How to Build a Minimalist Skincare Routine

It might sound strange to hear the words “simple” and “skincare” in one sentence from a girl who tested 365 masks last year, but… hear me out.

As you might remember, I relocated to the “village” (aka East Hampton) for summer, far away from all the events and craziness of the big city, and it certainly took a toll on my skincare routine.

From being in a situation where I wore makeup (frequently, excessive makeup, so it lasts all day long) to barely wearing any makeup for four months in a row was quite a challenge that taught me important things about my skincare habits.

I hope these skincare routine tips will help you to make conclusions about your skincare routine too. Let’s get started.

My New Skincare “Diet”

First and foremost, what helped me to keep my skincare routine simple is that I moved far away from all the skincare packages that brands were sending my way. I’m not going to lie, saying that I didn’t miss those, but to reset my skincare routine was essential.

After an initial freak out that I don’t have enough skincare goodies to play with, I started rounding down the list of my already favorite products. That way, I was able to build a simple and effective skincare routine.

AM Skincare Routine Order

When it comes to a minimalistic morning skincare routine, all I’m trying to accomplish is to gently cleanse my skin, hydrate it for the day, and protect from the sun. I prefer my a.m. skincare regimen to be easy, fast, and not interrupt with my makeup.

Currently, I’m using the following skincare products in this exact order.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Cleanser
SHOP: $9.99 at

My skin gets quite oily overnight, and this gentle, pore purifying cleanser is going such an excellent job cleaning all that gunk out.

Simple, non-irritating, 100% vegetarian — what else to expect from an ideal morning cleanser?

Eye Cream – None!
SHOP: $50 at

What a twist, right? For some reason, this summer, I enjoyed switching to eye masks (like my favorite MDNA The Eye Mask) in the mornings as opposed to using an eye cream.

That way, your under-eye area looks refreshed, and even if you want to put makeup on, it’s not too oily like after eye cream. And on the days when I felt like needing extra hydration, I’d use the same eye cream I mention in the PM Routine.

Dermalogica BioLumin-C Serum

SHOP: $89 at

My skin loves Vitamin C, and this particular formula is one of my most favorite. This best-selling serum is very lightweight and gentle.

It’s one of those skincare products where you do notice the difference after a few weeks of using it.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair UV

SHOP: $19.99 at

Honestly, I’ve been raving about this Holy Grail skincare product for so many years that it no longer requires an introduction.

Meet a perfect 2-in-1 moisturizer and SPF for acne-prone skin! It perfectly hydrates the skin and doesn’t cause any irritations.

PM Skincare Routine Order

Since my morning routine is very simple, I use all the “heavy-duty” skincare at night time. A little exfoliation, an anti-aging product or two, and rich nourishing night cream. Simple but effective — that’s what I’m going for when it comes to a skincare regimen.

Currently, I’m using the following products as a part of my p.m. skincare regimen for my sensitive, combination skin type.

Neutrogena Hydrating Cleansing Gel review

Neutrogena Hydrating Cleansing Gel

SHOP: $11.99 at

Even though I barely wore any makeup, I still followed a double-cleansing routine. First, I remove traces of makeup and dirt with this gentle and hydrating drugstore cleanser.

This particular formula by Neutrogena has been my current favorite. I use it not only to wash my face but also as a hydrating shaving cream for my legs.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Cleansing Gel review

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Cleansing Gel

SHOP: $38 at

After a first-round of cleansing, I finished up with exfoliating cleanser by Dr. Dennis Gross. It contains alpha and beta hydroxy acids that keep bacteria away while removing impurities and dead skin cells.

I would say an ideal cleanser to have in your collection if you are struggling with acne.

By the way, don’t be confused with the fact that I’m using two products that both contain acids in one routine.

The first one is all about Hyaluronic Acid — while it does sound like a product that would exfoliate the skin, it’s actually skin nourishing and softening ingredient.

The second one contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids — exfoliators that lift away dead skin while smoothing the complexion.

So there’s no reason to be afraid that you would over-exfoliate your skin when using two of these products together.

Fresh Beauty Rose Toner review

Fresh Beauty Rose Toner

SHOP: $25 at

I went through so many bottles of this delightfully smelling toner that I can’t imagine my nighttime routine without it.

The toner not only makes your skin more acceptable of all the skincare goodness that’s about to happen. It also speaks to your senses as it’s an enjoyable evening ritual you’d not want to miss.

Borghese Fluido Protettivo Advanced Eye Lift review

Borghese Fluido Protettivo Advanced Eye Lift

For the night time, I love rich eye cream textures, and this delightful eye product delivers just that.

Remember me raving about eye cream layering? With this profoundly hydrating eye cream, there is no need for this dual-step routine.

Just one pump of this cream (enough for both eyes), and you are all set.

Instytutum Anti-Wrinkle Brightening Serum review

Instytutum Anti-Wrinkle Brightening Serum

SHOP: $98 at

Guys, I went through the bottle of this serum so quickly — I just couldn’t get enough of it!

It’s so gentle and hydrating, refreshing, and soothing at the same time — repurchasing it as we speak!

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer review

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Moisturizer

SHOP: $29.99 at

This allergen-free night time hydrator is ideal for soothing your skin overnight and making it look less irritated in the a.m.

Oh, and did I mention that this cream is non-comedogenic, aka suitable for acne-prone skin? I’m obsessed!

How Simplifying My Skincare Routine Helped My Skin

After a few months of a more minimalist skincare routine, I felt liberated. Not only it took so much quicker to get ready every moment. I think that my skin, in general, became cleaner.

As I previously mentioned, my skin is acne-prone and sensitive, so all these new products I regularly introduced in the past did not help the situation. So if you are struggling with the same skincare issues, less is more might be a solution for you too!

Another important conclusion I’ve made is that wearing less foundation brings back that glow to your skin. It certainly looks glam to have perfectly matte and flawless skin that you might achieve with the help of a full-coverage foundation. But in the summertime, it’s not mandatory to always have everything covered.

This summer, I embraced dewy skin — and loved it even more than I could have imagined. People started telling me I look relaxed and younger, and in my book, that’s the best compliment a girl could get.

Finally, I realized that your skincare routine doesn’t have to overwhelm you. I remember how back in a day, I’d have decision fatigue looking at my skincare cabinet and trying to decide what exactly my skin wants on any particular day. 

These days, I go deeper into exploring the benefits of skincare products that are currently in my routine and — if needed — adjusting as I go. I guess lots of girls have been doing that all the time, but again — for a beauty blogger this experience was quite a revelation.

How to Build a Minimalist Skincare Routine - STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

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