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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 always need all the extras that soak up your time and counter space. In all facets of life right now, minimalism is hugely popular. If you like to keep things pared down as much as possible, you’ll want to keep your complexion in tip-top condition with only the most essential and trendy skin care products. After all, there is no need for a 10-step skin care routine morning and night.
However, there are a few things you shouldn’t skip out on if you want to maintain beautiful skin. Follow along as we give you the rundown on how to keep your beauty routine basic—because there’s no reason it has to be complicated!
If you’re ready to create some magic within your beauty regimen sans the fuss, we’ve got you covered. Follow our skin care routine for minimalists below.
Step 1: Facial cleanser. The first step in your skin care routine should always be cleansing. When you cleanse your skin, you can help rid it of dirt, excess oils, and impurities that have built up on the surface. Plus, it’s not smart to skip out on cleansing before hitting the hay. When you sleep in your makeup, it can mix with the dirt and oils that have built up on your skin and cause clogged pores. In turn, clogged pores can lead to blemishes.
This is where a micellar water can work its magic. Micellar water is a gentle option that helps to lift dirt, oils, and makeup up and away from the skin. Since there’s no rinsing required, you can keep one on your bedroom dresser for easy access when you’re just too tired to wash your face in the bathroom. You can also toss one in your gym bag so that you can quickly cleanse in the locker room before heading home.
Try the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types, which intensely purifies and hydrates skin. Just saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and wipe it across your face until clean.
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 after cleansing. Serums have formulas with highly concentrated ingredients that help to target specific skin concerns. Pick your potion below.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum, 0.3% Pure Retinol: This potent retinol serum is a workhorse that reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles and helps to smooth and brighten your complexion. We also dig that it’s paraben- and fragrance-free. Plus, it’s suitable for all skin types.
You’ll need to introduce this retinol serum into your routine gradually so your skin can get used to its powerful formula. During week one, kick things off by applying two to three drops to clean, dry skin twice a week. Week two, use every other night. Week three, use nightly if your skin can tolerate it. Follow up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen in the a.m. to protect the skin.
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum: You can bid dark spots farewell with the help of this face serum. This derm-validated offering is formulated with glycolic acid and aloe to soothe and resurface the skin. It also absorbs quickly to visibly even skin tone and reduce wrinkles and dark spots with continued use. Apply four to five drops to clean, dry skin every evening before moisturizing. For sensitive skin, start by using two to three times per week and build to nightly use.
Step 3: Eye cream. Applying an eye cream only takes a couple of seconds, making it perfect for a 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. Always keep in mind that a little goes a long way. You can also take your skin care game to the next level by storing your eye cream in the fridge. 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. Apply it daily around your eyes.
Step 4: Moisturizer. It’s time to step into the world of hydration. This is one step in your skin care routine that you should never skip—even if you’re a minimalist. It’s also important to apply moisturizer, regardless of your skin type. When it comes to this product, what’s right for one person may not necessarily be suitable 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 - Normal/Oily Skin has a matte finish, L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin has a radiant finish, and L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin provides comfort. All three offerings are formulated with aloe vera water and hyaluronic acid to help provide long-lasting hydration.
If you prefer an anti-aging option, the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Cicacream Face Moisturizer Pro Retinol & Centella Asiatica is a real treat. It 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. In turn, it 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 can avoid wearing sunscreen when it’s chilly or rainy outside—you can still get burned, even on cloudy days.
Of course, if you’re a minimalist, you want to keep things as simple as possible. Just reach for a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen instead of two separate products. 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. Be sure to apply it 15 minutes before you go outside and toss it in your purse so that you can reapply it every two hours (more often if you’re sweating or swimming).
Applying sunscreen to your visage shouldn’t be your only line of defense. The FDA notes that you should limit your time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are the sun’s peak hours), seek shade when you’re outside, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
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 can be beneficial since it removes dead skin cell buildup. Consider using a face scrub, like the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub, up to three 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 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 magic number for masking your skin.
If you’re a lover of minimalism, it may be common to hear that a high-maintenance routine is better for your skin. As you can see, it’s simply not true. While a long and thorough regimen is a fabulous way to give your skin the TLC that it needs with a bit of pampering, you can definitely do the same with a pared-down variation. The key is to ensure that you are staying consistent and taking care of the basics, such as cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin from the sun.
Now that you have the 4-1-1 on the best minimalist skin care routine, you can shift your focus to your makeup game. Check out our article, 11 Skincare-Makeup Hybrid Products With Major Benefits.
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