The Magic Of A Simple Minimalist Beauty Routine

The Magic Of A Simple Minimalist Beauty Routine


A minimalist skincare, makeup, and hair care routine is bound to simplify your life by giving you time back every morning and night. Minimalist beauty routines can also help keep your budget in line without sacrificing the self-care that keeps you feeling happy and healthy.

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Hi, I’m Ryan

I may not be an expert when it comes to makeup and beauty, but I do know a thing or two about the value of making self-care routines a central feature of a minimalist lifestyle and daily experience. Keeping self-care simple makes it an effortless piece of every day.

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Why Create A Minimalist Beauty Routine?

Why Create A Minimalist Beauty Routine

The world of makeup and beauty products can be overwhelmingly complex. One simple Google search for a specific name-brand concealer or what a Gua Sha roller actually does, and you’ll quickly find yourself knee deep in a laundry list of expensive beauty products, get-ready-with-me videos, and opinion after opinion on what’s actually best for your skin or hair.

luxury skincare industryIt seems like the price of beauty products just keeps creeping higher (high-quality skin care sets can sometimes reach up to $300!), and the list of chemical compounds in each serum, oil, or wash just keeps getting longer. It truly begs the question: Is all of this actually necessary?

The answer, unsurprisingly, is probably not. This 2022 article from Slate dives headfirst into why luxury skincare is, at the end of the day, a pretty big scam. It explains the ways that the industry plays into our insecurities and desires instead of focusing on the things our skin actually needs to stay healthy and replenished.

However, I’m not saying toss out every skincare or hair product you own, either. Taking care of yourself in a way that keeps all aspects of you healthy is important, and that includes your skin, hair, nails, personal hygiene, and more.

A minimalist regimen causes you to think intentionally about what you actually need to feel well-cared for, healthy, and happy, and allows you to cut out the rest. This will save you loads of time during your morning and nightly routines.

Minimalist Skincare Routine

Minimalist Skincare Routine

So then, what should a minimalist skincare routine actually look like? To create a minimalist skincare routine that will truly nourish your skin without taking forever, strip your routine down to the essentials. Anything else is unnecessary fluff and should be tossed!

What To Include In A Minimalist Skincare Routine

What To Include In A Minimalist Skincare Routine

Like I said before, there are way too many unnecessary skincare products on the market these days that want to play on your desire for the best-looking, most glamorous skin. There are really only three products your skin actually needs to stay happy and healthy through the years: one cleanser, one moisturizer, and sunscreen.

simple minimalist\ skin care routineYour skin is more capable than you know. It produces a wide web of cells, enzymes, acids, and antioxidants all on its own without any help from over-priced creams and cleansers. All you really need to do is give your skin support for the work is does naturally.

This simple routine is advised by Dr. Emily Newsom, a board-certified dermatologist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, who testifies to the fact that a simple routine is all your skin actually needs and is usually better for it.

How To Choose The Right Minimalist Skincare Products

How To Choose The Right Minimalist Skincare Products

When choosing your three core skincare products, it’s vital to think through what your specific skin needs. If you’re able to nail down the elements of your skin type, you won’t need to waste money on excessive products, you’ll only need to buy a few simple products that have the nourishing ingredients your skin craves.

skin cleanser


When looking for a cleanser, Dr. Susan Massick, a dermatologist in Gahanna, Ohio, gives some advice. For oily skin, try to find a cleanser with glycolic or salicylic acid. If your skin is naturally drier, look for a cleanser without any kind of alcohol in the ingredients.

skin moisturizer


When it comes to choosing a quality facial moisturizer, most skin types will be just fine with a very simple, light cream. However, if your skin is on the oilier side, experts recommend a skin moisturizer with hyaluronic acid high on the ingredients list.

use sunscreen lotion


To protect your skin, look for a facial sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This is one of the most important steps in your skincare routine, because it prevents things like skin cancer and early aging.

What To Avoid In A Minimalist Skincare Routine

What To Avoid In A Minimalist Skincare Routine

When it comes to what to avoid in your simple skincare routine, I’d give anything that isn’t helping your skin with something it can’t do on its own the boot. What I mean by this is to avoid any products that add extra doses of what your skin already produces for itself naturally, like adding extra oil, moisture, or minerals to your face and skin.

Dr. Elsa Jungman, a skin pharmacologist and microbiome expert, explains that using too many harsh balms, serums, and washes that perform the functions our skin does on its own can mess with our internal homeostasis and actually make our skin worse. Again, your skin does for more for itself than we give it credit for!

Unnecessary Skincare Products

  • Day cream
  • Toner
  • Eye cream
  • Face mist
  • Lip primer
  • Face masks
  • Hair masks
  • Pore strips
  • Pore vacuum
  • Lip scrub
  • Face oil
  • Cuticle cream
skincare products you dont need

Simple Steps For An Ideal Minimalist Skincare Routine

Simple Steps For An Ideal Minimalist Skincare Routine
Once you have all the supplies you need to make a simple skincare routine happen, it’s time to come up with the steps you want to implement into your own daily skin routine.

I think one of the most important things you can do at this point is to take what you know about the needs of your own skin type and apply that knowledge to form a simple three to five step routine that works for you.

Three Step Simple Minimalist Skin Routine

  1. Wash your face, morning and night
  2. Moisturize, morning and night
  3. Apply sunscreen in the morning only

Minimalist Makeup Routine

Minimalist Makeup Routine

A minimalist makeup routine is one that also focuses on the bare beauty essentials, but still leaves you looking and feeling your best. You don’t need a 50-step, three-hour makeup routine to feel good!

minimalist makeup routine essentialsThe makeup industry is the skincare industry’s menacing cousin, with just as many ads that prey on beauty insecurity. There is so much content out there geared toward convincing you that if you don’t have a 10-step makeup routine with expensive primer, lush BB cream, and a fancy setting spray, you’re not doing beauty right. This just isn’t true!

As a guy whose getting ready routine consists of nothing more than a shower and a shave, I can’t call myself an expert on makeup. However, I do know the importance of taking care of yourself in a way that makes you feel good.

I got the chance to speak with my good friend and longtime minimalist Carolyn Chebaro about exactly this. Carolyn has found immense peace in applying minimalism to her beauty routine and feels like her best self when sticking to simple, minimal beauty products.

Carolyn Chebaro
“Minimalist makeup is about more than makeup. It’s about the care of the skin, all over. You don’t need to put a lot on, just enough to emphasize natural beauty.”– Carolyn Chebaro, Carolyn’s Simple Life

What To Include In A Minimalist Makeup Routine

What To Include In A Minimalist Makeup Routine

When creating a minimalist makeup regimen, you want to invest in high-quality products that will be healthy for your skin long term. Of course, no makeup at all is always going to be better for your face than piling on products.

However, there are certainly plenty of naturally based makeup products that are healthier for your skin. Most minimalists have a makeup collection of about five to 15 items, depending on how into the nuance of glamour you are or how intricate you want your routine to be.

A Basic Minimalist Makeup Kit Might Include

  • Concealer
  • Lightweight foundation or BB/CC cream
  • Pressed powder or cream blush
  • Brow gel or brow pencil
  • Mascara
  • Eye liner
  • Eye shadow palette
  • One lip gloss or balm
  • One nude or red lipstick
Minimalist Makeup Kit

Oftentimes, people think shopping like a minimalist means buying the cheapest products possible, but this could not be further from the truth. When it comes to makeup and beauty products, it’s worthwhile to invest in the high-quality, natural products that will last for years and keep your skin healthy and looking the way you want it to.

What To Avoid In A Minimalist Makeup Routine

What To Avoid In A Minimalist Makeup Routine

While on the one hand, a minimalist beauty routine means investing in high-quality products, on the other hand, it means throwing out and letting go of all of the extraneous, cakey, unnecessary makeup products in your collection.

The beauty industry is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to taking advantage of insecurities and trying to convince consumers to buy what they do not truly need. There are a multitude of beauty products out there that aren’t really needed to keep your skin healthy.

Unnecessary Makeup Products

  • Primer
  • Toner
  • Bronzer
  • Setting spray
  • Setting powder
  • Eye brow setting gel
  • Full-coverage foundation
  • Falsies/false lashes
  • Eye lash curler
  • Highlighter
  • Lip liner
  • Lip sticks in every color
  • An entire set of brushes (just keep a few!)
Unnecessary Makeup Products

Simple Steps For An Ideal Minimalist Makeup Routine

Simple Steps For An Ideal Minimalist Makeup Routine

When it comes to your own minimalist makeup routine, think through the look you want to achieve and what daily steps might apply to that end goal.

If you are hoping for a more basic, simple look, you may not need as many daily steps as someone hoping to undergo a more elaborate full-face look each day.

Simple Minimalist Makeup Daily Routine

  1. Apply moisturizer or lotion to set your face.
  2. Use a foundation of your choice.
  3. Apply a light layer of blush.
  4. Use eyeshadow if you so choose.
  5. Add eyeliner if desired.
  6. Apply mascara if desired.
  7. Add shine, shimmer, or color to the lips.
Ideal Minimalist Makeup Routine Simple Steps For An Ideal Minimalist Makeup Routine Steps

Minimalist Hair Care Routine

Minimalist Hair Care Routine

We can’t forget about your hair! Hair care is another crucial aspect of any minimalist routine and is an important aspect of your body to keep healthy. There’s lots of extensive debate out there regarding what kind of care your hair actually needs to stay healthy in the day-to-day, and what’s a little too much.

Should you wash your hair daily? Is conditioner a must? Are all those keratin sprays and hair masks actually doing anything? Jacob Lieu from the University of California put out an article that discusses the actual science behind hair care.

hair care for minimalistsJacob breaks it down into the hair care basics we all know and love: shampoo and conditioner. These two products alone are the only necessary hair care products anyone should need when used well. Shampoo and conditioner aid your hair along its natural journey.

Shampoo contains molecules known as detergents and surfactants that allow shampoo to bind to the oils in hair and to be washed out with water. This keeps your hair clean and refreshed. However, shampoo removes the hair’s natural sebum, which is where conditioner comes in. Conditioner mimics that hair’s natural sebum and adds moisturizer back into your scalp and hair.

However, the Academy of Dermatology argues that, while these products are beneficial for hair care, washing your hair excessively will actually have a negative impact on your hair’s overall health, because its strips your hair of its natural oils and vitamins.

Simple Steps For An Ideal Minimalist Hair Care Routine

Simple Steps For An Ideal Minimalist Hair Care Routine

So, what is the best way to take care of your hair like a minimalist in the day to day? Is there a “best” or “most ideal” way to treat and care for your hair without spending excessive hours and funds on the process?

Simple, Healthy Minimalist Hair Care Routine

  • Wash your hair every 2–4 days, not daily!
  • Use a wet or leave-in conditioner only on washing days.
  • Apply necessary products depending on your needs and hair type.
  • Blow dry hair at a distance to protect from heat, or choose to air dry.
  • If you style your hair (curler or straightener), coat strands with heat protectant.
  • Go about your day with healthy hair!

What To Include In A Minimalist Hair Care Routine

What To Include In A Minimalist Hair Care Routine

When creating a healthy, minimalist hair care routine, you want to invest in high-quality products that will be healthy for your hair and not strip it of its natural goodness. Looking for clean hair care products is the way to go when building a minimalist regimen.

Remember, shampoo and conditioner are likely the only products you’ll really need on a daily basis. Try to limit the number of other products you use, sticking only to the essentials. Different hair types may require a little extra love, and that’s perfectly okay if you keep it simple.

Is A Minimalist Beauty Routine For Me?

Is A Minimalist Beauty Routine For Me

While I personally see great benefits in a minimalist routine, it doesn’t have to be for everyone. Some people get great joy out of being extremely meticulous and elaborate with looks when going out, meeting friends, or taking pictures.

However, no matter how simple or elaborate you prefer to be with your daily beauty routine, I fully believe there are ways to apply minimalist thinking and minimalist lifestyle tips to your routine.

minimalist skincare routine

Your Turn!

  • How will you alter your skincare routine to be more minimalistic?
  • What minimalist-friendly makeup products do you use?
1 Comment
  1. I like to use a primer before painting, then let it dry for 4 hours before sanding to a smooth finish

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