Skincare Simplified: How Many Products Do You Really Need To Use?

Finding the skincare sweet spot!
This article was last updated on: November 25, 2023
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How many skincare products do you use on a daily basis? If you’re like most skincare fanatics, the answer is probably “a lot.”

While it can be seriously tempting to use every single product under the sun, it’s sometimes not great to be overloading your skin unnecessarily (and, let’s be honest, it’s not good for your wallet either).

How Many Skincare Products Is Too Many?

The truth is, it doesn’t really take much to keep your skin healthy and looking its best especially if you understand the fundamentals; when it comes to skincare, less is often more, and the rule of quality over quantity holds very true.

We always recommend to our readers that they aim for a small and refined selection of high-quality products, rather than hoarding a plethora of miscellaneous low-cost skincare formulations and using them haphazardly.

Using an unnecessary amount of skincare products in your daily/nightly routine could potentially run the risk of overloading your skin and causing irritation/sensitivity, purging, pH imbalance, breakouts, and discoloration.

First, get the 3 basic products established

At a bare minimum, you should be using three skincare products (we’ve broken them down below).

These three products will form the backbone of your daily routine and are the products that’ll give you the most benefits – spend some time shopping around and trying multiple brands until you find one that you like.

Required product #1 – face cleanser

Having a good facial cleanser in your skincare product collection is critical.

Cleaning your face is step 1 of any skincare routine, and provides the clean foundation for all the skincare products thereafter (the active ingredients in these types of products will not be fully absorbed if there’s junk on your skin’s surface), so it’s essential that you choose a good cleanser that suits your skin type.

There are many different types of facial cleansers on the market, and choosing the right one can depend on several factors, including skin type and personal preference.

Required product #2 – daily moisturizer (lightweight or heavyweight)

Having a good daily moisturizer that’s rich in humectants, occlusives, and emollients in your skincare product arsenal is also of the utmost importance.

There are multiple types of daily moisturizers you can buy, with the most common being “day cream”.

A day cream is a type of moisturizer that is usually light in texture and fast-absorbing. Day creams, as the name suggests, are designed to be worn during the day, under makeup, or alone.

For those with dry skin, a day cream may not be the best option. Instead, you could opt for a richer, heavy-weight moisturizing formula that will provide a much more intensive hydrating effect (however, the trade-off is that it’s going to take a lot longer to fully absorb vs a lightweight cream).

Regardless of your choice, moisturizing your skin is important for keeping it healthy and looking its best, and a good daily moisturizer is going to help to lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated. Additionally, they’re great for helping protect your skin against environmental factors, such as wind, pollution, and cold weather.

Required product #3 – sunscreen serum

The last essential product you must own is some sort of SPF30+ serum.

Protecting your skin against the damaging UV rays from the sun is important for keeping your skin healthy, preventing premature aging, reducing hyperpigmentation, and a whole host of other benefits that are beyond the scope of this article.

Sunscreen serums are a new type of sunscreen that has become popular in recent years – they’re designed to be lightweight, fast-absorbing, and easy to apply.

While sunscreen serums can be more expensive than traditional sunscreens, many people find that they are worth the investment.

Next, establish your skincare goals and buy products accordingly

After you’ve picked the 3 basic products you’ll need, ask yourself what your skincare goals are, and purchase products for those particular requirements.

To give you an idea, these could be things such as:

  • Reducing redness
  • Improving skin texture
  • Reducing/preventing acne breakouts
  • Getting rid of hyperpigmentation
  • Shrinking pores
  • Improve skin radiance/glow
  • Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Getting rid of dark under-eye circles

So, if your goal is to improve the appearance of redness, and to reduce your pore size, then in theory you’ll need to buy an additional two products (an anti-redness formula, and a pore minimizer).

If your only skincare goal is to get rid of hyperpigmentation, then you’ll only want to add a dark spot corrector serum to your skincare product collection.

Understanding how this works now?

Check for cross-over and overlap!

Always keep in mind that skincare products often do multiple things (i.e. they’re hybrid products), so sometimes buying multiple products for individual tasks is pointless – let us elaborate.

If your skincare goals are to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve your skin’s texture, and boost your skin’s radiance, those three things may actually be covered by one product, meaning you will not need to buy three different formulas!

Always read the product labels and descriptions to figure out what the products in your collection actually do.

In Summary

When it comes to using skincare products, you should only buy as many as your skin requires, and don’t go overboard. Remember that 3 basic products are essential: a cleanser, face moisturizer, and SPF30+ serum.

Shop around until you find ones that you like and agree with your skin – it’s very much a trial and error process, unfortunately.

After that, it’s all about understanding your skincare goals and only purchasing the products you require accordingly. Make sure you check the product labels and descriptions to see what they do and look out for cross-over and overlap – sometimes a single product can do multiple things, so you can save yourself some time and money only using one product instead of multiple!

By understanding the basics of a skincare routine, you’ll be able to pick the right products for your individual requirements and save yourself from spending money on unnecessary items and overloading your skin by using too many.

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About The Reviewer: Charlotte Anderson
About The Reviewer: Charlotte Anderson

Charlotte joined the Glooshi team as a technical writer to share her expert industry knowledge with our readers!

Charlotte is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest beauty trends, innovations, and sustainable practices, enabling her to create content that is both engaging and informative. As an advocate for cruelty-free and eco-friendly products, Charlotte is a firm believer in the power of conscious consumerism and enjoys discovering new, ethical brands to share with her audience.

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