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When there are so many marketing messages telling you that you need this magic eye cream or that miracle lip plumper, you can end up with bathroom cabinets full of products you barely even use.

I used to be so swayed by my next cosmetics fix and yet the one consistent about my skin was that it mostly looked like a hot mess. From irritation and dryness to red patches and angry spots, my sensitive complexion really wasn’t made for a maximalist, chemical-laden 21st-century skincare routine.

And truthfully? I’m not sure that anyone’s is.

Ironically, your self-inflicted skin issues then turn into a vicious cycle. You apply ever-heavier makeup every day to put on a mask to the world, covering your blemishes with mountains of concealer and clogging your pores. But tell me, do you really think this is optimising your skin health?

Of course, the solution to the problem is to go to the root cause of the issue. Heed these beauty truths and prioritise your skincare! As with everything, we tend to prefer instant fixes as opposed to the slightly less sexy but infinitely more long-term solution that is a highly consistent, minimal skincare routine.

Skinimalism encourages you to enhance your natural beauty

9 Reasons You Should Embrace Skinimalism

Skinimalism is the new glow up.

Pinterest Trend Predictions Report, 2021

A minimalist skincare routine goes back to basics with 3-4 hero products. It’s also refreshingly simple and sustainable in every sense – something you can stick to, plus better for the planet at large.

The benefits of a minimalist skincare routine almost merit a post in their own right! If you’re looking to improve your skin health, all whilst being budget-friendly and eco-conscious, then a minimalist approach is going to revolutionise your beauty regime.

1. It encourages you to accept your natural beauty

Why focus on a bag full of expensive makeup designed to make your skin appear dewy when you can have naturally dewy skin?! A minimal look starts and ends with cleansing, moisturising, sun protection, and a handful of lightweight makeup products. In short, it encourages you to accept your natural appearance and embrace your imperfections.

When you’re hiding your freckles, for example, to achieve a flawless finish – what kind of message do you think this is feeding your ever-listening subconscious? Having a more minimalist approach to skincare and not using your appearance as much to outwardly validate yourself can only lead to enhanced self-worth and self-esteem.

2. You cut through the marketing crap

There is a lot of marketing hype in the multi-billion dollar beauty industry, as well as plenty of social media influencers who are being paid to promote products. So, take everything you see and read with a big pinch of salt!

The truth of the matter is that you only need to use a few products to truly care for your skin. For instance, SPF isn’t talked about all that much, but protecting against the sun’s harmful rays is one of the most important things you can do on a daily basis to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. Your minimal skincare routine should leave you feeling empowered with products and ingredients that actually work.

3. A minimal skincare routine improves skin health

Excessive skincare routines can damage your skin barrier, cause irritation, and even result in breakouts.

When you chop and change different products into your beauty routine and use 15+ separate products, is it any wonder your skin gets overwhelmed? The active ingredients contained in many skin care products usually don’t combine all that well and have the potential to cause more harm than good. Even certified dermatologists are now advising that you stick with the essential products for overall healthier skin.


4. You can identify what products cause breakouts

The problem with using too many products that are constantly changing is that you never really get down to the crux of what actually works. Moreover, when you have a breakout, it’s virtually impossible to eliminate the offending product… because, well, it could be anything!

By staying consistent and minimal with your skincare, you can more effectively work out a tried and tested routine that’s especially targeted towards you and your unique skin type.

5. You’ll save time in the morning and at night

Save time in the morning and evening with a minimalist skincare routine

If you’re a busy person and your skincare and makeup application regularly takes you upward of half an hour in the mornings, then a minimal routine is going to give you back a whole lot of your most precious resource: time.

There’s plenty that you could be doing with all this saved time. Start your day the right way with a healthy breakfast or a spot of yoga. This way, you can supercharge your morning with all the stuff which makes you beautiful on the inside, too.

6. You’re more likely to stick to a simple skincare routine

Like an elaborate gym routine that you sweat through for a few days before quickly losing momentum, a time-consuming skincare routine probably isn’t sustainable (if you’re being completely honest with yourself).

It’s easy to assume that you have to make massive all-out changes in your life to see results, when actually, building small, disciplined habits is much more realistic. A minimalist yet thorough skincare routine which covers all the essential steps is going to have far more of an impact in the long run, than something you struggle to maintain consistency with.

7. A pared-down routine is cheaper

Fewer products are kinder to your skin, but do you know what they’re also kind to? Your bank balance. When you stop masking your natural features, you’ll find that you naturally don’t need to spend as much on makeup, either.

When you focus on the bare essentials, it’s amazing how you can save money you didn’t even realise you were spending. Skincare products don’t come cheap, especially when you’re buying into your favourite influencer’s holy grail 20-step routine! So it’s time to start spending more intentionally on the things that really matter.

8. You can buy quality products that last longer

Like a curated capsule wardrobe or a minimalist makeup bag, the beauty of a minimal skincare routine is that you can spend more on higher-quality products. Whilst it isn’t always the case that more expensive equals more effective, it’s true that shopping for clean and ethical brands can (rightly) cost a little bit more.

The plus point is that organic, concentrated ingredients usually lead to products that last a lot longer. A worthwhile investment all around.

9. Conscious skincare is better for the planet

Self care is the basis of any skincare routine, but a minimalist skincare routine also means being more conscious of what you consume. You may start by prioritising beauty products that are clean, organic, and give you beautiful skin, but it’s also good to consider whether your chosen brand aligns with your personal values.

For example, are they cruelty-free? Vegan? Are they sustainably sourced and good for the planet? Kinder ingredients, less plastic packaging, and a consideration of animals are all wider ripple effects of minimalism. You can have an impact with something as seemingly small and personal as your skincare routine.

Products you need to start your minimal skincare routine

What Products Do You Need to Start Your Minimal Skincare Routine?

Let’s go way, way back to the very beginning. A basic skincare routine consists of precisely 3 products (I’ll link my current favourites):

  • A gentle cleanser – Effectively remove makeup, dirt and oil for completely clean skin

  • A moisturiser – Keep skin hydrated and minimise environmental stressors

  • An SPF 30+ – Guard against damaging UV rays, the primary cause of fine lines and wrinkles

As part of your skincare routine, it’s also wise to incorporate an exfoliating scrub 1-2 times a week to remove dead skin cells and keep your skin feeling smooth.

Personally, I always keep a sneaky extra product on hand in the form of micellar water or makeup remover oil (I use this one from BYBI) which helps to dissolve more stubborn eye makeup prior to cleansing.

Some additional basic equipment that I’d recommend investing in for effective cleansing are:

  • Cotton pads – I like to use these handy reusable pads, which not only cuts down on plastic packaging waste but also means you’re not throwing single-use pads straight in the bin every day

  • Micro-fibre clothsThese microfibre cloths will leave your face feeling so fresh

So really, that’s just 3-5 products for your entire skincare routine. It couldn’t be any more simple!

What about the rest? Toners, serums, eye creams, clay masks, etc

I know, I can already hear you asking: But what about my Vitamin C serum? My day cream and night cream? Don’t you have to tone after cleansing?

I’m going to put it bluntly: you don’t need any of these things (even though brands will encourage you to think you do… but they make money when you spend, remember?!).

If you want to add in further steps or you have a specific condition where it makes sense to use a more targeted product, then by all means do so. But if your skin is relatively healthy, then more products are probably just going to irritate your skin with clashing active ingredients.

Less is more, so stick to the necessities where you can. Invest in one super high-quality moisturiser rather than a separate day and night cream, for example. Let your skin know what to expect with regular, minimal products.


What ingredients actually work?

Some effective natural ingredients that will make a difference to your skincare are:

  • Vitamin C – Improves skin’s collagen production and works to brighten your under-eye area

  • Retinol/Hyaluronic acid – Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles whilst giving the skin a plumper appearance

  • Vitamin E – Protects your skin from damage and moisturises dry skin

  • Caffeine – A powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation

  • Salicylic acid – Reduces redness and unlocks pores

3-step morning and evening skincare routine for minimalists

AM & PM Skincare Routine: Can They Be the Same?

In short, no. Your skin has different needs in the morning and in the evening, so whilst both can certainly be simple, your skincare routines should prioritise different products depending on whether you’re starting or ending the day.

Minimalism isn’t about cutting corners or using all-in-one products for the sake of it. It’s about being targeted in your approach and concentrating on the essentials for maximum results.

For the ultimate goal of glowing skin, you can still achieve this by following 3 easy steps just twice a day.

3-Step Minimalist Morning Skincare Routine

1. Wash your face with water OR use a minimal amount of gentle cleanser

Honestly? Unless you particularly feel the need, a splash of water is absolutely fine in the morning to wake up your skin and rinse away any impurities.

2. Apply a thin layer of moisturiser

If you want to go ahead and apply SPF and makeup on top of your moisturiser, then you’ll want your moisturiser to sink in and dry as quickly as possible. Save the heavier application for evenings.

3. Cover your face and neck in sunscreen

There are plenty of moisturisers that contain SPF, but for proper protection I’d recommend using a dedicated product. Applying SPF is a daily non-negotiable, even in the depths of winter.

3-Step Minimalist Evening Skincare Routine

1. Remove eye makeup with micellar water/makeup remover oil (optional)

If your eye makeup is on the heavier side, wipe a dedicated makeup remover over your eyes and leave it for a few seconds to begin breaking down your eye product. You should then be able to easily wipe it away with some cotton pads.

2. Apply a gentle cleanser

Wipe away makeup residue with a damp face cloth. The benefit of a minimal skincare and makeup routine is that you should rarely have to double cleanse for squeaky-clean skin.

3. Add a thick layer of moisturiser

Quench your skin’s thirst and help it to repair overnight, leaving it beautifully supple and smooth by morning.

3-step AM/PM minimal skincare routine infographicA Simple & Consistent Skincare Routine Is More Effective Than Makeup

No matter your skin type, a shorter routine is going to have plenty of benefits that go beyond your outward appearance. Taking the time to establish a dedicated and consistent self-care routine is positive for your mental health, too.

I think that we all have a habit of trying to make things a lot more complicated than they need to be, and skincare is no exception! But the moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. Being able to stick with a simple routine is going to be far more effective in the long run than constantly switching in new products that promise the earth yet rarely deliver.

A minimal skincare and makeup routine is empowering. When you feel beautiful and confident in your own skin, there’s nothing that’s going to get in your way! For my pick of the best natural, organic, and eco-friendly skincare, you check out my article here. And to read more about my current favourite skincare products, check out my Facetheory review!

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Go back to basics with a minimalist skincare routine

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