With over 400 million people using Pinterest to find inspiration, we know that when the Pinterest team predicts something as a trend, it’s legit. One of the biggest beauty predictions on their radar for 2021: skinimalism. It might sound brand new to you (and fun to say out loud — try it), it’s actually not something we haven’t seen before. Pinterest describes skinimalism (basically, minimalist skincare) as the new “glow up.” In other words, it’s about letting your skin find its natural glow and simplifying your routine.
But unlike other years, skinimalism feels more relevant now than ever with people working from home because of COVID-19. “Skinimalism is a result of where our 2020 experiences have left us: accepting your imperfections and pausing the fast pace of the day to day. It lets us realize that loving our natural beauty is part of who we are and how we evolve,” says Martha H. Viera, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist. “Having spent more time with ourselves, and seeing each other in more detail (hello, daily Zoom calls), it awakened the need to take care of ourselves in a deeper, more comprehensive, and more natural way.”
This past year has shown us that simplifying our beauty routines offers a sense of control in times of doubt, stress, and uncertainty. Some people revel — and find great success in — multi-step skincare regimens. But keeping up with the latest formulations, trends, and science can be overwhelming for others, especially if you’re new to skincare. The concept of skinimalism can possibly save you from over-exfoliating your skin or spending money chasing fads that ultimately aren’t right for you. “Skinimalism is a welcome escape, now that we are more homebound. People are realizing that they can make do with less,” says Jessie Cheung, MD, of Cheung Aesthetics & Wellness.
According to Pinterest Internal Search Data as part of the Pinterest Predicts report, we looked into a few of the search terms that have spiked in the past year to support the resurgence of the minimalist skincare/makeup trend:
- Face yoga. Instead of piling on makeup products (which often becomes a mess behind a mask) to conceal fine lines and wrinkles, face yoga is just what it sounds like: It’s a series of facial exercises that are thought to relax and tone the muscles in your face. One such exercise is to puff up the breath in your cheeks, hold, then release to prevent them from looking hollow. The benefits of face yoga could also be achieved by gua sha tools or jade rollers.
- Natural, everyday makeup. With fewer social commitments, it’s obvious why this Pinterest search term has increased nearly 18x over the past year. Think of makeup with sheer, comfortable textures, natural colors, and good-for-you ingredients. It’s the quintessential no-makeup makeup (for instance, tinted moisturizer, a little highlighter, mascara, and lip balm).
- How to get naturally glowing skin. Now that maskne is a reality, plus general stress and the irritating effects of winter air, our skin’s been begging for TLC. Focus on nourishing ingredients like vitamin C, which is an all-star antioxidant that promotes collagen production, evens out hyperpigmentation, and brightens dull skin.
- Homemade skincare. “Patients not only had time to improvise but to do a ritual in which they could enjoy the process. There are many pantry ingredients that we can use effectively to care for the skin such as oats, honey, Greek yogurt, and turmeric,” says Viera.
The skinimalism approach is equally about paring down your makeup as well as your skincare routine. Below, our experts break down its core pillars:
It’s about quality, not quantity
Skinimalism is a focus on picking what’s best for your skin and the most effective products you need at that moment. “It makes sense when we are going out less often and now have the time to focus on what actually works for our skin. It’s all about staying healthy and not exposing our skin to any unnecessary stressors, as we all have enough to worry about already,” says Cheung.
It helps you slow down
“Skinimalism is about conscious skincare consumption with rituals that make us feel better, not just look better,” says Cheung. With a pared-down routine, you’re not rushing through your products and can really revel in the experience.
It makes us mindful of our spending — and our Earth
“With skinimalism being a trend of simplicity, less products, and less steps in our routine, it not only allows us to be aware of ourselves but of the environment in general. It encourages us to be less consumerist, and less wasteful,” says Viera. Conscious consumerism “is important because it not only teaches us how to take care of ourselves as a whole, but in an easy, simple, economical, and efficient way.”
It abandons anything complicated
Skinimalism isn’t about not having a beauty routine at all, even if you’re working from home all day: Make sure you’re still “cleansing, repairing, and protecting your skin,” says Cheung. For instance, uncomplicating your routine might be about taking a break from using multiple active ingredients to see if just one all-star active will do the trick. For others, “you may simply choose to skip certain products on different days of the week, or switch to a single multi-tasking product,” says Cheung. Easy-to-follow routines, whether from the brain of a dermatologist or in a pre-boxed kit, will take the guesswork out of taking care of our complexions.
When it comes to makeup, focus on a few products that enhance your natural beauty and glow.
It encourages self-confidence
“During this pandemic, people have spent more time with themselves, which forced people to realize that natural beauty can only be preserved by taking care of their body as a whole — and by doing so it can be reflected in a glowing skin,” says Viera. “Taking care of our body translates into spectacular skin,” she says.