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Skin minimalism is one of 2021’s biggest beauty trends – but what exactly is it?

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Skin minimalism, aka “skinimalism”, is one of beauty’s biggest trends for 2021, according to Pinterest – but what exactly is it? Here, we explain everything you need to know.

Over the last year, our approach to beauty changed drastically. We invested more time into our skincare routines, mostly relegated the need for make-up and started viewing our routines as a form of self-care.

It’s no surprise then, that one of this year’s biggest beauty trends is skin minimalism, or “skinimalism”, as coined by experts. Pinterest’s Predicts 2021 report hailed skinimalism as “the new glow up” and advising users to “say goodbye to the 12-step beauty routine”.

“It’s the end of the cake-on make-up look,” the report states. It says that instead, we’ll focus on creating “dewy, natural beauty looks that look great on camera and video calls”, adding: “Pinners will embrace slow beauty and let their natural skin texture shine through.”

A large reason behind the shift is, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic – and Alexia Inge, co-founder of Cult Beauty, believes we’ll see an impact from the pandemic on the industry for years to come.

‘The pandemic and what we are living through will impact consumption and consumer behaviours for the next five years at least,” explains Inge. “It has pumped rocket fuel into trends that were quietly bubbling up – think: minimalism and conspicuous consumption over the last year.

“We have disconnected from our ‘hamster wheels’ and reconnected to our homes, family units and neighbours. We are reconnecting to the digital, work and commercial world with intention, awareness and a little bit of trepidation.”

Here, we run through the key elements to following a skinimalist routine – plus, a few products suggestions that can help you achieve it.

The benefits of facial massage

Facial massage is a great way to make skin appear more radiant and plump without the use of many products. In fact, all you need is a face oil to provide slip so you aren’t causing friction and dragging against your skin.

While jade rollers and gua shas aid facial massages, you can experience one that’s just as effective with your hands. It’s picking up in popularity, too. Pinterest reported that searches around “face yoga exercises” increased four-fold year-on-year.

Facial yoga releases tension in your face, improves the overall tone and increases circulation to promote the production of collagen,” explains Dr Rita Rakus, founder of Dr Rita Rakus Clinic. “Using the correct techniques, facial yoga can activate blood circulation in targeted areas, strengthening elasticity & muscles and help to smooth the skin.”

A simple yet effective skincare products

Of course, the quest for happier, healthier skin will require the aid of a few products. But that’s not to say you have to chuck the whole bathroom cabinet onto your face.

One of the most important steps in any skincare routine is cleansing. Without a clean, fresh starting point, the following steps in your skincare routine won’t be able to penetrate skin as effectively as possible. Massage your face for at least a minute to ensure a thorough cleanse. At night, make sure you follow this step twice in order to properly remove dirt, grime and pollution that has accumulated on the skin’s surface throughout the day.

Now, for the rest of your routine. There are many skincare ingredients that can do wonders for your skin (hello, niacinamide, vitamin E and ceramides – to name a few). But if you’re looking to cut down on your steps, there are only three that are scientifically proven to make a difference: vitamin C, retinol and SPF. By incorporating these few steps into your routine, you’ll notice a clearer, healthier-looking complexion over time.

If you have specific skin concerns you’d like to tackle, there are additional ingredients you can add into your routine, such as azelaic acid for acne. At this time of year, it’s worth adding a moisturiser into the line up for extra comfort, particularly as cold winds, harsh central heating and retinol can be drying and cause irritation.

A minimal approach to make-up

Alongside your skincare routine, cutting down on the contents of your make-up bag is a big part of the skinimalism trend.

Pinterest reports searches for “natural everyday make-up” have increased by 180% year-on-year. The key is to focus on base products that deliver a healthy-looking glow.

  • Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops

    Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops review
    Skin minimalism: Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops

    A bronzy glow isn’t reserved for the summer months. In fact, given the lack of holidays, the Stylist beauty team crave a sunkissed complexion more than ever. These clever drops have glow-inducing pigments but also boast skin benefits. It’s formulated with antioxidant vitamin D and fatty acids for a healthier skin barrier. As it’s a concentrated mixer, this product is not one to be used alone. Instead, incorporate it into your routine by adding a few drops to your moisturiser or face oil. Quick, easy and natural-looking.

    Shop Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops at Cult Beauty, £30

  • Saie Glowy Super Gel

    Saie Glowy Super Gel review
    Skin minimalism: Saie Glowy Super Gel

    Another product that’s healthier-looking skin in a bottle: Saie’s Glowy Super Gel. After gaining popularity in the US, Saie has finally landed in the UK and with it, comes this clever highlighter. Formulated with 75% water, it can be used alone, added to moisturiser and even foundation (on non-minimalism days). Plus, it contains papaya and vitamin C extracts which help to further boost your glow.

    Shop Saie Glowy Super Gel at Cult Beauty, £22

  • Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare Blush

    Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare Blush
    Skin minimalism: Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare Blush

    If you want to keep your make-up simple but worry your complexion looks flat, reach for a blusher. This gel-cream formula by Perricone MD was specifically created to give skin a healthy flush that looks completely natural.

    Shop Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare Blush at lookfantastic, £23.20

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