single is the new #selfcare

No, I am not talking about relationships. When it comes to our skincare we tend to become polyamorous. The beauty industry thrives on this behaviour of ours and makes us believe that we need a skin sandwich or layering or whatever the new beauty buzz word is. But, in reality all we need is to believe in single or to be in a constant healthy relationship with our selves, our body and our skins.

For years I’ve lived with the guilt of not following a skincare “regime” (sounds like a compulsion) until recently when I realised skincare shouldn’t be a task or something that adds to my already tiring day. I needed something that helped me relax and at the same time something that didn’t feel like a call of duty. I realised I didn’t need a pre-cleaning oil, a cleanser, a post cleansing oil, toner, moisturiser, serum and of course facial oil to “lock-in” the ingredients. My skin was tired of these multiple layers and that’s when I found out about single-ingredient-multitasking products.

I like experimenting with skincare, but most of the times I fall into the honey-trap: the product seems to be doing great for a week, but after that there’s an outcrop of zits. The worst is when the product which promised to calm my skin with its multiple actives and ingredients breaks me out. This was a clear indication of a skin allergy, but what am I allergic to? No clue, because there are so many “actives” packed in a single product which make it difficult for one to identify the root cause of the problem. So desperate times called for simpler solutions and I switched to skincare products formulated with single or just one ingredient. It wasn’t all magic, it never will be, but now I was aware about the exact ingredient that didn’t suit me well, I had a chance to change/replace it with something that was made for my skin type. I knew what to avoid in subsequent purchases.

Single ingredient products have taken the beauty world by storm because they suit almost all skin types. It is like coming straight to the point without all the frills. You get a straightforward ingredient list which actually works, that’s why gravitated towards concentrated and more potent ingredients instead of “all natural and organic” or “multiple actives” products. That doesn’t mean single ingredient products aren’t potent, in fact most ingredients are too potent to be used all by their lonesome. So, anything used in single ingredient formulations needs to be hydrating, not drying (rethink using Benzol peroxide on its own). Anything used in a single-ingredient formulation works well in the 1 to 3 percent range.

The advantage of such #skinimalistic products is that the ingredients sit on the shelf for a long period without the need to add preservatives. They’re also sans fragrances and extra grease.

Of course not all the ingredients fit the bill. Let me help you hop on the low-stakes trend with some places to start:

  1. Dry skin: If you’re trying to treat dry skin, then make facial oils your bffs. Instead of actives go for natural single oils like hempseed oil. (India Hemp Co.)
  2. Acne-prone skin: Keep all kinds of oils away from your body and digestive systems. Salicylic acids (approx 5%) will do wonder for oily skin. (Be Minimalist)
  3. Sensitive skin: Hyaluronic acids all the way! (Be Minimalist)

Apart from all its soothing effects on skin, single-ingredient products can replace the usage of multiple products as they are multitaskers.

Time for a beauty shelf clean-up, maybe?


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