32 Basic Beauty Products To Try If Your Skin Care Routine Is Virtually Nonexistent

Ease into a new regimen with these essentials that'll get to work on stressed-out skin.

If it’s been a minute since you’ve engaged in a skin care routine, you may be wondering what products you need to use on a regular basis. If you’re stuck on choosing a product (or two), we’re here to help you out. Below are a bunch of skin savers — ranging from moisture-rich cleansers to tiny acne patches — that can help you achieve a brighter, smoother and more hydrated complexion.

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CeraVe foaming cleanser
Use this gentle foaming cleanser to remove dirt, makeup and oil from your face. Packed with essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, it'll help get your complexion clean without damaging the protective skin barrier.

Promising review: "I bought this product on accident (I meant to get the Cetaphil facial cleanser) but I don't regret it. My skin has cleared up so much just from this soap. It makes my face feel soft and doesn't dry it out when I follow up with my serum or rosewater, and my moisturizer. My face feels refreshed and clean." — Micah

Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in two sizes).
A soothing oil blend to help moisturize thirsty skin
Instead of using a million products to hydrate your complexion, this multipurpose oil blend will help lock in moisture and keep irritation at bay. You can also use it on your hair to help tame frizziness.

Promising review: "I brought initially on a whim because I was tired of buying the oils I needed separately and wanted to try something new. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. I have kinky, curly, dry hair and I dye/bleach it often. I use this for moisture and my hair loves it. I also add it to hair masks or a pre-poo. For my skin, I mix this with my lotion and my shea butter. My skin is moisturized all day and thriving. I also use it on my feet in the winter when I go to sleep and it helps a ton with cracked heels. For my face, one pump does more than enough. If my hands are damp, I can use one pump for my face and my neck. This is now a staple in my skincare routine. I've stopped having breakouts, my skin is glowing and thriving, my tone has evened up also. My sister is also now hooked on this as its one of the only moisturizers that have helped with her acne, tone and doesn't bother her sensitive skin." — Lo

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
A Geologie subscription
Personalize your regimen with this skin care-friendly subscription that'll provide you with a face wash, night cream and more great essentials.

Get a 30-day trial subscription for $30.
A bottle of Garnier micellar water
It's a toner, cleanser, skin hydrator, refresher and makeup remover in one! This gentle formula can be used on your eyes, lips, and face, and it doesn't require rinsing.

Promising review: "This is around our ninth bottle. I use this to remove my makeup effortlessly. I was noticing I was buying a bottle quicker than I should be until my husband fessed up to using it to clean his face! He absolutely loves it to manage his oily skin which is funny because I have super dry skin. It works for both of our skin types so we keep it stocked as much as we can and get the multipacks when they are available! This stuff is liquid gold." — Kendall Forsythe

Get it from Amazon for $6.34.
A coconut lip mask for chapped lips
Swipe onto your lips for all-day hydration. Coconut oil and vitamin E also help nourish chapped areas, so you won't have to deal with flaky lip skin!

JRose Beauty is a Filipina-owned small business run by Jomelene Rose that stocks popular K-Beauty brands. You'll find everything from gorgeous lip glosses to soothing face masks for your beauty routine.

Get it from JRoseBeauty for $3.50.
A Nuria gel cream moisturizer
If you have sensitive skin, you'll love this formula that'll help hydrate and nourish your complexion without causing irritation.

BuzzFeed editor Melanie Aman, who swears by this moisturizer, said: "IMO this is a beautiful moisturizer whether you have sensitive skin or not. My T-zone is generally quite oily, while my cheeks and chin are normal to dry depending on the day. Desperate to not pay $40 a month for a French moisturizer that I really liked and that seemed to solve the problem, I turned to this purple bottle, which had been sitting in my medicine cabinet for a few months. Boy, do I wish I had tried this sooner! It's like the Goldilocks of moisturizers and gone are both the forehead breakouts and the tightness." Read more of her Nuria gel cream moisturizer review here (it's No. 4)!

Get it from Amazon for $26.
A vitamin C cleanser
Wash away flaky skin with this vitamin C-rich formula that nourishes and reinforces the skin's moisture-retaining barrier.

Promising review: "This is an amazing face wash! I have super sensitive skin that is prone to one-a-month breakouts, and I work in a really dry environment so I struggle with moisture as well. This wash makes my skin feel like actual baby skin. I have had zero breakouts since I started using (~6 weeks). Before I do my makeup, I mix one pump of this face wash with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and it makes an awesome exfoliating scrub. It makes all my flaky patches nice and smooth, and paired with a nice primer makes for flawless makeup application. No visibly textured patches — a huge plus when you are a bartender in the spotlight all night with people staring at your face! If I could give three thumbs up I would, but I only have two thumbs!" — Katie

Get it from Amazon for $19.97.
And a vitamin C serum for additional skin protection
Shield your delicate skin from environmental damage with this vitamin C-packed serum that'll be an amazing addition to your skin care regimen.

Promising review: "This replaced a vitamin C serum that won't be named but that most definitely did not agree with my skin and was causing breakouts on my forehead. I really love this lightweight formula; it's surprisingly moisturizing and melts into my skin, leaving behind a delightful and subtle citrus scent. I also really enjoy the pump bottle, which lets me know just how much to apply. The last vitamin C serum I was using came in a dropper bottle and I often ended up applying too much and then I had to wait a while for it to absorb. We're at the point during quarantine that I've stopped wearing makeup for work calls, so I've been enjoying the glowiness this gives my skin on its own." — Melanie Aman

Get it from Amazon for $20.25.
A No7 water concentrate
Dryness is no match for this lightweight formula, which is like a hydrating drink for thirsty skin. Just apply a few drops to your cheeks, forehead and chin if your complexion needs a little moisture boost.

Promising review: "This skincare product is my all time favorite!! It makes my skin feel like heaven! I love that I can mix it with my CC cream or foundation and it gives heavy makeup a thinner consistency or I can apply this alone on my face and it give my skin a gorgeous dewy complexion. It's my absolute favorite!" — girlcollin

Get it from No7 for $17.99.
A cruelty-free and vegan AHA and BHA toner
This seve-in-1 tonic will help streamline your beauty routine, because it contains Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydoxy acids (BHAs) that gently exfoliate dead, dull skin so you can achieve a brighter *and* smoother complexion.

Promising review: "If you're just dipping your toes in the liquid exfoliant pool, I highly recommend giving this a try. I find it gentle enough for daily use (I don't have sensitive skin though so you'll have to find the right frequency for yourself!), and it really helps keep my skin smooth. If I don't exfoliate for a few days, I can feel the difference in my skin texture, and my complexion looks dull." — Melanie Aman

Get it from Ren Skincare for $39.
An exfoliating water gel
Say goodbye to dry skin, debris and dirt with this exfoliating gel that'll wash away impurities and leave your complexion feeling super smooth.

Promising review: "I bought this on a whim thinking it would be OK but not live up to the raves...was I wrong! Price is in line (or actually less!!) with high end makeup products, and shipping was incredibly fast. The product itself is fantastic. I squirted a half pump on my finger and massaged into my cheeks/forehead/nose/chin/neck, rubbed it around, and had little white globs come off that I easily washed away, leaving no burning/redness/tenderness, just smooth skin. Used it again two days later, and noticed some recent acne scars already lightening (recent as in earlier in the week) but no real impact yet on some older darker spots. I will give it some time. Still smooth skin, but the overall level of 'brightening' wasn't as dramatic as the first time. Will likely use one to two times a week and cancel those appointments for facials. Seriously." — K. Welto

Get it from Amazon for $38.
A CeraVe hydrating facial cleanser
Folks with dry skin will appreciate this formula that's nonfoaming and helps strengthen the skin's barrier, thanks to a blend of essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Buh-bye flaking, it's been real!

Promising review: "I was kind of hesitant at first because the texture is like lotion, but don’t let it fool you! It’s such a great face wash! I have struggled with my acne for years and have tried a billion different products and none of them worked like this one. It took about a month of consistent use but it made my skin look almost flawless. I’m not wearing makeup in either pictures." — Cassidy Cooper

Get it from Amazon for $14.64+ (available in two sizes).
An easy-to-use spot corrector
If you're looking to target post-breakout scarring, this cream is infused with cica, white willow bark extract and hyaluronic acid that'll help hydrate your skin.

Promising review: "This product truly helps with hyperpigmentation. This has really helped even out my complexion by fading old acne scars." — Tenisha

Get it from Rael for $20.
An AxV Beauty multitasking face oil
It's made with jojoba oil (which helps retain moisture), vitamin E (which repairs skin), tea tree oil (an anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps soothe redness) and Argan oil (which evens skin tone).

AxV Beauty is a Black-owned skin care and wellness business started by Asata Evans and Vic Rose.

Get it from AxV Beauty for $20+ (available in three sizes).
A box of pore-tightening, skin-lifting face masks
One of these face masks can give you the results of multiple products: It helps hydrate dry areas and minimize the appearance of pesky pores. You will look like a zombie while this mask sits on your face, but that's part of the fun of this soothing skin care treatment.

Promising review: "Smells great! This face mask does exactly what it says. My skin is nice and lifted, hydrated, noticeable reduction in fine lines, improved texture, reduced my pore size, and eliminated some newly developed rough patches forming around the hairline. Couldn't be more satisfied with this product! I have pretty good skin for 37, but this mask has really helped take my skin to the next level." — Samantha

Get a box of eight masks from Amazon for $30.48.
A Konjac body sponge
Gently exfoliate your skin to help clear annoying breakouts, blackheads and excess oil from your body. Just lather this sponge with a little soap to get dry areas baby-soft again.

Promising review: "I have always used a netted poof type shower sponge and after this, will never go back! Feels so luxuriously smooth and lathers so well with just a small amount of soap." — Ashli P

Get it from Beauty by Earth for $9.99.
A multiuse skin care oil
If you're dealing with stretch marks or an uneven skin tone, this oil can be a big help. Reviewers also say it absorbs into the skin quickly so you won't feel too greasy.

Promising review: "If I could give this product more than five stars, I would. Immediately after the first application my skin felt so much better. As I was massaging the oil into my skin I could feel the peeled skin coming off. My face wasn't feeling itchy anymore, and the dryness disappeared immediately. It only took two applications of this oil to make my skin heal almost completely. Now I use it on a daily basis, two times a day (morning and night) and my skin has never felt so healthy. This is the best product I've ever tried, and trust me, I've tried A LOT." — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $8.92+ (available in five sizes).
A set of cucumber eye masks
Look like you got eight hours of sleep with these soothing eye masks that'll help depuff your eyes and diminish dark circles.

Promising review: "I love the cucumber scent it has to it and my under eyes are SO depuffed after using one. Sephora has the best eye masks and I would not use any other ones." — Pablothedog

Get it from Sephora for $3.50 (available in four styles).
A Nivea sunscreen
Protect your skin from sun exposure and avoid clogged pores with this nongreasy formula that you can use as the last step of your routine.

Promising review: "As someone who grew up in the Sunshine State, I have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen. I have distinct memories of slathering goopy white sunscreen on my face before rowing practice in high school and hating how thick and greasy it felt on my face. This sunscreen has raised the bar, which honestly was like an inch off the ground because of how much I've been burned by sunscreens in the past, for what a sunscreen should feel like. It's lightweight but not runny, and it sinks into my skin so quickly without leaving a white cast." — Melanie Aman

Get it from Amazon for $16.90.
A bottle of Biossance squalane oil
The epidermis of your skin will get the ultimate treatment with this gentle formula that'll lock in moisture and help even your complexion.

Promising review: "I'm skeptical of using oils because I'm acne-prone, but I also have pretty sensitive and super dry skin, so I decided to give this a try. I also suffer from eczema, and knowing I could use this all over my body and not just on my face was a contributing factor. A little of this going a LONG way. I use barely even half a pump for my entire face. I get very dry in the space between my eyebrows, and this has helped clear it up. Also I had a pretty gnarly patch of neck and chest eczema that I couldn't get to go away, and I put this on after my shower last night, then put my usual moisturizer on top of it, and woke up to clear skin! I'll definitely be repurchasing once my bottle runs out, but I think it'll take a while." — Basia

Get it from Biossance for $8+ (available in two sizes).
A blackhead remover vacuum
You'll love watching it slurp up blackheads, whiteheads, grease and leftover makeup. Plus, it's much easier to use than those pimple-removing strips that can be painful.

Promising review: "This is the best thing I have purchased in my life! I have very clear skin except for my nose. For some reason my pores on my nose collect so much dirt and grime and are always oily. I take really good care of my face, buy expensive products, and I have no complaints. My nose is just my issue. I got this on a whim and was thinking it never hurts to try it out. So I washed my face before thinking it really wasn’t gonna to do much. BOY I WAS WRONG!!! The amount of stuff that came out of my nose was so disgusting. It reminded me of an episode of Dr. Pimple Popper. I have used it all over my face and it still does an awesome job." — Sweettulip

Get it from Amazon for $25.59+ (available in seven colors).
A multiuse dark spot corrector
It'll help tame stubborn acne scars, sun spots and hyperpigmentation.

Skinergy Beauty is a Latina-owned business started by Priscilla Jiminian, who struggled to find skin care that catered to skin like hers. After a trip to the Dominican Republic, she entered the skin care industry with the goal of creating products inclusive of all skin types.

Promising review: "I suck at not picking my pimples and of course it tends to leave a dark spot. This cream will seriously work within days! It’s truly mind-blowing. I cannot thank the CEO enough for bringing this cream into my life! I’ve been using it for years and recommend it to everyone I can. I have yet to hear anyone tell me they hate it." — Areidy M

Get it from Skinergy Beauty for $54.99.
A brightening eye cream
If you're looking to minimize skin care annoyances (hello, dark circles and puffiness), this eye cream will help brighten, firm and rejuvenate the delicate skin under your eyes.

Promising review: "I would give this product 100 stars. I see a dramatic difference in my skin. This is by far the best skincare product I have ever used. I actually use it for my whole face. It makes my skin feel clean and give it a matte appearance. It even helps my face stay clear. I love the smell and I love the way it feels when applied. This is a truly amazing product." — William B Michel

Get it from Amazon for $29.99.
An easy-to-use acne patch
You can finally de-gunk pimples that always seem to pop up at the worst possible time. A combination of calendula oil, tea tree oil and hydrocolloid will help draw out pus from pimples and not feel uncomfortable on your face.

Promising review: "Where have these been all my life? I had a zit that wouldn't pop or heal. I found these and after four days it was gone. They stay on very well and come off when you want them to. Perfect item. I also used some to help reduce the swelling from a scar my partner got on his face; now it's just pink. Highly recommend." — Cindy Treece

Get 40 round patches from Amazon for $8.49.
A clarifying face mask
Detox your pores in just five minutes with this mask that'll absorb gross gunk and help regulate oil production for a glowy, nongreasy complexion.

Alder New York is a queer-owned and woman-owned gender-neutral skin care brand that makes easy-to-use vegan products for everyone.

Promising review: "I have tried around 30 or so clarifying masks over the years and hands down this is my favorite. The texture is smooth, easy to apply, and has a lovely cooling effect. It left my skin clearer yet still supple without drying it out. Most importantly, it did not affect my rosacea, which was a big win in my book." — Dana D.

Get it from Alder New York for $6.
And a set of 16 face masks to pamper your skin
Bring the spa to your home with this set of face masks that'll provide you with a little self care *and* help you achieve a brighter and more hydrated complexion.

Promising review: "I use these masks once a week to moisturize my skin and focus on a little self-care. I am sensitive to some facial products, but I have had no issues with these masks. They are great for moisturizing, and I can see a visible difference in brightness under my eyes/on my forehead after use." — Millie Simmons

Get a set of 16 from Amazon for $9.99.
A rich moisturizer for your complexion
It's formulated with hydrating squalane oil, vitamin E and algae extract so you can say goodbye to dry patches.

Promising review: "I bought this moisturizer this summer because I noticed that my skin was really, really dry all of the time! I've tried at least five other moisturizers recommended for dry skin and this is the only one that has truly left my dry skin feeling moisturized." — Versed Customer

Get it from Versed for $17.99.
A rosewater facial spray
Keep this soothing facial spray on hand and use it whenever your skin needs a hydrating pick-me-up.

Promising review: "I will admit that I am not the best when it comes to knowing what skincare products to buy (and that the only reason I chose this one was because I heard that the Kardashians use it), but I swear by this stuff. I even find my boyfriend stealing it from me. It gives your face the perfect day look while setting your makeup. I always feel so much more refreshed with just a spray or two of this. I keep a travel-size version in my purse for mid-day work spritz ups." — Jennifer

Get it from Amazon for $7+ (available in a variety of size packs).
A Glossier Balm Dotcom lip balm
This hydrating lip balm is perfect for times when your lips need sweet, sweet relief from chapping and peeling.

Promising review: "As a professional lip balm collector, I would like to go out on a limb and say that this is probably the best balm I have used. It stays forever, doesn't wipe off with food or drinks or life, and is super nourishing. It's also really good value for money and lasts forever." — Aayushi S.

Get it from Glossier for $12 (available in eight styles).
A hyaluronic acid serum
Get plumper, softer, smoother more hydrated skin with this AM- and PM-friendly serum. It's unscented and formulated for oily and sensitive skin types.

Promising review: "First review I've ever written for a product goes out to this gem. Made such a difference in my skin! My forehead is no longer covered in those gross bumps, my skin is smooth, wrinkles are less pronounced, and my skin looks glowy and feels hydrated. Will absolutely continue to use. Highly recommend!" — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $10.95+ (available in four sizes).
An alcohol-free Thayers toning mist
It's an astringent (hello, tighter pores) and has an anti-inflammatory effect (buh-bye, redness). You can use it before moisturizing in your skin care regimen.

Promising review: "This leaves your skin feeling so refreshed and clean. I use it before moisturizer in the a.m. and p.m. Wait till it is soaked into your skin and put moisturizer on top and your skin will be glowing!" — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $10.95 (available in three scents).
And a brightening facial scrub
A combo of lemon peel, French green clay, sea kelp and Madonna lily can exfoliate flaky dead skin cells and unclog your pores to help minimize breakouts.

Promising review: "I swear your skin can NOT get any cleaner after using this glorious product. I even have my boyfriend using it, when he previously just used soap on his face, ugh. But this exfoliating cleanser is perfection! You can feel an instant difference and no wonder why Allure rated it one of their best and highly reviewed beauty products. You can't lose with this stuff." — Brian Shocklee

Get it from Amazon for $9.50.

Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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