It’s almost impossible to feel your best when your skin doesn’t look or feel its best. Skincare brands continuously unveil new products, skin care techniques, or ingredients with a long list of skin care tips that go along with them. However, the skincare industry can be overwhelming at times. The dilemma is quite understandable with literally hundreds and even thousands of products available in the market containing “must-have” skincare ingredients.
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It’s hard to determine what skincare products are only a fad and those that you really need. With that in mind, this article digs deeper to provide an efficient, time-tested guide to help you through your quest to achieve perfect skin. From what skincare products to use to the order in which you should apply your skincare products here is the ultimate guide to achieving and maintaining clear and radiant skin.
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Recommended skincare and makeup products by skin type
Recommended skincare and makeup products for combination skin
Best face wash for combination skin
Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser
This warming gel cleanser powered by charcoal deeply detoxifies and cleans. The vitamin P and purifying black activated charcoal infused formula warms your skin on contact opening your pores to lift off impurities, dirt, and oil to combat blemishes and acne. It minimizes the look of your pores, refines your skin texture and finally gives a brightening skin clarity.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial cleanser
This fragrance-free cleanser formulated with natural oil extracts offers a 3-in-1 multi-tasking approach to washing your face. As a face wash, it eliminates makeup build-up and deep cleans your pores, leaving the skin feeling balanced comfortable and clean.
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Best toner for combination skin
Origins United State Balancing Tonic
This retexturizing tonic with a tingly-cool feel refines, refreshes, and rebalances both the oily and dry portions of your face. It exfoliates pore-clogging debris and flakes while smoothening the rough spots. Laminaria helps de-shine the T-zone without stripping off moisture and prevents parching by protecting moisture levels. The aromatic lavender, bergamot, and spearmint fragrances add pleasure to your skin care process.
Eminence Organic Skin Care Stone Crop Hydrating Mist
Benefit from the healing properties of stonecrop. The hydrating mist is formulated with stonecrop juice which nourishes and hydrates uneven skin tones, bearberry which is rich in antioxidants and brightens your skin as well as aloe which softens and hydrates your skin giving you a youthful complexion. The face mist diminishes hyperpigmentation for clear skin while gently removing bacteria, impurities, and dirt. The mineral-rich spring water conditions and softens creating a supple feel to your repaired and revitalized skin.
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Best Moisturizer for combination skin
EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer
The fragrance-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and sheer formula keeps your skin hydrates all day while it improves your skin tone and color. It also smoothens your skin texture. This exceptionally lightweight moisturizer stimulates your skin cells to increase its moisture retention and absorption. Complete with willow bark extract, which non-irritatingly stimulates cell turnover to smoothen your skin and niacinamide this moisturizer helps achieve a more radiant appearance.
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Best primer for combination skin
DHC Velvet Skin Coat
The transparent and powdery gel textured smoothening primer instantly improves the look and feel of your skin. It minimizes the look of imperfections, lines, and pores while keeping oil in check so that your makeup glides on and last all day. The DHC Velvet Skin Coat is a perfect non-greasy, non-stick primer base for flawless makeup application. It also gives a flawless natural look when worn alone.
Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer
Dr. Brandt’s instantly mattifying primer and pore refiner is a quick fix for flawless skin during any season and at any age. It creates a perfect base for makeup foundation by acting as a barrier by preventing makeup from clogging pores. It also reduces oil production, absorbs excess oil and blur imperfections and fine lines so that your makeup stays on longer and looks matte. The primer’s powdery finish makes it beautifully melt proof no matter how much your sweat or the humidity giving you a more uniform and shine-free look.
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Best foundation for combination skin
bareMinerals Matte Loose Powder Mineral Foundation
With only seven ingredients the powder formula foundation is free of parabens, formaldehyde-releasing agents, mineral oils, fragrance and other common irritant making it one of the cleanest and perfect options for combination skin. The loose and lightweight matte foundation powder formula feels weightless, won’t cause breakouts and blurs the look of imperfections and pores, giving you a more natural-looking coverage.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Available in a record-breaking range of 50 shades, soft matte, lightweight and long wear foundation has every bit stellar formula as its vast color range. It provides medium-to-full coverage with a shine-free, instantly-smooth and pore-diffused finish. The oil-free formulation incorporates climate-adaptive technology that is humidity and sweat resistant. It stays on longer.
Recommended skincare and makeup products for oily skin
Best cleansers for oily skin
Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser
Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser features a unique formula that absorbs oil and thoroughly removes dead cell debris. It also contains menthol, its soothing properties offers a cooling sensation that soothes and comfort your skin. While the cucumber extract alleviates redness, inflammation, and irritation as well as hydrate. This skin-perfecting formula provides deep cleansing properties for oily skin to refresh and refine your skin. Leaving it smoother and with a brighter complexion.
Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser
The Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser is a gentle, plant-based cleanser that works to pull out impurities while keeping your skin clean and hydrated. The foaming cleanser leaves your skin with small looking pores and a radiant complexion. The cleanser is fragrance-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free, soy-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan. It is incredibly gentle and is formulated to balance even the most sensitive skin
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Best toner for oily skin
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner
This micro-exfoliating astringent toner is perfect for oily skin. The lotion formulation acts a pore minimizer by visibly reducing the look of pores. It uses lipo-hydroxy acid to refine skin texture and salicylic acid to instantly unblock and tighten pores. Use the toner without fear of irritation because its tolerance tested.
Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner
Formulated with natural ingredients such as mint, salicylic acid and saw palmetto, Zero Oil is a revitalizing and multitasking toner. It removes excess oil and instantly reduces shine without over drying your skin. The toner refines your pores, giving you a smooth and matte finish.
Best face moisturizer for oily skin
Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer
Formulated with the queen of night cactus, this ultra-lightweight moisturizer is sure to hydrate your skin, leaving it feeling smooth, soft, and supple. The moisturizer is a fast-absorbing solution which works great for combination to oily skin. It helps improve moisture levels on your skin, making it perfect for priming and perfecting your skin before applying makeup.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide
Previously known as Toleriane Facial Fluid, Toleriane Sensitive Fluide is a soothing and protective non-oily emulsion. The moisturizer soothes and hydrates sensitive skin. Formulated particularly for sensitive skin the moisturizer contains carefully selected limited ingredients and its preservative-free. It also contains thermal spring water which helps calms sensations of skin irritations. Resulting in a light-weight mattifying texture formula which is easily absorbed to improve your skin’s comfort.
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Best bb cream for oily skin
Boscia BB Cream
Hydrate, protect, and perfect your skin with Boscia BB Cream. The oil-free and antioxidant-rich BB cream shields your skin against urban pollution, sun and blue light all while providing you with buildable coverage. The BB cream’s botanical and creamy formula evens out your skin tone and reduces the look of imperfection to help you achieve a perfected and healthy-looking complexion.
IT Cosmetics Matte CC+ Cream
This oil-free, anti-aging, matte cream with SPF 40 broad-spectrum sunscreen delivers color-correcting full coverage leaving you with a poreless, natural looking finish. Its complex-perfecting formula covers skin imperfections, controls oil, and reduce shine for up to 12 hours. The cream is infused with tea tree extract to fight blemishes, charcoal to detoxify, colloidal clay to absorb oil and an advanced anti-aging serum. Matte CC + cream contains no parabens, phthalates, or mineral oil.
Best foundation for oily skin
Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation SPF 15
Formulated by Amazonian clay and antioxidants, this oil-free and vegan foundation provides full coverage for up to 12 hours. The foundation’s lightweight, non-caking, and comfortable texture is supremely buildable and blendable. It protects your complexion from sunburn, evens out your skin tone while reducing the appearance of imperfections, discoloration, and pores.
Becca Ever-Matte Shine Proof Foundation
The long-wearing, creamy medium coverage foundation is alcohol-free, fragrance-free, oil-free, and gluten-free. The microfine powder formulation absorbs excess oil from your skin, giving you a shine-free and smooth matte finish. The foundation also minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores.
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Best setting spray for oily skin
Laura Geller Spackle Mist
This multi-tasking setting spray is perfect for priming, hydrating, and setting your makeup. Its enhanced formula instantly sinks into your skin. It helps create an ideal base to extend your makeup wear. This mist can also be used over your makeup to give you a flawless finish. The best part it’s oil-free.
URBAN DECAY All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
This weightless spray features the patented Temperature Control. It lowers the temperature of your makeup, keeping it looking fresh and in place for up to 16 hours no matter the weather conditions. It gives you a smoother-looking skin with vibrant makeup that doesn’t crack, fade, melt, or settle into your fine lines.
Best setting powder for oily skin
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder
Developed with Optical Blurring Technology, this finishing powder is specifically designed to blur the look of imperfections and pores. This universal translucent shade gives your skin a silky and skin-perfecting finish. It also has anti-aging properties to pamper your skin for a more airbrushed and youthful complexion. The pressed powder is bismuth-free, talc-free, and cruelty-free.
COVER FX Perfect Setting Powder
The talc-free and ultra-lightweight loose setting powder gives you an incredibly translucent finish that set your makeup for all-day wear. Perfect for baking, this setting powder has light-diffusing particles that smooth and blur for an airbrushed and skin-perfecting effect that doesn’t look dry or chalky. It minimizes transfer without overpowering your foundation finish or adding color to your skin.
Recommended skincare and makeup products for acneic skin
Best moisturizer for acne prone skin
Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer
With this lightweight and non-greasy formula nourish your skin with its botanical and mineral extracts. The moisturizer is designed to hydrate and soothe your skin without clogging pores. It’s perfect for moisturizing blemish-prone skin.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Moisturizer
Hydrate your skin with this shiny-free and oil-free mattifying moisturizer. Formulated with lipo-hydroxy for micro-exfoliating, the moisturizer refines pore, reduces oil and protects your skin from damage. It gives your skin a matte look.
Best acne cream
Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment
Infused with a potent salicylic formula this acne treatment cream works below the surface to clear up your acne-prone skin. The lightweight treatment also contains thyme and pine extracts to fight irritants and preserves your skin’s healthy balance.
Recommended skincare and makeup products for dry skin
Best face wash for dry skin
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
This non-comedogenic hydrating cleanser gently cleans your face to remove makeup, impurities, and dirt. The cleanser’s formulation doesn’t strip off your skin’s natural moisture or disrupt the natural barrier of your skin. It contains hyaluronic acid which attracts moisture to the surface of your skin and ceramides, which strengthens the barrier and helps your skin lock in moisture. Leaving your oily skin nourished throughout the day.
SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser
This non-irritating and non-comedogenic formula is designed to purify dry skin while diminishing discomfort feelings on your skin. The cream cleanser soothes and calms your skin as it removes debris and excess oil. The cleanser is sure to leave your skin feeling fresh, pure, and comfortable.
Best face soap for dry skin
Dove Beauty Bar
The unscented, hypoallergenic beauty bar gives you mild cleansing making it suitable for the most sensitive skin. It helps protect your skin’s natural moisture leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft.
Shea Moisture African Black Soap
Specifically formulated with organic shea butter, this soothing bar soap is perfect for cleansing, moisturizing, and comforting irritated skin. The soap absorbs excess oil and helps to clear blemishes and calms irritated skin. The soap cleans your skin, leaving your face feeling refreshed and soft.
Best facial moisturizer for dry skin
PETER THOMAS ROTH Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream
This cream facial moisturizer is formulated with hyaluronic acid. It’s a potent hydrator which continually attracts and retains from the atmospheric vapor. This helps replenish your skin’s moisture levels leaving your skin hydrated and smooth for up to 72 hours. The moisturizer also contains antioxidants to give you a fresh young look, ProHyal+ to improve hydration and ceramides to lock in moisture.
DR. JART+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer
This lightweight, hydration-replenishing and refreshing formula brightens dull-looking skin and provides long-lasting moisture. Its innovative formula features a unique emulsion system bursts into tiny water droplets when applied. Each drop is packed with nourishing and brightening ingredients. It relieves dry skins, invigorates and prevents the signs of aging for a healthy looking complexion
Best lotion for extremely dry skin
L’OCCITANE Ultra Rich Face Cream
This luxurious, exceedingly creamy and dense face cream intensely protects and deeply nourishes dry to extremely dry skin types. The face cream provides intensive hydration to damaged and dry skin for up to 24 hours. The face cream formula restores balance to your skin, replenishes the hydrolipidic film on your skin defending it against harsh environmental conditions. Ultra Rich Face Cream is rapidly absorbed without leaving an oily film.
FIRST AID BEAUTY Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is a fast-absorbing, rich moisturizer to instantly and hydrate your distressed parched skin. Its non-greasy formula contains colloidal oatmeal which leaves your skin hydrated, smooth and comfort after a single use. The rich cream also helps with flaking.
Best bb cream for dry skin
e.l.f BB Cream SPF 20
This multitasking bb cream is perfect for priming protecting and moisturizing your skin. Its infused with anti-aging ingredients to nourish and hydrate your skin. The lightly tinted cream is easily blendable, smoothens and minimizes fine lines for a natural finish.
Juice Beauty Tinted Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30
This tinted mineral moisturizer enhances your natural skin tone while protecting your face against the damaging UV rays. It features a non-pore-clogging and non-sticky formula which helps prevent and heal breakouts. It also contains antioxidants and nutrients.
Best foundations for dry skin
Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation
This ultra-light and buildable liquid foundation evens out your skin tone and perfects your complexion. It’s made from pigments that blur imperfections leaving you with a soft-focus glow for a flawless look.
LAURA MERCIER Silk Crème Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation
The oil-free, long-lasting foundation is Laura Mercier’s fullest coverage foundation. It comfortably stays on for up to 12 hours. the foundation visibly evens out your skin tone and smoothens skin. It blends easily and covers imperfections giving you a natural-looking matte finish.
Best concealer for dry skin
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Ideal for dry skin, multitasking concealer contours, corrects, perfects, and highlights. The medium to buildable creamy concealer’s formula lasts up to 16 hours. It perfectly hides dark eye circles, blurs the look of wrinkles and lines as well as mask imperfections, giving you a natural and radiant finish. It also hydrates, retain moisture, and reduces redness.
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer
This waterproof and full coverage concealer lasts for 24 hours. Infused with Expression Proof Technology, it fully camouflages dark eye circles and other imperfections. The concealer doesn’t crack or crease, providing a natural finish.
Best body lotion for dry skin
AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
This body lotion contains alpha hydroxyl acids which exfoliate dead skin and promote new cell growth without causing any irritation. The lotion is rapidly absorbed to offer instant hydration. It hydrates cracked, severely dry and flaking skin. The lotion leaves your skin feeling smooth, soft, and supple.
Alpha Skincare Renewal Body Lotion
This lotion delivers anti-aging treatment from head-to-toe by riding your body of dead skin cells. It visibly evens your skin tone and thoroughly nourishes your complexion by hydrating and locking in moisture. This lotion is a daily essential for dry skin as it promotes a soft and supple complexion.
Recommended skincare and makeup products for sensitive skin
Best soap for sensitive skin
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
This cleansing bar is gentle enough and perfect for everyday cleansing without drying or irritation. Specially designed with sensitive skin in mind, it effectively cleans and soothes your skin, leaving it feeling soft and hydrated. It moisturizes and restores your skin natural protective oils and emollients. It’s also free of soap and irritating and harsh detergents.
Best face wash for sensitive skin
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
This hypoallergenic, soap free, paraben free and non-comedogenic conditioning cleanser is the ultimate face wash for sensitive skin. Its creamy and pH-balanced gel formula dissolves grime and makeup from your skin, leaving it feeling soft and comfortable. Even though it’s cleansing power is strong on impurities, the cleanser is safe on your eyes.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
This hydrating, soap-free cleanser works great as a daily face wash for sensitive skin. Its creamy formula effectively gets rid of dirt, impurities, and makeup. It cleanses while still maintain the skin’s pH and natural moisture barrier. It also retains essential moisture and helps your skin comfort leaving your skin hydrated and feeling comfortable.
Best toner for sensitive skin
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
Jurlique delivers unique and improved botanical-based skincare with this rejuvenating Rosewater Balancing Mist. One spritz leaves your face feeling refreshed, hydrated, and smooth. Glycerin and marshmallow extract lock in moisture. Rose extract calms irritation. Lactic acid refines your pores while grapefruit seed oil, brightens, tones and offers protection against visible signs of aging.
Clarins Extra-Comfort Toning Lotion
This extremely gentle alcohol-free toning lotion is packed with rich plant extracts that work to soothe sensitive skin. It fully completes your cleansing process and entirely removes makeup leaving your complexion soothed, comforted, and clean. It also leaves your skin feeling refreshed, moist, clarified, and toned.
Best Moisturizer for sensitive skin
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
This soothing cream is specifically formulated to protect, calm, and hydrate easily irritated, intolerant, and sensitive skin. Its light and airy texture are instantly absorbed, leaving your skin with no oily residue and feeling clean.
Best foundation for sensitive skin
Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation
This liquid minerals foundation is formulated in bead-like spheres that dispense into a silky liquid. It contains light-reflecting minerals that help diminish the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other imperfections. It also has cooling aloe which soothes redness and hyaluronic acid which seals in moisture. The foundation helps you achieve a smooth and younger-looking complexion.
Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation
This talc-free, matte foundation provides buildable full coverage. The powder formulation conceals minor imperfections and blemishes, giving you a flawless complexion. It also contains kaolin which absorbs excess oil and helps control shine and prevents sebum-related breakouts. The foundation nourishes providing a smooth finish giving you a silky-soft finish.
Best Deodorant for sensitive skin
Almay Sensitive Skin Clear Gel, Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant
The deodorant is formulated to provide wetness protection throughout the day without causing you any skin afflictions. Its successfully achieves this with the help of its quick-drying formula. It enables the deodorant to sink into your skin instantly. It’s one of the fastest working deodorant available.
Dove Antiperspirant Deodorant Sensitive Skin
Highly regarded for its quality, Dove delivers as expected with this deodorant. It’s a very gentle even on sensitive skin thanks to its unscented formula. The deodorant is specifically formulated to help the delicate skin under your arms to recover from irritations like those experienced after shaving.