Products you need to take care

Twelve-step Korean skin-care plans, complicated acne treatments, lasers, peels, masks, oh-my. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned beauty girl’s head spin. So let’s bring it back to the basics, shall we? We asked top skin docs to weigh in on the only three products (plus one bonus add-on, for you overachiever types) you really need, no matter what your skin type. Finally, an easy way to figure out what skin-care products you should use — and what you can skip.

1. Simple cleanser: A basic face soap or wash will do; don’t waste time searching for one with lots of added active ingredients. Not only does your skin not need it, but any money spent on these pricey formulations will, quite literally, be washed down the drain, points out Dr. Jordan Carqueville, MD, a dermatologist in Chicago. Save your moolah and pick-up a drugstore option, like the Dove White Beauty Bar, $5.49 for four bars, one of her faves.

2. Moisturizer with SPF: Everyone needs moisturizer, and sunscreen is a non-negotiable (repeat, non-negotiable), so why not combine the two? Look for a product labeled broad-spectrum (meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with at least SPF 30, and be sure to apply in an even layer across your entire face to ensure adequate protection. Try the new CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $22.99.

3. Basic night cream: When you don’t have to stress about any kind of complexion imperfections, don’t worry about using super potent night creams, just focus on straight-up hydration and opt for a rich moisturizer. Carqueville recommends Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $27.50.