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The minimal skincare routine that saves time and money

Have you ever wondered how moms look so good and maintained with just a couple of products that she always sticks by? Well, it is the habit of not experimenting with the skin but rather letting the skin breathe and heal with skincare. With time, skincare enthusiasts turned into hoarders and we started engaging in multiple actives for a night to treat the skin. Luckily, with time we are seeing certain trends that promote minimal skincare every night. Sit down and read how you can join this clan!

How to build a minimal skincare routine?

A minimal skincare routine is where you use lesser layers of skincare to treat, repair, and maintain your skin. Such a skincare routine is catching the wind for all the right reasons. A minimal skincare routine can save money and time and helps you be a conscious consumer. To build a minimal skincare routine, you must know the skincare routine's objective for your skin. For example, those with good skin would want to maintain the skin’s health which makes maintenance your objective. After knowing your objective, you can decide the ingredient you want to pick to achieve your goal. For example, for maintenance purposes, one can pick products with Ceramides, Peptides, etc. Some of the critical pointers apart from setting an objective and knowing which ingredient will work for your skin are the following:

1. Look out for multi-functional products if you have multiple skin concerns to address
2. Skip the toner and instead use a hydrating face wash
3. Adopt Skin cycling

That may have got you thinking about what skin cycling actually means. Let’s find out!

What is skin cycling?

Think of what happens in the gym. Every day, you work on different parts of your body to give rest to other parts. Similarly, in skin cycling, there are rest days followed by exfoliation and actives. Skin cycling helps your skin to heal on its own after you’ve provided it with actives. This is a gem of a method for those with sensitive, rosacea-prone, eczema-prone skin. This is a four-day cycle that helps to achieve even-toned, plump skin. Here’s how you can follow skin cycling:

Night 1: Exfoliation

On the first night, you are supposed to exfoliate your skin. This step comes first to remove the dirt and dead skin layer. Exfoliation helps not just to remove the dead skin and gunk but also to improve your skin’s ability to absorb the active ingredients better. There are three types of exfoliators: Physical, Chemical, and Enzymatic. For those with sensitive skin, Chemical exfoliators in low concentration or Enzyme exfoliators can prove to be more suitable than Physical exfoliators.

Learn more about the beginner’s guide to chemical exfoliation here.

Sublime recommends Deconstruct Beginners Exfoliating Serum. It has 5% Lactic acid which is gentle on the skin and 1.5% Probiotics to maintain the skin barrier.

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Night 2: Retinol

Retinol belongs to a group called Retinoids which is a derivative of Vitamin A. It has the power to increase cell turnover but while doing so, it requires moisturised skin. The right time to start using Retinol is in your mid-twenties when your body slows down the production of Collagen. Retinol is used on the second night after your skin has been exfoliated the night before. Since Retinol takes care of multiple concerns like sagging, stubborn marks, dullness, wrinkles, etc it is the best choice to be a part of your skin cycling routine. Make sure to use Retinol on dry skin and top it with a moisturiser.

Learn some of the common Retinol mistakes here so you could avoid making them!

Sublime recommends Pure Bubbles Retinol Face Cream. It’s a rich blend of Emollients, Peptides, Vitamin B3, etc along with Retinol 0.3% to make it friendly even to those who have never used Retinol.

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Night 3 & 4: Rest

The night after you’ve used Retinol, your skin is in recovery mode due to Retinol. This is when you leave it alone and do not overwhelm it with additional highly potent actives. You can use soothing and moisturising ingredients for the following two nights like Rosewater, Aloe Vera, Ceramides, Fatty acids, Face oils, etc. These will keep your skin balanced and moisturised while your skin rests to be its best.

Just like our routine, even our skin needs a rest from time to time to function well.

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What does a minimal skincare routine look like?

A minimal skincare routine is about sticking to the basics and allocating your attention to only specific skin concerns instead of wanting to treat it all together overnight and ending with a compromised skin barrier. Here are the steps which you can follow:

1. Cleanse

Cleanser that does not strip off the moisture but cleanses all the dirt from your pores is important. Look out for cleansers that have soothing properties along with cleansing because such face wash usually does not strip off the goodness from your skin. Such cleansers usually have Glycerin, Rosewater, Green Tea, etc in them to keep your skin moisturised while washing off the gunk. If you have applied makeup then you must opt for double cleansing where you use an oil-based cleanser first and then a gel or foam-based cleanser.

Sublime recommends August Bioscience Face Cleanser. It’s a cleanser crafted so well for sensitive, dry and normal skin. For those who are looking for a non-stripping and hydrating option, this is a must-try!

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2. Moisturise

On a clean canvas, you must first pat in moisturiser to restore the skin barrier. A minimal skincare routine is all about providing your skin with just what you need. So use a moisturiser that can improve your skin’s plumpness and revive the intercellular phospholipid bonds. How to search for such a moisturiser? Simply look for Fatty acids, face oils with non-comedogenic ratings, Cholesterol, etc. Such moisturisers also act as a cushion before you apply highly reactive actives on your skin.

Sublime recommends Put Simply Waterdam(N) Moisturiser. It’s a simple, hydrating and soothing moisturiser that strengthens your skin barrier.

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3. Treat

This part of the routine is where customisation happens. In this step, you have to pick a skin concern that you want to address. Let’s say you want to address dullness and zits, then it is best to pick a Vitamin C serum. If you’re looking to address multiple concerns, then you can use Retinol in the lowest concentration of around 0.1%. Retinol needs the skin to be well moisturised so you might want to add another layer of moisturiser after applying Retinol. This method is called ‘Sandwich’. You must avoid using Retinol during the day. If it is a day, it is best to stick to actives like Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Centella Asiatica, etc to heal and treat your skin.

Sublime recommends Skyn Organic Company Vitamin C Serum. It has the goodness of Kakadu Plum and Hyaluronic Acid to moisturise and brighten your skin.

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4. Sunscreen

This is the last step if it is an AM routine. It’s the holiest step for your skin and if you skip it then all your skincare applied before will fail. We recommend using sunscreen every three hours. Thanks to the advancement in the skincare industry, you can get sunscreens that won’t leave a white cast or make your skin oily but will still protect you as a strong shield from UV rays.

Learn more about how to read sunscreen labels here.

Sublime recommends Lisen Soothing Shade SPF 50 + PA +++ Sunscreen. It’s a physical sunscreen paired with the power of Centella Asiatica to soothe and protect your skin. Perfect AM buddy!

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Take home points

Minimal and time-saving routines are easy on the pocket and can offer a lot more to your skin without overwhelming it. It teaches you to deal with one skin concern at a time by using fewer actives to let your skin heal and rest well in between. Skin cycling is a great method to adopt a minimal skincare routine. We’re just happy that the culture of letting your skin breathe and rest is back again!

- Divya Salvi

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