Skinimalism: the stripped-back skincare routine you’ll love

Reviewed and fact-checked by Giulia Guerrini, Superintendent Pharmacist. Read our editorial policy to see how we create informative, accurate content.

Heard of skinimalism? It's the latest stripped back skincare trend that's about throwing out products, instead of adding new ones to your routine – and for a good reason. ⁠Overloading your skin with products isn’t great for it; and if you’re suffering from dry or oily or acne-prone skin, it could be a big reason. Patch-testing, taking things slow, and using care that’s tailored for your skin is the way to go. So we’re saying goodbye, #shelfie; and hello, happy skin thanks to a dermatologist-approved routine. ⁠ Here's how skinimalism works: you’ll start building your skincare routine with a really good cleanser, moisturiser and SPF. Then, you’ll add only what your skin really needs – instead of layering on product after product that you saw on Instagram (we’re all guilty of it). If you ask us, a few high quality products is always better than a ton of stuff that you don't know why you're using, so we’re a big fan.

Still not sure how to start? We’ve got all the information you need, right here. Check out our guide and tips on how to start a skinimalist skincare routine.

Moisturiser texture image

What is skinimalism? Here’s why less is more

First of all, let’s get into the reasoning behind skinimalism a little more. Skinimalism is all about reducing your skincare routine in favour of a more minimalist approach (hence the name): reducing the number of products and active ingredients in your routine, so your skin can shine. It’s about taking overhauling to a sustainable, cheaper skincare ritual, that still has all the care – just by using the power of only a few multi-tasking, good-for-YOUR-skin products.

On your skincare journey, you’ve probably heard that you must start using hylauronic acid, or to try double cleansing, or to add a serum, toner, essence… and this trend throws out all of that. Here’s the thing – you don’t want to overdo it. Using too many products and formulas, combining lots of actives or even layering products incorrectly can irritate and inflame your skin. Your skin can feel a bit overwhelmed and give up, without actually getting the benefits of your routine – a bit like if you tried to relax by watching tv, playing music and reading at the same time. No thanks.

How to start a skinimalist routine

So, how can you make the switch from 12-step Korean skincare routine to stripped-back skinimalism? First, know your skin type. If you have dry skin, you’re going to need different products than someone with oily skin might. And if you have sensitive skin or any other skin concerns, you’ll need to factor that in, too.

Like we said before, start by nailing down your cleanser, moisturiser and SPF. Make them multi-task, if you can. For example, you don’t really need an AM or PM moisturiser – you’ve got the same skin all day long, we promise. Just use one really good, moisturising formula from a high-quality brand.

Cleanser: Go gentle; whether it’s a gel cleanser or a foaming face wash that you’re looking, we’ve got something with a simple formula that will keep you feeling fresh. We love CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser 236ml, a rich cream that transforms into a lathering formula that takes the whole day off without irritating your skin.

Moisturiser: If you’ve got dry skin, we’d recommend Weleda Skin Food 75ml. At a super affordable price, this rich, vegan moisturiser is basically the king of minimalist skincare; a little goes a long way for skin hydration. For something a bit lighter, turn to CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF25 52ml. This lightweight moisturiser even has SPF, so it could work as your SPF too. Speaking of which...

SPF: Here’s the big one, SPF. Always important for keeping your skin protected from the sun’s rays, this is an everyday wear – not just for summer holidays. We love the sensitive, caring formulas of Avéne Very High Protection SPF50 Fluid 50ml and Bioderma Photoderm AR SPF50+ 30ml.

What other products do you need in a skinimalist routine?

That’s really up to you and your skin. If you have blemishes or spots that you’d like to tame, an exfoliator could be a good addition for you: we like CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum 30ml to help encourage skin renewal. If you have under-eye concerns, maybe add a revitalising product just for that, like UpCircle Eye Cream with Maple and Coffee 10ml. But make sure you’re always patch-testing first, going slow, and not layering on products. If you don’t need it, don’t add it – that’s really all there is to it.

Got it? Great! Get everything you need for your skinimalist routine in our Beauty and Skincare section, ready for next day delivery.

Written by Natasha Edwards