with multiple benefits. For example, niacinamide helps with both mild acne and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C can brighten, fade dark spots and smooth your skin.
It also helps to spread out your actives during the day. For example, in the morning, you may want to use a day serum with hydrating hyaluronic acid and plumping peptides. Before bed, you may want to use a night serum with exfoliating acids and niacinamide to tackle tough issues such as acne, hyperpigmentation and uneven tone. Additionally, you may need only one product, like a hydrating vitamin C face oil, to combat sun damage, uneven tone and dehydrated skin.
Whatever you do, make sure you actually need the product and its ingredients. Choose the skin issue that bothers you the most, tackle that first with one good serum, and then add an eye cream or day serum to help with hydration, fine lines or hyperpigmentation later. You want to ease into using active ingredients to prevent irritation and skin barrier damage. Less is always more!
5. Embrace Your True Self
…even if that means being low-maintenance.
Many of us think we should be doing more—the latest trendy skincare products, skin cycling, tools, lights, botox and elaborate makeup routines. All of these require a lot of time, money and upkeep. Maybe that’s not for you, and that’s okay!
However, if you love applying makeup every day or keeping up with your quarterly botox, that’s no problem! Embracing your true self is about finding what makes you feel your best and leaving the rest.
I’ve finally embraced my low-maintenance self. For me personally, I want a streamlined skincare routine with solid, clinically backed active ingredients that are worth my time and effort. If I’m using high-quality skincare, I don’t have to worry as much about makeup, because I feel confident in my skin for my age.Remember, social media is great for tips, tricks and advice—but the second it makes you feel like you aren’t doing enough or someone else is doing it better, it can become unhealthy fast. Give yourself permission to unfollow accounts that make you feel like you don’t stack up. Life is short. Be true to yourself, your family and your friends. That’s where real satisfaction can be found.