Like many of us, I’ve spent years and untold amounts of money trying to find just the right products that would turn my problem skin into the skin I can feel confident in. I’ve tried a lot of different products from a lot of different brands and I’ve found one thing to be universally true. Keeping your skincare simple is the way to go. Here are the products that fixed my skin the most basic way, without any of the extras that might make things worse.

Moisturizers

The key to good skin is moisturizer. This is one of those unchanging skincare rules that any dermatologist, esthetician, or beauty guru will tell you. The question is, in a market where there are a million moisturizers out there, which ones are worth the money and get the job done? These ones do the trick.

The CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion is a great everyday moisturizer. It’s light on the skin, it has SPF, and it’s formulated with gentle ingredients that will never cause irritation.

Image: CeraVe

Another great product to add major hydration after a long winter is Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask. This mask is an absolute lifesaver on those days when your skin needs a reset, and it’s gentle enough for everyone to use.

Image: Paula’s Choice
Serums

I’ll admit, I’m not huge on the serum skin care craze, with one major exception.

Vitamin C is a relatively new addition to my skincare routine and it makes a world of difference in my skin. Vitamin C serums add so much glow and brightness, without any irritation or breakouts.

The one I’m currently using is the CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum. CeraVe is all about gentle, simple skincare ingredients, and never causes problems, even for the most sensitive skin. This product works super well when it comes to evening skin tone and brightening that dull winter skin.

Image: CeraVe
Cleansers

So many cleansers are formulated with harsh ingredients that strip and dry out the skin. They’re often packed with fragrances and unnecessary chemicals. For people with sensitive skin or people who just want to be conscious of what they’re using to scrub their face, a gentle fragrance-free option is the way to go.

My holy grail cleanser is the Aquanil Cleanser. I borrowed this from my brother the last time I went to visit him, and by the end of the weekend, my skin looked and felt a million times better. I went home and bought my own bottle immediately and haven’t looked back. It’s affordable, it gets the job done, and I never have to worry about putting these ingredients on my face.

Image: Aquanil
Fragrance-Free

Here is an essential skincare tip. Stop putting stuff with tons of fragrances on your face. It’s just extra chemicals you don’t need, and a lot of times fragrance can lead to breakouts and irritation.

I recently started using Previse Skincare’s Zero Fragrance line, and it’s amazing. Switching to new products is always scary because you just never know what’s going to happen or how your skin is going to react. No need to worry about Previse Skincare. There’s no extra stuff to cause irritation, and their dedication to natural ingredients takes the stress out of skincare. These products are gentle, fragrance-free (obviously) and make the skin feel nourished and refreshed.

Everyone’s skin is different, and different products work in different ways on different skin types. However, if you’re struggling to find products that work for you, a foolproof plan, is to go back to the basics. Cut out those extra ingredients that aren’t doing you any favors. When in doubt, keep your skincare simple.