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Skin Minimalism: Using only 3 products will reduce waste and help save the planet

by | Feb 24, 2021

Simplifying your skincare is not just better for your skin, but better for the planet too.

We should all be familiar with the three R’s of waste hierarchy – reduce, reuse, recycle. While there is a focus on reusing and recycling, reducing is the one R that often goes forgotten. So, how can we start reducing our consumption and the waste we produce?

Skincare has become an important aspect of our lifestyles. With the current focus on self-care, skincare has become a way to unwind after a long day and part of a routine to take care of our mind, body and souls.

Whenever our skin flares up, we tend to run to the stores to purchase as many products as possible to treat it. However, this often has the opposite effect. Too many products can lead to irritation, redness and sensitivity, due to fragrance and harsh ingredients such as denatured alcohol.

While a 10-step skincare routine was popularised in recent years, this led to using products our skin doesn’t need. However, a new trend is replacing it. Instead of a rigorous 10-step routine, Skin Minimalism strips down your previous regimen to, at most, three or four products, and focuses on personalising your routine to best suit your skin. So not only does skin minimalism promote waste reduction, it also focuses on education around what products you actually need.

A minimalist routine is beneficial for several reasons. Fewer products mean less exposure to sensitivity, less money wasted on unnecessary products and, most importantly, less waste. With the cosmetics industry growing at a rapid pace, its environmental effects are far from pretty. The cosmetic industry produces over 120 billion units of packaging each year, most of which are not recycled.

So, what products do you actually need in your routine?

Masks, serums and toners are all fun, but are they completely necessary? The answer is a bit controversial, but no you don’t need them. You may opt for one treatment if your skin needs it and a mask once in a blue moon for a pick-me-up, but they are not as essential as we have been led to believe. Instead, these 3 products are the only steps in your routine you need to maintain healthy and happy skin:


Specialists suggest washing your face with a facial cleanser at the very most twice a day. If you suffer with extreme dry sensitive skin, you may cleanse only once, preferably at night, or use a mild cleanser designed for dry skin. If you wear makeup, make sure to include a pre-cleanse as well such as Micellar water or an oil cleanser.


Yes, even if your skin is oily, moisturiser is still necessary. Moisturiser will ensure your skin does not dry out from cleansing and will keep the skin hydrated so that it does not over-produce sebum (which clogs your pores and causes breakouts).


Sunscreen is the most important step of your skincare routine. Providing protection from the harmful sun’s rays, sunscreen should be applied repeatedly throughout the day. To find ocean safe sunscreens, check out this article here.

Some people choose to add in a serum such as vitamin C, niacinamide or retinol to target certain aspects of their skin. But these don’t need to be used every day. However, if you do have a range of skincare products, finish them first before simplifying your routine.

Credit: Content Pixie / Unsplash 

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Our work is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 12, which aims to ensure sustainable consumption and production. Read More