Over the last three years, minimalist skincare has taken over the market. Gone are the days of owning countless magic potions, and face-lift elixirs that promise the world – beauty is becoming more transparent, natural and simple. A quick flick through our archives reveals our not-so-subtle obsession with all things clean, pure and unadulterated – recall Alex Carro’s all-natural serums, Reverie’s Californian nude hair care reductions, or Sakhi Copenhagen’s organic offerings.
Few take the bare beauty essentials as seriously as fledgling German skincare brand Less, which is ‘minimalist through and through, not just in the packaging and the name’, says founder David Scherf. True to fundamental form, Scherf has kept the range tightly edited to just three products: two face oils (one for oily skin days, the other for drier moments) and a millennia-old Moroccan washing clay called Ghassoul. Maintaining a healthy, oil-balanced complexion requires precious little else, he argues.
Silver scoop and shallow Ghassoul bowl
‘Often, skincare companies claim to be minimalist, then release countless different products, and tweaked versions of the same product,’ Scherf explains. ‘Instead, Less aims to reduce our beauty regimes to the absolute essentials.’
Each product’s slim ingredient list bears the same minimalist hallmark. Unnecessary additives and preservatives are eschewed in favour of a select batch of five raw plant oils, derived from avocado, hemp, jojoba, grape and apricot kernels.
Although it’s what's on the inside that counts, the packaging has been treated with the same (economical) care. Devised by Sherf himself (who is also a brand consultant), charcoal-grey boxes are printed with the brand’s logo: a slim minus symbol. Inside, medicine bottles contain the two face oils, and a refreshingly basic grey pouch holds the clay.
Running this reduced product range allows Scherf to branch out into an online store filled with beauty accessories, in collaboration with heavyweight European designers like Vincent Van Duysen. The Belgian architect has contributed a container to the Less collection, which also features high quality towels, combs, and an industrial-looking silver scoop for use with the Moroccan Ghassoul.
The thinking is, with all the room in your bathroom cabinet free from out of date, forgotten beauty buys, there's more space for sustainable, handcrafted products that can last a lifetime. So in this case, Less is (quite literally) more.