A Dermatologist's Defense of a Simple Skin Care Routine
When skin acts out—whether it’s a full-face breakout or a dark spot that just won’t budge—our initial instinct is to rally up an arsenal of beauty products and go to town. We bombard our skin with cleansers, toners, spot treatments, and brightening creams morning and night, say a little prayer and hope at least one formula will pull through with some results. But is this really the best way to go about our skin care regimens? Sure, our intentions are good, but are we jeopardizing our chances for a clear, glowing complexion this way?
The industry is flooded with debate over whether a time consuming, multi-step skin care routine filled with product use reigns supreme over one that’s simple and unfussy. If you’re someone who sticks to just the nuts and bolts in a skin care routine—think: cleansing daily and applying SPF—you may get some flack for not doing more, for not investing in all the bells and whistles offered in the beauty aisle, from serum to face masks and beyond. While we at Skincare.com are advocates of using the best skin care products catered to your skin type to help tackle skin concerns (in addition to visiting a dermatologist, of course), it begs the question: Where should we draw the line? There isn’t a clear answer here, and what you’ll hear really boils down to who you ask. So, in true form, we asked board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Michael Kaminer for his opinion, and he didn’t hesitate to profess his admiration for a minimal, pared-down strategy for great-looking skin.
“I prefer a simple routine with 2-3 products max in morning, same at night,” he says. “More is not necessarily better, and can get in the way of results.” Kaminer also mentioned that there’s no need to continue changing products you use, since doing so can introduce new formulas on your skin that may irritate or upset your skin. If you’re a product junkie, Kaminer suggests an every-other-night strategy. “To get more formulas and products into the mix, I would be okay with someone doing one regimen one night and another one the next.”
WHAT TO USE
Invest in a good cleanser that can adequately remove dirt, impurities, excess sebum, pollution, and more off your complexion, like Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Solution. Follow up with a nourishing moisturizer that will hydrate your skin. Cleansing and moisturizing your skin are non-negotiable in a skin care routine, as is applying sunscreen each and every day. Reach for a broad-spectrum, non-comedogenic formula that’s not greasy. (Check out some of our favorite SPFs, here.) Depending on your skins’ needs, incorporating a few more products—like an exfoliator, anti-wrinkle cream, or retinol at night—may be beneficial. Talk to your dermatologist about devising a personalized regimen for the best results.