The beauty community is buzzing about minimalist skin care trends like “skip-care”. Here, we share our take.
Do you consider yourself a skin care minimalist or maximalist? The debate between the two has been firing up of late thanks to headline-making trends like “skip-care” and the “skin care diet”. The terms, which have been a topic of discussion in Korea since 2016, involve streamlining and paring down one’s skin care routine to include just the essentials – typically a minimum of cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF. From first glance, these concepts seem like the very antithesis of the 10-step Korean skin care routine.
It’s no secret that at The Klog, we’re proponents of the 10-step method. But that’s not to say we’re suggesting you slather 10 products on your face every single morning and night. In fact, that’s the most common misconception about it.
Soko Glam co-founder Charlotte Cho has dispelled the myth in the past by explaining, “The 10-step Korean skin care routine allows people to get educated on the various steps in skin care you can use depending on your skin goals. From oil cleansers, essences, sheet masks, exfoliators, to serums and SPF it walks you through the possibilities.” Think of it as more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule.
Plus, even if your routine does include 10 products, you’re not using them all every day. The 10-step routine includes products such as an exfoliator (recommended use is one to three times per week), a sheet mask (recommended use is one time per week), and SPF (only in the AM). And if you use multitasking products like an exfoliating toner, the size of your routine is whittled down even further.
But we’re not here to convince you that the 10-step method is a better approach than a more minimalist one. First, they’re not all that different – they’re all rooted in the same cleanse, treat, and protect philosophy, and second and most importantly, there is truly no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to skin care.
“There is no right or wrong answer to what the ‘best’ skin care routine is,” says Dr. Yunyoung Claire Chang, a board-certified dermatologist at New York City’s Union Square Laser Dermatology. “Everyone’s daily needs change over time, based on age, weather, diet, external stressors, etc.”
According to Dr. Chang, someone who may benefit from stripping back their routine is someone who is experiencing a reaction to a product(s) in the form of redness, dryness, itching, or burning or stinging sensations.
“Patients with contact allergens, eczema, rosacea, and sensitive skin in general may not be able to tolerate many of the products that are currently out on the market. For these patients, I recommend cutting down on non-essential products and sticking to a simpler approach to skin care.”
A more involved routine, she says, “may be better suited for those with less sensitive skin or those with more skin needs.” If you have oily, acne-prone skin for example, a cleanser likely isn’t going to be enough to target your concerns. You might need to add a balancing toner and a product with AHAs or BHAs into the mix. If you’re noticing fine lines or wrinkles, you’ll likely benefit from expanding your routine to include a serum that contains antioxidants and firming and plumping ingredients, in addition to moisturizer and sunscreen.
No matter what route you choose, it’s never a bad idea to take a step back and reevaluate your regimen from time to time. It’s so easy to get caught up in trends or advice on message boards and end up with a routine that doesn’t best reflect your skin and can actually cause more harm than good.
Remember that your skin care journey is unique to you and your current needs and concerns, no matter what the “trend” of the moment is. If you’re not sure how to create your ideal routine, consult with your dermatologist or schedule a consultation with one of our skin care experts here.