Simplify Your Life By Simplifying Your Beauty Routine
Written by Lynn Power
Beauty has become really really complicated. Women spend almost $4000 a year on beauty products. And back in 2015, the average number of beauty products a woman owned was 40. We can only speculate that with launches of products like the Face Gym Electrical Muscle Stimulation Mask and the myriad of beauty rollers now available, the number of beauty products we own and use has only gone up over the past few years. Put this in context of over 30,000 new products launching a year and it’s no wonder we have a hard time keeping up. On top of that, we are inundated with upwards of 5000 ads per day (and that number keeps growing!) and the average person is spending 2 hours and 24 minutes on social media every day. That’s a lot of multi-tasking going on!
But back to beauty. The beauty market has become incredibly fragmented as beauty brands capitalize on our desire to be “Instagram ready” with different products and benefits for every part of your body, from eyes to feet to lips and even for your vulva. In haircare, the market has become insanely segmented. Consumers need to choose between many benefits: hydration, shine, colour-safe, volume, repair, dandruff, etc. not to mention by hair type: curly, blonde, long, oily, etc. Kerastase sells 16 hair care ranges, which is enough to make me scratch my head!
Most beauty products have also segmented the market by men’s products vs. women’s products. Take Clinique for example -- their classic Dramatically Different Moisturizer is marketed towards women and yet they have Clinique for Men Moisturizing Lotion, which is essentially the same product formulations. We’ve been trained to think of men’s and women’s products as needing to be different. So, our bathrooms require twice the products to meet the needs of me and my husband.
Any way we look at it, this “proliferation of choice” approach is a strategy that serves the brands and beauty corporations by allowing them to capture more shelf space and “dominate” their categories, but it’s not at all consumer-friendly. After all, who wants to trade off shine for curl definition? Or hydration for colour-safe products? Or volume for healthy hair? We should be able to have it all -- and without confusion. I’ve often found myself standing for several minutes in front of a skincare or haircare shelf just trying to figure out how to process it all, which leaves me feeling like I am the issue because I have a hard time making a decision. The reality is, the seven companies that own almost 200 of the world’s biggest brands are not incentivized to make things simple.
The good news is that there are now beauty brands starting to embrace simplicity as a benefit -- not just from the perspective of simple formulations that work really well (and not overcomplicating it), but also simplicity in labelling, naming, packaging and the overall experience. You can take a step towards decluttering your life by starting with your beauty routine and eliminating anything extra that doesn’t serve you -- and embracing uncomplicated brands that do more. Many indie brands launching now are seeing simplicity as a point of difference -- and that’s good news for consumers. And by the way, simplicity is frequently tied to sustainability which is another benefit.
Here Are A Few Examples:
Romer Skincare has one simple regimen consisting of 3 products -- a cleanser, moisturizer and treatment product that work for just about everyone. Plus, Romer Skincare is gender-neutral, meaning that both my teenage son and daughter can use their products (one less decision I need to make).
MASAMI Mekabu infused haircare solves the #1 hair issue -- hydration -- but is also colour-safe, curl-defining, adds shine and works for virtually every hair type -- all without toxic ingredients. So no need to choose between shine, hydration or colour-treated formulas any longer. And no need to choose between a “clean formula” vs. a salon-quality formula.
Impact Naturals has demystified CBD and wellness by creating supplements that are benefit-oriented. So you can get sleep when you want it. And recharge when that’s what you need. You don’t need to be a scientist to understand these products, just that they will solve a problem. They even offer subscriptions so you don’t have to think about needing to reorder, another way brands are simplifying the purchase process for consumers.
Vintner’s Daughter launched in 2019 with a single product, their Active Treatment Essence -- a plant-based face oil that effectively addresses a broad range of skin concerns. Their product has garnered a cult following -- without the need for different variants for different skin types.
Bite Toothpaste Bits make your daily routine easier and more sustainable with toothpaste and mouthwash that’s plastic-free, cruelty-free and made with clean ingredients. Packing for trips just got easier (you can just bring the number of bites you need).
The reality is, if you can find a beauty product that works (ideally one with clean ingredients), chances are you don’t need 12 other products to add to it. You can start to pare back your beauty routine, which saves you time, space and money. In addition to having a decluttered bathroom, you will also be embracing a more sustainable lifestyle by using the products you need, nothing more. We all could use the opportunity to simplify our lives wherever we can, so your beauty routine is a great place to start.
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