Is your beauty routine stressing you out? Here’s how to simplify your stash and save yourself time without sacrificing results.
-Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed
For the modern human, it’s not crazy to imagine having your morning coffee in San Francisco, catching a plane, and landing in New York by lunchtime. We work (at least) 5 days a week, scramble to take care of tasks like cleaning the house and doing laundry, and then do our best to set aside at least one day for rest and relaxation. Whether that’s active rest like going on a walk with a friend or literally sinking into the couch and bingeing on Netflix, the truth is that this modern life keeps us moving at a pace that often feels unsustainable. If only we could take things a little slower…
THE BIRTH OF THE SLOW MOVEMENT
Enter the SLOW movement. More specifically, it burst our thought stream in the mid-1980s as a response to none other than America’s most iconic fast food chain. Here’s how the Slow Movement was first conceived, as explained in an article from The Big Think:
“It all began when McDonald’s misjudged just how seriously the Italians take their food. As unfathomable as it is today, in 1986, McDonald’s hadn’t made its way into much of Europe. Not everyone was in love with the idea.
One protester in 1986 was a man named Carlo Petrini who, with a group of activists, were [sic] inspired by the moment to start the “Slow Food” movement. The movement promised to eat and shop local, to give fair pay to producers, and to encourage high-quality, old-fashioned dining. Slow Food was such a success that it soon sprouted all sorts of subcultures: Slow Fashion (in which you buy fewer, better items and mend clothes rather than throw them away), Slow Gardening (in which you smell, stroke, and are more aware of your plants), and even Slow Parenting (in which you don’t organize activities but just watch your child invent fun).”
Carlo Petrini’s aversion to living in a fast-food nation hit a nerve. Today, the Slow Food Movement boasts millions of members with chapters spanning 160 countries. At its core, it’s an attempt to preserve local food cultures from going extinct as a result of our fast-paced modern lifestyle.
WELCOME TO SLOW BEAUTY
Before there were beauty products lining countless commercial shelves, there were long-practiced rituals. Every culture throughout history has its own unique methods of treating skin conditions and preserving moisture and elasticity. These beauty rituals have largely been lost to the quick-fix, constantly in-motion modern skincare industry.
But a back-to-basics trend has been slowly and steadily taking the lead. During the pandemic when we were all spending most of our time at home, K-Beauty experienced a surge in popularity. The core concept of this Korean-born beauty ritual is all about layering (a rather lengthy) list of products in the correct order for cleansing, absorption, and moisture retention.
These 10-12-step skincare routines are fine when you’re quarantined and have nothing but time on your hands. But, maintaining such a laborious ritual in “normal” life post-pandemic has proven overwhelming for many skincare enthusiasts. And this is where the value of a slower, more intentional routine comes into play.
MAKING INTENTIONAL PURCHASES
The concept of Slow Beauty aims to simplify your decision-making process while simultaneously creating space by removing the unnecessary. It’s about using fewer products without sacrificing results. In fact, simplifying your routine can often yield better results because you’re causing less irritation to your skin. Using products that support and strengthen your microbiome actually serves to replenish and rebuild your skin's natural barrier.
Selecting better products rather than more products also helps the environment. You produce less waste and save money in the long run because you’re consuming less. An investment in high-quality, scientifically-backed skincare is a smart choice that aligns with Slow Beauty, environmental awareness, and good economic principles.
Look for companies that don’t skimp on information when it comes to the quality of ingredients and their corresponding efficacy. This is a good indication that time and care went into crafting their product line, which usually translates to better benefits for buyers.
HOW TO EMBRACE SLOW BEAUTY
Slow beauty means mindfully sourcing products that you can trust. In other words, the opposite of cramming countless new and trending items into your beauty cabinet. But it also serves a broader purpose. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a drug store beauty aisle or enter the makeup counter maze in a department store? It can be overwhelming and stressful to find what you need. Slow Beauty gives you a sense of control, helping you feel more confident about the choices you make.
Here’s how you can become a Slow Beauty Pro:
- Clear Out Your Cabinet
Less is more, so start by going through your beauty product collection and give away anything you haven’t used in the past 3 months. Look at the things you use every day and/or weekly. Those are your core products…and that’s all you need.
- “Skinimalize” your Routine
Our Skinimalist checklist includes the following for high-performance results:
- One gentle moisturizing cleanser like our Balancing Milky Cleanser that washes away impurities while leaving your skin balanced and hydrated. Lactic acid helps balance your pH levels while gently sloughing away dead skin cells. Plus, prebiotic yogurt powder infuses your skin with healthy bacteria.
- A high-performance moisturizer that doesn’t contain drying ingredients like sulfates or isopropyl alcohol. Layers Immunity Moisturizer is packed with skin-nourishing ingredients like meadowfoam oil, pomegranate extract, and milk thistle. These enhance collagen production, improve elasticity, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Together with our probiotic blend, it plumps and illuminates your skin.
- Find a good quality, broad-spectrum SPF. Your SPF should be the final layer in your morning routine. A tinted moisturizer with an SPF of 50+ is ideal for the ultimate protection of your skin barrier.
We know that a stroll through the beauty aisle can sometimes be fun, but it’s a whole lot more enjoyable when you’ve got a solid foundation of the basics already covered. Save those drugstore and department store rendezvous for the simpler things like juicy face masks and daring new lip colors. When it comes to your beauty cabinet staples, stick with the science. If you’re ready to step off of the trend train and have more time to focus on the fun stuff in life, probiotic skincare delivers what you need in simple, sleek, and sexy little packages (if we do say so ourselves).