Trend Dissection 10: Minimalist Beauty

Collage by Aylea Skye/ Original Images by Aylea Skye & Unknown Sources

Collage by Aylea Skye/ Original Images by Aylea Skye & Unknown Sources

Minimalism, n.

The practice of using the minimum means necessary to achieve a desired result, esp. in literature, design, etc.

More for less. Quality not quantity. These are sentiments that a minimalist finds themselves repeating. Minimalism has filtered into every facet of society. From fashion (and its normcore and capsule wardrobe offerings) to design and interiors; minimalism is being embraced wholly. There is something almost paradoxical about the concept of stripping back whilst living in the age of excess.     Minimalism has now found its way into our skincare cabinets. A new breed of brands have been appearing that favour the simple; simple packaging, simple marketing and seemingly simple ingredients. For these brands, the emphasis is on the ingredients; no unnecessary fillers, just effective components that are proven to make a positive difference to the skin.  This core idea is fundamental to what minimalism means. It's not just about using less for less's sake alone but rather, doing so to achieve a desired result. A cocktail of research-driven ingredients that work, targeted efforts, maximum results (and minimal disappointment). This attitude is especially refreshing in skincare, where new ingredients crop up daily with the promise of clear, dewy skin, however perpetually we want ingredients that work and to our (and their favour) these brands want the same. 
Below we uncover the minimalistic brands with ingredients that pack a punch.

The Ordinary

Part of the DECIEM brand which is dubbed ‘The Abnormal Beauty Company’, The Ordinary sets itself apart with the almost ironic name as they are anything but ordinary. Standing by the tagline, ‘clinical formulations with integrity’, the fast-growing brand successfully managed the feat of creating highly effective and concentrated products at an affordable price. They are minimalist both in style and substance, each product is simply appointed with a wide label and unfussed black font. From their highly concentrated Vitamin C products, non-drying chemical exfoliants, organic plant oils to their advanced serums, The Ordinary is clearly reaching the hearts of skincare lovers everywhere who want good skin at a competitive price. My favourites from the brand are their 5% Lactic Acid and their Hyaluronic Acid 2%.  


 Everyone that reads beauty website IntoTheGloss knows of Glossier, the brainchild of ITG creator Emily Weiss (and if you’re in the UK, are eagerly awaiting UK shipping). The brand adopts the belief that skin is a foundation and should be as healthy as possible with taglines ‘Skin Is In’ and ‘Beauty IRL’. Launched in 2014, (but if you’re in the UK you’ll still be eagerly awaiting UK shipping) the impossibly-cool brand has grown a following in the States and beyond of loyal ITG followers, digital beauty influencers and big beauty names. Their skincare range comprises of only essentials, minimalism at its finest, with a cleanser, facial mist, moisturiser, masks, targeted serums, SPF and lip balm covering you on all things skin. 


The oldest of the bunch, REN has been a pioneer in minimal skincare for the past 17 years. From the classic white packaging (colour coded according to the skin type) to the formulation which skips out on anything that is not skin-friendly (think synthetic fragrance or colours, petrochemicals, silicones, sulphates, PEGs, TEA/DEA, parabens and urea). They pride themselves in clean products, proving it is possible to make quality skincare without synthetic ingredients. REN strikes the perfect balance between luxury and no-fuss skincare. My REN picks are the Evercalm Cleansing Milk and the Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream. 

SW Basics

 ‘It’s not that complicated…It’s all about simplicity’. Never have more fitting words been spoken. The Brooklyn-based brand has made a name for themselves with their super simple skincare formulations. Their minimalism stems not only from their apothecary-style packaging but also their transparency in a sometimes vague industry. SW Basics believe that skincare should be simple. Their products are exactly that, as each bottle, tube or tub comes with its own ingredients list printed in bold (on the front no less). With a range of cleansers, oils, toners, moisturisers and salves, you know exactly what you are getting. 

Herbivore Botanicals

 Clean lines, simple sans fonts, clear bottles… Style meets substance (again!) with Herbivore Botanicals. The brand, co-founded by husband and wife duo, believes that skincare should be an enjoyable experience but also produce effective results. They incorporate a number of plant-derived ingredients, avoiding unnecessary fillers for products that produce the desired results. Their bar soaps, face masks, facial mists and oils are perfectly crafted with your face (and Instagram account in mind).