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When it comes to putting together a consistent skin care routine, sometimes less is more. You can’t ditch the basics—like facial cleanser and moisturizer—but you don’t need all the extras that soak up your time and counter space. Plus, don’t you want your regimen to be on trend? In all facets of life right now, minimalism is hugely popular. If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep things pared down as much as possible (or stay on top of trends), you’ll want to switch to keeping your complexion in tip-top condition with only the most essential skin care products. Here, we break down how to keep your beauty routine basic—because there’s no reason it has to be complicated!
Just because you’re all about that low maintenance lifestyle doesn’t mean you have an excuse to neglect your complexion. You definitely don’t need to engage in a 10-step skin care routine morning and night, but there are a few things you shouldn’t skip out on if you want to keep your skin looking its most beautiful for years to come. Follow our skin care routine for minimalists below!
Step 1: Facial cleanser. The first step in your skin care routine should always, always be cleansing. When you cleanse your skin, you can help rid it of dirt, excess oils, impurities that have built up on the surface. You’re really not going to want to skip out on cleansing before bed. When you sleep in your makeup, it can mix with the dirt and oils that have built up on your skin, which can lead to clogged pores—and clogged pores can lead to breakouts.
Our favorite kind of facial cleanser for minimalists would have to be micellar water, a gentle, no-rinse option. Micellar water is powered by tiny micelles—oil molecules—that help to lift dirt, oils, and makeup up and away from the skin. No wonder it’s been beloved by French women for years! Since there’s no rinsing required, you can keep one on your dresser for easy access on those nights when you’re just too tired to haul yourself to the bathroom to wash your face. You can also toss one in your gym bag so that you can quickly cleanse in the locker room before heading home.
There’s a micellar water match for everyone. The L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin purifies and mattifies, the L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin hydrates and soothes, and the L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types intensely purifies. Just saturate a cotton pad with the micellar water of your choice and wipe it across your face—you’re done!
Step 2: Serum. If you’ve got specific skin issues you’re looking to address—like dark spots or fine lines and wrinkles—it could be a good idea to use a serum daily after cleansing. Generally, serums have formulas with highly concentrated ingredients that help to target specific skin concerns.
Have fine lines or wrinkles? The L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power™ Concentrated Serum is a luxurious, lightweight serum formulated with hyaluronic acid and Pro-Xylane™ to help address the look of lines. The serum can help make skin look more radiant immediately and reduce the appearance of wrinkles with continued use over time. Have dark spots? The L'Oréal Paris Youth Code™ Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector can help skin look more luminous immediately and minimize the appearance of dark spots with continued use over time.
Step 3: Eye cream. Applying an eye cream only takes a couple of seconds, which is why it’s perfect for using as part of your low-key skin care routine! Depending on which eye cream you use, it can help address signs of aging around your eyes such as dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines. When it comes to eye cream, a little goes a long way, so just remember that when you’re applying one. And think about storing your eye cream in the fridge—this can be a seriously cool treat! The L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Eye Cream can help make the skin around your eyes feel firmer and minimize the appearance of dark circles with continued use over time. Apply it daily around your eyes.
Step 4: Moisturizer. Next up: It’ time to talk about hydration! This is one step in your skin care routine that you should never skip—even if you’re a minimalist. It’s important to apply moisturizer, regardless of your skin type. Yep, you should use one day and night even if you have oily skin! When it comes to moisturizer, what’s right for one person may not necessarily be right for another. Those with oily skin may benefit from using a lightweight lotion, while those with dry skin may benefit from using heavier formulas.
Find a water-based moisturizer that’s right for your skin type. The L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Oily Skin has a matte finish, the L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Dry Skin has a radiant finish, and the L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Extra Dry Skin provides comfort. All three water-based moisturizers are formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe water to help provide long-lasting hydration.
Prefer an anti-aging option? The L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Cicacream Face Moisturizer Pro Retinol & Centella Asiatica helps to resist visible fine lines, loss of firmness and other signs of aging that a weakened skin barrier can accentuate. Every morning and evening, smooth the cica cream over your face until thoroughly absorbed.
Step 5: Broad-spectrum sunscreen. It doesn’t matter how much of a minimalist you are, broad-spectrum sunscreen is a non-negotiable morning skin care step. That’s because when you spend prolonged periods of time in the sun without wearing protection, this can lead to damage—and that can show up on your skin down the road as visible signs of aging like dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to help protect against both UVA and UVB rays. And don’t think you don’t need to wear sunscreen when it’s chilly or rainy outside—you can still get burned even on cloudy days!
Of course, if you’re a minimalist and want to keep things as basic as possible, you can do that. Just reach for a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen instead of a separate moisturizer and sunscreen. The L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30 is formulated with glycolic acid, vitamin C, Pro-Retinol, and broad-spectrum sunscreen. Apply it 15 minutes before you go outside—and be sure to toss it in your purse so that you can reapply it every two hours (more often if you’re sweating or swimming).
There are other sun protection measures you should take as well. The FDA encourages seeking shade, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You should also cover up—so be sure to wear a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses when you’re in the sun. There are so many stylish options out there, you can still look chic while protecting yourself.
While we know you’re all about the bare-bones approach to skin care, there are additions you can make to your routine if you’d like. For starters, exfoliation, the act of sloughing dead skin cells off the surface of your skin, can be beneficial. Consider using a face scrub, like the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Face Scrub, just a few times a week to reveal smoother skin.
Using a face mask a few times a week can also be a great idea. Try the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask, L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Purify & Mattify Face Mask, L'Oréal Paris Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clear & Comfort Face Mask, or L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Clarify & Smooth Face Mask. Whichever you choose, three times a week is the perfect amount of masking.
Congrats—you’ve officially made it through a minimalist’s skin care routine! You see, skin care doesn’t have to be hard, now does it? All it takes is a few easy steps (cleansing, applying serum and eye cream, moisturizing, and using broad-spectrum sunscreen, to be exact) to help care for your complexion. And if this had you itching for a more minimalist makeup routine, you may want to make the switch to makeup-skin care hybrids. Find out all our favorites in our article, 6 Makeup Products That Also Have Skin Care Benefits.