Skin Streaming Is The Latest Trend Helping You Embrace Minimalism In Your Skincare

During the early days of the pandemic, when so many of us were stuck inside of our homes with virtually no contact with the outside world other than what we could glean from technology, droves of us signed up for newer forms of social media like TikTok and spent more time than ever scrolling through feeds, following influencers, and trying to inject some sense of normalcy back into our lives.

Interestingly, during this time, there was an uptick in sales of things like premium makeup and skincare (via Kantar). Why would this be the case when virtually no one was seeing our faces in person and we were sitting in our own living rooms all day? A great deal of it boiled down to a need to engage in self-care and the time to actually do so. The combination of a growing influencer culture and a higher demand for self-care items meant many of us were building an ever-more-complicated skincare routine that included so many steps, serums, cleansers, moisturizers, and treatments it was hard to figure out the correct order in which to use them

But now, here in 2023, a shift is happening. 

De-influencing and the simplification of skincare

If you've been keeping up with the news lately, you've likely heard about the new trend dubbed "de-influencing." In what can best be described as a push-back against the skyrocketing rise of influencers and the products they tout, de-influencing is a movement encouraging people to take a long look at how influencer culture has affected not only our routines, but our budgets. It's also encouraging us to consider the larger problem of overconsumption (via Today).

The astronomical rise in "get ready with me" videos, product reviews, and sponsored content on social media has lead many to buy countless products deemed "essential" for that youthful glow, a glam makeup look, or perfectly-cared-for skin. In fact, we were buying so many skincare products that articles upon articles have lately been written about the order in which to use them all and how to layer them. Double cleansing, retinols, serums, moisturizers, eye creams, sunscreens, toners, masks, primers, and even at-home peels each had their place in these increasingly-complex routines. 

But is all of this really necessary for healthy skin or a healthy self-care regime? Is it sustainable where it comes to our schedules, our pocketbooks, and our planet? De-influencer culture says no, and it has given rise to a new simplified skincare trend called skin streaming.       

Skin streaming

As you can probably tell from its name, "skin streaming" refers to streamlining your skincare routine for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. As dermatologist Dr. Kunal Malik tells POPSUGAR, "Skin streaming is a trend that refers to streamlining skin care to use fewer products that effectively fulfill multiple needs, rather than using a drawer full of single-purpose-only products." 

Fot instance, rather than using an anti-aging serum, a moisturizing gel, and a plumping cream, perhaps there is one product that can effectively do all of those things at once, without weighing down your skin with multiple ingredients that don't play nicely together. As Dr. Malik went on to explain to POPSUGAR: "Your skin is most likely to absorb and actually benefit from fewer, higher-impact products ... Multiple beauty products can become diluted upon layering or may not even penetrate the skin fully due to overapplication." 

The three most essential steps to a skincare routine are cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection, says Dr. Malik. And while there is nothing wrong with using a toner or a serum if you like the effects, just be sure to read the ingredients to check that you are using effective, gentle products. The takeaway, according to Dr. Malik, is simple: "The fewer products you put on your face, the lower the risk of your skin getting irritated, as some combinations of products can disrupt your skin barrier," she says.