You’re busy. Or, maybe you just don’t want to be the kind of person who invests hours into a, anti-aging skincare routine every single day. You have a life to lead, things to discover and experience, or you just plain aren’t interested in anything but the basics.
The thought of waking up an hour earlier every single day, or spending an hour prepping your skin for bed, is exhausting. Who has that much time? Sound familiar?
You aren’t alone. While some of us are absolutely entrenched in the beauty care industry to the point that we’ll happily espouse the benefits of every new product available – and tell you exactly what you’re missing out on, too – that just isn’t the case for everyone. And that’s ok!
Maybe you’re a minimalist who lives and breathes the philosophy in everything you do. Or maybe you’re just a busy gal with no time to fuss over your skin. Whatever your reason for seeking anti-aging solutions, you aren’t doomed to have to deal with signs of aging just because you want to keep it simple. Let us help you put together a anti-aging plan for success in this guide.
BUT FIRST, AN ANTI-AGING CONSULTATION
The absolute, unequivocable number one tip for minimalist skincare we can ever give you is to start with a full skin consultation at your medspa. Seriously! It’s so important to fully understand your individual needs before you even begin thinking about products.
The reality is that everyone’s skin is unique. We can suggest which products are true necessities and which can be considered a luxurious indulgence, but ultimately, they may or may not be right for you depending on what you’re dealing with. Treating rosacea, for example, is very, very different than treating deep grooves or sagging skin.
Make sense? Great. Now, let’s tuck into some basics and product info to help you achieve your anti-aging goals – whatever they are.
WHEN SIGNS OF AGING REMAIN SUBTLE
This is the best time to start an anti-aging regimen! Whether you’re still in your 20s or you just happened to hit the genetic lottery, protecting you from early signs of aging, you can stave off the worst of the worst if you take the right actions now.
Early anti-aging (called prejuvenation) is all about protecting skin from the elements while maintaining moisture balance, vibrance, and elasticity. The sun is one of the biggest influencers, due to the photoaging effects of UV rays, but even harsh winds, smog, cosmetics, and soaps can play a role, too.
Start by using a gentle cleansing serum or foaming face wash every morning and night. Products containing Vitamin C will help detoxify, while hyaluronic acid (HA) preserves your skin’s natural moisture levels and barrier against the outside world.
Next, it’s time to moisturize – and yes, you still need to do that, even if you struggle with oily skin. In fact, sometimes oily skin is caused by excessive dryness; the skin detects a lack of hydration and forces itself into overproduction mode. This creates a constant back-and-forth struggle where you can’t find balance.
Your best bet is to kill two proverbial birds with one stone: opt for a moisturizer containing an SPF of at least 50. Make sure you apply it at least 30 minutes before you go out – and reapply if you shower at the gym, swim, or sweat a lot.
Nightly prevention can also be simple, too. After you strip away makeup and cleanse, start applying a retinol-based serum at least once per week. Providing you tolerate it without any signs of irritation, step that up to once every three to four days. This will encourage collagen growth and cellular renewal.
WHEN YOU ALREADY HAVE SOME SIGNS OF AGING
If you already have at least some signs of aging present – e.g., fine lines and wrinkles, mild grooves, the start of crow’s feet or marionette lines, or subtle discoloration in certain areas, it’s time to step things up a bit.
Start by following all of the previous suggestions – with a few specific changes along the way.
Vitamin C cleansers are still a great choice because they encourage cellular rejuvenation and detoxify, but C alone may not be enough. Look for gentle cleansers with a combination of Vitamin C, ferulic acid, and Vitamin E instead. All three of these combined provide a powerful dose of skin-repairing goodness.
When it’s time to moisturize, products containing ceramides, alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), hyaluronic acid (HA), and niacinamide are best. They’re more effective at preserving skin moisture levels, which can be critical if you’re starting to struggle with dryness as you age.
You can also switch out your nightly retinol treatment now and again for an AHA at-home peel or mask. AHA peels remove old, dead skin cells, which encourages hastened production of collagen and skin renewal. This can help reduce the appearance of dark spots while generally improving tone and vibrance.
And here’s a secret tip that’s just about as minimal as it gets: skin oil serums can have dramatic effects if you apply them right before bed. You can get fancy, here, and go with something containing argan oil or rosehip seed oil (which contains essential fatty acids necessary for skin health).
If you can’t be bothered with buying something, you probably have a “quick fix” right in your kitchen cupboard: grapeseed oil. Massage in a couple of drops to provide your skin with a big dose of omega chain fatty acids and healing Vitamin E.
Research shows grapeseed might be more suitable for people prone to eczema and acne breakouts, too.
WHEN YOU HAVE HEAVY SIGNS OF AGING OR ACNE
Maybe you never had time for a skincare routine when you were younger, or maybe you just didn’t know what to do, so you weren’t prepared. The good news is there are minimal care options available for you, too, that won’t break the bank or take up all of your time.
For extreme lines, wrinkles, and sagging, swap your standard retinol treatment out for a higher-dose product. Then, add in a hyaluronic acid serum just before you apply your SPF moisturizer in the morning. This will help plump and add volume.
Go next-level at night without spending hours by adding products containing growth factors into the mix. Growth factors are substances like stem cells, amino acids, essential proteins, and fats that signal skin to regenerate and produce more collagen at the same time. You’ll need to have most of the best options prescribed from your medispa provider, but the dramatic effects they offer are well worth the price.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the usefulness of a monthly facial. There are incredible treatments available that can, in some cases, dramatically improve your skin in just a single session. Hitting the spa every 30 days might even reduce your need for at-home skincare, too.
WHEN YOU STRUGGLE WITH ACNE
If you struggle with breakouts and you’re just over spending hours on your skin, this is for you!
If you struggle with basic breakouts, your goal will be to exfoliate and clear pores without stripping away moisture at the same time. To be clear, this isn’t always easy…especially when you’re trying to keep it simple…but it IS possible.
Skip the harsh exfoliants containing bits of apricot, charcoal, or other abrasives. They’re almost always too harsh and lead to more breakouts. Instead, use an acne-specific face wash containing HA, retinol, and AHA. The chemicals will exfoliate for you; all you need to do is massage them in.
AHA peel pads can be a great option for acne sufferers. Try using them three times per week before bed to encourage your skin to heal. Just be sure to avoid using them directly over blemishes or lesions until they clear.
If you struggle with severe breakouts or cystic acne, it’s time to hit up your doctor or dermatologist. While this certainly doesn’t qualify as “minimal,” it’s worth the investment because identifying and treating the root of the problem will usually resolve the acne problem, too.
For example, cystic acne is often caused by hormone imbalance, low-level infection, or thyroid problems. Taking birth control, supplemental hormones, or a short course of antibiotics may totally resolve your skin care woes.