Minimalism, a movement toward simplicity, applies perfectly to the realm of topical skincare and building a skincare routine. Skincare minimalism or “skinimalism” is really about using products with high-quality ingredients that you need based on your specific skin concerns and skin type. While the best way to receive personalized skin care recommendations is by visiting a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Zenovia’s list of essential skincare ingredients can help you form an effective skincare regimen.
Quality Skincare Products Over Quantity
Less is often more when it comes to skincare. The 15-step skincare routines marketed are not necessarily more effective. In fact, there is a risk of overdoing your skincare! Too many exfoliating products can lead to inflammation or irritation, especially for sensitive skin types. The epidermis serves as a barrier, protecting the skin from harmful environmental factors. “It’s a delicate dance to maintain! We want to be dewy but don’t want to strip the skin of that beautiful barrier with over-scrubbing or over-treating", Dr. Zenovia shares.
Layering on too many skincare topicals can also dilute the products previously applied. We need to go back to the basics of chemistry. If you have an oily substance and want it to dissolve, you don’t want to add water because water and oil separate- like dissolves like. An oil will therefore dissolve another skin oil. “If you are using a bunch of expensive skincare oils, you are essentially wiping them off with the next”, says Dr. Zenovia. “Going back to chemistry’s basics, what we really need in our skincare routine is a couple of actives that are layered slowly”.
The key to skincare is the quality over the quantity of products applied. It is more important to choose products from trustworthy brands that have developed topicals based on real science- where you can see results from clinical before & afters. Ingredients and ingredient quality are the most important factors! Dr. Zenovia recommends reading the back of product labels before making a purchase. If you are still unsure of a product’s efficacy after reading a label, consult a board-certified dermatologist.
Minimalist Skincare for Your Routine
When it comes to skincare today, we’re bombarded closely with media and advertisements- it's hard to know what to actually use. “As an evidenced-based physician, I lean on where the research is and what's tried and true”, Dr. Zenovia shares. “I base my information on what is known today. The top ingredients to include in your routine include sunscreen and antioxidants in the morning, an active retinol and glycolic acid at night, and ceramide rich moisturizers”.
Antioxidant-Rich Sunscreen: The most important skincare product is sunscreen with SPF 30+. Sunscreen should be applied daily, as the last step in your morning regimen. I pride myself as a sunscreen worshipper”, Dr. Zenovia shares. “Sunscreen may not be the sexiest product, but you must use it!” Dr. Zenovia’s Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30 provides transparent nano zinc oxide broad-spectrum mineral protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays. It also contains clinical-grade Vitamin C Ester that visibly helps minimize the appearance of dark spots, discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles associated with photoaging. Dr. Zenovia’s Vitamin C is produced in an argon gas chamber so that it won’t oxidize when applied to the skin. Mindful chemistry was of the utmost importance when formulating the line.
Active Retinol: “The issue with retinols is that it involves a very complicated degradation process in our cells”, Dr. Zenovia says. “The retinoic receptor is in the cell’s nucleus. Meaning, the retinol needs to bypass the cell membrane and nuclear membrane to get inside the nucleus! Many retinols on the market are named retinol, but aren’t actually being delivered in the tissue!” Dr. Zenovia, therefore, developed an over-the-counter retinol that isn’t as strong as a prescription retinol, but can still get delivered in a stable form, past those membranes to the nucleus. With Dr. Zenovia’s Advanced Retinol Night Repair Treatment, we created a micro polymer system that encases our All-Trans-Retinol Technology inside a little sponge. “This gives the retinol greater absorption so that it goes past the skin barrier, into the tissue, and is absorbed in a stable form”, Dr. Zenovia explains. The micro polymer system also allows for a slow, timed release of the retinoic acid into the tissue.
Glycolic Acid: Incorporating glycolic acid and exfoliation a couple of times a week into your skincare routine is key to strip down the skin barrier and reveal your healthy, live epidermal tissue. Dr. Zenovia’s 10% Glycolic Peel Pads have been formulated to promote the skin’s cellular renewal process, unclog the pores, and accelerate the removal of dead skin cells.
Note from Dr. Zenovia: It's important to gradually introduce ingredients like Retinol and Glycolic Acid into your skincare regimen. If excessive dryness or irritation occurs, reduce application. Additionally, as these ingredients can increase sensitivity to the sun, it's imperative to follow with SPF during the day.
Ceramides: Dr. Zenovia describes ceramides, cholesterol agents, as the brick and mortar of the tissue that protects against inflammation and environmental damage. Ceramides lock moisture into the skin, helping to prevent dryness or irritation. Dr. Zenovia’s Peptide + Ceramide Repairing Moisturizer contains a unique combination of bio-equivalent ceramides, potent humectants, and emollients that help attract, retain, and distribute moisture to fortify the skin’s protective barrier and restore the look of firm, plump skin.
Aside from topical treatments, Dr. Zenovia stresses the importance of quality sleep, having a low inflammatory diet, and taking care of your gut. Everything else (serums, eye creams, treatments, etc.) is the icing on the cake. These are the essentials for healthy, glowing skin.