According to Melanie Grant, simple skin-care routines are the most effective.
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If you have a "more is more" approach to skin care, you might wanna reconsider. Melanie Grant, facialist to the likes of Victoria Beckham and Phoebe Tonkin, wrote an Instagram post explaining why you're better off with a minimalist skin-care regimen. "The most effective skincare regimes are those that are the most simple," according to Grant. (Related: The Exact Skincare Products Victoria Beckham Uses Every Day for Glowing Skin)
Your skin "can only absorb so many products," writes Grant, so if nothing else, an overzealous skin-care routine is an unnecessary use of time and money. More than that, piling on too many products can wreak havoc, she explains. "Be wary of layering different actives as this can have dire implications for skin—believe it or not, it is possible to unknowingly give yourself the equivalent of a chemical peel on a nightly basis (!)," she writes. (Related: 4 Signs You're Using Too Many Beauty Products)
Janet Prystowsky, M.D., Ph.D., an NYC-based dermatologist, shares a similar outlook on maximal skin-care routines. "A maximal routine is usually a mistake because it is kind of blindly throwing everything but the kitchen sink at your skin, hoping to cover all the bases," she says. "A routine that's simpler and targeted to your skin's needs is better." Using certain active ingredients together—for example, tretinoin products at the same time as benzoyl peroxide products—can lead to irritation, she explains.
With all that said, you don't want to take it too far the other way. "A minimal skin-care regime will usually suffice, but if you have special skin issues as many of us have, it may not be sufficient for an optimal outcome," shares Dr. Prystowky.
So how much is too much? Grant thinks a skin-care routine should include eight steps at the very most: cleanser, toner, mist or essence, serum, facial oil, moisturizer, blemish treatment. That's food for thought if you live and die by a 10-step Korean skin-care routine. (Related: 3-Step Skin-Care Kits That Will Seriously Simplify Your Beauty Routine)
Notes on A Maximalist Skincare Regime Some of us are minimalists, and some of us…aren’t. Oftentimes, this extends to our beauty and skincare regimes, and, in a world with approximately 101,028,039 skincare products on the market, it’s easy to get carried away. Of course, I love to see people tending to their skin so passionately, but keep in mind that you can have too much of a good thing. The most effective skincare regimes are those that are the most simple – though this doesn’t mean you have to suppress your maximalist tendencies. Just make sure you’re using them to your advantage. Yes, a maximalist and an effective skincare regime can co-exist harmoniously. My number one tip for the maximalists amongst us: more is not always more. Be wary of layering different actives as this can have dire implications for skin – believe it or not, it is possible to unknowingly give yourself the equivalent of a chemical peel on a nightly basis (!) And remember, your skin can only absorb so many products. At most, a skincare regime should consist of the following steps; cleanse, toner, mist or essence, serum, facial oil, moisturiser, blemish treatment (where needed) and of course sunscreen. For many of us, skincare regimes offer an opportunity to indulge in a moment of ‘me time’, offering a moment to retreat from the day-to-day grind. If you like to indulge in skincare, look to skin ‘boosters’ and treatments to fulfil your maximalist desires. Think: facial mists, professional and DIY facials, laser treatments, chemical peels and facial massage. These work wonders on skin while simultaneously fulfilling your desire for more.If you’re constantly on the hunt for new products, switch up your regime from time to time. In fact, I actually recommend doing this – maximalist or not – as our skin needs change from season to season, hormonal fluctuations and lifestyle factors and oftentimes our skin builds up an immunity to certain products and ingredients, so it’s always preferable to keep it on its toes, so switch up your products seasonally or when travelling, however, don’t change your regime right before a special event such as your wedding.
On the bright side, there are ways to keep it extra without ODing on products. "If you like to indulge in skincare, look to skin ‘boosters’ and treatments to fulfill [sic] your maximalist desires," she says. "Think: facial mists, professional and DIY facials, laser treatments, chemical peels, and facial massage. These work wonders on skin while simultaneously fulfilling your desire for more." (Related: The Healthy Skin Benefits of Using Face Mists)
Consider that permission to invest in a black diamond face mask.