Minimalism

Minimal skincare

As in all aspects of my life, I have tried to pare my skincare down to the bare essentials. I have sensitive skin that is prone to eczema, so I have to be very careful about what I use and avoid products that can provoke a skin reaction. Products must all be fragrance-free and as free as possible of sensitizing ingredients. I’ve gone through a lot of products in my life, and I am always resisting the temptation to try new products; this has led to a lot of wasted money as well as skin irritation. I have learned that (a) expensive does not necessarily mean high quality; (b) the longer the list of ingredients (which tends to be more common amongst expensive products), the greater the chance that my skin will be irritated; (c) eye creams are a complete waste of money, since regular moisturizer is all you need; (d) layering multiple products on your skin can lead to irritation; and (e) “natural” means very little. The term “natural” is not regulated in the cosmetics industry, so there are no assurances. Further a lot of “natural” ingredients can be very irritating, especially many essential oils that these products often contain. My goal is to use the fewest number of items, to use products for different purposes and, as always, to generate as little waste as possible

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Evening routine

I rinse with warm water, then apply CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to damp skin, and wipe off with an Erase Your Face cloth, which I use also to remove any eye makeup. I rinse my face with warm water and pat dry with a microfibre facecloth, as I find cotton cloths too harsh on my skin. I know that these cloths can release microfibre particles into the water, but my face really can’t handle cotton well. The added advantage of both these cloths is that I can wash them in the evening and they will be dry for use the next day; this allows me to have only one of each. While my face is still slightly damp, I apply some hyaluronic acid from Canadian company The Ordinary, including to my neck and around the eyes. Once the serum has dried, I apply CeraVe moisturizing cream to my face, eye area, and neck. This moisturizing cream doubles as my hand and body cream.

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Morning routine

I don’t cleanse or rinse my face in the morning. I know this may sound a little shocking to some, but doing so dries out my face too much. I’ve checked with some dermatologists, who told me that it’s perfectly fine for me to do this. I simply apply a sunscreen on my face and neck, and some CeraVe cream around the eyes. I use the Canadian Live Clean Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 45. Many mineral sunscreens are very greasy, but this one absorbs well. As is typical with mineral sunscreens, it leaves a bit of a white cast initially, but this is not a problem with my skin tone. I use this sunscreen on exposed body parts if I go outside during the day.

Exfoliation

I don’t exfoliate my face; my skin simply can’t tolerate it. I find that massaging the jojoba oil is enough to help shift any dead skin cells. I’ve had face burns from using exfoliators, even those that were marketed as gentle. The worst experience is when I used a facial clay; my skin was the colour of a ripe tomato and was very hot to the touch and inflamed for several hours. As for my body, I use a dry body brush once a week.

Tally of products:

  • 2 facecloths
  • Hyaluronic acid (glass bottle)
  • Moisturizing cream (face, hands, and body)
  • Facial sunscreen (doubles as body sunscreen)
  • Dry body brush (wood)

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