According to Melanie Grant, simple skin-care routines are the most effective.

By Renee Cherry
April 02, 2019
Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images

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)

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.