Minimalist Summer Skincare Routine

Summer is the perfect time to start minimizing your skincare routine, regardless of your skin type. No skin will remain ungrateful if you let it breathe on its own as much as possible, as often as possible. Today I'm going to write about my minimalist summer skincare routine which is suited for oily skin in reactive and dehydrated condition, prone to breakouts, rosacea (redness), and seborrhea. My goal is to explain how I address my skin's intricate needs during the hot summer months using only five products.

Minimalist Morning Skincare Routine


1 | Cleanser

I like to start my mornings with a mild face wash, and I've been enjoying L'Oreal Paris Fine Flowers Gel-Cream Wash for Dry/Sensitive Skin (150 ml/€4.79). For a drugstore face wash, it contains surprisingly mild ingredients. Although it contains no added perfume, it has a mild scent. Usually, no perfume products have a medicinal scent, so this was a pleasant surprise. I cannot agree with the no soap claim because SLS is present as the sixth ingredient in the ingredient list. SLS is usually the second ingredient in cleansers, right after water, because of its foaming abilities. The second ingredient in this cleanser is Glycerin, and you can definitely feel a difference on the skin. The wash feels soothing as it gently cleanses my skin without messing with its natural oil barrier. Contrary to popular belief, a mild cleanser is super important for oily skin, especially if the skin is also dehydrated. If you use a harsh cleanser which strips the skin of its natural oils, then the skin is going to produce even more oil to counteract, and you'll end up in a vicious circle.

2 | Toner (7-Skin Method)

I'm a firm believer in the 7-skin method ('skin' is a synonym for toner in Korea), so toner is the next big step in my routine. If you'd like to find out more about the method, one of my favourite YouTubers Gothamista made a video about it: 7 Skin Method for Glowing Skin! Basically, the method was developed by Korean dermatologists for people with oily skin who live in humid climate and who need something to hydrate the skin, but due to severe oiliness and high humidity couldn't find anything to suit their needs. The 7-skin method is wonderfully simple: you layer toner up to 7 times by gently pressing it into the skin with the palms of your hands. You can use different toners, but I stick to one, and I rarely go up to seven layers. It's more like two to four or five, depending on how thirsty my skin feels. I love Afrodita Cosmetics Aloe Vera Tonic Hydra (100 ml/€4.30) so much so I must have already bought it at least 10 consecutive times. It has a short ingredient list which I always appreciate, and it's mostly made of water, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice and Glycerin. The spray pump packaging is a also plus in my book.

3 | Moisturizer + SPF 

There has already been so much said on the importance of SPF in everyone's daily routine, so I won't go into much detail other than once again state it's a must! If you have sensitive or reactive skin prone to redness (rosacea) like me, your safest bet with SPF is to avoid chemical filters and stick to mineral ones. The tricky part about mineral filters is that they usually don't come in cosmetically elegant formulas. Think of heavy creams which are annoyingly hard to spread, and even if you somehow succeed in spreading them, they usually leave a strong white cast. After years of relentless search, I have finally found one that works almost completely to my liking: Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer for Normal to Oily Skin (60 ml/€33.95). For reasons unknown to me, Lookfantastic doesn't ship this product to Croatia, so I got it from Superskin Hrvatska (€36.56 + €4.74 shipping). The reason why I love and rave about it so much is because it acts like a typical silicone primer, meaning I can use it under makeup. My only beef with it is actually how silicone heavy it feels. To my surprise, it doesn't slip nor slide around the face. It just feels like it would. It does leave a slight white cast, but nothing in comparison to your typical mineral-based sunscreens. It's also moisturizing enough that I have no need for an additional moisturizer. Long story short, it's hands down my favourite discovery of the year, and I plan to do a separate review - that's how impressed I am!  

UPDATE: I've posted a review, so go check it out if you're interested to find out more about the product.

Minimalist Evening Skincare Routine


1 | Double Cleanse

Another method which I gladly adopted from Korean skincare experts is double cleansing. Just like the 7-skin method, it's simple, straightforward and efficient. The first step in double cleansing is makeup remover, usually oil-based, and the second is your regular cleanser. The idea behind double cleansing is to first gently get rid of makeup, and then softly cleanse the skin. Easy peasy, right? Even though I have oily skin, I've been applying this method for a couple years, and my skin feels quite grateful. Remember, mild is key, especially if you have reactive or dehydrated skin. I've been using Balea Reinigungsöl (100 ml/€2.45) basically ever since it came out because it's dirt cheap, so I don't have to worry about using it sparingly and skipping over some parts of my face or neck. The trouble with this one is that it's only available at Dm which is a European drugstore chain. The smell isn't amazing, but at that price I can't really complain since it gets the job done, and it does it well. I do have my eye on DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (200 ml/€28.45) - one of the most popular cleansing oils out there - so stay tuned for an upcoming comparison. The second step is applying my regular face wash which I talked about as the first step in my morning routine. I always double cleanse, regardless if I wore make up or not, because I religiously wear sunscreen, and it's practically impossible to completely take it off with regular face wash.

2 | Toner (7-Skin Method)

Once again, thank you, Korea! I apply the 7-skin method in the evening as well as in the morning. Just like in the morning, I apply as many layers of the same Afrodita Cosmetics Aloe Vera Tonic Hydra (100 ml/€4.30) as my skin needs. Usually, it provides enough hydration that I rarely have any need for an additional moisturizer.

3 | Moisturizer

Moisturizer at night is optional for me during the hot summer months because layering toner is usually enough to satisfy my skin's need for hydration. However, if I feel like my skin could use an additional hydration boost, I add a drop or two of The Ordinary 100 % Plant-Derived Squalane (30 ml/€7.20) into the last layer of toner and gently press it into the skin. Squalane is a fine moisturizing ingredient for any skin type because it's a compound found naturally in the skin. It's especially suitable for people who suffer from seborrhea like me because, unlike most oils, it's safe to use and won't affect the condition. In fact, it can improve it as well as eczema and other forms of dermatitis.

What do you think about my minimalist summer skincare routine? Do we share any favourite products or methods? What are your summer skincare staples? Although my routine is minimalist, I'm certainly not when it comes to discussing it, so let's chat away in the comments below.

Yours lovingly,


Image credit: L'Oreal Paris, Afrodita Cosmetics, Paula's Choice, dm-drogeriemarkt, The Ordinary.
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