3-Step Skincare Routines Recommended by Experts

Forget endless skincare routines that overload your skin with dozens of products. You don’t need a bathroom full of bottles to get flawless skin—you need the basics done right. Yes, it’s true. In most cases, following the essentials (gentle cleansing, targeted treatment, and hydration) is more than enough to make your skin glow. With that in mind, we’ve made this article to share some of the best 3-step skincare routines.

Here’s the breakdown of a 3-step regimen to achieve your healthiest skin:

1. Cleanse

Cleansing is essential in your skincare routine. However, we recommend you think twice before reaching for the cleanser in the morning.

During the night, your skin’s pH levels naturally balance, and sebum (oil) production works to restore your skin barrier. Over-cleansing can remove these essential oils and leave your face vulnerable to dryness, irritation, and even increased oil production throughout the day. Unless you have very oily skin, extremely sweaty workouts, or specific skin conditions, avoid the morning cleanse and do a gentle water rinse instead.

Nighttime cleansing, however, is another story. This is crucial for removing foundation, sunscreen, dirt, and pollution that accumulate throughout the day. Gentle is the name of the game here. Choose fragrance-free cleansers formulated with ceramides or glycerin, as these ingredients attract and retain moisture. Cream or milk cleansers provide the ideal level of hydration for dry and sensitive skin while a foaming cleanser with a lightweight texture is better for oily, acne-prone skin. What we recommend:

2. Treat

After cleaning comes the treatment, aka serums. Serums offer concentrated doses of active ingredients to address specific concerns.

If you have healthy, balanced skin, don’t feel like you need to use one. Overloading your skin with actives can cause as much trouble as it solves. But if you’re targeting a specific issue, a well-chosen serum is a game-changer. Think of it as targeted treatment, delivering a concentrated dose right where you need it. Apply the serum after cleansing, before moisturizer—and start slow to avoid irritation!

We recommend vitamin C to treat uneven skin tone, retinol to fight wrinkles and saggy skin, and salicylic acid to reduce acne breakouts.

3. Moisturize

Hydration is the foundation of healthy, glowing skin. Regardless of your skin condition, you need a moisturizer to lock in moisture and reduce dehydration. For oily skin, choose a lightweight, oil-free lotion. Dry or sensitive skin thrives with a richer cream formula. Look for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, Centella asiatica, or glycerin, which attract and retain moisture. Apply moisturizer daily, morning and night.

Complete 3-Step Skincare Regimens


Proactiv Solution® 3-Step Routine

The Proactiv Solution® 3-Step Routine is a targeted system ideal for oily and acne-prone skin. The cleanser utilizes benzoyl peroxide (2.5%), a proven acne fighter that tackles breakouts at the source by eliminating bacteria within pores. This is further enhanced by the toner, which contains glycolic acid, a gentle exfoliant that clears clogged pores and prevent future breakouts. Finally, the treatment delivers another dose of benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) for targeted attack on blemishes. While benzoyl peroxide provides the heavy lifting, the inclusion of ingredients like glycerin (cleanser), witch hazel extract (toner), and panthenol (treatment) helps soothe and hydrate the skin, minimizing irritation that benzoyl peroxide can sometimes cause. If you crave clear, shine-free skin, this routine is for you.

Proactiv Solution 3-Step RoutineProactiv Solution 3-Step Routine


IT Cosmetics Radiance Boosting Skincare Set

Dull skin got you down? This 3-piece skincare routine is like a shot of espresso for your tired complexion. It focuses on the fundamentals: hydration, anti-aging, and a healthy glow. Think of the cleanser as your skin’s daily superfood smoothie, packed with barrier-boosting ceramides and hyaluronic acid. The anti-aging cream is a powerhouse, with niacinamide to brighten and a potent peptide complex to fight wrinkles and loss of firmness. But the real MVP? The eye cream. Its peptide cocktail is the perfect antidote to those tell-tale signs of fatigue, banishing dark circles and crow’s feet. We should say that this skincare routine is not to fight a specific concern, but rather to age your skin healthy.

IT Cosmetics Radiance Boosting Skincare SetIT Cosmetics Radiance Boosting Skincare Set


The Ordinary The Daily Set

The Ordinary The Daily Set proves that achieving a healthy, dewy glow with dry skin can be beautifully simple. Start with the Squalane Cleanser, a gentle face wash that dissolves impurities while mimicking your skin’s natural oils. Next, we have a hydrating serum: Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. This plumps and smoothes with hyaluronic acid, while vitamin B5 strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier. Finally, seal in all that hydration with Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA. It mimics your skin’s natural protective barrier and provides a surge of hydration, leaving a plump, supple, and radiant finish. This is hydration done right—no frills, just support for thirsty skin.

The Ordinary The Daily SetThe Ordinary The Daily Set


CeraVe Daily Skin Care Hydrating Bundle

This no-nonsense trio tackles dehydration from every angle with its focus on ceramides, the skin’s essential building blocks for a healthy barrier. The Hydrating Facial Cleanser gently washes away impurities without stripping precious moisture, while hyaluronic acid works like a moisture magnet for your skin. Then, choose your fighter: The AM lotion delivers lightweight hydration with the bonus of SPF protection, perfect for daytime defense. The PM lotion offers a richer, overnight moisture surge, replenishing your skin as you sleep. These products are fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, providing everything your skin needs for maximum hydration and comfort.

CeraVe Daily Skin Care Hydrating BundleCeraVe Daily Skin Care Hydrating Bundle

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