Most women’s bathrooms are overflowing with beauty products, and while I’m guilty of experimenting as well, I’m here to tell you that many of these purchases are unnecessary. I’m not saying that you should deny yourself freshly scented lotions and potions if they provide pleasure, but you can streamline your routine by sticking to the basics.
1. Cleanser: Start your skincare routine off on the right foot by choosing a cleanser that serves a function, whether you want to remove excess oil, restore hydration, exfoliate or minimize acne-causing bacteria.
2. Body moisturizer: There’s no need for multiple hand, foot and body hydrators since one can be used on all of these area, whether you prefer a cream, lotion or oil.
3. Facial sunscreen: This is a big one, because sun protection is the best anti-aging product there is. Look for a formula tailored for your skin type with a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30.
4. A retinoid: Just about everyone can benefit from incorporating retinol or a prescription retinoid into their nighttime regimen. These products help increase collagen production while keeping fresh, healthy cells on the skin’s surface.
5. Vitamin C serum: I recommend everyone start the day with a vitamin C serum. This antioxidant works in tandem with sunscreen to shield skin from free radicals, offering comprehensive protection against the damage that leads to premature aging.
6. Facial moisturizer: Everyone needs a good moisturizer on hand, regardless of skin type since anything from dry weather to irritation can affect the skin from time to time. Although oily types may not need the extra hydration every day, it’s always smart to have it just in case, and there are wonderful moisturizers that don’t cost a bundle.
7. Under-eye concealer: Sometimes a full eight hours of sleep can’t prevent under-eye circles, since genetics, allergies and other lifestyle factors can lead to darkness. With the right concealer, you can fake a bright-eyed appearance.
8. SPF for lips: The lips are a common spot for skin cancer, simply because this delicate skin is often left unprotected from UV rays. Even more, shiny glosses can actually attract UV rays, making this area more prone to dryness and damage. A tinted version helps elevate your look, and my favorite is Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15, which comes in an array of colors.
9. Tweezers: We all need a good pair of tweezers for stray hairs, splinters and the like. Quality is important here because you want to get the job done without digging and injuring the skin. I’ve been using Tweezerman for years because they offer free sharpening for life.
10. Dental floss: Studies show that those who floss daily live about six years longer than those who don’t, so isn’t that extra minute or two each day worth it? I like G.U.M. Go-Betweens, especially when I’m on the go.
If you’re unsure about which skincare products to use, ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.