Curating the perfect skincare routine steps takes trial and error. To perfectly tailor your routine you must consider and understand your skin type, possible allergies, environment and even what you eat. While making these assessments, keep in mind, there are five main skin types: oily, dry, normal, combination, and sensitive.

With the vast amount of products constantly popping up on your social media feed, it only gets more confusing to figure out what it is that you really need to use. 

“An overly complicated routine is expensive, unnecessary, and can actually damage your skin barrier! You can have beautiful skin with just 3 steps,”  double-board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon practicing at Baucom & Mina Derm Surgery, LLC, Mary Alice Mina, told 21Ninety.

Dr. Mina and Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS of New York Cosmetic Skin & Laser Surgery Center said everyone needs to cleanse, moisturize, and protect their skin from the sun.

Skincare routine based on your skin type

If you have anything but normal skin, this section is for you. Based on both double board-certified dermatologist’s recommendations, here’s a general list of ways to customize your skincare routine steps based on your skin type.

Sensitive skin

Dr. Mina recommends that those with sensitive skin use something gentle that is fragrance free.

“After you cleanse be sure to use a moisturizer that avoids fragrances, dyes, and essential oils,” Dr. Rokhsar added.

Combination skin

According to Dr. Rokhsar, it’s important to cleanse your skin twice a day with a gentle cleanser so you don’t dry out your skin. You’ll also want to exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to slough off dead skin cells and reveal brighter, smoother skin.

“Be gentle with your skin, especially in the drier areas,” Dr. Rokhsar cautioned.

Oily skin

During the day, you can use a moisturizing sunscreen, that way you may not need an additional moisturizer. Dr. Rokhsar also recommended that people with oily skin should fold a toner into their routine to help remove any remaining dirt, oil, and makeup from the skin.”

Dry skin

Those with dry skin may choose to wash their face with a wash off cleanser once a day.

“A moisturizer can then be applied as needed for dry skin,” Dr. Mina noted.

Need to address skin concerns?

Once you’ve got your core skincare routine set, other skin concerns can arise in your day to day. To tend to those aspects of your skin – like aging, dullness, and acne – both dermatologists recommend including serums that target your skin’s unique needs.

Ahead, shop skincare essentials that you can fold into your routine based on the recommendations by both Dr. Mina and Dr. Rokhsar.

3-step skincare routine

Photo Courtesy of Krave Beauty

Like both double board-certified dermatologists mentioned, three steps is key no matter what type of skin you have. So, check out the Krave Beauty Krave-Core Bundle. It’s a complete three-step skincare routine that includes the brand’s Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser, Oat So Simple Water Cream, and Beet The Sun SPF 40 PA+++ Sunscreen (with UV protection).

Gentle exfoliator

In need of a gentle exfoliation? Kiehl’s Since 1851 Pore-Minimizing and Polishing Powder Cleanser is here to do the job. It’s a powder that includes a blend of white clay, cellulose grains, and AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) to remove excess oil and smooth out skin. For combination skin, this can be used as needed. Have oily skin? You might even use this skincare routine step twice a day. 

Acne-prone skin saver

Dr. Mina says if you have acne prone skin, use something with salicylic acid. The Deep Relief Acne Treatment with Salicylic Acid by Murad has two percent salicylic acid. It’s paraben-free, sulfate-free, and cruelty-free. To use this treatment you just apply to the areas you want to treat with a cotton swab or cotton round. So, no over drying where you don’t want the treatment. Those with combination acne-prone skin can rejoice thanks to this skincare routine step.

Remove excess oil

Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Facial Toner is a staple in many K-beauty fans’ skincare routine. Why? It’s an unscented toner that removes oil and debris. This toner won’t leave your skin begging for moisture with soothing aloe infused in the formula mix.

Moisturizer for ultra dry skin

First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration was made for folks with dry and eczema-prone skin. It’s a fragrance-free moisturizer that uses colloidal oatmeal to help relieve itching and minor irritation. And, you can use it from face to foot.

Bare-bones cleanser

La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Wash features a petite ingredient list to ensure only the essential cleansing ingredients are included. That being said, it’s free of synthetic fragrance, oil, parabens, sulfates, and soap. Plus, it can still cleanse dirt and makeup without drying out your skin. 

Nighttime retinol

If you’re trying to turn back time, take a peek at the RoC Anti-Aging Night Retinol Face Serum Treatment. Each container of the wrinkle-reducing serum has individual capsules of serum. Yes, they are biodegradable. Each pod of retinol has no synthetic fragrances and is paraben-free.

Vitamin C Serum

L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Vitamin C Serum has 12 percent of vitamin C, E, and salicylic acid. This powerful blend of ingredients is recommended for four out of the five skin types – sorry sensitive skin friends. The paraben- and dye-free serum does have fragrance. So if you have sensitive skin, you might want to steer clear of this one.