As someone with dry skin, I’ve definitely realized that a simpler skincare routine works best for me. As anyone with dry skin knows, it’s very easy to over-strip your skin and end up with flakiness. But that same principle also applies to people of all skin types—whether dry, combo, or oily.
Many of us have been sold the idea that we need to buy more products and add more steps to our skincare routines in order to have clear skin. This is mainly because the beauty industry makes its money by selling you things you don’t need.
The realization that much of the sales pitch surrounding skincare products is untrue, has people turning to science-based skincare blogs for factual information.
But let’s look at the reasons why less really is more when it comes to your skincare routine.
Stripping your skin with too many products can actually cause acne to form
It’s easy to buy the idea that adding more products to your routine will get rid of, or prevent your acne. After all, pimples form from excess oil, right? Many people believe that, if you wash your skin more and more with harsher chemicals, that will get rid of the oil and stop acne from forming. Unfortunately, that is completely wrong.
Many people with acne go into overdrive, using strong cleansers, followed by alcohol-based toners, and very light moisturizers. While small-to-moderate applications of specific ingredients, such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, can help with reducing acne, you should not go overboard.
Rather, you need to understand that acne often forms as a result of having very dry and dehydrated skin. Since your skin lacks enough oils and fats to stay healthy, it ends up producing excessive amounts of oil, which then leads to acne.
The issue here, then, isn’t that you need to strip your skin even further—it’s the opposite. You need to create a skincare routine that is gentle, hydrating, and moisturizing. Spot treatments of concentrated ingredients can definitely be added in from time-to-time to reduce blemishes, but those ingredients should not be the foundation of your routine.
For those of us with sensitive skin, too many products can be detrimental
And then we also have the issue of sensitive skin. This is a little more obvious than with acne-prone skin, but the same general rules apply: create a routine that is gentle, hydrating, and moisturizing, while also watching out for your own particular sensitivities.
Keeping your routine simple will help reduce any possible issues. You should keep track of brands and ingredients that irritate your skin or cause reactions so that you can shop wisely. Get to know your skin, and listen to what it tells you.
How to build a simple routine
Here are the basic steps that everyone should follow:
- If you wear makeup, be sure to remove it before cleansing your skin.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser (something in a gel or milk formula, depending on your personal preference). Exfoliating cleansers with microbeads should not be used on a daily basis.
- If you really want to use a toner, opt for something without alcohol; however, you can likely skip this step altogether.
- If you want an extra boost of powerful ingredients for any skin concern, choose a good serum to put underneath your moisturizer. This is not a necessary step, but it certainly helps.
- Apply a high-quality moisturizer. By this, I don’t necessarily mean an expensive cream. Choose one that suits your skin type and supports the skins lipid barrier.
- Lastly, always wear a sun protection product, with at least 30 SPF.
EXTRA PRODUCTS: Other products can be used less frequently. Exfoliators should be used about once per week (especially if they’re physical exfoliators); face masks can also be used 1+ times per week (depending on how gentle the formulas are); spot treatments can be used on an as-needed basis, for blemishes.
BONUS TIP: Micellar water can often serve multiple functions—as a makeup remover, a very gentle cleanser, and/or a toner-type product (since it balances PH levels).
While beauty trends may have you believing that you need a 12-step skincare routine to have beautiful, glowing skin, that’s not necessarily the case. Having a simplified routine can work wonders for your skin concerns (not to mention that your wallet will thank you, too!).