What Skincare Products Do I Need? An Absolute Beginner’s Guide

what skincare products do i need

The world of skincare can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll break down the essential skincare products you need to get started and maintain a healthy, glowing complexion. So, what skincare products do I need? Let’s dive right in!

Before we jump into the specific products, it’s essential to understand your skin type. There are five primary skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive. Once you know your skin type, you can choose products tailored to address your unique needs, ensuring optimal results.

Cleansers: The Foundation of a Healthy Complexion

Foaming Cleansers

Foaming cleansers are perfect for removing dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping your skin of natural moisture. They’re ideal for normal to oily skin types.

Top Cleansers: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Cream Cleansers

For those with dry or sensitive skin, cream cleansers offer a gentle touch. They cleanse without disrupting the skin’s delicate balance, leaving it feeling soft and hydrated.

Top Cleansers: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

Moisturizers: Hydrating and Nourishing

Gel-Based Moisturizers

Lightweight and oil-free, gel-based moisturizers are ideal for acne-prone or oily skin. They provide hydration without clogging pores.

Top Moisturizers: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

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Cream Moisturizers

For dry and normal skin, cream moisturizers offer a rich and nourishing formula. They effectively combat dryness, leaving your skin feeling supple and smooth.

Top Moisturizers: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion

Sunscreen: Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, which is then released from the skin. They’re typically invisible on the skin and offer high SPF protection.

Top Sunscreens: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen, EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

Physical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays away. They’re ideal for sensitive skin and those prone to irritation.

Top Sunscreens: CeraVe Tinted Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 30, MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50

Exfoliators: Removing Dead Skin Cells

Physical Exfoliators

Physical exfoliators use abrasive particles to slough away dead skin cells, revealing smoother and brighter skin. They’re suitable for normal to oily skin types.

Top Exfoliators: St. Ives Apricot Scrub, Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Scrub

Chemical Exfoliators

Chemical exfoliators use enzymes or acids to dissolve dead skin cells, making them gentler than physical exfoliators. They’re ideal for dry and sensitive skin types.

Top Exfoliators: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA

Special Treatments: Addressing Specific Concerns


Serums are concentrated treatments that target specific skin concerns, such as wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, or acne. They’re applied before moisturizer for enhanced efficacy.

Top Serums: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, NIOD Survival 0


Masks are intensive treatments that provide a boost of hydration, nourishment, or exfoliation. They’re perfect for a weekly pampering session.

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Top Masks: GlamGlow Supermud Charcoal Instant Treatment Mask, Kiehl’s Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask

Eye Creams

Eye creams are specifically formulated for the delicate skin around the eyes. They help reduce puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines, keeping your eyes looking bright and youthful.

Top Eye Creams: Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream, La Mer The Eye Concentrate

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