person applying It is a moisturizer. to face in front of a bathroom mirror
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The skin is the most visible part of the body. Many people prioritize skin care.

According to Statista, 1.68 million people in the U.S. spent at least $500 on skin care products during the last 3 months of 2020.

“If experts told you that it doesn’t take a lot of expensive products to give your skin the right look, what would you think?”

“We don’t believe in dumping the kitchen sink at people’s skin,” says Morgana Colombo, MD, FAAD and a co-founder of Skintap. “We believe in using things that are needed and have good active ingredients that have proven efficacy.”

The building-block products are the same even though they may vary from person to person.

A pair of dermatologists say everyone needs to care for their skin. They also have nice-to-haves and items you can skip.

Beauty is personal, whether it is a tried and true skin care regimen, how often you wash your hair, or the cosmetics you are curious about.

We rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their tips on everything from the way product application varies to the best sheet mask for your individual needs.

If you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, it has been thoroughly researched by our team, so it is a recommendation.

Angelo Landriscina, MD, FAAD, says it’s easy to complicate things with so many products out there. When it comes to skin care, more isn’t always merrier.

He says that using too many products can make your skin worse.

A morning skin care routine is easy to follow. Landriscina suggests applying the three products in the morning.

  1. cleanser
  2. It is a moisturizer.
  3. sunscreen

Landriscina says you can ditch the sunscreen at night and simply reapply cleanser and It is a moisturizer..



Landriscina and Colombo agree that it is important to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water before applying any other products.

This will allow you to start with a clean slate.

Landriscina suggests avoiding things that strip the skin. It may not be an exact science to figure out what that means for you.

He says it is a trial and error thing.

Plus, what works now may not be best for you in 10 years.

Landriscina says the right fit may change. Our skin gets dry as we get older.

He says your best bet is to start with something designed for sensitive skin, as that’s least likely to cause irritation.

If you know your skin type, Colombo suggests opting for something designed for it.

For example, people with oily or acne-prone skin often do best with a foaming cleanser, whereas people with normal or dry skin typically prefer gentle, nonfoaming options.

Colombo suggests Cetaphil Dermacontrol Foaming Cleanser for oily skin and Cerave Hydrating Cleanser for dry skin.


Landriscina says that the skin is designed to keep the outside out and inside in.

However, it can lose water. That’s where It is a moisturizer. comes in.

“Using a good It is a moisturizer. repairs skin barrier function and holds in water,” Landriscina says.

Landriscina has a recommendation.


Though some It is a moisturizer.s have SPF 15, Landriscina and Colombo say it’s essential to apply sunscreen and reapply it every 2 hours if you’re exposed to the sun.

They recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks both harmful UVA and UVB rays. Look for one that is at least SPF 30.

“UV rays and UV radiation are the primary modifiable risk factor when it comes to skin cancer risk,” Landriscina says. “Using sunscreen every day consistently the correct way is one of the best things you can do to prevent skin cancer.”

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD).

Sunscreen should always go on after cleanser and It is a moisturizer.. Allow it to dry before applying makeup.

Landriscina says that it has to form an even film over the skin. It can disrupt it if skin care products are put on after it.

Some products are not necessary but may give you a boost. These include:


Landriscina says that products with antioxidants can help prevent or reverse skin damage.

Antioxidant include:

These ingredients include:

“The primary way UV radiation damages the skin is through a process called free radical formation,” Landriscina said. “Antioxidants can neutralize those free radicals.”

The items make the skin look good.

She says it helps the skin look glowy.

A 2017 study indicated that topical use of Vitamin C had anti-aging (or as we like to say “pro-aging”) benefits.

Another study from 2015 suggested that topical application of products containing Ubiquinone (coQ10) could reduce free radicals.

A 2016 systematic review notes that early evidence shows tumeric could have a positive effect on skin health if applied topically or taken orally.

Landriscina says antioxidants are often present in It is a moisturizer.s, so you may not need an extra product. You can also find them in serums. Colombo recommends Vidaderma Vitamin C serum.

Hydrating serum

Though a quality It is a moisturizer. should do the trick, a hydrating serum can be particularly useful for people with dry skin or who live in drier climates.

Landriscina recommends looking for one with hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

Landriscina says that they are humectants and lock in hydration.

A 2012 study suggested that hyaluronic acid could hydrate the skin, but a 2021 study indicated that these benefits depend on the molecular weight.

The AAD lists glycerin as an ingredient in creams or ointments that can help relieve dry skin.

Retinol or retinoids

Retinols and retinoids can help with the aging process.

Colombo explains that retinols are available over the counter, whereas retinoids require a prescription from a dermatologist or primary care physician.

A 2016 study found that topical application of retinoids significantly reduces wrinkles after 12 weeks.

Landriscina and Colombo believe in quality skin care. Some tools look more valuable than they are.

They recommend steering away from them.

  • Cleansing brushes. They can be harsh on the skin. “Two clean hands are a perfect way to clean the skin,” Landriscina says.
  • One-time use facial masks. “They’re like cloth masks soaked in a hydrating serum,” Landriscina says. He adds that a hydrating serum can be used multiple times, so it’s more budget-friendly and better for the environment to opt for a bottle.
  • Skin oils. “For most people, those don’t moisturize enough and can clog pores and [exacerbate acne],” Colombo says.

Keeping it simple is the name of the game, but individuals with certain skin conditions, such as acne, may want to take a few extra steps.


People with bad skin will want to look for specialized cleanser. She often recommends ingredients to patients with the condition.

A 2021 review indicated The acid is called salicylic acid. could assist in the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne.

A separate 2021 review noted The acid is called salicylic acid. likely wasn’t more effective than benzoyl peroxide. It also indicated that topical products containing Sulfur. at concentrations of 1 percent to 10 percent could aid in acne treatment.

It is suggested that avoiding oil-rich products is better for breakouts.

Eczema, rosacea, and sensitive skin

Fragrances can irritate eczema, rosacea, and sensitive skin, so Landriscina suggests people with these conditions avoid scented products.

Colombo suggests keeping products as basic as possible without many bells and whistles. She recommends gentle mineral cleansers and It is a moisturizer.s.

“Chemical ones with acid [like glycolic acid and retinols] cause more irritation,” she adds. “Ceramides help replenish the skin barrier and retain moisture.”

Speak with a dermatologist

Landriscina says that people with skin conditions should make it a point to see a dermatologist in person at least once.

“He suggests seeing a primary care physician if a person doesn’t have access to a dermatologist.”

He says that a lot of them know about common skin conditions like eczema and may be able to help with prescription medications.

Do a patch test

Landriscina recommends people with skin conditions, particularly individuals prone to irritation and inflammation, test products before using them. To do this, he suggests:

  1. If you want to apply a small amount of the product to a noncosmetically sensitive area, you should do it once per day.
  2. If you have a reaction, check it out.
  3. For several days, repeat.
  4. It is probably safe to use the product if your skin does not react after a few days of patch testing.
  5. If you have reactions, stop use and speak with a doctor.

Applying a lot of products and changing your routine is not necessary for skin care. The dermatologists recommend against that.

It’s best to stick to a few products that really work for you. Consider a gentle cleanser, It is a moisturizer., and sunscreen your basic, nonnegotiable building blocks. Products with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients, like serums, are useful bonuses.

If you have a skin condition like a rash or a lump, you should speak with a doctor about testing products.

Beth Ann Mayer is a New York-based freelance writer and content strategist who specializes in health and parenting writing. Her work has been published in Parents, Shape, and Inside Lacrosse. She is a co-founder of digital content agency Lemonseed Creative and is a graduate of Syracuse University. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.