‘Quietly taking it easy’ is the beauty trend every skincare lover should know

It’s fair to say that during the pandemic, our skin care over-bloated diets. Since then, there have been multiple riffs on minimalist routines, but “the silent stop” is shaping up to be the most profitable for your skin. More importantly, it’s also the one you’re most likely to stick with – and, as we know, consistency is key to lit skin.

Until now, silent abandon has referred to workplace politics and avoiding the mentality of the hustle culture. The term, popularized by Zaid Khan in a TikTok Video, refers to doing only the bare minimum in the office and sticking to the job description, then leaving the job on time. Now there seems to be a movement to apply the same approach to skincare.

Over the past 18 months, there’s been a seismic shift toward streamlining groaning skincare routines. Instead of endless layers of essences and serums, and satisfying a bottomless appetite for the latest hot actives, Silent Shutdown is a more 2.0 approach to skinimalism. Simply put, it’s about cutting routines down to the bare essentials so skin performs more efficiently. But it’s also about making a conscious decision to step away from the pressures of beauty fast — and bring some joy back into our skincare regimens.

For many, plump skin as smooth as ice remains the proverbial white whale. Anyone who has experienced the particular kind of frustration that accompanies unexpected bouts of acne and angry red patches, we don’t need to tell you that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. For this reason, silent surrender is an approach championed by Marc Elrick, founder of Byoma.

“Overuse of skincare and over-exfoliation means we’re seeing more and more self-reported skin issues,” says Marc. “People have overloaded with products, looking for quick, short-term fixes, with complicated routines that cause more harm than good. We’ve chosen to break that trend with skincare that’s less about instant gratification and more about the gentle, nourishing hydration your skin really needs.”

Part of the appeal of quietly phasing out our skincare routine is that, as our social lives return to normal, we no longer have time to slather on a 10-step routine. It’s also a reason supported by experts to cut back on non-essential beauty product purchases. For many dermatologists, including Dr. Emma Wedgeworthcleanser, serummoisturizing and FPS are the backbone of a solid skincare routine – nothing more. These pillars can be changed at night (for example, you might want to swap the vitamin C serum you carry the day for retinol) or to meet the needs of different skin types. “But you only need to incorporate one or two actives into your regimen to address your main concerns,” says Dr. Wedgeworth.

Just because there aren’t so many bottles jostling for space on your bathroom shelf doesn’t mean your skin is missing it either. A core tenet of Quiet Shutdown is to be smarter about what you apply and rely on multitasking ingredients. Aesthetic doctor Dr Barbara Sturm is a big fan of niacinamide because of the myriad effects this unassuming ingredient can have on your skin.

Donovan B. Sanford