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As I’ve gotten older, I have started to put a lot more focus on my skincare routine to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. I am all about quick routines and not spending a ton of money on products, so I really focused on a budget-friendly, minimalist skincare routine when I started researching products. It’s also really important to me to avoid as many chemicals and fragrances as possible, so I had to put a little extra effort into researching the best safer products.

You can live do budget beauty with safer products with this minimalist skincare routine. Read what I recommend to DIY versus buy and where I splurge when it comes to skincare in my mid 30s. Green beauty can fit within your budget! #greenbeauty #beautyin30s #beautycounter

Below are the items I use on a daily basis for my skincare and make-up routine. To keep things as budget-friendly as possible, I DIY some products if I can’t spend as much in a particular month or if I run out and need a product in a pinch.

For the products I buy, I chose to go with Beautycounter since I can get everything in one place and feel confident that they are committed to product safety and high performance. To join my Safer Skincare email list where I share product updates, tips and promos, click here.

If you have any Beautycounter questions or need help selecting a product, feel free to send me an email: or fill out this skincare survey.


My Budget-Friendly Minimal Skincare Routine

So here is my minimalist skincare routine in the order I use them-

Step 1: Cleanse

  • Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser: This is a daily exfoliating cleanser for oily and blemish-prone skin to remove oil, makeup, and other impurities without harsh surfactants that can strip skin of moisture.
  • Cleansing Balm: Cleansing Balm melts into your skin to hydrate while it cleanses, removing makeup and other impurities but never stripping away moisture. With vitamin C to brighten the appearance of skin and raspberry and cranberry seed oils to hydrate, the formula can also be used as an intensely nourishing face mask. You also get our reusable 100% muslin cloth, softer and easier on skin than a traditional washcloth. *I use this to take my make-up off, as a face wash, and as a moisturizer when my skin is dry. This is expensive but a little goes a long way.


Step 2: Prep/Tone (this is one area where I often DIY)
  • Simple DIY Toner Recipe: This is the toner that I make if I need toner in a pinch or if my budget is tight. I generally have everything on hand to make this.
  • Instant Matte Toner: This mattifying toner removes residual impurities, eliminates excess oil, and minimizes the appearance of pores. 
  • Toner Pads: I have never used these, but this is a great toner if you are frequently on the go. Rejuvenating Toner Pads are your first line of defense against daily stressors after cleansing. Mixed fruit acid complex and vitamin C supply skin with antioxidants and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while lentil seed extract tightens and refines the appearance of pores. Algae extract brightens and improves the appearance of skin tone, and Spilanthes acmella flower extract gives skin a firmer, more youthful look.
Step 3: Refine/Treat
  • Overnight Resurfacing Peel: This product is the splurge that got me started with Beautycounter in the first place. Formulated with 15 botanically-derived acids, this leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots without irritation or over-drying. Glycolic, lactic, and malic acids clear away dull surface skin cells, while hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids soothe and nourish to reveal a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion. PM, 4-5x week.
Step 4: Moisturize (this is another area I frequently DIY)
  • How to Customize Your Own Facial Oil: This post goes over how to choose the right oils to make your own facial oil at home.
  • Number 2 Plumping Facial Oil: Lightweight and silky smooth, this proprietary blend of seven natural oils moisturizes, nourishes, and helps firm skin. Fragrant jasmine oil replenishes moisture, while omega-rich argan oil helps minimize the appearance of fine lines. Perfect for all skin types, especially those concerned with dry skin, loss of elasticity, and fine lines. *I use a facial oil and then seal it in with the Cleansing Balm.
  • Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream: I started using this product after noticing more fine lines now that I’m 35. This high-performance eye cream revitalizes the eye area for a youthful, brighter appearance. A targeted combination of our plant-derived Retinatural Complex and Persian silk tree extract reduces the appearance of under-eye shadows and crow’s feet for a smooth, firmed look.
  • Countermatch Recovery Sleep Cream: This advanced blend of hyaluronic acid, plum oil, and tara gum creates a protective layer to help replenish hydration and revitalize skin while you sleep—so skin looks youthfully smoother, softer, and more radiant in the morning.
  • SOS Acne Spot Treatment: This is a must-have in everyone’s medicine cabinet for unexpected breakouts! This fast-acting formula with maximum strength salicylic acid penetrates pores to reduce blemishes and clear skin. Powered by our SkinBalance Complex, this invisible gel treats breakouts without over-drying for a clearer, healthy complexion. ON BREAKOUTS AS NEEDED!
  • Charcoal Mask: This nutrient-rich kaolin clay mask deep-cleans and balances, absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities. Activated charcoal minimizes the appearance of pores, giving skin a smooth, refined appearance, while salicylic acid stimulates exfoliation. Perfect for those concerned with congestion and oily skin. 2-3X per week. You can find my post on how to make your own charcoal face mask HERE.
  • Make Up Remover Wipes: Remove makeup and cleanse your skin in one step. Using a naturally derived micellar formula, each super soft wipe traps makeup, dirt, and impurities, then gently whisks it away with no need to rinse. Aloe Vera delivers hydration, while cornflower water soothes delicate skin. Gentle enough to use on face and eyes every day. These breakthrough wipes are also biodegradable – just dispose in your home compost. Oil-free. No added fragrance. Ophthalmologist-tested: Safe for contact lens wearers. TRAVEL/POST WORKOUT.

Body & Other:

  • Kids Bath Collection: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash — is really great. I will use it for my kids (who will have MTHFR since me and hubby both do) when I have them!
  • Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream: My daughter gets rashes from her pull-up overnight, so I still use a diaper rash cream each night as barrier protection. I LOVE this one, and it was the cheapest safer diaper rash cream per ounce when I did a price comparison.
  • In summer months, I use the Beautycounter sunscreen! I really like the Mineral Sunscreen Stick for quick face application and the Sunscreen Mist for the kids’ bodies.

Make Up Routine

The “Flawless in 5” set is a great place to start as it has most of my favorite items! This set was perfect for me, because I am not a huge makeup person and never give myself more than 5 minutes to apply makeup anyway!

If you still have questions related to your own specific skincare needs:

  1. You can join my Safer Skincare + Better Beauty specific email list where I schedule one-on-one consultations and notify you of special deals and promos.
  2. Take my FREE  Safer Skincare survey

If you’re going to buy from Beautycounter, I highly recommend their loyalty program, Band of Beauty. It includes some awesome benefits like:

  • Every time you shop, you get a 10% product credit that you can use on your next order, essentially saving you 10% on all future orders.
  • Get a FREE full-sized product as a complimentary gift for signing up when you spend $50.
  • Free shipping, always, when you spend over $100.
  • Special offers, discounts and exclusive access to new products before they’re available to the general public.

It’s only $29 to join, which you’ll make back with the free gift and future savings. If you’re going to spend more than $100 with Beautycounter each YEAR, this is a no-brainer!

Become a Beautycounter Band of Beauty Member today!

What makes the products different?

Beautycounter has banned more than 1,500 ingredients, all while ensuring that their products perform like conventional products, and that they’re as indulgent as any luxe shampoo, lipstick or oil in the market.

✓ While Beautycounter’s products aren’t 100% natural, they do forbid the most awful of the commonly used toxic ingredients. They have a NEVER LIST, which includes some of the 1500+ ingredients that you’ll NEVER find in their products, such as Parabens, Phthalates, and Formaldehyde.

✓ Beautycounter has developed a rigorous ingredient screening process, looking for data on skin irritation, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, and more.

✓ Every single Beautycounter product is rated between 0-2 on EWG’s Skindeep database, which is the most amazing go-to resource for product safety!

Sarah Nichols

Sarah Nichols, founder and content creator for Let's Talk Mom Business, has a background in business, marketing, research, and advocacy. combines her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and experience as a Marketing Expert for B2B tech companies to help moms start and scale an online business or shake up their career after a career gap.

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