Create A Minimalist Skincare Routine That Works For Your Budget!

Minimalist skincare

Is it possible to get gorgeous skin with minimalist skincare? Everyone loves to have glowing, beautiful skin. We follow the trends and try to look our best. If our skin is misbehaving, we turn to products that claim to help. Cleansers, toners, exfoliators, moisturizers - when it comes to skincare, things can get complicated.

Pretty much anywhere you look, you'll see an ad for some new product. It promotes the things that we all want - clear, wrinkle-free, healthy skin. But many of these products are expensive or seem time-consuming.

It's easy to become overwhelmed with options, and it can do your skin more harm than good. What if you could get awesome results without using a ten-step beauty routine and without spending a fortune?

That's where minimalism comes in. Creating a minimalist skincare routine is totally worth it and will save you time and money. Here's how.

Benefits of minimalist skincare

Why would anyone turn to minimalist skincare in the first place? What can it do for your life? Sure, minimalism is trendy right now, but with good reason. We're all so busy; why not make things easier when you can? Plus, your skin will thank you for this. Here's why an easy and short skincare regimen is best.


While skincare routines that involve a lot of steps aren't necessarily bad, most of us can benefit from less on our plates instead of more. We've all seen the YouTube videos of beauty professionals with fifteen steps to their skincare routine. Which is fine, but you can get amazing skin more easily.

The idea of simple living is something that people have recently recognized as a worthy goal. No longer do we strive for the complicated. Instead, we understand that simplicity is better for our mental health and frees us up to enjoy life.

With a minimalist skin care routine, you'll have an easy process that doesn't take much thought or energy. This leaves you to pursue things you want to focus on instead of taking away time that could be spent elsewhere. As long as you observe a few small steps to take care of your skin, you'll still get the results you want.

Saves money

When you have a minimalist skincare routine you have fewer products to buy which means more money saved. No more beauty hauls or makeup hauls with you perpetually pursuing trends.

Skincare and makeup products can be expensive and even low-cost items can add up. You can put the money you save towards your financial goals and life experiences.

Saves time

What's the one thing that everyone always wishes they had more of? Time! A minimalist skincare routine will give you minutes and possibly hours back every week. Plus, a shorter routine also means you're more likely to keep up with your skincare.

Easy will beat the complicated every time you've had a long day or week. This could make you more consistent about cleansing and moisturizing instead of deciding you don't have the time that day.

Can improve skin health

Our skin is not as complicated as we think. And it prefers minimalism, it turns out! Overwhelming your skin with too many products isn't healthy. For example, Dr. Jeanette Graf claims that aggravated skin is likely caused by using a large number of skincare products. So next time your skin feels out of control, turn to minimalism!

How to create a minimalist skin care routine

Now that you know why minimalist skincare matters, it's time to talk about the order you use your products. Don't worry; this will be easy. Gabby Shacknai of Women's Health Mag explains how uncomplicated the process can be.

You begin with a cleanser, move on to medications, toners, and serums, and end with eye creams, moisturizers, and sunscreen (during the day).

Nighttime is a bit different, but the basics remain. Since this may still feel like many steps for a minimalist, we'll share some ideas for shortening the process. Obviously, keep in mind that you can do many other things with skincare that aren't mentioned here.

You may wish to include face masks, oils, or other treatments. In the name of simplicity, you might choose to add in your different products just once or twice a week. But the following list is just the bare essentials of what to do each day.

Start with a cleanser

Before anything else, clean your skin! Our skin takes on a lot of dirt and harmful things throughout each day and night. Use a cleanser to protect it and ensure that you don't allow bacteria to hang out. Since you are trying to keep this routine simple, finding a cleanser that does multiple things is best.

For example, you may want a cleanser that is also an exfoliator. However, exfoliating does not need to be done every day, so you should rotate this with a more gentle cleanser and only use the exfoliator 3 times a week or less.

You may also choose to use a cleansing product that fights acne or has some other specialty depending on your skin. The point is to try to get your cleanser to do double duty. That way, you can keep the routine short.

Use specialized treatment

After your cleanser, you can move on to more specialized treatment. This is going to depend on your skin type. For some, an acne treatment will be necessary. For others, you might try a toner or some Vitamin C serum.

Use what your skin needs, and don't overload it with unnecessary things. So this step may involve a few products, just one, or none at all if you'd like to keep everything very basic.

If you are using more than one specialized product, here's the typical order, though it can vary a little. You may choose the order for spot treatment and eye cream; there is some debate about it.

  1. Toner
  2. Serum
  3. Acne spot treatment and eye cream

Apply a moisturizer

Last, you need to moisturize. It's good to have a moisturizer for the daytime that doubles as sunscreen. It will protect your skin without you needing to add an extra step to your minimalist skincare routine. But at night, you can opt for a night cream, like an anti-aging moisturizer or something heavier than a day cream.

The difference between morning and night skincare routines

Your routine can vary slightly from morning to night. You've seen how you can shorten your routine by using products that have more than one purpose. And you can also vary the products you use depending on whether it is evening or morning.

You might also choose to add in a few extra products at night, but keep it simple and maybe trade out some of the day ones, so you aren't using more products than necessary. Try to keep your routine to five products or less.

That way, you aren't spending a lot of time on your skin each day to make it look great. What really matters is to keep things simple and use high-quality ingredients suited for your specific skin type.

Brands and ingredients for minimalist skincare

There are several healthy and vital ingredients you should try to include in your skincare. We'll offer some suggestions, but the right ones for you will depend on what your skin needs. If you want to check out a bunch of ingredients at once and their uses for skin, we recommend reading this list from Sustainable Jungle.

They offer a ton of information about the best natural ingredients for your skin. They mention aloe vera to prevent inflammation, green tea, which contains antioxidants, and sunflower seed oil for skin protection.

We also have some suggestions if you would like to buy from a specific brand. According to Sarah Yang of Who What Wear, there are some dermatologists-recommended products from companies like St. Ives, Neutrogena, and Aveeno, among others.

These drugstore brands are super affordable and can help you stick to your budget when establishing your minimalist skincare routine.

Some other brands and ingredients to consider:

  • Honest Beauty: Check out this company for non-harmful ingredients you can trust. This company works hard to keep its products affordable and healthy.
  • Burt's Bees: This brand offers lots of natural skincare options, and they're inexpensive.

Other ingredients to consider for minimalist skincare: (These are found in skincare products, so you can choose to buy things that include the ingredients you prefer.)

  • Vitamin C: There are about a million benefits to this super vitamin. It helps your skin's collagen production, helps brighten under-eye circles, and more.
  • Caffeine: It's an antioxidant and great for reducing puffiness in the skin.
  • Vitamin E: Helps to protect your skin from damage.
  • Hyaluronic acid: Keeps skin moisturized.
  • Salicylic acid: Helps with managing acne and unclogging pores.

How minimalist skincare can save you money

Not only are there a ton of health and lifestyle benefits for minimalist skincare, but there's also plenty of other reasons to shorten your routine and buy less in the skincare department. One of the biggest reasons is to save money!

Here are a couple of examples of how your new minimalist skin care routine will save you big bucks:

You'll spend less overall on skincare products

What do you spend on skincare products in a month or a year? It can be helpful to look back over your purchases and see how many were related to skincare. The chances are, the amounts are higher than you realized. Imagine investing that money instead. How much would you have twenty or thirty years from now?

If you spend $100 a month on skincare usually, how much would you save by only spending $100 a quarter, or four times a year, instead? $100 a month would be $1200 per year. $100 a quarter only adds up to $400 per year. That's a savings of $800 per year!

If the skincare savings were invested you could have considerable returns

Furthermore, if you invested that $800 every year for 20 years, at a 6% return, that would equal almost $30,000.00 in twenty years! That's just from saving money on skincare. Imagine if you could save money in other ways and add to that investment. Besides costing a fortune, it's generally unnecessary to spend a lot on skincare.

You can buy a cream or cleanser that costs hundreds, but you can also pay attention to ingredients and find savvy ways to get the same results for less. Now that you know how affordable skincare can be when using natural ingredients and drugstore brands, it's time to make a plan. 

How to budget for minimalist skincare

Now let's go over how to create a budget to accommodate your skincare spending.

Decide the maximum of how much you want to spend

You probably do not need to buy new skincare products every month. You may only need to do so once a quarter or stock up and buy once a year. Decide on the amount you want to spend, and then save up so you can afford the cleanser, moisturizer, and other products you need.

Look for budget-friendly but good quality brands

There are excellent brands that sell products for less than $20. And sometimes the best products don't even cost that much. You can likely get by on less than $100 every few months. Some products you may use up quickly, but others last a long time. That's why it's essential to estimate your costs.

Determine how often you'll make purchases and put the money aside

How much should you save per week if you plan to spend $100 every quarter or every three months on skincare? There are approximately 13 weeks per three months. If you want to save money each week for skincare, you need to divide the $100 by the number of weeks, 13.

That would mean you'd only need to save about $8 a week. This is very easy to do. You can set this money aside in a separate account, and when you need to buy new products, you'll already have all the cash you need.

You can apply this budget idea to other amounts, as well. If you need $100 a month, save around $25 a week. The main thing is to save up slowly in small ways, so it won't affect the rest of your budget too much.

Only when you know what you're willing to spend should you buy anything. After you purchase products, don't rush out to buy more things. Instead, choose your skincare routine and products carefully so that you can be confident that it works for you.

How to establish a minimalist skincare routine

Even though turning to minimalist skincare should be helpful, it can be overwhelming if you are unsure how to begin. This step-by-step process will help you remember what we covered in this article and give tips for skincare success:

Look at what you have

First, look at the skincare products you already have. Do any of them work well for your skin type? Are there any that your skin has not reacted well to? Keep the ones you like, and toss the rest, taking note of the most affordable products.

Decide what to buy

After seeing what you already own, decide what to purchase. You can do this by remembering that you need a cleanser, a moisturizer for day and night, and possibly some specialized products depending on your skin's needs. Then write down or make a mental list of what you should purchase. (But before you buy - research, research, research.)

Buy the products you need

Be sure to stick with affordable brands and natural ingredients. Also, it's important to test any new products before putting them on your face in case of allergic reactions.

Start your routine

Cleanser first, then specialized products, then moisturizers. Try out morning and nighttime routines and find what works best for you. Feel free to eliminate additional products that don't help your skin. Try using specialized products more or less often, depending on what you prefer.

Stick with your routine

It's vital that you keep your skin as healthy as possible by remembering to cleanse and moisturize, along with anything else that helps it stay clear and beautiful.

Why minimalist skincare is the best thing you can do

Say goodbye to medicine cabinets stuffed full of products you never use. Now when you check out your skincare supply, you should see only a few high-quality items.

Your skin protects you and deserves the best treatment possible. Learning to become a minimalist skincare expert is one of the healthiest things you can do for your skin and wallet.

Spend time researching to find products that work, and remember that they don't have to cost a fortune. Eliminating unnecessary steps in your routine is sure to keep your skin glowing while also giving you more time each morning and evening.

Remember, you can save money, and keep your skin as healthy as possible by sticking to a shorter, minimalist skin care routine!

Learn how to create a budget with room for beauty and other fun things with our completely free budgeting course! Also, subscribe to the Clever Girls Know podcast and YouTube channel for more fantastic tips on frugal living!

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