Recently I was aimlessly scrolling through Instagram. I came across a post asking how many steps your skin care routine consisted of. The answer with the most likes was: “Eleven! Oil cleansing, water cleansing, toner, essence, hydrating mist, moisturizer, serum, ampoule, face mask, cream.”
And the first thing I thought was, who has time for that? Apparently a lot of people, given the number of likes. I also couldn’t resist to check the Insta of whoever posted it. I ended up on a page of a ‘thirteen-year-old skin care junkie‘. And I was wondering if thirteen year olds already have that much money to spend on skin care? I mean I have a job and I really can’t afford to put on a face mask every day.
I also wouldn’t feel like an eleven-step skin care routine. That means I have to get out to bed earlier and that I have to start my skin care routine earlier before I go to sleep. No thanks!
I like a simplistic skin care routine, like the Japanese one. My skin care routine consists of 5 steps in the morning and 4 in the evening. And while I love this minimalistic routine, sometimes I feel it’s too little. That I achieve better results when I add more steps. So Instagram posts in which people enthusiastically report having an eleven step skin care routine, make me feel insecure.
But is that feeling justified? I therefor investigated how many skin care steps your skin really needs. Spoiler: it’s less than you think.
How do you know if you are using too many skin care products?
If your skin is irritated, it could be a sign that you are using too many skin care products. Often people buy all kinds of products to treat a certain skin problem. If you use certain products too much or you combine certain products, you can develop more skin problems.
For example, If you use many acids or exfoliants, your skin will not be so happy. It can dry out, irritate, turn red or make blemishes worse. Actually you don’t improve your skin with this, but you create more skin problems.
Not all skin care products go well together
You may not thought about it before, but not all skin care products match well. For example, you shouldn’t use vitamin C and AHA in addition to retinol. The retinol will then lose all its effectiveness.
In addition, if you apply many different layers to your skin, the products can mix with each other. As a result, they can’t do their job properly or they create more skin problems.
You can test wether you put too many layers on your skin. Does your skin feel oily and sticky? Or doesn’t it look great after your routine? Then you have probably too many skin care routine steps.
How many skin care routine steps are enough?
Five or six steps are more than enough for your skin care routine. Do you use more steps? Those extra steps are rarely helpful for your skin. Rather than putting layers on your skin, it’s better to understand what your skin really needs.
Do you still want to use certain products, but do you exceed the maximum number of steps? Try to alternate certain products. For example one evening you use retinol and the next evening you use glycolic acid.
So with a minimalistic skin care routine you achieve more results and it also takes less time. Therefor find out what your skin really needs and keep an eye on whether your skin responds well to your routine. Do you want to add new steps? Then add one step at a time. This way you can easily find out how your skin reacts to the new product.
Front photo: Makidotvn via Getty Images