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When it comes to putting together a consistent skin care routine, sometimes less is more. And in all facets of life, minimalism is hugely popular. If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep things pared down as much as possible, good news: A simple skin care regimen is all you need to help keep your complexion in tip-top condition. Yes, we’re serious! 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 guide for minimalists below!
Step 1: 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 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 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 Eye Defense is a light, non-greasy gel-cream specially formulated to defend against signs of premature aging around your eyes. Formulated with caffeine and hyaluronic acid, it can help to reduce the look of puffiness, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles. Apply it in small dots around your eye and smooth until absorbed.
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.
The L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Eye Balm is a rich, luxurious balm formulated for mature skin with calcium and precious oils to help provide long-lasting hydration and comfort. Apply it twice daily around your eye area.
The L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Eye Renewal Eye Cream can help hydrate the eye area immediately and reduce the look of dark circles, under-eye bags, crow’s feet, and crepiness with continued use over time. Apply a small amount around your entire eye area using your fingertips morning and night. Pat the eye cream in gently until thoroughly absorbed.
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.
Have dull skin? The L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Moisturizer is formulated for mature, dull skin with imperial peony and LHA. It can help gently exfoliate dull skin and revive your skin’s natural pink tone. Smooth it gently over a clean face each morning in a circular motion.
Step 5: Broad-spectrum sunscreen. It doesn’t matter how 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 wrinkles. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can 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 Lotion is formulated with glycolic acid, vitamin C, Pro-Retinol, and broad-spectrum sunscreen. Apply it 15 minutes before you go outside—and go head and 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 Skin Cancer Foundation recommends seeking shade, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 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. While some people can benefit from daily exfoliation, others may only need to do so once or twice a week. Pay attention to how your skin responds to help determine how often you should exfoliate.
Using a face mask a few times a week can also be a great idea. Try the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Detox & Brighten Treatment Mask, L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Mask Purify & Mattify Treatment Mask, or L'Oréal Paris Exfoliate & Refining Treatment Mask three times a week for best results.
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. In terms of skin care, basic is beautiful.