• Amy Arfi

Is minimum makeup, maximum skincare, the new rules?

The phrase less is more springs to mind when aiming for a natural look, so you’d think. However, where brands such as Glossier made waves in the no-makeup-makeup scene, it appeared to be that less makeup wasn’t necessarily the solution, just more lightweight dewier formulas instead that would bring you that so highly sought-after glow. So, as we threw away our full coverage foundations and contour sticks for a tinted foundation and cream bronzer, the focus shifted to what lies beneath. After all, the solution to achieving glass skin is helped by having the real deal underneath.

But skincare is a minefield. The trusty three step routine of cleanse, tone and moisturise is no longer enough and did I even mention exfoliation? Facewipes are merely a precautionary first step for the art that is a well-rounded night-time skin regime in today’s day and age. But taking it to new extremes is Nayamka Roberts-Smith, otherwise known online as the LA Beautyologist and licensed esthetician responsible for the #60secondrule, encouraging people to cleanse for a whole minute and promising life-changing results. She is so confident in her nine-step skin routine that she’s even produced branded merch stating these holy steps. Cleanse, tone, exfoliate, tone, mask, tone, serum, moisturise, oil. That’s it. That’s it? Whilst Nayamka does state not all steps should or need to be performed every night – exfoliation should only take place two to three times a week she says – they are all seriously important for different reasons.

The most important and obvious step being the one that is repeated so frequently in the process, is toning. Nayamka states that hydrating toners are where it’s at. If you’re an oily skin sufferer you may be drawn to stripping, drying toners that claim to reduce your oiliness and leave you with clean, acne-free skin. In actuality, what these toners are doing is stripping your skin cells of all oils completely, leaving it dehydrated. She says the best toners are hydrating toners that act as a prep in your skincare routine to open up pores, allowing the following steps, be it mask or serum, to have full access and impact into your skin. It’s really that simple.

Whilst these handy tricks and tips are helpful to know, this is just the foundation of knowing which products are right for you. In comes the salicylic acid toners and the toners with glycerol and this serum and that cleanser and one can’t help but feeling like it could go oh so wrong with the error of a bad product choice to ruin the whole process. Maybe the message to take away from this intense regime isn’t to take it as bible, but to be more scientifically conscious of what active ingredients we are applying to our skin. Whilst nine steps might not be achievable to those who do not wish or cannot dedicate that amount of time to their face on the daily, if Nayamka has given us one thing to take away from this rollercoaster ride and bombardment of information it’s this: tone. But only if it’s an alcohol-free toner. Which contains hydrating ingredients. I give up.