Is Skinimalism here to stay in 2023?

Megan Dominion

Skinimalism (also known as skin-nourishing minimalism) is an emerging trend in the beauty industry that encourages a minimalist approach to skin care, in which people focus more on nourishing their skin rather than layering on a lot of products. It’s about taking a mindful approach to skin care, choosing high-quality products tailored to your individual needs, and having a simple and effective skincare routine.

In terms of whether skinimalism is here to stay, it certainly looks that way. There has been an increasing interest in natural, clean beauty products that focus on nourishing skin rather than covering it up, and with more people looking to simplify their skin care, skinimalism looks set to become an even more popular trend.

The origins of Skinimalism

As the term Skinimalism started surfacing on social media in early 2021, Skinimalism was first popularized by eco-friendly beauty brands that focus on natural, clean ingredients and ethical production processes. The trend is continuing to grow in popularity as more people become aware of the benefits of high-quality skin care, and seek to simplify their routines.

It can also be seen as a counter-movement to the Korean 10 Step Skincare routine, which has been around since the 1990s and has since become a billion-dollar industry. The 10 Step routine is focused on layering a lot of different products on the skin, however skinimalism puts an emphasis on only using quality products tailored to the individual’s skin type.

What does a skinimalistic Skincare Routine look like?

In all honesty, a skinimalism routine is no different to one dermatologists have been touting for decades!

  1. Cleanse the skin
  2. Moisturise the skin
  3. Serum or toner (optional)
  4. Sunscreen (in the morning)

The idea is that your products should have ingredients that target your individual skincare concerns, whether it be anti-aging, acne, pigmentation, etc. Here’s a look what a toner is used for today vs old school toners (hint: a toner can be a great addition to a skinimalism routine).

Skincare Products

Why so many people have been moving from the 10 Step routine to Skinimalism

The Korean 10 Step routine became so popular as it provides 10 opportunities to nourish your skin and target any skincare concerns you may be experiencing, perhaps even with multiple products. It made sure you are looking after every aspect of your skin, from moisturising to exfoliating, double cleansing and eye care.

This 10 step routine was found that it can be very expensive and time-consuming, and is often not tailored to the individual’s skin type, but rather a ‘cover all bases and all skintypes’ approach. It also commonly lead to skin irritations, break-outs and purging. Even if all 10 steps weren’t followed, people who were using multiple steps and products containing active ingredients found they were often left with a damaged skin barrier.

Skinimalism on the other hand encourages people to be mindful of their skin needs and to choose high-quality products tailored to their skin type instead of layering on a lot of products. By focusing on nourishing their skin, they are less likely to overload it with unnecessary products, which can cause irritation and imbalances.

My Skinimalism skincare routine: an example

Woman washing her face pulling peace signs with her hands

I have been following a simple skincare routine for a good few months now, after going crazy and buying multiple serums, face washes, moisturisers, and being left with incredibly irritated skin. It took a while to find the right products, but here is my skinimalism routine tailored to my skincare needs to give you an example of how to create one for yourself!

1. Cleanser

I tend towards acne breakouts, so my cleanser contains salicylic acid. I have an additional very, very gentle cleanser that I use instead when my skin is irritated or recovering from a peel or treatment.

2. Serum or Toner

I use two products in the evenings on a rotational basis. The first is a fairly strong retinol cream (if retinols irritate your skin too much, try bakuchiol!), the second a niacinimide and alpha arbutin serum. On day 3 I will give my skin a break and go straight to appling my moisturizer.

I find these additional products help with my managing oily skin, acne breakouts and pigmentation left from any recent breakouts I may have had. It’s also worth noting that I established my routine without the additional serums or toners first, and then slowly introduced them.


3. Moisturizer

The moisturizer I use is formulated with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to help calm my skin as well as fight any acne breakouts. It has azelaic acid, tea tree oil, copper tripeptides and more salicylic acid in it as the active ingredients, which has been great for my skin.

4. Sunscreen

This is such an important skincare step to be done every single day. The trick is not to be on the lookout for ‘the best one’ but to just find one that you will use every day, whether it be factor 30 or 50 (obviously higher is better), physical or chemical, Friench or Korean. I use a really gentle, nourishing sunscreen that is factor 50 broad spectrum.

It takes time to find the best products for your individual skin’s needs, and sometimes there’s a lot of trial and error. For this reason I have not mentioned specific products as everyone’s skin is different.

Skinimalism is a way to pick the active ingredients that will work best for your skin and remove any additional actives that may be irritating your skin too, or not really providing any additional benefits. It also creates a skin routine that is simple and easy to follow, which means you are more likely to be consistent with it.

Once you’ve found products you are happy with, the key to seeing results is consistency. I certainly believe skinimalism is here to stay well into 2023 and beyond!

Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.