MINIMALISM: WHEN A DESIGN PHILOSOPHY IMPACTS SKINCARE FORMULAS (AND NOT JUST PACKAGING)
Minimalism is a powerful intellectual movement, which has been affecting all art forms for almost a century and has considerably influenced graphic and functional design.
Many schools and styles fall under minimalism, famously the Japanese and Scandinavian ones. It has many definitions as well, but because of our French bias we prefer Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s: "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”.
Minimalism has had profound applications in the design of buildings, interiors, furniture and objects, and affects our environment and daily life. We tried using this approach when researching Cosmydor’s skincare formulas.
So what does minimalist design mean in the context of skincare formulas?
Basically, going back to the essence of skincare: treating and protecting the skin, our largest organ, and the one most in contact with our environment.
The objective was to end up with the minimum number of ingredients (which had to be organic/natural, of course), whilst offering pleasant textures and perfumes, as skincare should. This work was carried out in the opposite way to industrial cosmetics, by identifying component-ingredients which could smell nice and treat, protect and be pleasant on the skin, all at the same time.
Vegetable oils (e.g. olive, borage, macadamia and coconut) and essential oils (e.g. lavender, chamomile, peppermint and geranium) have documented moisturising, soothing, antioxidant, antiseptic and regenerative powers, all of which skincare requires. So, they became not mere ingredients, but the basis of our formulas, avoiding the accumulation of multiple ingredients for every function required:
Texture comes from our creams’ emulsion form (between these oils and floral water) – which interacts nicely with the natural lipid emulsion at the surface of our skin.
Perfumes come from the plant-components. They are sometimes strong, they often evoke memories of nature. Our products only smell like the plant ingredients, they smell like nature.
Efficiency comes from the extraordinary concentration of benefits provided by these vegetable and essential oils, which are carefully selected and mixed for more precise objectives (anti-aging, soothing, dry skin, etc.). There is never any super profit-seeking dilution, as we do not attempt to lower our manufacturing costs: they are what they are.
The end result is that with less water and no texture, perfume or other functional agents, the number of active ingredients is minimised, their concentration maximised, and efficiency becomes incomparable.
A typical result for minimalist design.
Minimalist design has proved to be a powerful creative philosophy for many beautiful and functional things, and its use in skincare formulation, coupled with an eco-responsible approach, has also managed to create highly efficient and pleasant products, protecting our skin and our planet at the same time.