The beauty industry is booming. Statistics show that by the end of 2021, the global beauty market is expected to reach a market value of more than $805 billion. This staggering number is only going to grow in the coming years as more and more people are spending their money on cosmetics, skincare, hair care and other related products.

This industry growth is supported by more skincare professionals, influencers, beauty bloggers, and advertisements touting “benefits” elaborate, multi-step, and multi-product routines. But who does this really benefit? Hint: usually not the person using all the products, and definitely not the environment.

Do you know what else is booming, and not in a good way?

Skin, eye, and anaphylactic skin allergic reactions. A 2021 survey examined specific allergic reactions within the percentage of surveyed adults in the United States with allergies. Of the surveyed population, 67% reported allergic or irritant reactions of the eyes; 46% reported skin allergies specifically (rashes, hives, blistering, itching, swelling).

There are many potential reasons for these high incidences of allergic reactions, including autoimmune disease, chronic illness, or low immune function; stress, and environmental factors. However, we cannot ignore the fact that many ingredients used in skincare products, color cosmetics, hair products, and other personal care products are known allergens. Specifically, concerns of heavy metals like lead and nickel, synthetic fragrance compounds, certain sunscreen ingredients, dyes and colorants, and certain preservatives (parabens, imidazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, phenoxyethanol, methylchloroisothiazolinone) have all been linked to skin allergies.

For these reasons, many aestheticians, dermatologists, herbalists, and other skin wellness practitioners now recommend a minimalist skincare approach. Today, guest author, Andrea Endres (host of the Skin Body Spirit Summit) delves into what minimalist skincare is, why it’s a good idea, and how to get started.

What is minimalist skincare, really?

Minimalist skincare is supposed to be all about using fewer products with fewer ingredients, and less packaging.

But let’s be honest: with all the beautiful and temptatious brands out there, our good intentions easily turn into bathroom shelves filled with “minimalist” products that target all kinds of meticulous skin issues. Yet, we still experience various skin concerns. It sounds contradictory but are too many minimalist products the cause?

The skin is a self sufficient organ. It knows what to do to function optimally, just like all your other organs do. Are we causing many of the skin problems we experience because we use skincare products?

Fifteen minimalist products are still a lot to process for the skin and maybe it simply needs a break. When was the last time we just let our skin be? When was the last time it went weeks without undergoing several steps and layers of targeted, so called minimalist products and actives?

Is our skin the problem or how we treat it?

Our skin is truly amazing at taking care of itself, but it is not given a fair chance to do so. We are very quick to add new products, even so called minimalist ones, boasting with irresistible claims specifically addressing that very particular issue at hand. The more we try to fix something, the more products we buy; and the less of a chance the skin has to function on its own. 

minimalist skincare productsThe biggest challenge is to wrap our heads around the fact that using less products overall can be very effective–and not to mention, the best environmental choice we can make. Adapting the mindset of less is more and having patience for, and trust in our skin’s various healing stages, is mostly a mental challenge rather than a purely skincare product challenge. Let’s be honest, we simply love shiny new objects and it feels way easier to hope the next product will fix what we may have caused ourselves by years of over-processing our skin. 


A truly minimalist skincare approach

This very simple regimen gives the skin a chance to bounce back to it’s unique status quo and lets us discover and experience it’s baseline. Give this very minimalist–or rather essentialist–skincare regimen a try: 

  1. Deep cleanse: OCM (Oil Cleansing Method)
  2. Hydrate and balance the skin’s pH with hydrosols
  3. Use a couple of drops of protective, nutrient rich cold pressed, organic plant oil
  4. And give yourself an intuitive and intentional facial massage

This almost sounds too easy, too affordable and too unspectacular, doesn’t it?

But it will truly give the skin a chance to just re-balance itself and exercise its natural organ functions without counteracting irritations from products. During the time the skin has overcome some initial imbalances–usually one to two weeks–you will have learned to tune in, get to know your skin; and have patience, trust and compassion for this hardworking organ.

Whatever concerns might still endure, you can then address with whole, high quality natural ingredients. You can even craft your own personalized natural skincare products that will support the skin, and strengthen its barrier and ecosystem. Think about it. This makes much more sense than constantly washing off and then replacing the skin’s natural components, and trying to imitate its functions.

We cannot forget that a topical regimen is just a small part of the whole picture.

If we really want lasting results and vibrant, healthy skin, we also have to recognize the impact of our lifestyle choices. No skincare routine–minimalist or maximalist–can replace good sleep. No serum can hydrate as much as colorful and juicy fruits and vegetables. No minimalist skincare product can achieve what a balanced life can. 

Want to learn how to support your clients with minimalist skincare?

If you are an aesthetician, health coach, or skin wellness practitioner, we can teach you how to help your clients integrate skin-healthy food and lifestyle choices into their busy lives. Our professionally accredited Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® Training Program teaches you all you need to know to do that, while also staying within your scope of practice.

You can download our syllabus, learn more and enroll HERE.

About the author:

Andrea Endres started her natural self-care journey in 2004 after attending one lecture that changed her life forever. She became a Holistic Skincare Therapist at Axelsons Institute, Scandinavia’s oldest and largest school for complementary and alternative medicine under Lena Losciale, Sweden’s pioneer of Professional Education and Expertise in Botany, Dermatology and Plant-based Skincare and holds two nutritionist certifications. She founded the Skin Body Spirit Summit where she connects holistic skin health and wellness experts with conscious women looking for individualized practices in skin, body and self care.

Andrea ran her own restaurant in Cambodia, is a Plant Based Chef and full-time traveler spreading the fascinating and empowering world of holistic skin health while passionately volunteering at a local nonprofit working towards sustainable tourism. Her mission is to help women to become confident in their skin, really owning their choices, their bodies, their worth. Natural and holistic skincare and nutrition were her doorstep to a journey of true empowerment and that is what she wants to pay forward.

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