The 3 Products I Kept When I Marie Kondo-ed My Skin Care Routine

As an admitted pack rat with a strong sentimental streak, I’ve managed to resist Marie Kondo minimalism in all aspects but one: my skin-care routine. You see, after working in lifestyle media, I had not only collected too many products for my bathroom to hold…but also tested so many things that my face finally fought back in the form of sensitivity and an irritating rash. 

After a trip to the dermatologist (and some serious soul-searching), I “KonMari-ed” my routine (and shoved everything else under my bed for another day). These are the three products that made the cut—er—"sparked the most joy.” (Hey, I’m still learning.)

Marie Kondo's Beauty Routine Is (Unsurprisingly) Streamlined

biologique recherche lait u
Shop Rescue Spa

Biologique Recherche Lait U

Sure, I could become the ultimate minimalist and use the same soap to wash my face, body and dishes—but that doesn’t spark much joy, does it? This cleanser is soap- and fragrance-free, and melts grime and makeup from my face without stripping it raw. (Bonus points for the minimalist packaging, though.)

ren clean skincare evercalm overnight recovery balm

Ren Clean Skincare Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm

Lizard skin isn’t really the look I’m going for, so I kept this moisturizer, which I use for both day and night. Its balmy texture is deceivingly lightweight, and it sinks in fast. Plus, it’s got antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe any flakes or redness (both things I’m prone to).

Buy it ($48)

differin adapalene gel

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

Even though my skin is on the dry and sensitive side, I still deal with the occasional unwelcome breakout. This over-the-counter zit-zapper is both effective and affordable (and I spent three long months slowly acclimating my skin to it, so it wasn’t getting tossed). And even though it’s billed as an acne treatment, since it’s a retinoid, it also checks the anti-aging box. Two products in one? Even Marie Kondo would agree that’s a no-brainer.

Buy it ($28)


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...