As I was prepping for my week-long trip to NYC (see photos here), fretting about how my skin would react to a sudden change in climate (ie. a much colder, drier and polluted city), pondering and weighing my skincare options, it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps more isn’t always better. At least when it comes to skincare. What if I strictly packed the skincare minimum, the bare necessities? But of course, without scarifying some basic needs I discussed in a previous post here. Would this actually help my skin look and feel great?
So, I quickly decided then and there that for an entire week while in New York, I would only use a select few products that met the basic needs of my skin. Here is my minimalist skincare routine and how it turned out …
Step 1: Cleansing
Without a single doubt, the one cleanser that does it all and that I would take to a deserted island with me, is my beloved Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. I have used this product for many years and have previously reviewed in detail here. It works great as a no-fuss morning cleanser, it’s an excellent option for double cleansing in the evening (more on double cleansing and how to here) and it’s an extraordinarily lush mask that can liven up your complexion within 10 minutes.
Step 2: Toning
One of my favorite toners is the Farmacy Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist. It soothes and comforts, while nourishing and refreshing the skin. It doesn’t smell as strong as the Caudalie Beauty Elixir (mentioned here), but it has the same botanical, spa-like scent that calms the senses.
Step 3: Caring for the Eyes and Lips
This first thing I always do after toning the skin is applying a multi-tasking eye cream (that fights wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles) and a nourishing lip balm. It might come as no surprise to loyal readers, but the eye cream I swear by is the La Mer Eye Concentrate. Again, it’s a product I’ve used for many years and previously reviewed it here. A new discovery this year has been the Tatcha Gold Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm. It’s an intensely hydrating lip balm, that absorbs quickly and doesn’t have that sticky feeling when you apply it. It goes on smoothly and leaves the lips feeling soft and silky.
Step 4: Treating
As much as I advocate hydrating from the inside (ie drinking plenty of water) especially when traveling, the reality is the fun of new and exciting adventures makes it easy to forget about. Of course, you could download one of those apps that tracks your water intake such as this app here, but instead I opted to use a hyaluronic acid serum from Skinceuticals, the H.A. Intensifier. The Skinceuticals H.A. Intensifier contains a high concentration of pure hyaluronic acid (H.A.) that supports the skin’s natural reservoir and works to renew plumpness, elasticity and firmness. This is one of my winter must-haves, a shot of hydration! I have used it previously last winter twice a day for two weeks straight and was able to see visible results.
Step 5: Moisturizing
The Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizer is another product I’ve used for many years, long before I started my Instagram and blog. It nurtures, comforts and rejuvenates by infusing the skin with a potent blend of milk proteins, jojoba, avocado, aloe and grape seed extract. It is the type of moisturizer that is light enough for daytime, but hydrating enough for overnight as well.
At night, I like to seal everything in with a facial oil. I adore facial oils and use them lots of different ways as described in a previous post here. One of my favorite oils is the Elemis Superfood Facial Oil, a natural blend of anti-oxidants and omega-rich oils including Broccoli, Flax Seed and Daikon Radish. Suitable for all skin tones, it feeds the skin, nourishes and hydrates. It comes in a slick bottle making it the perfect option for traveling. I like to push and press the oil into the skin using my fingers and then massage it all in with my Jade Roller as described here.
The key to a minimalist skincare approach is picking and choosing multi-tasking products that address several concerns and that can be used in the morning, as well as in the evening. This has been my current minimalist skincare routine. It’s effective and works well for my skin. How do I know that? Well, I am happy to report that during my travels I experienced zero breakouts, irritation or dry patches. I focused on meeting the basic needs of my skin while ensuring adequate hydration. My skin was content and as a result I felt more confident, more adventurous and ready to enjoy the trip to the fullest. See what we did, where stayed and what we ate in my New York City Bucket List post here.
Do you have a basic skincare routine? What are some of the products you reach for the most?
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