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The experience of lockdown provided many with a time of self-reflection, and one realisation that emerged during this time was that, when it comes to skincare routines, less is actually more. Breaking the habits of over-cleansing and excessive makeup wear has resulted in healthier skin overall – a ‘skinimalism’ trend that probiotic skincare brand Esse has been promoting.

So, what is skinimalism?

For too long now, the beauty industry has been putting profits first, and endorsing the daily use of as many products as possible. However, a heavy product load can result in a disrupted skin microbiome, which can actually exacerbate skin conditions, or even bring about new problems such as breakouts, dryness and skin sensitivity. Skinimalism encourages a minimalist approach to skincare routines. This means cutting down on the number of skincare and makeup products used, and giving your skin a chance to establish a healthy barrier, as nature intended.

How does skinimalism work?

The great thing about the skinimalism trend is that you can achieve more by doing less. Further than reducing the number of steps in your daily skincare regime, the principle includes taking a measured approach to the amount of each product you apply. Using less means being selective with the products you do use – determining whether they’re helping to establish a healthy balance, or disrupting your skin’s microbiome. A disrupted microbiome will leave the skin exposed to harmful pathogens – exactly what we want to avoid.

How do we achieve skinimalism?

It’s easy to say ‘less is more’, but to cut down, you need to know which parts of your routine aren’t doing you any favours.

1.      Cut out the deep cleansing

For years we’ve been sold the idea that our skin needs to be deeply cleansed, removing the natural oils as a way to keep it healthy. In fact, the opposite is true. Our sebum (the oil produced by our skin) has a number of important functions, including:

  • Feeding beneficial skin microbes;
  • Regulating the passage of substances across the skin;
  • Protecting against pollutants and pathogens; and
  • Retaining the necessary moisture.

Deep cleansing removes the natural oils, simply forcing the sebaceous glands to increase production. Unfortunately, the more we do this, the poorer the quality of our sebum, and the less able it is to perform its important functions. This can contribute to the development of skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea, and dermatitis.

2.      Reduce the morning cleanser

While you sleep, your sebaceous glands work hard to produce a layer of sebum in preparation for the day ahead. Yet modern beauty regimes encourage us to wash away this protective layer. Rather than doing a deep cleanse in the morning, simply rinse your face with cool water. Sebum melts at 32°C, so the cooler the better.

3.      Use a mild evening cleanser

After a day of wearing makeup, foundation or sunscreen, you will need to wash away the product. Foaming cleansers tend to be quite harsh on the skin, stripping it of its natural oils. Rather opt for something milder, even cream-based, so that you remove the product without disrupting the microbiome.

4.      Keep your post-cleanse routine simple

If you have to cleanse to remove make-up or sunscreen, keep the number of products you apply afterwards to a minimum. A good moisturiser is often enough, but if your skin needs a little something extra, a touch of serum or oil can go a long way.

5.      Use the right products

One of the key aspects of skinimalism is selecting products that prioritise the skin’s natural balance. Bio-clinical skincare brand Esse seeds the skin with probiotics and feeds the microbiome with prebiotic nutrients, to promote a balanced ecology on the skin​. Included in this range is a probiotic foundation boasting the Esse signature Level 3 BIOME+ technology. For all its products, Esse researches rewilding techniques to restore your skin’s microbiome, while providing real functionality. It’s the ultimate in skinimalism!

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