My 30s 6-Step Minimalist Skin Care Routine

Shandean Reid - Canadian influencer and blogger - Minimalist Skincare routine - Photo with 5 skincare products. Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra Hydrating ceramide moisturiser. Farmacy Honey Potion Plus ceramide hydration mask. Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser. Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C serum. Ole Henriksen Glow OH Dark spot toner.

I’ve been putting more effort into skin care, but only so much. My 6-step minimalist skin care routine is working quite well, though. It’s perfect for my need for convenience. Until my late twenties, my skin care routine was so minimal that it was nearly non-existent. A good drugstore brand cleanser, a moisturizer, and that’s it. Unfortunately for me, after having my daughter, I got an intrauterine device, and despite literature and what my OBGYN told me — that Copper T’s didn’t cause skin issues — I (and my Dermatologist) found the contrary to be true. My skin reacted quite violently. So, over the years, I’ve tried more than a few products to keep my skin looking good. It doesn’t make my skin flawless, but it looks good — most of the time.

So my minimalist skin care routine will remain minimalist, but with a few caveats I know aren’t popular. Here they are.

Natural Skin Care Products Do Nothing for My Skin

Yes, yes. I know. Natural sounds good. But they do as much for my skin as using water. Nothing. I don’t know why people seem so against admitting that. The African soaps, aloe vera and so on simply dry out and irritate my skin. I’ve learned my skin responds better to acids. I have skin that is prone to dryness as well, so I stay away from cleansing bars, no matter how moisturizing they claim to be.

Skin Care is Expensive; Drugstore Products are Not it

Having a minimalist skin care routine does not mean having an inexpensive one. I’ve found that to get what I need, I must spend money on higher-end products. Some drugstore products irritate my eczema.

This was harder for me to accept. I’ve used brands like Neutrogena and Aveeno since I was a teen, and although there are some products that I still like, on a larger scale, they don’t work for me (note I said, me). This brings me to my next point.

Shandean Reid - Black Canadian Content creator - Photo of  Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin c dark spot serum on a bathroom counter.

Other factors affect my skin as well. So, although my daily skin care is reasonably simple, I also practice the following:

  • Exfoliate once or twice a week.
  • Change pillowcases (and sheets) regularly (should be given anyway).
  • Never sleep in makeup.
  • Keep my hair clean.
  • Choose hair care products carefully.

6-Step Daily Minimalist Skin Care Routine

1. Cleanser

A good cleanser is ground zero – one that addresses your skin’s needs. Choose based on your skin type — dry, oily, normal, etc. For me, I found Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser, CeraVe SA Cleanser and CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to be my go-to cleansers. I also find they work best when I rotate them rather than if I keep using the same one repeatedly.

2. Toner

Toners help keep my skin tone even and radiant. My favourites are The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Exfoliating Toning Solution, and Ole Henriksen Glow2OH™ Dark Spot Toner.

3. Serum

Serums are great for skin repair and rejuvenation. I lean towards vitamin C serums and those with retinol. My favourites are:

  • Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum
  • Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum
  • Sunday Riley 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

4. Moisturizer

The hunt for a good moisturizer is always on. I try to avoid heavy, greasy (oily) or watery moisturizers. There is that perfect balance that I’m always looking for. These are a few of them that I’ve found it in;

  • Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer
  • The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
  • Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream

5. Bio Oil

I’m not sure bio oil belongs, but I like it. It helps with hyperpigmentation. Sometimes I use it after moisturizing but sometimes, I use it as a serum.

6. Sunscreen or Night Cream (Retinol)

I didn’t always use sunscreen, melanated, and all that. But I’ve made an effort in the last year or so to apply sunscreen daily. I’ve also added a retinol night cream to my routine. I’m currently using Olay Retinol 24 + Peptide and like it so far.

Picture of Olay Regenerist Retinol 24+Peptide night Moisturizer - Fragrance Free. Shandean Reid Canadian Lifestyle Blogger

In conclusion

The biggest plus I’ve experienced with this routine is that when I am consistent, the texture of my skin is dramatically improved. The same is true for my skin tone, as I’ve been struggling with hyperpigmentation and scars from breakouts. The scars disappear much sooner with this routine as well.

Have you tried having a minimalist skin care routine? How did it work for you? Leave a girl some tips in the comments.

Xo, Shandean

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Shandean Reid

A heavily caffeinated, quintessential millennial wife and mom doing modern family life. I’m a communications professional following a five-year stint as a SAHM, switching roles with hubby, a physician and now WFHD. I also read and write books for fun! Stick around if I'm your kind of person!



  • rachelramdhan

    My skincare routine is bare minimum and I just restarted it last week Friday because it dawned on me that as I’m getting older. I do a face wash, cleanse my face with Witchhazel and tone my skin with rose water. On mornings I use a moisturizer with vitamin c and for the nights I use a anti-ageing night cream.

    • Shandean

      Sounds good! If it works then keep it is what I’d say.

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