It is possible to create a simplified and sustainable skincare routine through a minimalist approach and multipurpose cosmetics. 

Maybe you are growing weary of eight, ten, or twelve-step beauty routines which don’t seem to be delivering the results you desire. 

Perhaps you are aware of all the waste that is created through a complicated skincare routine.

Minimalist skincare isn’t just a trend, it’s part of a lifestyle, and it’s been around for a while, ready for natural beauty and skincare fans to rediscover it. 

But how do you get started? What benefits does a minimalist skincare routine offer? And how did these complicated skincare routines start in the first place? 

Read on to discover:

  • Where the trend has come from.
  • The reasons to go minimalist.
  • Multipurpose products that can be great for a minimalist skincare routine.
  • How to simplify your skincare routine.
  • Example of a simple daily routine. 

Minimalist Skincare: New or Newly-Discovered?

In many ways, although minimalist or simplified skincare has been around for a while, this latest wave of interest has happened as a reaction to multi-step routines in the recent past. As Mintel reports in an August 2019 Beauty and Personal Care market report1, around 28% of UK women are reducing the number of products in their routine, “with young Millennials aged 20-29 (54%) most likely to have simplified their routines.” 

Some of the product types which have been a casualty of this trend towards simplification include facial cleansing wash, facial cleansing wipes, facial toners, and both day cream and night cream. According to this report, women have been purchasing fewer color cosmetics as compared to last year, and fewer BB, CC, and DD-style face creams. 

Alex Fisher, Global Skincare Analyst at Mintel, said:

“A growing number of UK women are turning away from the multi-step K-Beauty routine, hoping to reach the same glowing result without having to put the time in. This need for simplicity has pushed them towards minimalist skincare products with more intense active ingredients, such as serums and oils.”

What’s Behind the Minimalist Skincare Trend? Reasons to go minimalist.

There are a few key factors which we believe are driving the minimalist skincare and makeup trend. The first one is probably the most practical one: People are just getting tired of having to buy and use so many products. There’s a real cost in both money and time for these multi-step routines, and people have other things to do with their time! 

Along with this is the sense of dissatisfaction or even disillusionment about skincare and beauty in general. If a routine isn’t working, or isn’t providing the desired results, then maybe adding more isn’t the answer, and going back to a simpler, more targeted routine might be the key. While most people follow the adage ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’ some people do like to keep changing up their routines and trying new products, seeking just a little bit more improvement when they’ve got a good thing going. But we can understand that feeling: “If all these products can’t deliver a result, then maybe it’s just my bad skin.” (It’s not!) 

Another key reason we see that inspires minimalist skincare and beauty lovers and formulators alike is the push for more responsible, earth-conscious consumption. A switch to a minimalist lifestyle means less product usage, and less waste. People who want to live sustainably may well choose a minimalist approach to help them achieve this.

Some multipurpose products that can be great for a minimalist skincare routine include:

  • Balms which both cleanse and moisturize, like the Wild Rose Beauty Balm2 from Neal’s Yard Remedies. It can be an exfoliating cleanser, when used with a muslin cloth, or an intensive nourishing treatment, and can even be used to add finishing touches like taming eyebrows, giving a cheek highlight, or giving your lips a glossy sheen!
  • Oils that can be used on skin, face, hair, and facial hair, like the Maapilim all-purpose oil3. Use on your skin, hair or beard to add moisture, and for a hydrated feel and refreshing scent, or use it pre- or post-shave, or as a deep skin moisturizer at night.

Powdered cleansers which can be exfoliators or masks, like the Gentle Scrub from Skin & Tonic4. It’s a powdered clay scrub which can also be blended into a mask.

The choices are endlessbut the list of steps in your routine doesn’t have to be! (Keep reading to find out more about how you can formulate your own amazing multipurpose skincare products!) 

It makes sense, then, that using a minimalist skincare routine, and/or switching to multipurpose products designed to provide a wide array of benefits, can be a wonderful choice for time-, money-, and earth-conscious beauty lovers! Buy fewer products, use fewer products, have less steps, see better results. What could be better?

A Minimalist / Multipurpose Skincare Routine

The benefits for going minimal with your skincare are clear. And, if you’re a natural beauty lover who wants to learn how to formulate some of these amazing multipurpose products for yourself, you’re in the right place! 

How To Simplify Your Skincare Routine

  • Only include the essential steps.
  • Look for multipurpose products that address more than one step or have more than one use—or formulate your own!
  • Use a product until the container is empty.
  • Finish one product before starting another one.
  • Unsubscribe from beauty box subscriptions which often result in excess and unused products sitting in your bathroom cabinet.
  • Find products you love and stick with them! Less choice means less stress! Or formulate your own so you can make the perfect product for you!

Example of a simple daily routine: 

Here’s a simple routine that works for all skin types for a morning or evening routine:

Prep and Cleanse: Wet a cloth with warm water (not hot) and squeeze out the excess moisture. Gently lay the cloth across your face, and allow it to rest there for one minute. This will prep skin for cleansing. Remove the cloth, and apply a nourishing cleansing oil. A properly-formulated cleansing oil or balm will not clog pores. On the contrary, it will give a deep, thorough, yet gentle cleanse, removing all traces of makeup, pore-clogging sebum, and environmental pollutants.

Tone and Hydrate: If you are using a toner or facial mist, this is the time to use it. It will hydrate your skin and plump it. As part of an evening routine you could choose a liquid AHA or BHA toner. If you’re new to using AHAs and BHA, start with a low concentration of 1-2%. Both AHAs and BHAs are used as chemical exfoliants, they remove dead skin cells and leave skin soft and smooth. This step ensures your skin will receive maximum benefit from the final hydration and moisturizing step.

Serums: If you are using serums, apply them in this step. Light, water based serums should be used first, then emulsion serums, then oil serums.

Moisturize: Apply a moisturizer that includes water and oils to both hydrate and condition the skin. Try to choose one with vitamin E or other antioxidants to help your skin fight free radicals. We explained more about what is needed in an effective moisturizer here.

Apply an SPF. If you’re using this routine in the morning then it’s important to apply a good sunscreen. (Don’t attempt to make your own though, here’s why).

Occasionally, you might want to add in a treatment like a mask or deeper exfoliating product. These can be great! But don’t over do it. Face masks can typically be used once a week, but it’s fine to use them more often if your skin needs more pampering, and can tolerate it. And depending how abrasive the exfoliator is, it may be used once or twice per week. It’s best to use it after the skin has been properly cleansed and before hydrating products.

Formulating Your Own Multipurpose Skincare Products

If you want to learn more about how to formulate your own beautifully natural, amazingly versatile, and deliciously indulgent skincare products, the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation is the best place to start. You’ll learn everything you need to know to develop, formulate, and sell natural skincare products.



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Simplify for Sustainability: The Benefits of Minimalist Skincare and Multipurpose Cosmetics Skincare Formulation

Download this fabulous guide and you’ll learn:

  • What formulating is and why you need to be doing it!
  • The difference between following recipes and formulating your own products.
  • How to formulate like a pro! Seven top tips for becoming a confident skincare formulator.
  • Our step-by-step process to designing products people love.
  • Four easy ways to personalize your skincare products.
  • Choosing the right carrier oils for your beauty products.

PLUS: Receive two free worksheets!

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