My skincare collection is one of the few things I’m weirdly very proud of. My medicine cabinet is overflowing with an array of multicolored bottles of serums, moisturizers, cleansers and masks. Whether you want to hydrate, brighten or tighten, I’ve got it all (which has made me the hero of spa nights with my girlfriends). Taking care of my skin is obviously something I genuinely enjoy, and I’ve always been very dedicated to an extensive routine of applying multiple products to preserve and protect my complexion. You can therefore imagine my reaction when I was told—thanks to a facial tattoo—that I’d have to eschew my skincare routine for an entire month. Gasp.
Why I Stopped
About two months ago I got my eyebrows tattooed, and I wasn’t allowed to apply any products or get them wet for 10 days post-procedure in order to keep the pigments in place. While the pain of the tattoo was a concern, I was especially nervous about the healing process and wondered if I could realistically follow this 10-day rule. I was so used to slathering moisturizers and serums all over my face every day that I couldn’t imagine using nothing at all. My mind flooded with questions. Was I going to break out? How would my skin feel clean? Was my complexion going to get ruined? What about sunscreen?!
Going From Maximalist To Minimalist
Other than the healing ointment I had to apply to my brows, my skincare routine would now only consist of makeup wipes. It was very odd going to sleep without my usual line of products, as my nighttime routine was lengthy—and cathartic. It included double cleansing with an oil and clarifying cleanser, applying an eye cream, a serum, and an oil and finishing a full five minutes later with a moisturizer. Instead, I carefully and precisely swept Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes from Simple across my face, avoiding the eye area completely and then…I was done. I will say I was pleasantly surprised by how gentle and thorough they were, as evidenced by the grime clearly visible on the used wipes. The brief process also saved me a lot of time over my previously lengthy nighttime routine, but that immediate benefit was clouded by the fear of how skin would react over a period of 10 days.
My skincare lifeline for a month.
My morning routine took virtually no time either—I simply dampened my hands and carefully massaged my face, avoiding the eye area. After patting it dry with a towel, I had to physically restrain myself from opening the medicine cabinet before opening my makeup bag. I applied a few dabs of concealer to my dark spots, a flick of mascara to my lashes and topped on a hat to compensate for the lack of SPF before flying out the door. Throughout the day I felt a little dry sans moisturizer, and thanks to my combination skin I was worried this was going to encourage a large amount of extra oil production, resulting in me looking like a grease pan. I didn’t want to mattify my face with powder, either, as it would be tough to avoid getting it on my brows. However, at the end of the day I noticed that my skin was actually not oily at all. Had I stumbled upon a skincare miracle?
The next couple of days I followed the same routine, and time and time again I kept noticing my normally oily skin was being surprisingly well behaved. Was quitting my skincare routine actually helping my complexion?
I enjoyed my new lazy routine—partly for the extra time it afforded me and partly because my combination skin seemed to behave better with less attention—so much so that I followed through with it for the remainder of the month. While I’ve read horror stories about how makeup removers cause breakouts, I personally didn’t experience any crazy bumps or pimples. I’m not saying I’m going to trash my beloved skincare collection, but I do believe it was beneficial to take a break from all the potent products (organic and otherwise) on the market. Would I adopt this minimalist routine permanently? No. But I will certainly consider a similar “skincare cleanse” every six months to reset my skin and give it an opportunity to self-correct. I highly recommend everyone else try it as well, as you might be as surprised as I was.