If You're A Minimalist, This Skincare Routine Is A Must For You

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Skincare is self-care, as many people see it. Who doesn't want glowing, healthy-looking skin all the time? But the market is over-saturated with innovative skincare products and the next big skincare ingredient that promises miracles going viral on TikTok. It can be quite overwhelming for people to know what they need versus what they want. When the 10-step Korean skincare routine blew up in the U.S. with the promise of "ageless, glowing skin," many people jumped on the bandwagon, as noted by Newsweek. There is no doubt that Koreans are known for their glass skin, but that is a lot of steps, and many people don't have the time or the budget to indulge in so many products. Now, some are getting back to basics and focusing on their skin's genuine concerns.

In 2021, Pinterest predicted skinimalism would be big, and it was right. Skinimalism is about accepting your "natural skin texture" by not hiding behind makeup and filters and letting your true skin show by using essential and multitasking beauty products (via InStyle). And using too many products might not work for everyone. On this, board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss told the outlet, "The biggest risk is developing an irritation, which can evolve into residual post-inflammatory erythema and hyperpigmentation." Therefore, "less is more" might actually be the way to go. A more streamlined skincare routine can be effective and easy.

The most efficient AM routine for a minimalist

Skincare can be as complicated or straightforward as you would like it to be, but if you're a minimalist, you probably prefer to keep it easy and effective. On this, Michele Green, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, told Everyday Health, "Minimalist skincare is exactly what it sounds like: It's a skincare routine that is simple and easy to follow." 

The first step is a cleanser, and Green recommends a glycolic or salicylic acid cleanser for oily, acne-prone skin and one without alcohol for sensitive skin. Shereene Idriss adds that you can skip the cleanser if you have very dry skin and that you should only use water in the morning, per Pillow Talk Derm. For step two, Dr. Idriss recommends using a vitamin C serum because it's an antioxidant. In fact, she explained, "Vitamin C has been proven to boost the efficacy of your SPF." Naturally, the next step is to moisturize. 

New York City-based dermatologist Michele Farber suggests getting "an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturizer," as it will work for most skin types (via Allure). Depending on your skin's needs, you can look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid for hydration and ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier. According to Self, the last step in every morning routine should be a sunscreen of at least SPF 30, which provides broad-spectrum protection to help against premature aging and skin cancer. You can choose a physical/mineral or chemical sunscreen based on your preference.

The most effective nighttime skincare routine for a minimalist

Your nighttime routine can vary based on your skin problems and whether or not you wear makeup. If you wear makeup, start by removing it with a makeup remover or cleansing oil. Otherwise, Carl Thornfeldt, M.D., practicing dermatologist and founder of the skincare line Epionce, recommends using a gentle cleanser to clean all the dirt and grime off your face without stripping your skin's natural oils (via Byrdie). 

Now that your face is clean, go for a retinol serum. Shereene Idriss calls it a "wrinkle-reversing miracle worker" to help fight signs of aging, per Pillow Talk Derm. However, if you have sensitive skin, Idriss recommends using it after your moisturizer to minimize irritation. The third step is eye cream because the skin around your eyes is "the thinnest and the most delicate," so you want to keep the area moisturized to maintain volume and prevent fine lines. 

Before your beauty sleep, the last step in your nighttime skincare routine should be a night cream. Darya Rzaca, the co-founder of Atelier Beaute Spa in Brooklyn, suggests choosing a rich cream to seal in the serum. Plus, you don't have to worry about your skin looking too shiny at night since you are going to bed (via The Every Girl).

Best products to build a minimalist skincare routine

This routine is every minimalist's dream because it is simple and can give you the most beautiful skin of your life in simple steps; you just need a few products to get you started. Verywell Health considers SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum the best overall vitamin C serum because it can brighten and firm your skin while protecting it from free radicals. 

Meanwhile, Pillow Talk Derm loves Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer. According to Aveeno, this fragrance-free moisturizer can keep even sensitive and irritated skin hydrated for 24 hours. It's infused with prebiotic oat to nourish and feverfew to calm. No skincare routine is complete without sunscreen, either, and Byrdie rates La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen SPF 60 as the best overall face sunscreen. It comes highly recommended by dermatologists and is excellent for all skin types.

Now for nighttime, Byrdie approves of CeraVe Hydrating Face Cleanser because it can get rid of all the makeup and dirt and even has ceramides to strengthen the skin's natural barrier. Retinol can be irritating, which is why Cosmopolitan's pick of Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum is great. It has microencapsulated retinol that is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. The Derm Review calls Carrot & Stick: The Eye Cream the best because it boosts collagen and reduces puffiness and dark circles.

Finally, if you want "the glowiest skin of your life," The Every Girl recommends Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Night Concentrate because this super luxurious night cream moisturizes your skin while locking in all the goodness of your other products.