3 essential skincare products

Cleanse, tone, moisturize.

Put on serum and sunscreen.

Use a sheet mask.

Don’t forget to exfoliate.

And have you heard of essences?

Even pre-serums are a thing now!

Geez, your skincare routine is getting longer every day! Can’t brands stop releasing a new “innovative” product every 5 minutes?!

But, wait. Do you really need to spend 20 minutes every morning to put 10+ products on your face not to compromise on results?

Nope. While skin can benefit from the extra product or two, there are just 3 products it truly needs on a daily basis.

These 3 oldies but goodies form the base of any good skincare routine. Everything’s else just a welcome addition:

cerave hydrating cleanser

Essential Skincare Product #1: Cleanser To Remove Dirt And Impurities

I know, cleansers are hardly exciting. All they do is remove dirt from your face. But that happens to be the foundation of a good skincare routine.

Because, who wants dirt on their face? Plus, what’s the point of applying your precious serums or moisturizers if they comfortably sit on a thick layer of dirt and grime and can’t get through to the skin?

If you want your skincare routine to do the job, cleanse your face (yes, even after a late night of partying!).

Best Picks:

  • Corsx low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser ($11.00): pH 5.5. Available at Sokoglam and YesStyle.
  • Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Cleanser One Step Face Cleanser ($18.00): pH 5.5. Available at Paula’s Choice.
  • Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser ($18.00): pH 5.5. Available at Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice. 

Related: How To Choose The Right Type Of Cleanser For Your Skin Type


Struggling to put together a skincare routine that fights wrinkles and gives your skin a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” cheat sheet to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):


dr dennis gross c collagen brighten and firm vitamin c serum

Essential Skincare Product #2: Antioxidant Serum To Prevent Wrinkles

Antioxidants are your skin’s BFF. They promote collagen production, fight free radicals, and can even help treat sun damage. All things that keep wrinkles and sun spots away from your skin.

Every brand has its darling, but the truth is there’s no super antioxidant that’s better than all the rest. Just like your body doesn’t only need kale, your skin doesn’t only need vitamin C.

A combiation of antioxidants is the way to go. My fave is vitamin C + vitamin E + ferulic acid (CEF). Studies show they enhance one another’s effectiveness and boost sun protection.

Best Picks

Related: What Are The Best Antioxidant Serums?

badger balm zinc oxide sunscreen cream spf 30

Essential Skincare Product #3: Sunscreen To Prevent 90% Of Sun Damage

The last, but by no means least, essential skincare product is sunscreen. It prevents all kinds of sun damage, including fine lines and wrinkles, darks spots, and skin cancer.

You can use all the best skincare products in the world, but, if you stubbornly insist on skipping sunscreen, you’re sabotaging your efforts and throwing your money away.

All my fave sunscreens have zinc oxide. This white mineral provides broad spectrum protection without irritating skin.

The only “problem”? It can leave a white cast behind. If that bothers you, opt for a tinted formula.

Best Picks:

  • Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 ($34.00): available at Cult BeautySephora, and SpaceNK
  • Elta MD UV Pure Broad Spectrum SPF 47 ($25.00): available at Dermstore, SkincareRX and Walmart.
  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce For Sensitive Skin And Children ($42.00): available at Nordstrom and Sephora