Simplify your Skincare
Updated: Feb 24
If you don't want to edit your entire bathroom, you can just concentrate on one category at a time; this post is focusing on one of the categories that can be found in the bathroom - our skincare products.
The beauty industry is big business; there's always a new wonder product to try that promises it's going to magically transform our lives.
Friendly salespeople, pretty packaging, glamourous TV adverts and glossy magazines can all talk us into buying new products we didn't even know we wanted or needed.
Bathroom cabinets, shelves, dressing table drawers and toiletry bags can become full of half-used, and un-loved bottles, jars and tubes.
Below are some steps and tips to help you to keep on top of your skincare products and make your morning and evening routines much easier.
You are much more likely to stick to an effective skincare routine that you enjoy doing when you keep the products simple.
PULL OUT ALL YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS
First, go and get all of the skincare you put on your face (cleansers, serums, creams and treatments) from your bathroom, dressing table, bedside table or wherever they may be in your home and put them all together in one big pile. Somewhere that you will have enough space to spread out and sort through them.
You'll probably find some of those life-changing products that you haven't used for months 😉!.
Organise them into category groups of 'like for like' products, such as cleansers, toners, eye creams, moisturisers and body lotions etc.
You can use a sticky note to label the categories if you need to.
DECLUTTER AND SIMPLIFY
Get three bags or boxes that you can use for your clutter sorting categories such as RUBBISH, RECYCLE and DONATE.
Go through each category and item in turn and ask if you really need it.
If you were going away for a few weeks, what would you pack to take with you?
For me, this is the best question. It quickly identifies the items you need and your favourites. You can then ask why you are keeping everything else.
Is it still in date?
Most products will have a packaging symbol with a number and the letter M. This shows how many months the product is safe and effective for from opening, rather than an expiry date (6M = 6 months, 12M = 12 months...)
If any products just don't look, smell or feel right anymore, it's best to throw them away.
There is a website called checkfresh.com that you can use to find out the manufacture date of products and see how old they are. (I've had mixed success locating products when working with clients, but it can be fun to check!)
Try and purge your products down to what you use daily and weekly.
Remove anything that isn't essential in your regular routines and rituals, or that you absolutely love and makes you happy.
If you haven't used it - why? If you have only used it once, but it's just not suitable for your skin. Donate it.
It's hard to let go of products that you may have spent a lot of money on (especially if finances are tight), but a cream that irritates your skin is not benefiting you at all.
Donate new and gently used products to women's shelters or local hospices and hospitals. Give them a call first to check what their policy is on accepting items. Have a look at Toiletries Amnesty for details of how and where you can donate.
You can swap or sell new high quality branded products on auction sites or beauty forums.
Give to friends and family who may want to try a new product, or give new products as gifts.
Once you have decluttered and only have left what you are going to keep, get some surface cleaner and give the shelves, drawers, storage and products a good wipe over.
ORGANISE AND STORE
If you regularly spend time searching through drawers and cosmetics bags to find your cleanser or moisturiser, you're wasting time. Probably putting yourself in a bad mood in the mornings, and not having an effective skincare routine. (A good skincare routine is essential to make you look and feel your best).
Think about where would be the most practical place to store your skincare. Think about where you tend to take your make up off and put your moisturiser on?
Make sure that the items you use on a daily basis are kept togther, visible and easily accessible.
Use containers and drawer dividers to keep them organised and make your morning and evening routines easier.
Your spare and less used products should be stored separately. Store and contain by category to keep them organised.
My favourite places for bathroom storage are Ikea, Muji and TK Maxx/Homesense.
HABITS TO KEEP SKINCARE SIMPLE
Be intentional about your skincare routine.
What does your skin need? What fits in with your lifestyle?
Seeing, and thinking about what you have and what you actually need will hopefully help you to simplify further, and stop you from buying more products on impulse.
Write a list of any products that you NEED to complete your routine and take care of your skin.
Here are some habits to adopt to keep your skincare simple;
Use up your current product before opening a new one.
With all the temptation to buy new products, it's hard not to start on the new one straight away. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself to new products if you can afford to, but use up your current one first (unless it doesn't work for your skin, in which case you should donate it straight away). Reduce product and money waste. Some companies, such as Lush, Kiehls and Mac even offer free products when you return your empty containers.
Keep a note of when you brought it.
If you don't use products up quickly and struggle to remember how old they are, next time you buy something new, add the date with a permanent marker or small label so you always know how old it is.
If you simplify right down to only what you regularly use, products shouldn't become out of date, but it's worth doing until you get to this point.
Buy Smaller Sizes.
For items that you only use occasionally, seasonally or want to try a new product - have a look to see if they do a sample or travel size, or buy the smallest size.
Keep your products clean.
Keep your products germ free by making sure that your hands are clean before you put your fingers in a jar, or better still use a spatula,
Pick pump dispenser wherever possible, they reduce the amount of air and bacteria exposed to the formula and extend the life of the product.
Use your senses.
A sniff is a really good indicator. Natural skincare develops sharp or sour notes when 'off'.
If a product starts to look, smell or feel different - throw it out straight away.
Now you should know exactly what you have, what you need, where it is and be clearer and cleaner - reward yourself to a well-earned mini facial with that face mask that you have just found!
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