A Minimalist Skin-Care Routine Only Costs $6, According to One Derm

Photo: Getty Images/Oliver Rossi
Suffice to say we've all got a lot on our minds right now. Whether that's navigating the strange new world of telecommuting, figuring out how we're going to keep ourselves occupied during social distancing, or trying to ration toilet paper to last for an indeterminate amount of time (on top of the obvious stress of keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe from Covid-19), if you're anything like me you're looking for any way possible to simplify your life during this uncertain time. And one thing you can keep easy, according to a dermatologist, is your skin-care routine (a simple facial care routine for minimalists is really all it takes).

If spending your quarantine sampling a 25-step skin-care routine just isn't feasible for (or appealing to) you, board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, says that you only need two products to keep skin happy and healthy. In a recent Instagram post, he shared his "emergency skin-care kit," which consists of the bare minimum that you need to get your skin cleaned and moisturized. And the best part? It will only put a $6 dent in your wallet, and you can pick up everything you need during your next drugstore run.


View this post on Instagram


We are living in uncertain times right now with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. I personally left New York City with my family to distance ourselves from other people. Like you, we are preparing ourselves for potential quarantine. I have gotten so many DMs about how to protect yourself from the virus, but I wanted to share the two products that I personally bought at the local drug store this morning. You can call this “Dr Z’s emergency skincare kit”, the bare minimum that can get your skin though this tough time. While water, paper goods, and fresh produce have become a rare commodity, I have seen these 2 items fully stocked at the supermarket and the drugstore. For about $8, these products are readily accessible and will last you for several weeks. . First, @dove beauty bar is ultraportable, effective enough for face and body, good for the shower and the sink, can be used by the entire family, and won’t dry out your skin. . Second, @vaselinebrand petroleum jelly. Triple purified petrolatum forms to hydrate and protect the skin. My hands have are dry and cracked from sanitizer, and my lips have become chapped from the cool, dry weather in the Northeast. A tiny bit of the jelly goes a very long way and won’t leave you sticky. It’s the ultimate multitasker and can be used not only on your hands and your lips, but also under the eyes, throughout the body, and even in the diaper area for babies. . This is a tough time for everyone, but we will get through it. Stay positive, and stay healthy! (And for other tips on how to protect yourself you can refer to my previous post). . ?‍⚕️ Joshua Zeichner, MD ?Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology ?Mount Sinai Hospital Faculty Practice 5 East 98 Street, 5th Floor New York City ☎️212-241-9728 ?www.ZeichnerDermatology.com . . #doctorsofinstagram #doctorlife #hospitallife #nurselife #medstudent #medstudentlife #dermatology #dermatologist #medicalstudent #coronavirus #covid_19 #publicserviceannouncement #psa #stayhealthy #boardcertifieddermatologist #socialdistancing #staysafe #hamptons #doctorslife #timeforchange #dontpanic #quarantine #vaseline #dove #skintips #skincaretips

A post shared by Joshua Zeichner, MD, FAAD (@joshzeichnermd) on

First comes your cleanser, by way of the Dove Beauty Bar ($4). Unlike a traditional soap, which can strip your skin of its natural oils, the Dove Beauty Bar has moisturizing properties that won't dry you out. “It’s great because it’s a non-soap cleanser, deposits moisture in your skin as it cleanses, and it keeps your skin barrier super healthy,” board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, who uses the bar in her own routine on both her face and body, previously told Well+Good.

Next up is the moisturizing step, care of the "Swiss Army Knife of beauty products:" Vaseline ($2). The pure petroleum jelly has hundreds of uses, including hydrating your skin. It acts as an occlusive agent to seal in moisture and protect the skin barrier. It's both gentle enough for sensitive skin and non-comedogenic so that it's safe for anyone who's acne prone. "A tiny bit of the jelly goes a very long way and won’t leave you sticky," writes Dr. Zeichner. "It’s the ultimate multitasker and can be used not only on your hands and your lips, but also under the eyes, throughout the body, and even in the diaper area for babies." According to Dr. Gohara, it can also be used to whisk away eye makeup, so if you're slicking mascara on as a part of your WFH self-care routine, Vaseline can help you get it off at the end of the day.

If you've got acneic skin, or if you don't love the idea of the greasy finish that Vaseline leaves behind on your skin, Dr. Zeichner suggests swapping it out for Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer ($10), another readily available drugstore option. And if you want something to treat those spots, he recommends Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment ($6), which contains two percent salicylic acid, which will "remove excess oil from the skin and dry out the pimple." Consider your skin (and your skin-care budget) one less thing to have to worry about.

For more drugstore picks, check out the ones Dr. Gohara suggests shopping for: 

We all know we should be washing our hands more right now, but does that go for showering, too? Here's what a derm has to say. Plus, the overnight treatment to keep those well-washed hands from totally drying out.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Loading More Posts...