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Home>Blog>Goodbye, 12 step skincare: The only 4 products you need

Goodbye, 12 step skincare: The only 4 products you need

MIRA BEAUTY • updated Jan 8, 2021
Goodbye, 12 step skincare: The only 4 products you need

Practice "skinimalism" with these four skincare products

Listen, we get it. A 12-step skincare routine can be fun and therapeutic. Your favorite K-Beauty brands have been telling you to collect cleansers like candy for years, and 2020 has been a year of collecting all the moisturizers you see on Amazon. But according to Dr. Muneeb Shah, a viral TikTok dermatologist with over one million followers who goes by @DermDoctor on the app, there are only four skincare products that you really need in your beauty routine. Yes, four. And most of them are incredibly affordable and can be found at the drugstore! “Skinimalism” is one of the best ways to upgrade your skincare routine in 2021, as this trend allows you to achieve healthy skin with only a few products - saving you time, money, and breakouts. And these are the skincare must-haves that Dr. Shah, and the MIRA BEAUTY community, swears by!


UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 by EltaMD, $33

UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 by EltaMD
Source: EltaMD

Unsurprisingly, the top skincare product recommendation by Dr. Shah is a good sunscreen. This daily essential doesn’t just protect against the sun’s harmful rays, even while you’ve been staying inside all year, it’s also a must-have for your 20’s anti-aging routine. Did you know that sun damage is the top cause of skin aging? Yikes. Dr. Shah’s recommendation is the UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 by EltaMD, and we definitely see why. This lightly tinted formula doesn’t just contain sunscreen to protect against UV rays, it’s also packed with antioxidants to neutralize and protect against free radicals damage. It’s long-lasting, won’t leave you oily throughout the day, and shields your skin against everything from the sun to humidity and pollution particles. What’s not to love? Invest in this TikTok favorite skincare product that’s designed specifically for sensitive skin types and will leave you feeling pretty and protected, without clogging your pores in the process.

Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen by Australian Gold, $14

Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen by Australian Gold
Source: Australian Gold

“For sunscreen you’ve just got to find one you like, and that you’ll wear every day as long as it’s SPF greater than 30,” says Dr. Shah told In The Know. And we couldn’t agree more. A MIRA favorite? Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen by Australian Gold, which is made for everybody from homebodies to beach bunnies. The 100% Mineral Sunscreen is made with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide that provide non-greasy, non-toxic sun protection - and the Australian Botanicals only further nourish your skin. Kakadu Plum, Eucalyptus and Red Algae come together to form a unique combination of antioxidant-rich botanicals that protect your skin. Even if you won’t be hanging out at the beach anytime soon (because you know, 2020), this extremely powerful SPF product always has you covered against the sun’s rays. And everything else, too! MIRA reviews say that Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen is glowy, natural, and hydrating on your skin.


Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion by The Ordinary, $10

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion by The Ordinary
Source: The Ordinary

“They have anti-aging benefits, they even out pigment in the skin, they have anti-acne benefits,” says Dr. Shah about the wonders of Retinoids. And it’s all true. Retinol is one of the best skincare ingredients around, and there are plenty of Retinoid products that deliver all the beauty benefits without any redness or flakiness. Like the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion by The Ordinary that Dr. Shah loves. This serum is made with “A complex of solubilized hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a highly-advanced form of retinoid which offers a multi-fold better effect against signs of aging than retinol, retinyl palmitate, and nearly all other forms of non-prescription retinoid.” Sounds good to us! Despite the many benefits of Retinol, this ingredient is known for being a little harsh on sensitive skin types… and you can get all the anti-aging, exfoliating, acne-clearing power (without the irritation!) from The Ordinary.

A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum by Sunday Riley, $85

A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum by Sunday Riley
Source: Sunday Riley

Another top-rated Retinoid serum for your routine? A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum by Sunday Riley, a six-and-a-half percent solution of stabilized Retinoid blends which is as close as you can get to the perfect skincare product. It’s formulated with Retinol Ester, which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and clear up the skin without any irritation, along with CoQ10 for a healthy and balanced complexion. The final ingredient to take your skin on a hydration vacation? Hawaiian White Honey, a pro-skin humectant that’s rich in phytonutrients to intensely moisturize and smooth the skin. Sunday Riley knows how to take care of your complexion, and even Dr. Shah would love this Retinoid serum that gives you an early start on your anti-aging beauty routine.

PRO Strength Retinoid Peptide Serum by Peter Thomas Roth, $110

PRO Strength Retinoid Peptide Serum by Peter Thomas Roth
Source: Peter Thomas Roth

Sure, it’s a little pricey… but this Retinoid serum by Peter Thomas Roth is everything for your anti-aging skincare routine. Approved by top dermatologists around the world, this product is made with a 10-Percent Granactive Retinoid, and Five-Percent Hexapeptide Complex, to visibly improve fine lines and wrinkles. Seriously, name a better anti-aging skincare duo than Retinoids and Peptides. We’ll wait. And don’t worry about the risk of irritation, either - as Pro Strength Retinoid Peptide Serum always has your back. It’s packed with Squalane and Ceramides to hydrate the skin and seal in moisture, while helping to repair the natural moisture barrier to balance the skin. Our MIRA community agrees that this serum is hydrating, gentle, anti-aging and pore-minimizing… and Dr. Shah does too!


Foaming Facial Cleanser by CeraVe, $15

Foaming Facial Cleanser by CeraVe
 Source: CeraVe

CeraVe and TikTok go together like Retinol and anti-aging, and there’s no denying the power of the platform within the beauty community. Exhibit A? Hyram Yarbro’s TikTok videos that launched CeraVe to cult status. Exhibit B? The fact that expert dermatologists like Dr. Shah cannot get enough of this affordable beauty brand. Especially the Foaming Facial Cleanser that he recommends for all skin types. Like most CeraVe products, this face wash is packed with natural, simple, and powerful ingredients. Ceramides restore and maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier, Hyaluronic Acid provides a hydration boost, and Niacinamide keeps your complexion calm - and these natural substances are gentle on even the most sensitive skin. Cleanse with kindness as you wash away leftover makeup, dirt, and oil from deep within the pores - without the risk of irritation or breakout. Foaming Facial Cleanser isn’t just one of skin-fluencer Hyram Yarbro’s favorite skincare products, it’s also approved by Dr. Shah to give your face a gentle-and-effective cleanse.

Gentle Foaming Cleanser With Cottonseed by Clarins, $26

Gentle Foaming Cleanser With Cottonseed by Clarins
Source: Clarins

Another gentle cleanser that could give CeraVe a run for their money? Gentle Foaming Cleanser With Cottonseed by Clarins, which feels luxurious on your skin and leaves your complexion glowing. From the moment you apply this creamy, silky foam on your skin, you’ll get that tingling sensation that just lets you know that it’s working. The impurities are being lifted from below the surface, while receiving a surge of hydration that keeps skin soft and supple while maintaining the natural moisture barrier. And you really don’t need a long list of ingredients, either - as this cleanser shows that the duo of Cottonseed Extract and Gypsophila Root can do it all. In addition to being a gentle face wash that Dr. Shah himself would be obsessed with, the Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed is also one of the top-rated cleansers in our community for all skin types. 95% say that it’s brightening and hydrating, while 100% agree that this cleanser evens out skin tone!


Moisturizing Cream by CeraVe, $17

Moisturizing Cream by CeraVe

We’re coming at you with more CeraVe, because it truly is the dream brand to replenish moisture and create your most healthy skin. Dr. Shah agrees, which is why the Moisturizing Cream is one of his top recommended skincare products! Ceramides are the essential skincare ingredient found in all CeraVe products - with each containing at least three essential ceramides to support your skin’s moisture barrier. And they even get a bit of help from their fellow lipid, Cholesterol - making this the dream cream for all skin types. Moisturizing Cream is just that, moisturizing, thanks to a blend of hydrating and healthy ingredients. Ceramides and Cholesterol work together to restore and maintain the skin’s moisture barrier - not only providing a moisture surge, but helping to seal in hydration and prevent skin aging. Simple yet powerful, this cream will keep the dryness away and keep skin looking “right and tight,” and it even features hydration hero Hyaluronic Acid to deliver intense moisture into the skin. What do Ceramides, Cholesterol, and HA have in common? Each one is naturally created within the body, making it safe for all skin types, and keeps your complexion fresh and flooded with moisture for days. And we mean that literally, as Moisturizing Cream contains MVE technology to continuously release moisturizing ingredients throughout a 24-hour period. No reapplication required. 97% of MIRA guests say that this cream is hydrating and relieves redness, while 100% agree that it evens out skin tone!

Toleriane Riche Moisturizer For Very Dry Skin by La Roche-Posay, $30

Toleriane Riche Moisturizer For Very Dry Skin by La Roche-Posay
Source: La Roche-Posay

When you’re looking for that flawless French girl complexion that’s glowy and effortless, look no further than La Roche-Posay. The French brand knows how to moisturize your skin to Parisian perfection, and Dr. Shah agrees… which is why he loves the Toleriane Riche Moisturizer For Very Dry Skin. It’s made with natural and nourishing ingredients like Thermal Spring Water, Neurosensine, and Shea Butter to provide instant hydration, soothing effects, and long-lasting comfort. The cream texture practically hugs your skin as you say “au revoir” to dry patches and irritation - and glow without guilt knowing that this moisturizer is made with 100% clean ingredients. We’re talking 0% preservative, paraben, fragrance, or drying alcohol for that lit, dermatologist-approved look. Next time you’re admiring the Emily in Paris makeup looks or Googling French girl beauty tips to glow before your work presentation, just know that it all starts with La Roche-Posay!

Moisturizing Cream by Cetaphil, $8

moisturizing cream by cetaphil
Source: Cetaphil

As obsessed as we (and Dr. Shah) are with CeraVe, there’s another simple-and-effective affordable skincare brand that deserves all the love. You guessed it, Cetaphil. This brand is also dedicated to going back to basics and repairing your skin’s moisture barrier for a healthy, hydrated complexion… and you’ll do just that with the Moisturizing Cream. It’s formulated with a system of emollients and humectants to replenish lost moisture and hydrate the skin for a full 24 hours - making it ideal for those with very dry skin. You can also wear it under makeup to prevent further dryness or irritation, and use it on your hands to prevent flakiness from all the hand washing. Because you know, 2020. 95% of MIRA guests say that Moisturizing Cream by Cetaphil is hydrating and lightweight, and 91% agree that it provides redness relief!

Shop the only four skincare products you need on MIRA.