minimalist skincare routine

Maintaining a good skincare routine is important to keep skin healthy and looking great, but not everyone has the patience or desire to invest their time in extensive skincare routines. If you know you need to take better care of your skin but don’t want to spend too much time on your morning or evening skincare routine, there are minimalist options available to keep your skin looking and feeling great. In this blog, our trusted dermatologists provide their recommendations for a minimalist skincare routine.

Your Basic Morning Skincare Routine

In the morning, you should cleanse dirt, oil, and grime from your skin before moisturizing and protecting your skin from sun and environmental exposure. We’ll recommend some great skincare products later in this blog. Below, we’re going to outline a minimalist morning skincare routine, including some optional steps that will provide an added boost:

  • Cleanser – Choose a gentle cleanser with minimal ingredients to avoid leaving any residue behind on the skin and ensure a deep clean. Optionally, you can exchange your regular cleanser for an exfoliating cleanser a few times a week to support healthy skin cell turnover.
  • Toner (optional) – Toner improves pH balance and clears pores, so it’s great for acne-prone skin.
  • Serums & Treatments (optional) – If you have specific skincare needs or goals (treating acne, managing psoriasis, preventing eczema flare-ups, etc.) this is where you should add any treatments or serums.
  • Moisturizer – Apply a light daily moisturizer to the face and neck. Optionally, you can apply an eye cream to ensure the sensitive skin around the eyes stays hydrated. This is especially important for aging skin and those who struggle with puffiness or discoloration around the eyes.
  • Sunscreen – Use a broad-spectrum, SPF 30+ sunscreen every day. Apply to the face, hands, and any other part of the body that is exposed to sunlight.

Your Basic Evening Skincare Routine

Your evening skincare routine is all about soothing and repairing skin. You only have to wash and moisturize your skin in the evenings, but you can also consider adding hydrating serums to boost skin healing overnight. You can explore an evening routine for minimalist skincare with some recommended extras below:

  • Cleanser – You can use the same gentle cleanser as part of your morning and evening skincare routines.
  • Toner (optional) – Again, toner can help you achieve a deeper clean, so if you struggle with acne or have naturally oily skin, it may be beneficial to utilize toner as part of your morning and/or evening skincare routine.
  • Retinol (optional) – For those looking for an anti-aging boost to their skincare routine or those who need to clear up acne breakouts more quickly, retinol can be extremely beneficial. They should only be used in the evenings as they can cause sun sensitivity.
  • Serums & Treatments (optional) – Again, if you’re working toward any specific skincare goals or need to treat chronic skin health concerns, you should apply these products at this point. You can also add any soothing or hydrating serums to boost skin hydration and recovery.
  • Moisturizer – You can use the same moisturizer from your morning routine or choose a thicker moisturizer if your skin tends to be dry. Optionally, you can add a nighttime eye cream as well.

Recommended Cleansers

We always recommend you choose a gentle cleanser. A good cleanser with minimal ingredients that skips dyes, perfumes, and other potentially damaging ingredients will be safe and effective for almost all skin types. Below, we describe three of our most recommended facial cleansers and their benefits.

ALASTIN Skincare Gentle Cleanser

This is a gentle cleanser that removes dirt, oil, grime, and other impurities from the skin without stripping away necessary moisture or causing irritation. The formulation of ALASTIN Skincare Gentle Cleanser combines deep hydrating ingredients with vitamins that cleanse, soften, and soothe the skin without upsetting the natural protective skin barrier.

Revision Skincare Gentle Foaming Cleanser

This is a velvety foam cleanser that doesn’t contain traditional soap ingredients that can be drying, irritating, or pore-clogging. Instead, Revision Skincare Gentle Foaming Cleanser utilizes cleansing agents that soothe and moisturize skin while offering a complete clean. It’s safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser

For those who struggle with oily or acne-prone skin, traditional cleansing options either don’t remove excess oils, or they are too drying, leaving skin irritated and inflamed. The Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser is the ideal solution for anyone with acne-prone and oily skin. The light, gel formulation is gentle, but it completely removes impurities, leaving skin clean and helping to restore or maintain a balanced pH.

Recommended Moisturizers

Moisturizers are essential for everyone of all skin types. Even those with oily or acne-prone skin need to moisturize every day. Without adequate hydration, the skin will produce more sebum (the natural oil produced by the skin), leading to increased oiliness and a greater risk for acne breakouts. Whether you have dry, oily, combination, sensitive, or aging skin, a good moisturizer is an essential element in any skincare routine. You can learn more about our most recommended facial moisturizers below.

EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

Our first two recommended moisturizers should actually be used together. The first is the EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer. This is a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that is the ideal hydration product for your morning skincare routine. It’s easily absorbed and delivers long-lasting hydration.

EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

The second hydration product is the EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer. This product is designed to repair skin elasticity and renew the natural barrier that helps retain moisture. It’s a soothing and hydrating night cream that’s safe and beneficial for just about anyone.

Revision DEJ Face Cream

This is a great morning and evening moisturizer. Designed to revitalize aging skin, Revision DEJ Face Cream is also a soothing and hydrating moisturizer that’s recommended for all skin types even sensitive skin. There are no oils, parabens, alcohol, dyes, or fragrances that can cause inflammation and irritation.

Recommended Sunscreens

Every person of every skin tone and skin type should be wearing sunscreen every day on any part of their body that’s exposed to sunlight. Sunscreen prevents short-term damage like sunburns, and it reduces the risk for long-term skin health concerns like accelerated signs of aging, dark spots, and skin cancer. It’s always important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. That designation means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It’s also best to find a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. In addition to these basics, there are a few other sunscreen characteristics you should be aware of. There are many different application methods available, and as long as you apply an adequate amount and reapply as necessary, liquid, spray-on, powder, or any other application technique is just fine. If you’re going to be sweating or in the water, look for sunscreens designated as water-resistant or water-repellent. There’s no such thing as a waterproof sunscreen, but those marketed as water-resistant tend to last longer without being washed away. The final consideration is mineral versus chemical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens absorb and convert sunlight into heat before they can damage the skin. Mineral sunscreens deflect sunlight before it reaches the skin. In most cases, mineral sunscreens are going to be recommended over chemical ones as they prevent sunlight from ever reaching the skin, and they are safe for use by people of all ages, even infants and expectant mothers. You can learn more about our favorite sunscreen options below.

ALASTIN Skincare Hydratint Pro Mineral Broad-Spectrum SPF 36

One of the top issues people have with mineral sunscreens is that they sit on top of the skin, leaving a white, chalky residue. While ALASTIN Skincare Hydratint Pro Mineral Broad-Spectrum SPF 36 offers long-lasting sun protection, it fully absorbs quickly, leaving behind no white residue. In fact, the Hydratint technology gives skin a smooth, sun-kissed glow.

ISDIN Ageless Ultralight Emulsion Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

ISDIN Ageless Ultralight Emulsion Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 is a sunscreen that offers advanced protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. It also protects against infrared rays, pollutants, and other environmental aggressors thanks to its formula that combines sun-shielding minerals with antioxidants like vitamins C and E. The light texture is great for any skin type, including oily and acne-prone skin.

Revision Skincare Intellishade Clear

The final sunscreen recommendation is Revision Skincare Intellishade Clear. Like most of the products in the Revision Skincare flagship line, this sunscreen is designed to support the health and vitality of aging skin, but it offers a four-in-one benefit: protecting, correcting, brightening, and hydrating the skin. The unique formula is well-suited for just about anyone of any skin type, but it’s particularly beneficial for aging and sensitive skin.

All-in-One Skincare Kits

Possibly the easiest way to start a good skincare routine is to invest in an all-in-one skincare kit. We offer several options at DermSkincare that allow you to maintain your skin health without too much fuss. Our top three all-one-kits are all from EltMD, and you can learn more about them below.

EltaMD Daily Essentials Kit

The EltaMD Daily Essentials Kit includes a gentle facial cleanser that’s safe for all skin types. There is also a morning moisturizer that can be used in the evening as well for most skin types, or you can explore EltaMD AM & PM Renewing Moisturizer Kit below if you need some extra hydration. Finally, you get not one but two types of sunscreens. Both are broad-spectrum. One is a daily sunblock. The other is a good sunscreen for when you’ll be spending a longer amount of time out in the sun or if you’re going to be swimming or engaging in outdoor sports.

EltaMD AM & PM Renewing Moisturizer Kit

This kit is specifically for moisturizing. The EltaMD AM & PM Renewing Moisturizer Kit includes the morning and evening facial moisturizer described above as well as an eye gel that can be used in the morning and evening. Add a gentle cleanser and sunscreen, and you’ve got a complete skincare system.

EltaMD Acne-Prone Skin Kit

For those with very oily or acne-prone skin, the EltaMD Acne-Prone Skin Kit offers a complete skincare routine that keeps skin acne-free and clears up current breakouts more quickly. This kit includes a foaming facial cleanser, skin recovery toner, moisturizer, and an oil-free daily sunscreen.

Want to Learn More About Skincare?

If you’re looking to boost your skincare routine beyond the basics, DermSkincare has you covered. Our dermatologist-curated product list offers exceptional skincare for all skin tones and skin types. You can also learn about more advanced skincare routines and our extensive line of skincare products in our blog.