How Minimalism Helped Clear Up My Skin

I know what you are thinking- Nico, isn’t minimalism all about owning less stuff? What does that have to do with skin?

Yes, and no. Minimalism is the art of living with essentials that bring you joy, and eliminating all other items that you don’t need and/or cause you stress.

This can mean decluttering your home, to eliminating toxic relationships, all the way to being intentional about the products used in your personal care routine.

My husband and I have been minimalists for about 4 years now, and I would never have thought that I would get out of it as much as I have. Namely- my skin clearing up. Even as I type this I’m laughing because it was something so random and amazing that happened due to minimalism.

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 Now, I’m no doctor (shocking, I know). However, it’s not a coincidence that growing up I struggled with acne, and once we started paying attention and living intentionally through minimalism- my skin cleared up.

Here are the habits that occured through minimalism, which in turned helped my skin.

Reducing Skin Care Products

I remember I used to be a product JUNKIE. I spent thousands of dollars (no exaggeration) on products claiming to clear up my skin or reduce scarring, or worst- brighten my skin! My skincare routine consisted of washing, scrubbing, toning, moisturizer, spot treatment. Ah, just writing this makes my skin crawl. Once we adopted minimalism, I took a good hard look at all the products cluttering up my bathroom and decided enough was enough. I started looking at labels and realizing that I was putting, pardon my french, toxic shit on my skin. So not only did I have a ridiculous amount of products, those products had a ridiculous amount of chemicals in them that I needed to give up. So that’s how I ended up with my skin care regime that I have been using for 4 years now. The following are in my bathroom now:

1. Dr. Bronners Soap: Used for washing my face, body, and makeup brushes. This stuff is THE soap to use if you care about what you put on your skin and the environment. I love the lavender, eucalyptus, and non-scented ones. You can purchase from Amazon here.

2. Jojoba Oil: Yes, I use oil on my face. No, it doesn’t make me more oily or break my skin out. Jojoba oil is known for being very similar to your skin sebum, so it naturally moisturizes and helps with age spots and mature skin. It’s slightly oily (duh) when you first put it on, but it soaks in nicely within 10 minutes. This is my knight and shining armor. I like the Plant Therapy Brand found on Amazon here.

That’s it. Those are my only two products that I use now. Talk about opening shelf space and saving money!

Using Less Make Up

Makeup is a touchy subject for me. I believe that makeup can be used as an amazing tool to enhance your face and used as self-expression. However, it can also be used to cover up and mask your face- which is what I used to do. This can be a vicious cycle. You break out, slather your skin with foundation which clogs your pores, which in turn makes you break out. I realized that I was using it as a temporary fix for my skin problems. I was seriously SO uncomfortable in my own skin, I wouldn’t leave the house with foundation on.

I attempted to stop putting so much on, because maybe the makeup was actually doing more harm than good, and I wanted to get rid of as much makeup that I could. I took baby steps from wearing liquid foundation and powder foundation to only powder foundation. And then putting it on every other day. Now, I use it to enhance my face when I feel like getting dolled up. It’s really liberating. And again, makeup is EXPENSIVE, so not wearing it every day = it lasting longer= not having to spend tons of money on it!

(Disclaimer: All makeup brands are different and have different ingredients in them. I now pay very close attention to make sure all my products are derived from plants and are all natural.)

Being More Organized Helped With Hygiene

Alright, I’m going to sound like a nasty girl for a little bit, but bear with me. When I was living my non-minimalist lifestyle, I let a lot of things fall through the cracks. Like hygiene. Now before you judge too hard, I know a couple of readers out there are probably going to read this and immediately think “oh shoot, that’s me”. So here it goes…

  •  Neglecting to clean makeup brushes weekly
  • Not swapping out pillowcases and towels frequently
  • Forgetting to wipe down items like phones or keyboards

Now that these tasks are part of my weekly routine, it’s crazy to think my life wasn’t like that. Having time to actually think about these tiny, but important, steps has everything to do with minimalism and being able to think clearly.

Cleaning Up My Diet

Minimalism has altered my way of thinking and now I question everything. Do I need this? Will this bring me joy? Will this add to our health and well-being? I also apply it to the kitchen and what we put into our bodies. I won’t go too in-depth here about our veganism journey (look out for the post on Why We Chose to Become Vegans soon), but I can tell you this much- it is a serious game skin changer.

We are very intentional with what we put in our bodies in the sense of whole grains, fruits, and veggies. We make it point to keep out all the crappy junk food (although we do love our cereal). This helps with our organization- the fruit goes in the fruit basket. Veggies in the fridge. Nuts and grains in mason jars.

What started out as a 1-month challenge morphed into our lifestyle for the past 7 months. I just look at how we used to eat as nothing more than a messy spread of junk. Don’t get me wrong- we were healthy. But now we are EXTRA healthy 🙂 And my skin is seriously glowing.

Having a New Outlook

Minimalism is so beneficial in many ways. Freeing yourself from what you think you need, to just having or doing the things you want is an incredible feeling. I owe my change in thoughts to this lifestyle because I realized that I don’t need a lot to be happy. I can be content with very little, and explore a lot. This has helped me step away from the mirror where I used to scrutinize every inch of my skin and body, and just live! My attitude toward beauty has changed- less is more. Fewer products. Less time spent criticizing myself. More time living a happy, natural, life.

Final Thoughts

Being a late- 20’s woman, I know how hard it is to not let your skin rule your emotions. However, I hope you are able to incorporate one, if not all, of these changes to see if it will help you. We are all such beautiful, unique individuals, and I can’t wait for everyone to have the confidence to just enjoy our days not being concerned about our skin.

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  • Reply
    Erin | A Welder's Wife
    December 19, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I love so many of your thoughts within this post. Currently, I do use quite a few products, but I am testing a theory. Normally at night time, I use Jojoba Oil, cleansing foam, a few different serums, and moisturizer. Jojoba oil is definitely my holy grail product! My diet is definitely another big factor in how clear my skin is. I can tell when I have strayed, because my skin will have little bumps everywhere! Another thing I have done is increase my days without makeup. This seems to help a lot. One thing I need to work harder with is how often I change my pillow cases. I try to do it once a week, but I think twice a week would be better for me personally.

    • Reply
      January 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you for reading my post! I don’t think I would change my pillowcases as often as I do, but I let my giant puppy doze off on the bed.. and he likes to use MY pillow his own hehe So changing them frequently is a MUST!

      And totally- jojoba oil is absolute gold. I transitioned to just dr.bronners and jojoba about 5 years because I had terrible acne, and decided to just cut out all chemicals, pills, and ointments. It has seriously transformed my skin (along with my diet, too 🙂 )

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