When it comes to your skincare routine, simplicity is best. We don’t believe 12 skincare products should make up a beauty routine. In fact, there are only three skincare necessities: cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF. We take it one step further by adding serums and a few other products to target specific skin conditions, like acne, dryness, or hyperpigmentation. After careful review, we’ve boiled it down to these six essential skincare products for your skincare routine.
This goes without saying, right? Always start your routine with a high-quality cleanser/face wash. We recommend using two types: the first should be a gentle cleanser in the morning to remove dirt, oil, unclog pores, etc. Your second cleanser should target your skin type. Use this one as part of your evening routine.
Everyone’s skin has different needs, so we can’t tell you which cleanser is best, but here’s a tip: look for ingredients that target your concerns. For example, if you have acne-prone skin, look for a cleanser with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinol.
Face serums have a high concentration of active ingredients and can deeply penetrate the skin. This makes them an essential skin care product when targeting specific conditions. If you’re new to face serums, it’s easy to get confused with the surplus of products on the market.
Essentially, there are six types of serums, and they all serve different purposes:
- Anti-aging (reduces wrinkles and fine lines)
- Skin brightening (evens skin tone and treats hyperpigmentation)
- Anti-acne (fights acne)
- Hydration (moisturizes the skin)
- Exfoliating (removes dead skin cells)
- Restorative (firms skin and improves skin elasticity)
You can choose one or multiple to add to your regimen directly after cleansing your face.
Yes, eye cream is an essential product in your routine – there should be no moisturizing substitutions. Dermatologists recommend using eye cream twice daily when you reach your 20s. The skin under your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face. Eye creams improve skin quality and elasticity to prevent premature aging. As with any product on this list, consistency is key to efficiency.
Everyone’s skin needs moisturizer, including oily skin. The extra hydration protects the skin from environmental stressors like bad weather, UV rays, and pollutants. To better hydrate the skin, experts recommend using a moisturizer on damp skin. We suggest applying your serum, eye cream, and then use a face mist. Before the face mist dries, massage the moisturizer into your skin to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture.
Even though you won’t use an exfoliator daily, it’s still an essential part of your beauty regimen. When used correctly, an exfoliator will:
- Cleanse clogged pores
- Remove dead skin and encourage new cell turnover
- Even skin tone
- Reduce wrinkles
We recommend using an exfoliator as part of your nighttime routine, after your makeup remover and cleanser. Find one that’s suitable for your skin type and use it three times a week, or once a week for sensitive skin.
Last on our list of six essential skincare products is SPF. Sunscreen should be the last step in your daytime routine. If we could only recommend one product, this would be the one. Make sure you find a sunscreen that protects against both UV A and UV B. Avoid products that use harsh ingredients and look for nourishing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Another tip is to include sunscreen even if your makeup and moisturizer contain SPF, as those products don't have enough SPF to protect you against the sun’s damaging effects.
Although we said six essential products, we thought it was important to add makeup remover as a bonus. Not everyone wears makeup, but those who do should always incorporate a makeup remover in their nighttime routine. Most cleansers cannot remove all the makeup from your skin. For the most effective clean, use micellar water or another effective form of makeup remover.