Minimalist: a person who advocates or practices (skincare) minimalism. 

Anyone who knows me is already laughing at the title above and thinks full of crap. I have quite a few pictures on my Instagram profile that can potentially confirm that the title of this column is a complete farce. Not long ago, I bought a lot of skincare products. The reasons for doing so are the following. I've been obsessed with everything skin-related since I can remember which is also the reason I went to study for an esthetician. Before I recommend the products to anyone else, I like to test them on my own skin, because the cosmetic market is oversaturated and full of empty promises.

I had no skin problems in my puberty. A pimple here and there, but this was more an exception than a rule. Then I decided to go on birth control pills and the problems started. Outbreaks of acne on my back and face, headaches... The pill is clearly not for me. The doctor at the time convinced me to try with other brands. Acne remained, but at least the headaches were gone. After a while, my skin recovered from the initial shock and again everything was fine and right. As I am not a fan of taking any kind of pill, I decided to stop with contraception. Another surprise! My acne was back. This time focused only on the lower half of the face. I went to visit an esthetician who demolished my skin by extracting improperly. The effects, in the form of scars, are still visible today. During my studies, I then started going for regular facials and my condition subsided or remained under control. In the meantime, my obsession with product testing was only growing. Cleansing products, tonics, essences, masks, scrubs, creams… And my skin of course retaliated. I told myself I would solve the problem with acids and other acne skincare products, but it didn't work. My skin barrier was damaged.

A barrier can be damaged due to various factors. These include excessive washing and rubbing (especially with aggressive skin-drying products), excessive use of exfoliants (both mechanical, acidic and enzymatic) and, last but not least, the use of hot water. These are all the ways to ruin your skin barrier. The skin is then more exposed to external factors, such as solar radiation, bacteria, etc. This can be seen in the form of pimples, redness, dehydrated, dry and itchy skin, which is usually peeling, and skin tightness. The damaged skin barrier must be restored as soon as possible, as it can have serious consequences. The simplest way to deal with is minimal and gentle care, with lots of moisturizing.

My first step in building my skin barrier was eliminating all products with active ingredients from my routine. These are acid scrubs, retinoids, vitamin C and similar. I agreed to minimal face care. In the morning I washed with water only and applied Innisfree SPF cream. In the evening, I cleansed gently with La Roche Posay saline gel for sensitive skin and applied Cosrx Snail Mucin Essence or Hyaluronic Acid from The Ordinary. Once a week, after cleansing my face and showering, I applied a Caudalie detox clay mask and that's it. The skin is no longer tight, the redness subsided and the imperfections disappeared. Even on my jawline! Waw! There are some red spots on the jaw left, which will disappear over time. I forgot to mention that I didn't even apply makeup during the "skincare fasting" period.

Now that some time has passed and my skin has recovered, I reintroduced makeup and Clinique Take The Day Off cleansing balm to really thoroughly remove everything before going to bed. I'm not going to lie, of course, I'm already thinking about gradually adding the active ingredients, but I promise I'll take it slowly this time. The skin needs its time to recover, unfortunately, we cannot hurry it up. Of course, we can help her with skin-restoring products. For cleansing, use products intended for sensitive skin, preferably free of perfume and alcohol. The same goes for creams. It is best to pick pharmaceutical cosmetics, such as La Roche Posay or Eucerin, which have products designed especially for damaged skin barrier in their repertoire. At the same time, avoid and protect the sun with mineral SPF filters. Most of all, learn from my mistakes and be careful of how much skincare you use.