When simplifying skincare is key

Just like any other industry, I don’t think anyone ever realized the expansion that the beauty industry would have over the last 20+ years. We’ve been taken care of our skin and honoring our beauty for centuries, however, the last few years have had 3 major shifts. The first being that we have an increase of intense modalities right at our fingertips. The second is the green beauty takeover, which is an interesting transition for those who are used to more conventional and prescription skincare. And lastly, the rise of social media and endless platforms of influence. Every one of these shifts has their immediate positives but they also can lead to some consumer confusion. 

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Believe it or not, but great skin often is the result of a simplified skincare routine. Over the weekend I was delighted that the most common theme amongst my clients was that everyone had the intuitive instinct to scale back and simplify their skincare. This allowed them to fully allow the skin to do what it does best, which is self-heal. One of the most common things that can happen when we start simplifying is that we end up missing some important steps. The only issue for most people is recognizing how to simplify according to their specific needs. I’m going to walk you through how to successfully simplify your skincare without messing with your skin’s healing. If you have the urge to simplify your skincare, there are a few questions to ask yourself first:

  1. Am I not enjoying my routine?

  2. Does my skin feel irritated or inflamed?

  3. Does my skin feel worse after my routine?

  4. Am I rushing through all my steps?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then it’s time to simplify.

Skincare Simplify Reason #1) You’re not enjoying your routine

If you’re not enjoying every step of your routine, it’s your intuitive senses guiding you to make a change. A lot of the times when we are used to doing a lot of steps, it’s because we’re told to but perhaps you only enjoy one or two of those products. Simplifying will help you determine which products are not necessary or can be replaced by order of importance. You can determine this if you think of your first and last step as the bookends that hold the important pieces of your routine together. This basically means that your cleansing and moisturizer/protection are your bookends so they are essential to the entire process but what’s inside of those ends is the good stuff. Your toning, treatment, nourishment, and exfoliation are the most nutritionally dense practices that can make the greatest difference in your skin but can be overwhelming if you give it too much to do. Start with just one item at a time starting from the steps following your cleansing. This includes your toning, then treatment, then nourishment, and lastly exfoliation. You may find that you don’t need all of these steps in order to find a nice balance with your skin. When you’re seeking more, simply add in a step.

Skincare Simplify Reason #2) Your skin is irritated and/or inflamed

When it comes to skincare, less is best when you are dealing with irritation or inflammation. You may have heard me make the comparison of irritated skin to an irritated stomach. Would you add more to your supplement routine or different activating foods to your diet if your stomach was upset? Probably not. The key is to simplify and strip back to the most calming foods so that your stomach can heal itself. The same concept works for your skin. You can start by taking everything away for a few days and oil cleanse with jojoba oil, mist with an aloe or rose based water, and seal as needed with a healing balm or jojoba oil. Your skin won’t feel as clean but your barrier will start to feel like it can rebuild itself. So many times when I meet a client who has an aggravated barrier, they haven’t even thought about scaling back on the products and the skin is just fighting to balance the chemistry of the products you are putting on. Take your time with this and allow your skin to just breathe and recover.

Skincare Simplify Reason #3) Your skin seems worse with certain products

There are very few times I blame my skincare for imbalances but this can be one of the main reasons to simplify your skincare. You have to try to find out if your skincare is part of the issue and if it isn’t, you are not messing with the possibility of potential disruption. If your skin just doesn’t like a product, it will tell you. I typically have this response with mostly conventional skincare as my skin used to hive up or feel massively irritated with the wrong ingredient combination. Nowadays with my organic beauty ritual, it’s more of a matter of being attracted to the product. If I don’t like the scent, experience, or texture, that’s my sign that I will most likely not benefit from the products. This helps me so much when I’m debating on adding a new product to my regimen since it’s so tempting to want to try all of the new “it” products out there. Sampling is key to helping you determine if your skin will benefit from a product prior to making your full investment.

Skincare Simplify Reason #4) You’re rushing your routine

At the end of the day, we all have so much on our plate that we can find ourselves rushing through some very important moments instead of really enjoying them. Skincare is a self-care practice however you want to look at it because it’s enhancing your connection to your skin but also elevating your entire essence by caring for this wonderful organ of communication. When you rush through your routine, you could unintentionally be missing some important signaling that your skin is communicating with you. If doing too many steps in your routine makes you feel overwhelmed, try to time yourself and see how much time it really takes to do your whole routine. If you’re going way past the 10 minute mark, you might need to scale back. If you’re only at 2-5 minutes, you’re well within the average range. If you’re less than a minute, you could look into how to fit in your skincare routine at different parts of the day. For example, some people get too tired to do their skincare right before they go to bed so they make sure to do it about an hour or two before they think they are heading to bed. I used to work a job where I would have to get to work so early that I would just bring my products with me and take a more mindful approach in the employee bathroom so I didn’t rush myself. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Just remember that it doesn’t have to take up too much time as long as your intention with your skin is of the mindset of being loving and connecting with yourself.

Most skincare is so multifaceted that you genuinely don’t need to take it too seriously in terms of having multiple steps. Allow yourself to flow through the steps that feel invigorating to you so you feel enhanced and elevated. If any step makes you feel down or dulled, it’s time to replace it with an act that you enjoy. Instead of taking too much time on your skincare steps your skin can benefit from any of the following steps just as much:

  • Drinking lots of mineral rich water

  • Making yourself a nutrient dense meal full of leafy greens and omegas

  • Meditating

  • Engaging in a hobby that lifts your spirits

  • Grounding yourself in your favorite outdoor space

  • Exchanging compliments and I love you’s with those that you’re closest too

  • Having a tea ceremony

Skincare is fun but it’s not the only solution to great skin. Try to remember that with all the new technology, influence, and options of safest products, it doesn’t mean you have to switch everything overnight or add each new step to your routine. That mentality can accidently silence your intuition, so allow yourself to tune back in with some simplifying and start connecting with your healthiest skin again.