Skinimalism skincare continues to trend in 2024 - Benefits and what the routine looks like

You must have heard of and seen minimalist home decor and fashion, but have you heard of minimalist skincare, also known as skinimalism? If you are curious, keep reading.

Image of two ladies lying on a bed with two skincare products placed on the bed

Key takeaways

  • Skinimalism combines skincare and minimalism, aiming to simplify your skincare routine. 
  • Skinimalism can be made effective by cooperating with innovative brands whose minimalist products include active ingredients that have desirable effects on the skin.
  • More than making your skincare routine more enjoyable, skinimalism helps you save time and money while meeting your skincare goals.

If you're an ardent Beauty TikTok follower and Pinterest user, the term skinimalism might be old news by now, but where did this trend even come from? 

Skinimalism first emerged late into the lockdown in 2020 and early 2021. From its name, you can guess that its goal is to simplify your skincare routine. This is a sharp contrast to the previously popular, lengthy skincare routines. 

However, speaking with CNN, Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Loretta Skincare, agrees that this shift towards simplicity could be beneficial. A routine better streamlined to your skin’s needs means less exposure to harsh agents. Plus, you get to save your time and money.

If skinimalism sounds familiar to you, it could be because it may have been inspired by another trend dating back over a decade: “No Makeup, Makeup Look.”  This was introduced around the 2010s and caught on like wildfire. 

Beauty brands swiftly joined the movement with marketing aimed at encouraging the No Makeup, Makeup Look in a bid to get more people to embrace their natural look and only use makeup sparingly.

Similarly, skincare has taken a definitive step towards simplifying routines, with bold brands pioneering this new skinimalism move.

Meaning of skinimalism

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that skinimalism is a bougie term coined from the conjunction of two words, “skin” and “minimalism”. With this new skincare trend, it's looking like the days of the 10-step Korean skincare routine are coming to an end. 

The meticulous approach to skincare—Korean skincare, which first arose in Asia and spread globally—was praised for creating the mesmerizing glass skin effect. But if we're being honest, having to do ten skincare steps twice daily, can be tiring, not to mention financially draining. 

This is where skinimalism comes into play. Essentially, this simplified approach to skincare proves that you don't need a whole shelf of products to achieve healthy, glowing skin. 

Is skinimalism effective?

Skinimalism can be effective, depending on the smartness of the routine. The first step is deciding how much you’re willing to spend. During your consultation, you can share your skincare budget with your dermatologist, which will guide their recommendations. 

You’ll also have to get creative to harness the full benefits of skinimalism. For example, multitasking products that can address more than one skin concern can help you reduce the amount of product you need to buy. 

How can you tell if skinimalism works for you? That’s easy; watch how your skin’s faring with the change. Try taking a few photos before you start and comparing them with your skin’s progress as the weeks go by. This lets you objectively judge if your new routine needs some tweaks. 

However, remember that it could take up to six weeks before you see any improvement in your skin. 

An argued disadvantage of skinimalism might be the passing up on some crucial ingredients. 

But brands that have joined the trend are now smart in their ingredient inclusion, where a single product contains active, desirable ingredients that have multitasking effects on the skin. 

This means that although you use fewer products, you won’t be missing any necessary skincare ingredients.

Benefits of skinimalism: Is less more?

If you’re looking for a reason to join the skinimalism trend, here are some advantages to keep in mind:

  • It enables you to save time and money. Imagine cutting the time spent prepping your skin in half. Plus, you'll also be cutting costs with fewer items in your beauty cabinet. 
  • It helps prevent skin breakouts. A simplified routine reduces the risk of overwhelming your skin with too many ingredients, which might lead to irritation and breakouts. 
  • It makes it easier to identify the best products for your skin. Skinimalism aids in the easy identification of effective products and the avoidance of those that are not. 
  • It helps you enjoy your skincare routine. With skinimalism you get to savor your skincare routine, as you'll keep it short and simple.

You may have noticed that many skincare brands these days encourage you to take skin quizzes on their websites. This is to help you choose effective products that suit you in particular and save money. It also helps reduce complaints of people not seeing desired results. 

So, instead of having tons of products taking up space in your bathroom or vanity, you have just the right ones that'd solve whatever problems you're dealing with.

Therefore, is less more? The listed benefits speak volumes. 

What's a skinimalist routine like?

When it comes to taking care of your skin, dermatologists recommend prioritizing the basics with just the essential skincare steps: cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. 

1. Cleansing

You’ve probably heard that cleansing your skin twice daily is best, especially if you stay in polluted environments, but this might not work for everyone. People with sensitive and dry skin may be better off sticking to cleansing once a day or using just one skin cleansing product


Overdoing it could strip the protective outermost layer of your skin, leading to redness, itchiness, dryness, and rashes.1

2. Moisturizing

The criterion for choosing a moisturizer is similar to that for choosing a cleanser, which is: your skin type. If you have oily skin, using an oil-free and lightweight moisturizer may be best for you. 

On the other hand, a hydrating moisturizer would serve you better if you have dry skin, while non-comedogenic moisturizers that won't clog your pores should be used for acne-prone skin.

3. Sun protection

At this point, it should be a skincare “sin” if you go out without wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen protects us from ultraviolet rays from the sun. 

The sun’s rays increase the production of free radicals and damage collagen. This reduces the skin's elasticity, increases the risk of fine lines and wrinkles, and increases the risk of developing skin cancer. 

So, if you start using sunscreen today, your future self will thank you for it. 

Additionally, even if your moisturizer already has sunscreen in it, you need to verify that the SPF percentage is enough to protect you. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends to look for broad-spectrum sunscreens with at least SPF 30.

The skinimalism skincare routine might seem underwhelming and too little. It could look like you are doing a disservice to your skin, or not giving your skin the active ingredients it needs to heal, thrive, and look beautiful.

But it is not so. Many skincare products contain multiple active ingredients, such as collagen, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and retinol. Therefore, you have to be smart when choosing products and focus on those best suited for your skin type.

How many skincare products are too many?

While many skincare brands, dermatologists, and even consumers are into minimalism, some still prefer to stay true to the 10-step Korean skincare routine, or not necessarily that, but an extensive routine with quite a plethora of products. And you know what? That's perfectly okay – as long as the routine isn't overwhelming or irritating to the skin. It's all about finding what works best for you and your skin's needs.

But just how many skincare products is too many?

Ultimately, we cannot point fingers to a certain amount, as people are using products that pertain to what they're tackling, but as a general rule, sticking to 3 products and steps—which include gentle cleansing, moisturizing, and wearing sunscreen—would be just the sweet spot.

Skin irritation isn’t the only thing to worry about with a complex skincare regimen. You might also end up feeling overwhelmed. Instead of enjoying the process of caring for skin as an act of self-care, it becomes a chore you'd rather not do. 

Wrap up

At the heart of skinimalism is the belief that more isn’t necessarily the best. Instead of packing multiple layers of products with opposing ingredients, focus on the fundamentals. 

While skinimalism is one of the latest trends in the beauty industry, it isn't an excuse not to give your skin the proper maintenance and attention it deserves. In fact, streamlining your routine to address your specific needs would be a great favor to your skin.

If your style of romanticizing your skincare routine involves various steps that are more than the basics, by all means, do what you believe is best for you. Just make sure you're giving your largest organ the best treatment without causing any harm to it or any other organ in your body.


  1. Sophie Shaw. (2022). ‘Skinimalism’ is trending: Here's what we know about the latest skin cream trend.
  2. Min Linn Let. (2021). A Comprehensive Guide To The Korean 10 Step Skincare Routine
  3. Erica Sweeney. (2023). How Many Skin Care Products Do I Really Need?
  4. American Academy of Dermatology Association. (n.d.). Skincare tips dermatologists use.
  5. National Cancer Institute. (2023). Sunlight