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Minimalist skin care routine

Posted by Lara Schimweg on
Minimalistische Hautpflegeroutine

Minimalist skin care routine

You should avoid many products if you want to do something good for your skin. These include fragrances , drying alcohols, harsh surfactants or PEGs. Here you should first weigh up the benefits and risks for yourself. Fruit acids and mechanical peelings are particularly problematic for the skin. Some products are simply unnecessary. Here less is really more .

It can feel like the beauty industry is selling us products that will make us buy new products to fix the problems the products created in the first place. And even if you might think that natural cosmetics are better tolerated by the skin, the products in natural cosmetics are unfortunately often irritating.

However, some substances also care for your skin and ensure that it is well protected. Your skin can benefit greatly from a well-thought-out minimalist skin care routine. This will soothe your skin and prevent inflammation.

However, less is not always better: a product can also contain a few irritating ingredients . Sometimes mild products require two ingredients to achieve a similar effect that would be achieved with one irritant ingredient. Mild cosmetic products, for example, often need two or more substances to be sufficiently preserved.

So what does a mild, minimalist skin care routine look like?

Ideally, you start with a simple, minimalist and, above all, mild skin care routine. This can consist of a few products and a few ingredients. Basically you only need one Cleaner , one cream and one Sun protection . Anything beyond that doesn't have to be the case. Of course you can see what makes sense for you individually.

Mild cleanser + moisturizer

Start with a mild cleanser that gently cleanses your skin and doesn't strip away too much oil. Then apply a simple moisturizer to your skin. This gives your skin the moisture it needs. The cream locks the moisture in your skin so that it is not lost again so quickly.

To begin with, cleansers and creams should ideally contain neither potent active ingredients nor too many different ingredients. You can then add potent active ingredients into your routine. This gives you a much better overview and doesn't overwhelm your skin. Because a cocktail of too many different (active) ingredients can overwhelm sensitive skin, irritate it and spark inflammation. Especially if you have not yet had any experience with active ingredients. Many cleaners contain strong active ingredients. A closer look is always useful here.
Read in Part 2 and 3 everything about active ingredients. Just a few well-tolerated plant extracts can be included in your skin care to reduce inflammation.

In washable products, such as cleaners, fragrances are not quite as irritating. Of course, cleaners without fragrances are always better. However, if you can't find a cleanser that is mild and suits your skin, you could also use a scented cleanser. Unfortunately, there are hardly any mild cleaners without fragrances. What is more important is that the cleaner contains mild surfactants and no potent active ingredients.
Mild cleaners usually don't foam as much because the mild surfactants cannot produce such strong foam. Don't worry: you'll still clean adequately.
We've picked out a few products that might fit into your minimalist skincare routine. (Note: the suggestion only applies to the respective product: some of the brands also use irritating substances in other products)


Xeno Game Changer - Mild gel to milk cleaner (natural cosmetics) Suitable for very sensitive skin, with mild sugar surfactants. Without fragrances, without essential oils with a pH value of 5.5.

Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil (Clean Beauty)
Very mild, only 8 ingredients, unfortunately contains essential oils. Since this is a washable product, you could make an exception here.

Cattier cleansing milk (natural cosmetics) Rather mild, unfortunately contains cornflower water, allergy sufferers, rosacea, sensitive skin should still be careful here. Since this is a washable product, it can work. A cleanser without flower hydrosols is more suitable for sensitive skin. Since the cleansing milk also contains a lot of oils, it is particularly suitable for dry skin that is not prone to breakouts. If you don't tolerate oils well, try one of the other cleaners without unprocessed vegetable oils. ( The Mild Reinger from Xeno will also be here soon)

Mild surfactants, without fragrances, without vegetable oils. A mild liquid cleanser, although it is a micellar water, it is not ideal for removing make-up. Stronger makeup cannot solve it. Actually this is a baby product.

Urtekram No Perfume Baby All Over Wash (natural cosmetics)
Mild surfactants. However, it contains lauryl glucoside, which is a contact allergen. Be careful if you have existing allergies. It does not contain any fragrances or vegetable oils. This is actually a baby shampoo that you can also use as a shower gel. The surfactant concentration in a shampoo can be higher than in a mild facial cleanser. Keep this in mind and listen to your skin’s feedback. The product contains few nourishing ingredients. For example, the shampoo may not give enough back to dehydrated skin after cleansing. When used daily, the product can have a slightly drying effect on sensitive skin, especially dry skin, dry oily skin and sensitive combination skin. Baby shampoo cannot remove heavy make-up. Nevertheless, it's a nice, simple cleansing gel for the morning for oily to combination skin that doesn't lose moisture too quickly.

If you have sensitive skin, it doesn't make sense to only cleanse with oil (a facial oil), especially if your skin is prone to inflammation. Because you cannot completely wash pure vegetable oil or vegetable butter off your face with water. There would always be a residual film on the skin. There is a risk that the rest of the oil that remains on your skin could clog pores and inflammation could occur.

Here you can find our article about mild facial cleansing.


Xeno Root and Grow Base Cream (natural cosmetics)
For sensitive combination skin to slightly dry skin. Very light, fluffy texture, absorbs quickly. Contains mild anti-inflammatory ingredients.
For sensitive dry to very dry skin. Contains mild anti-inflammatory and long-lasting moisturizing ingredients.
The Xeno moisturizers both rely on the skin's own squalane and are otherwise very minimalistic. This makes them very well tolerated, especially by people who do not tolerate vegetable oils well.
i+m freistil intensive cream (natural cosmetics) or i+m Freistil sensitive moisturizing cream (natural cosmetics)
Both creams contain vanilla extract and very small amounts of alcohol. The creams from i+m may be an option for very dry skin. The creams are less suitable for oily skin or rosacea care , partly because of the plant oils they contain.

Your daily sun protection

The end of your minimalist skin care routine is sunscreen . For the sake of your skin, you should really wear these every day to protect it from damaging UVA and UVB radiation. The radiation is also present in winter, even if the sky is cloudy.

Did you know that wearing sunscreen every day even prevents breakouts?

In our free and very detailed sun protection guide you will find helpful tips for choosing the right sun protection for you and some suggestions for sun creams that you can try.

And how does it continue?

You see: it doesn't take much to get started Reduce inflammation in the skin and long-term prevention. Since your skin renews itself every 4 weeks, give your skin time to get used to a minimalist routine. It's best to use cleanser and cream for at least 3 months as long as you tolerate them well. When it comes to sunscreen, you can see which one suits you and how you tolerate it.

If you have previously used a lot of different skin care products with irritating substances or a variety of active ingredients, it especially needs time. Only then can you really decide whether your skin needs an additional, more specific product.

It may be that after a short time your skin actually requires more moisture or, on colder days, a little more oil. If you notice this very early on, you can simply add moisture and fat to your routine. It's so uncomplicated because moisturizers and vegetable oils, for example, can be wonderfully combined with your calm cream.

If your skin still needs a special active ingredient to address a specific problem: take it slowly. Special care is a very individual topic. And here you shouldn't do everything at once. So only add one new product to your routine at a time. Then it will be easier for you to see whether it is really good for your skin.

By the way, having a small pimple or redness is completely okay. You don't have to bring out the big guns straight away: calmness and self-love are much more suitable. Because where one skin has a few more pimples or larger pores, the other skin is more prone to redness and other skin to dryness. Every skin has its little problems. And if you're honest with yourself, a little redness or a pimple isn't the end of the world if your skin is fundamentally soothed by mild, minimalist skin care.

And the best thing to do here is to listen carefully to your skin. And one thing that's really wonderful once you've integrated a minimalist healthy skincare routine is that you can add an extra product like a serum if you feel your skin needs it. And if you no longer need it, you can be sure that your previous routine worked very well. Because you can always go back there.

Summarized for you

  • A mild minimalist skin care routine consists of just a mild cleanser, a mild cream and a mild sunscreen
  • Let your skin calm down first and stick with your mild products for a while
  • If your skin requires more moisture or oil, you can safely integrate this into your skin care routine
  • If your skin needs additional active ingredients that go beyond a minimalist routine, find out beforehand and take it slowly
  • Don't be so harsh on yourself: every skin has a pimple or redness. If your skin is fundamentally calm, a pimple can be overcome
  • Self-love and calmness and a little patience, together with a minimalist, mild skin care routine, will help you prevent inflammation in the long term
The skin is such a wonderful living organ that you just need to give it a little help if your skin is sensitive. With a mild, minimalist skin care routine, you can reduce inflammation and, in the long term, ensure that there is less inflammation in your skin.
If you know people who have sensitive skin and don't know what to do, share this series of articles with them. And help them with that.
Lara Schimweg

about the author

Lara Schimweg is the founder of Xeno . She studied sports science and health research and is a trained health and nursing nurse. Lara has rosacea and very sensitive skin.

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1 comment

  • Nani on

    Hallo liebes Xeno Team,

    Vielen Dank für die tollen Artikel! Die lesen sich sehr gut und sind sehr informativ.
    Mir haben viele Tipps bei der Pflege schon geholfen.
    Eine Frage zu eurer Empfehlung habe ich noch, bezüglich der Sonnencreme von Avene, die ihr oben erwähnt.
    Ein UV Filter ist mit “nano” gekennzeichnet. Da wollte ich fragen, wie eure Sicht darüber ist und wieso ihr die Sonnencreme trotz Nanopartikel empfehlen würdet.

    Vielen Dank und liebe Grüße

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