2021's Biggest Beauty Trend Is All About "Skinimalism"
This refreshing take on beauty might sound trendy, but it's really all about going back to basics.
Whether you've been a fan of Marie Kondo for years or recently binged "The Home Edit" on Netflix, odds are you've done plenty of tidying up over the past several months. But while your kitchen might be spotless and your sock drawer color-coded, there's likely still an overflow of serums, creams, masks, and more piling up in your bathroom vanity. Pare down your collection of skin-care products? Gasp! But, how? You need every. single. one. of those expensive impulse purchases!
Truth be told, less is more when it comes to the best beauty practices. In fact, overdoing it with caked-on makeup or layering on too many skin-care products can worsen existing skin issues or create new problems, says Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology. Think: breakouts, irritation, dry skin, redness — the list goes on. And need not forget about maskne and stress-induced breakouts that have become mainstays thanks to the ongoing COVID pandemic.
Point being: Your skin needs a break — which is exactly why forecasting experts at Pinterest say "skinimalism" is going to be the beauty trend of 2021.
What Is Skinimalism?
Skinimalism is all about, well, minimalism in your beauty and makeup routines to "let [your] natural skin texture shine through," according to Pinterest. Translation: It's officially time to root through that mini beauty fridge for the products you actually use and slash your multi-step skin-care routine.
The result? A simplified version that'll save you time, money, and unnecessary trial and error — all while being more friendly to the planet. Less product, less packaging, less waste. (Related: These Innovations Are Making Your Beauty Products More Sustainable)
What's more, at the heart of skinimalism is an emphasis on banishing beauty ideals and the idea of "covering up" or "fixing flaws." Skinimalism encourages you to go #unfiltered and embrace the real, beautiful you.
After years of double cleansing and seven-step nighttime routines, a year of relatively makeup-free, quarantine living has set you up perfectly for skinimalism in 2021. But, paring down your skin-care regimen is actually something dermatologists have been encouraging for quite some time. "So many [patients] have spent an incredible amount of money on products, tried so many different skin-care trends, and are completely frustrated and feeling hopeless about the result," says Dr. Levin. The solution is almost always a simplified version of their routine or swapping multiple products for a few multitaskers, she adds.
Plus, the minimalism approach goes beyond your medicine cabinet and into your makeup bag. If you were never one to adopt the contouring trend, rejoice, but the trend isn't just centered around "natural-looking" makeup, but also about showing up as your natural self, according to the folks at Pinterest.
"Skinimalism is a movement toward embracing your real skin — less makeup and fewer beauty products — and allowing your natural glow to shine as opposed to heavy layers of makeup and contouring that often reflect unrealistic beauty standards commonly seen on social media," says Sejal Shah, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. (Related: How Acne Positivity Accounts Are Helping People See Their Breakouts Differently)
How to Practice Skinimalism
You don't have to toss every single beauty buy in your repertoire. Rather than giving up all of your products and makeup, skinimalism is about "focusing on the products that can benefit your skin and not necessarily hiding every imperfection," says Dr. Shah. To get started with your purge, you want to first focus on three foundational products:
"The idea behind minimalism is to use the least number of products to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy," says Dr. Shah. "So for some, this may include adding a serum to these three basic steps [while] for others it may be an acne medication."
In fact, if you're interested in going beyond the basics, both derms recommend adding an antioxidant serum to your regimen. The reason being, an antioxidant serum (such as Drunk Elephant's C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum, Buy It, $80, sephora.com) can help fight free radicals that can damage the skin, explains Dr. Shah. (Related: The 11 Best Anti-Aging Serums, According to Dermatologists)
Lastly, "you can still use any products that your skin needs or that you feel would benefit your skin such as acne-fighting ingredients, retinoids, other anti-aging ingredients," she adds. But consider chatting with your derm about what you really "need" and what's just skin clutter.