I Simplified My Complicated Beauty Routine to Just Two Steps — Here’s What Happened

I took the Purity challenge.
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EMANUEL HAHN

As a freelance beauty writer for Allure, my job often entails trying and reviewing beauty products readers may be interested in learning about, and helping others perfect their routines. Though everybody has different preferences when it comes to their beauty regimens, there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my career: People are far more likely to stick to a routine if it’s simple, quick, and affordable. As consumers, we’re often caught between what we want — an easy, fuss-free routine — and what we can actually get. Fortunately, skin-care brand philosophy is here to fill that void with its high-quality, affordable Purity line.

I received the brand’s best-selling Purity Made Simple one-step facial cleanser and new Purity Made Simple ultra-light moisturizer to try out in conjunction, the idea being that the two-step system could simplify my current regimen while still ensuring my skin looks healthy, clean, and fresh. At first, I wasn’t entirely convinced the two products could successfully replace my daily routine. It’s now been three days, and I have to admit: I was completely and utterly wrong.

My skin before the Purity challenge.

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For those unfamiliar with philosophy’s Purity line, a bit of background info: The skin-care collection, which features the ten time, Best of Beauty-winning One-Step Facial Cleanser along with everything from Micellar Water to an Exfoliating Clay Mask, was developed to make high-end skin care accessible to everyone — from those who spend hundreds of dollars on skin care every month and want to simplify their regimen, to those who’ve never used skin-care products before and don’t know where to start without spending a ton of money. The driving concept is that skin care doesn’t have to be intimidating to be functional: Instead of creating dozens of products packed with harsh chemicals and high-tech additives, the Purity line relies on a handful of high-quality ingredients (such as nourishing oils and soothing botanical extracts) to give the skin what it needs to look and feel its best in as few steps as possible.

On the first day of my three-day Purity challenge, I was, admittedly, a bit nervous. My skin is extremely temperamental: Oily and acneic, but super sensitive — even standard salicylic acid cleansers irritate my skin if used daily. Moisturizers must be lightweight, but ultra-hydrating: Too little moisture and my skin feels tight and dry; too much, and my pores get clogged.

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To ensure I was getting accurate results, I decided not to use any other skin-care products while using Purity, so I could really tell how the products affected my complexion. Once I finished cleansing and rinsed everything off, I was pleased to see that my skin felt clean, but not in that off-putting squeaky way that you often get with “makeup removing” drugstore cleansers (which tend to be way too drying). After cleansing, I pumped a dime-sized dollop of the new Purity Made Simple Ultra-Lightweight moisturizer into my hand, and massaged it over my skin, taking time to really note how it felt on my face. The name sums it up: This moisturizer really is super lightweight, and doesn’t leave any sort of film or greasy residue on the skin. At the same time, it’s very hydrating. My skin felt nourished, healthy, and soft, and again, smelled really good.

Like the Purity cleanser, the new Ultra-Lightweight Moisturizer is loaded with botanical extracts (green tea antioxidant complex, chia seed oil, sustainable meadowfoam seed oil), and vitamins (C and E), which both soothe the skin in the short run and improve the texture and appearance of it over time. After smoothing the moisturizer on and feeling it sink in to my skin, I was impressed (and very excited to simplify my daily regimen).

My skin after the Purity challenge.

Over the course of three days, my skin appeared softer, smoother, and significantly brighter. I didn’t notice as many breakouts or blackheads, my pores seemed less obvious, and my usually sallow, sleep-deprived complexion looked really good. The cleanser, which I’ve previously used on my own and loved, seems to actually work better when followed up with the Purity moisturizer, as well: The two balance one another out and make the skin feel really fresh. They work very well for those with sensitive skin or those adopting a skin-care routine for the first time.

All in all, I’m definitely a fan of the Purity Made Simple one-step facial cleanser and ultra-light moisturizer, which each has a $25 price point. I have realized that quantity isn’t necessarily better than quality: For all of the fancy serums, oils, spot treatments, and anti-aging creams I’ve used, my skin hasn’t felt this healthy in a long while. Sometimes, I’ve learned, it’s best to keep it simple. And for all the time I’ve spent overloading my skin with more products than I can count, I’m really enjoying the simplicity of the Purity regimen. And so is my bank account.