Trends: Skin Kindness and Skinimalism

May 11th, 2022

May 11th, 2022

During the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns there were many skincare trends, with TikTok being a driving force behind the popularity of DIY beauty tricks and game-changing hacks.  As clinics and salons reopened as restrictions lifted, consumers booked in for innovative treatments in their droves, leaving much of the DIY behind and creating a post-pandemic beauty boom.

2022 has seen the emergence of new trends as we spend more time socialising and easing ourselves back into real life work environments meaning we’re picking up the pace again – which is bound to take a toll on our skin.

If you’ve tried to tackle common gripes like maskne, hyperpigmentation and more with high-strength ingredients like exfoliating acids and retinoids, you’re not alone. Whether you’re a skincare obsessive or you consider yourself a bit of a novice, it’s likely you may have experienced some irritation. Cue redness, flaky skin and sore patches. That’s where skin kindness comes in.

Conversations have turned to skin barrier health and sensitivity, and we are now entering a period of “less is more” in skincare, moving away from the “more is more” era of over-exfoliation and the improper use of active-heavy ingredients.  A more gentle, barrier-first approach is taking off.  With sensitivity and reactive skin now commonplace, there has been a move to embrace skin kindness.

The focus for many popular brands has become less about aggressive use of peels and acids to constantly transform your complexion and more on anti-inflammatory solutions, nurturing the skin’s barrier, maintaining a healthy, diverse microbiome [the good bacteria that live on your skin and keep it healthy and resilient] and aligning more with self-care.  In addition, minimising steps or seeking out multi-functional products for a fuss free routine, now known as skinimalism, are dominating the beauty approach.

Skincare took precedence over makeup last year, and this year there is a definite move away from long routines towards skinimalism.  Many of us have realised that too much product can take a toll on our skin.  As well as reducing the steps we take, there is a demand for gentler ingredients, for example plant-based alternatives such as bakuchiol rather than harsh ingredients like retinol.

According to Alexia Inge, cofounder and co-CEO of Cult Beauty, “sensitive skin has become even more prevalent during the pandemic and will likely remain a concern as we step outside after months spent at home.” She predicts we will be hunting down products and ingredients that support, not strip, the skin’s barrier.  She recommends skipping foaming soaps, multi-acid or aggressive physical exfoliators and taking our retinol or vitamin C use down a notch in favour of gentler, repairing ingredients like ceramides and jojoba oil.

The influx of products designed to calm and soothe skin and restore its resilience can be as simple as moisturisers with ingredients which work to support the skin barrier but they also include gentle targeted options that gently treat issues like irritation and acne, as well as mask-ne.  Increasingly products combining ingredients with anti-microbial and sebum-regulating properties help address the issues as well protect the skin from further impact.

The relevance of the microbiome in skincare is definitely increasing, particularly via clinically effective products that contain probiotics and superfoods, intended to restore and protect the skin’s natural balance.  In recent years we’ve witnessed a real blurring of the lines between beauty and wellness and in 2022 we are continuing to see a continued focus on self-care, both in at home skincare and being kind to our bodies in other ways.

According to the latest skincare trend report from L’Oréal Active Cosmetics Division our beauty regimes are becoming increasingly holistic. 67% of people surveyed said that getting enough sleep was important to them, while 57% said they are now drinking plenty of water and 56% are focusing more on relaxation. They were all considered more important factors in caring for the appearance than using skincare products.

Research suggests skin conditions such as acne, atopic dermatitis (a common form of eczema) and psoriasis can be triggered by a spike in the stress hormone cortisol. Techniques like breathwork as well as taking the time for skincare rituals like at-home facials and incorporating relaxing facial tools like jade rollers and gua sha into an evening skincare routine may all help to reduce stress slightly, and subsequently reduce the production of cortisol.

So whether you’re contemplating ditching makeup entirely to focus on your skin’s health or streamlining your over loaded bathroom cabinet, skinimalism and skin kindness are definitely trending.  Here is our guide.


Read the labels

Don’t blindly follow Instagram trends and get influenced by advertisements. Before buying a product, read the labels to know if this is what your skin actually needs. Don’t jump onto the ‘acid-retinol’ bandwagon, just because it is trending. Ask your dermatologist before putting chemicals on your face. AHAs and BHAs are not for everyone.


Less is more

Murad Prebiotic 4-in-1 Multicleanser

You don’t need 10 different cleansers, or an array of moisturisers. See what works for your skin type and stick to it. If you have dry skin, opt for soap-free cleansers and for oily skin, gel cleansers are your best bet.

Using too many products can sometimes compromise your skin’s barrier, which can lead to sensitivity and dryness. If your skin is already dry and irritable, use a mild moisturiser which is rich in vitamin E and will calm and protect your skin.


Face yoga and massage

Sofia Latif Amethyst Gua Sha Facial Tool

Instead of wasting time on 10-step-routines, for a quick pick-me-up, apply your favourite face oil and massage in gentle circular and upward motion. You can also use tools such as a jade roller or gua sha.

Nadira V Persaud – Face Workouts For Beginners

Face massage improves the overall appearance of skin, reduces puffiness and acne by flushing out toxins. Doing 5-10 minutes of facial yoga, is another way to maintain skin health, it helps delay signs of ageing and relaxes muscle tension that leads to wrinkles and fine lines. This acts as a simple solution to stay minimal.



Goodhabit Rescue Me Glow Potion Oil Serum

Layering different serums and moisturisers to create your own cocktail has its share of pros and cons. But it’s also good to have a go-to formula to address all your concerns. Multi-taskers are hardworking products that simultaneously solve other needs, reducing the number of products on our beauty shelves and saving on time with a simplified routine. There are many such alternatives available in the market, for example nourishing oils that can soothe the scalp and substitute as serum to hydrate sensitive skin around the eyes. In fact, lightweight oils can also be used as pre-makeup toners and post-makeup cleansers.


Go slow

Don’t empty your bathroom cabinet in one go. Make a note of how many products you use and eliminate them one by one for a minimalist, yet effective skincare routine.


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By Sarah Dann

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