Skincare: Is Less More?

We all know a person in our life who has always had the most amazing skin. No acne, no blackheads, perfect texture, and just the right amount of glow. When we have inevitably asked that person “Oh my, what products do you use?” they typically answer with “Oh, nothing crazy just a bar of soap.” While this answer makes most of us want to rip our hair out and throw away our stash of $60 cleansers and moisturizers, it begs the question, when it comes to skincare, is less really more? 

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing you need every single skincare product on the market. Every day we are inundated with new products and new ingredients claiming to work wonders. This is how we end up with a cabinet full of half-used products and a whole lot of disappointment. When it comes to our skin, the lesson that needs to be learned is: everyone is different. This means the routine that works for Gwenyth Paltrow, may not actually work for you. Shocking, I know. But the same is true for your BFF or even your mom or your sister. Everyone’s skin is one-of-a-kind and therefore requires an individually tailored routine — some more elaborate than others. 

The easiest way to build a personalized skincare routine is to start with the basics. A cleanser, a moisturizer, and some SPF. These products can be super easy to find if you know your skin type (normal, oily, dry, combination, or sensitive). Brands often market their products toward a specific skin type, which can make your life a whole lot easier! A good toner may be necessary too, especially if you are typically wearing makeup during the day. Once you have these staple products, and you feel as though they work for you and your skin, you can start to assess. 

If you have any specific skin issues that need special attention, try working on another product in addition to those above. If it’s dryness, try to work in a heavier night cream or a moisturizing mask. If acne is your biggest problem, think about incorporating salicylic acid or niacinamide into your routine. If you’re concerned about wrinkles and aging, a retinol and eye cream could be a big help. If uneven texture is where you struggle, add in a chemical exfoliant or vitamin C serum. Different skin issues can arise through changing seasons as well. If you live somewhere that has a really cold winter, you may need a richer moisturizer for those months. In a really hot summer, you may only want a moisturizing cleanser to help with any oiliness. 

Essentially, there is no real need to expose your skin to any products that aren’t completely necessary for your skincare goals. For instance, if you don’t have acne-prone skin, there is no need to mix salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide into your regimen. Once you have a solid foundation and lineup of products that have quality ingredients that work well with your skin, you can build from there, if needed. Truly your skin will tell you what it needs, and you can adjust accordingly. Once you take these steps, you may just realize that your 24k gold face mask isn’t absolutely necessary!