During the summer of 2020, I decided it was time to completely overhaul my daily skin-care routine.
For the record, there was no reason this needed to urgently happen. My skin wasn't behaving abnormally at all — no atypical or ultraconcerning breakouts, irritation, or redness.
At the time, if you would have asked me why I was revamping my routine, I would have told you that I was interested in testing more 100 percent plant-based products, or that I wanted to see if the hype was actually real on a few Instagram-famous formulas.
The truth of the matter was that I was just bored of my very simple routine of cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting my skin with the same cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF I had used for years. I wanted to have a spicy, sexy, and extensive skin-care lineup! I can admit that I was also desperately looking for a way to distract myself from the scary uncertainty of the pandemic and all the lockdown measures.
So, I started experimenting, and within a few weeks, my skin sadly started to freak out. My routine was certainly more exciting, and my shelf was now decorated with beautiful new essences, oils, exfoliators, serums, and masks, but I also had irritation around my chin and increased redness on my cheeks.
I eventually got tired of dealing with the unfortunate and random side effects of my new routine and booked an appointment with my dermatologist.
In order to clear up my skin issues quickly and improve the health of my skin, I needed to ditch all of my brand-new skin-care buys. My doctor then helped me curate a less-is-more skin-care routine that would yield results without unfortunate side effects. It was just slightly more involved than before, but still pretty straightforward and simple. Most importantly, it worked for my skin type.
Within a few months, my skin had never looked better. In fact, it was behaving more predictably than before my ill-advised experiment.
Sure, I still think my extremely simple routine is kind of mundane compared to others' multistep processes, and there are frequent times when I wish I could carelessly test a ton of buzzy new-to-market formulas.
But, when it comes to skin care, sometimes the consistent bare minimum really is better. Unless my dermatologist tells me to, I'm not sure I'll ditch the approach ever again.