I have a confession. I’m a bit of a skincare product junkie. In case you didn’t know by now. Even before I started making my own products (and one of the things that ultimately LED to me make my own products), I always bought into the well marketed idea that I needed separate lotions, gels, creams, and serums for daytime and nighttime; for my eyes, lips, face, and neck; and during certain times of the year. I also bought into the idea that the products in my regimen should all be from the same brand because they’re formulated to “work together” and heaven forbid some rogue ingredient from another brand infiltrate the perfect synergy and ruin the whole thing. I have to say though, I also loved opening my vanity every day seeing all the pretty, matching bottles, jars, and tubes. It made me feel like I had my own spa or department store beauty counter at my disposal.
But then things changed, and I went from relishing my skincare regimen every day to wanting to skip it or rush through it. Other things in my life had also changed, and I found that a regimen with multiple products and multiple steps no longer fit in and gave me pleasure. That’s when I realized that the regimen was just too complex, and when I began to simplify, the pleasure returned. I’m guessing I’m not alone here, so if you’re just not feeling the same love for your skincare regimen as you used to, maybe yours is too complicated too.
Here are some signs that might indicate that your skincare regimen is too complicated:
You find yourself rearranging your budget to accommodate it. A great skincare regimen is important, but there’s absolutely no reason it should take priority over healthy food, fun events with your family, or your kids’ dance lessons. If you find that you’re allocating money for your skincare regimen, THEN other stuff, there might be a bit of an imbalance here. Professional and high end over-the-counter skincare regimens can cost several hundred dollars a month, but an effective skincare regimen doesn’t have to.
You’re experiencing skin irritation and can’t pinpoint the cause. Complicated regimens consisting of different types of products that are each made with a lot of active ingredients (even natural ones) can overstimulate the skin. The more products are involved, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to identify where the problem is, whether the problem is with one ingredient or the combination of ingredients. With a simpler regimen, it’s much easier to find the culprit.
Your daily regimen takes longer than 10 minutes. You might do a masque every now and then that adds an additional 15 minutes or so to your regimen, but the standard “cleanse, tone, moisturize” regimen shouldn’t take all that long. If you find that applying different products, waiting for them to absorb, massaging them in, and so on takes longer than 10 minutes, you might have too many products or too many steps.
Your products go bad before you run out of them. The skin can only absorb so much product at a time. If you’re applying several layers of lotions, serums, oils, and creams at a time, that means you’re likely using a little bit of a lot of products. High quality, natural and organic products have a shelf-life of less than a year (otherwise the products are preserved with potentially harmful chemicals). They’re not meant to sit on your shelf for longer than a month or two. If you’re only using a tiny bit at a time, chances are it will take you a lot longer to go through them, and in many cases, they’ll spoil before that happens resulting in wasted product and wasted money. Using the appropriate amount of fewer products often works as well, if not better than tiny amounts of a lot of products.
You have anxiety or fear of NOT sticking with your regimen. Again, the cosmetics industry has done a very good job of selling the idea that you NEED a certain number of products and that without every product in the “system,” you won’t have your best possible skin. While plenty of people ignore this and just pick what products they want and are fine with that, there are others that follow manufacturer’s instructions like marching orders. For these people, any deviation from the orders whether it’s having to travel and not being able to bring everything, or running out of a product and not being able to replace it right away, can lead to addictive tendencies, anxiety, and other negative thought patterns. If you experience any negative emotions at the thought of NOT being able to do your regimen and that’s what keeps you using it, that’s a clear sign that it’s time to cut the cord, simplify, and in some cases, seek help from a mental health professional or spiritual advisor.
If any of the above applies to you, it might be time to trim down your regimen, or change it completely.
You can start by deciding how many products you want to use, and how much time and money you want to spend on your regimen. Then decide what your skin concerns and goals are. Pare your regimen down to a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, plus a sunscreen for daytime when appropriate. Apply each product with love, smile at your reflection at every step, and see how that feels. If you notice negative changes in your skin, that’s an indication that maybe there are internal causes of whatever your skin issue is that need to be addressed with means other than topical skincare.
Of course, if you’re someone who is happy using 10 products for 45 minutes twice a day and you consider it a joyful part of your self-care ritual, then by all means continue on!
Give the gift of simple skincare.
I remember the first time I received a handmade, all natural skincare kit as a gift. At first I was really skeptical of whether it would work as well as the high-end stuff I was used to, but when I saw how excited the person was who gave it to me, I gave it a chance.
I was quickly captivated by the gorgeous natural aromas, luxurious feel, and extreme amount of pleasure I got from using those products. Using just a few products was such a relief after years of using twice as many, and it renewed my joy in my own skincare regimen. I encourage you to give that gift to yourself and your loved ones–and I teach you how to do that in my online workshop Create Your Skincare for the Holidays. Check it out and get started here!