Words by Jessica M | Photo by Birgith Roosipuu

If you are a woman in the world right now and are at all focused on your skincare, you are constantly bombarded with a new serum, cream, or product that you are told you need to achieve glowing, healthy, ageless skin. You can easily fall down a rabbit hole on TikTok or Instagram and wind up more confused than when you started. It leads to having too many products in your online shopping cart.

Good skincare is not cheap, so you want to ensure that you do the right thing for your skin and wallet. Everyone has an opinion, and so many of them contradict one another. What products can be used together, how to layer effectively. It can be completely overwhelming. So what is accurate, and what is just top-notch marketing done by companies to make more money? There are so many questions surrounding if you need a day cream, night cream, eye cream, neck cream, and everything in between. Below, we will discuss whether it is necessary to stock our medicine cabinets and vanities with so many products or if dermatologists and aestheticians think we can live much more minimalistic.

Do I Really Need a 10-Step Skincare Routine?
The simple answer to this, according to many dermatologists, is that no, you do not. As the skincare industry nears making a staggering $6 billion a year, many of the excessive products on the market are just meant to create a need for an issue that can be solved much more simply. An example of this is eye creams. While they can be somewhat beneficial to those with dark circles, fine lines, and undereye puffiness, they are not necessary for many people. They make promises that are not usually delivered.

A similar example is that of neck cream. According to Miami-based dermatologist Dr. S. Manjula Jegasothy, studies have shown that merely hydrating the neck skin can make it appear less rough and scaly. It also will minimize the appearance of fine lines. So basically, you can make the neck appear more youthful by simply making sure when you moisturize your face, you moisturize your neck as well.

So Is Minimalist Skin Care Better?
Every person’s skin is different and is affected by age, health, environment, and many other factors. That makes answering the question of if minimalist is better hard to answer. What is for sure is that many companies understand that more is not better for many people, and by overwhelming consumers with a new product launch every single week, they may be driving women away from their brand. As women begin to simplify things in their lives, including their closets, homes, and diets, skincare follows.

Some newcomers to the skincare industry have been taking this knowledge and creating simplified routines for women custom-tailored to their particular needs. One such company that is taking the industry by storm is Proven. They utilize a comprehensive skincare database that analyzes ingredients, products, scientific publications, and environmental conditions to give customers an individualized 3-step skincare routine based on a quiz completed online. They are one of the companies that believe in using fewer products, but those formulated for individuals to achieve the best skincare possible. It is precisely what women who cannot spend hundreds of dollars on individual products or want a simplified routine are looking for. Another brand, Honest, created by Jessica Alba, also features a 3-step routine and focuses on clean ingredients.

Are All These Products Just a Marketing Ploy?
There is no doubt that many products on the market do not achieve the results they claim to. But, that does not mean that all the products offered by skincare companies are a marketing ploy. Many products achieve fantastic results, so it is best not to lump the most reputable, long-standing products and companies in with those that have less stellar performance and reputations. Instead of getting sucked into buying complicated day and night skincare routines, it is best to find a simple regimen that consists of a cleanser, moisturizer, and treatment or serum for both day and night. According to Dr. Melanie Palm, a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, give your routine at least three months to gauge its effects on your skin before making any changes. After those three months, if you are interested in adding additional products, follow this same advice. Add in one at a time, stick to a brand you know your skin reacts well to, and then give it three months.

Where Should I Start?
If you feel a bit better about knowing that the current trend of living a more minimalistic life can include your skincare routine, you may be wondering where to get started. Luckily, many dermatologists are on the same page as to what products are a must-have to begin with before looking into adding more lotions and potions that may be lovely add-ons but are not necessities. Below are two quick routines, one for the morning and one for the evening.

● Morning
Gentle cleanser
Antioxidant serum (i.e., vitamin C, hyaluronic acid)
Moisturizer with an SPF 30 or higher

● Evening
Makeup remover (optional if you do not wear makeup during the day)
Gentle cleanser
Chemical exfoliant product (i.e., BHA) or retinol (start with once a week to prevent irritation)
Moisturizer without an SPF

Good skincare does not need to be complicated or involve a 10-step routine each morning and evening. Start with one that is easy and that you can stick to. The key to effective skincare is consistency.

The skincare industry is booming, introducing new products daily and telling you that you need them to achieve your best skin. It is essential not to get too caught up in the hype. For the most part, dermatologists agree that you do not need different products for different body parts. They say you do need a simple routine that you give time to work and show signs of effectiveness. Remember your skin is your body’s largest organ, treat it with care and do not overwhelm it with too many products too quickly. It will thank you with the gorgeous glow you see in the reflection each day!

Skincare 101: The only products you need to get good skin
Do You Actually Need Eye Cream? Derms Settle the Debate
Do You Really Need to Be Using a Neck Cream?
Proven Skincare
How Long to Wait Before Judging Whether Your Skincare Routine Works, According to Dermatologists
Honest – 3 Steps to Flawless Skin Kit