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Expert Perspectives

Skinimalism: What It Is and How It Can Give You Great Skin

By Dr. Jonathan Levy, Medical Director, Refine by Medcan

Less is more when it comes to skincare, provided you’re getting quality treatments and using quality products.

The pandemic offered few silver linings, but one of the most common perks was that months of makeup-free days gave many people’s skin a much-needed break. As a result, several of my patients have pared down their skincare routines, which is a good thing, because when it comes to skincare, the old adage “less is more” rings true. That’s what “skinimalism” (skincare minimalism) is all about: investing in quality treatments and products that offer visible results, and skipping the ones that don’t.

Think of your skin like a car: if you take your vehicle in to the mechanic for routine maintenance several times a year, and then check your oil levels, tire pressure and hit the car wash every so often on your own, you lower your risk of needing a big, intensive repair down the line. Your skin benefits from the same routine. By following a few proven skincare practices, you’re less likely to need an intensive treatment later to repair years of neglect or damage.

So how can you incorporate skinimalism into your own life? From skincare treatments to at-home products, here’s your go-to guide to great skin.

Cleansing routine

You only need to wash your face to remove daily grime, so unless your skin feels oily or greasy when you wake up, you can skip the cleaning routine. In the evening, cleanse your skin, then exfoliate, apply a skincare treatment product such as retinol or vitamin C, and moisturize.

Applying Sunscreen Daily

This one should be a no-brainer by now, but it’s always a good reminder. In the summertime, try to use SPF 50 on your face and SPF 30 on your body. In the middle of winter (in Canada), you can get away with SPF 15 on face and body because we tend to be outside less and the sun is much less intense. Apply sunscreen every morning before you leave the house, and reapply several times a day on sunny days or after exercise. If you head to the sunny south in winter, my rules for SPF in summer will apply. While sunscreen can’t reverse sun damage, it can prevent further sun spots, protect your skin if you’ve had sun or age spots removed, and prevent skin cancer. Make sure to look for broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, both of which can prematurely age your skin and cause sunburns.


If you only use one product, it should be retinol. A retinol serum or cream helps increase the rate of skin turnover and decreases oil production—a double punch when it comes to acne or clogged pores. After regular use you’ll find your skin is clearer and smoother. If you’re new to retinol or have sensitive skin, start with .25%. Once your skin can tolerate it (no redness, peeling or flaking), you can increase the concentration to 1% or higher. Retinol is best applied at night, since it makes your skin more susceptible to damage if exposed to the sun.

Vitamin C

This powerful antioxidant stimulates collagen production in your skin, wards off fine lines, brightens your complexion and protects against free radical damage, which ages skin. You can apply vitamin C in the morning, or if you aren’t able to tolerate retinol daily, you could alternate vitamin C and retinol every night.


Sloughing off the dead, dry top layer of your skin helps products like retinol and vitamin C penetrate and offer better results. As we age, our skin turnover cycle gets longer, so professional microdermabrasion treatments can help shed that top layer. You could get monthly microdermabrasion treatments, or seasonally if you complement the treatments with daily exfoliation.

Treatment: Clear + Brilliant

Regardless of your at-home routine, your skin will benefit from a professional treatment like Clear +Brilliant. This resurfacing treatment stimulates skin regeneration and collagen production using a gentle laser. It’s a great way to achieve an even skin tone and overall glow without any downtime, so you don’t have to plan ahead for the treatment or use vacation time to recover. In conjunction with a good at-home routine, this simpler, less invasive treatment can give you great results, and stave off the need for a more intense treatment like the CO2 laser treatment. While the results with CO2 laser are incredible, you’ll need at least a week of downtime to recover, which isn’t always possible for everyone.

We often think that layering more products will be better for our skin. But ultimately using just a few key products daily and routine, professional treatments will help you get clear, glowing, more even skin.

For more information on how Medcan help you reach your skincare goals, contact us at 416-350-3621 or refine@medcan.com.

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