16 skin-recommended products to use ASAP if you’ve been neglecting your skin

If you just haven’t paid attention to your skincare regimen your entire life, it’s never too late to get on the bandwagon and make meaningful changes that will positively impact the health of your skin.

Unfortunately, there are consequences to neglecting your skin, and the longer you go without meeting its needs, the more work you have to do to reverse the damage. Whether you’re not careful with sunscreen, have trouble remembering to remove your makeup at night, or your skin has never seen a drop of moisture, eventually you’ll start to see the effects of neglect and abuse.

Dr. Shari Sperling, a board-certified dermatologist at Sperling Dermatology in New York and New Jersey, told HuffPost that problems like acne, pimples, dryness, dermatitis and signs of aging can develop as a result of neglect, including falling asleep without washing you sight. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts and compromise your skin’s natural repair process, which in turn can lead to premature aging. Alarmingly, she also mentioned that you can even get eye irritation or infections if you don’t remove the eye makeup.

In addition, Dr. Brendan Camp, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York, notes that maintaining a regular skincare routine is a healthy habit akin to exercising: aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, and conditions like acne.” Like Sperling, he also emphasized the importance of washing your face, adding that “by not washing your face, you’re not removing excess oil, dirt, and pollutants that can irritate the skin or cause inflammation.”

Ideally, Camp recommends developing healthy skin habits early in life, encouraging teens to develop a basic regimen that includes cleansing, medication, and moisturizing, and people in their 20s to incorporate anti-aging steps into their routines.

And while problems like the impact of sun exposure can’t be reversed on a cellular level, that doesn’t mean you can’t start a skincare routine later in life. “It’s never too late to start a skincare routine,” Camp explained. “The skin has different needs at every stage of life. Whether sooner or later, simple changes in the way you treat your skin can affect both your physical and mental health.”

It’s a relief to know that all is not lost, and it’s always worth it to help restore your skin to its former glory. You can even start baby steps as you get into your skin care comfort zone. Sperling said that “it doesn’t have to be complicated, but properly cleansing and moisturizing the skin and wearing SPF daily can make a difference.” But if you still want to add a few more effective and restorative elements, she recommended ingredients like retinol (which can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, while boosting collagen production and helping to even out skin tone) and vitamin C (an antioxidant) . which protects the skin from oxidative damage and can help improve texture and complexion).

Below, I’ve rounded up Camp and Sterling’s skincare reset recommendations, and they cover everything from cleansers and moisturizers to serums and masks. They come in a variety of price ranges and are packed with the healing ingredients they mentioned, and more. Choose one for yourself and treat your skin as it deserves.

HuffPost receives a share from retailers on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change. The experts we consulted for this story do not necessarily endorse the products before us, unless stated otherwise.

CeraVe moisturizing cream

“This is a great affordable option for people with dry skin. It’s very hydrating and goes on easily on the skin. It’s formulated with ceramides, which help restore skin’s natural barriers.” — sperling

First Aid Beauty moisturizing serum with hyaluronic acid

Drench your skin with moisture, leaving it bouncy and firm, with a serum like this one from Camp’s preferred First Aid Beauty.

“Hyaluronic acid (HA) is normally found in the skin and serves to attract water molecules to keep the skin hydrated. Using an HA serum at night helps the skin recover from environmental stress from the previous day.” — Camp

Supergoop City Serum SPF 30 Sunscreen

On Camp’s list of recommendations, this sunscreen serum is a great option for people who hate the feeling of heavy sunscreen on their skin. It is lightweight and made with nourishing ingredients and antioxidants.

Add an SPF moisturizer to your skincare routine daily and use it year-round. An SPF moisturizer can help prevent skin cancer and reduce the impact of UV rays on premature aging. This includes reducing the chance of developing fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.” — Camp

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum

This potent serum can help target visible signs of aging with a potent dosage that won’t irritate sensitive skin, and it’s one of Camp’s go-tos.

“Retinols help normalize skin cell turnover, which can reduce the likelihood of clogged pores and acne. Over time, retinols can boost collagen production, which can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.” — Camp

La Roche-Posay Toleriane moisturizing gentle cleanser

Another recommendation from Camp, this nourishing French pharmacy staple is perfect for anyone with dry and irritated skin. It’s hydrating, so you don’t have to worry about it stripping the skin of its natural oils, but it’s also powerful enough to clean thoroughly.

“Use a cleanser twice a day to remove excess oil, dirt, and pollution that can cause acne and skin irritation. For those with dry skin, consider using a cleanser once a day or using water as a cleanser.” — Camp

Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Vitamin C Eye Serum

Don’t sleep on the power of eye creams! Camp is a fan of this antioxidant-rich option from Kiehl’s, which is as hydrating as it is effective at improving the appearance of lines and discoloration.

“Eye creams and serums help keep the delicate skin around the eyes from showing your true age. Products with vitamin C or retinol are effective for boosting collagen production and minimizing wrinkles.” — Camp

CeraVe make-up removing cleansing balm

If you don’t like a foaming cleanser, or want to double clean with a balm first, Camp recommends this nourishing CeraVe balm. It is ideal for sensitive or reactive skin.

“Use a gentle cleanser that will help remove makeup without stripping too much of your skin’s natural oils.” — Camp

Image Skincare Vital C moisturizing enzyme mask

While a face mask may be high maintenance, chances are you can find a way to incorporate it into your routine even just once or twice a week.

“This mask is soothing, anti-aging, moisturizing and is great for all skin types, including dry/dehydrated skin. It leaves skin looking and feeling refreshed.” — sperling

Ilia C Beyond Triple Serum SPF 40

I had to throw this pick into the mix myself, as it’s perfect for those who are just starting to dip their toes into skincare. It’s a multitasking serum that’s packed with delicious active ingredients recommended by Camp and Sperling, like vitamin C and niacinamide, while also functioning as both an SPF and a foundation, adding a pop of color to the skin.

Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46

Another pick from Camp, this mineral sunscreen is great for those with breakout-prone skin. This is the tinted version, but you can also get a clear one if you prefer a natural, clean slate. It does not clog the pores and does not feel heavy and has a wonderfully soft finish that is not too greasy.

Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic 15% Firm & Bright Serum

There are tons of vitamin C serums on the market, but this pick from Camp is a potent, effective option for anyone looking to amp up their routine. It can help address sun damage, dark spots, lines, dullness and more.

“Vitamin C serums neutralize the oxygen free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules that can damage cellular structures such as DNA, lipids and proteins. Used regularly, they can also help brighten the skin and reduce sun spots.” — Camp

Different gel

“Retinol helps promote cell turnover, boost collagen, reduce discoloration, and restore your skin’s natural texture and tone. Differin, which used to be prescription-only but is now available over the counter, is a great product for acne and anti aging.” — sperling

Cetaphil daily facial cleanser

Keep it simple with this affordable and accessible cleanser recommended by Camp. It’s great for those with oily skin, other skin conditions, and those looking to repair past damage. It is gentle and does not irritate even the wickedest skin.

Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Serum For Dark Spots

Looking for a silky, gel-like serum that doesn’t feel heavy or sticky, yet is packed with all of the above doctor-recommended ingredients? You may want to give this Glow Recipe serum a try. It is formulated with five types of vitamin C, guava, tranexamic acid and ferulic acid which can make the skin more radiant and even.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream

“This cream is formulated with peptides, hyaluronic acid and ceramides to deeply hydrate the skin while renewing the skin’s natural barrier overnight.” — sperling

Avène Retrinal Ceramide Lipid Replenishing Balm

“Ceramides are naturally occurring lipids in the skin that help retain moisture and maintain skin barrier integrity. Including ceramides in a skin moisturizer helps skin stay smooth and hydrated.” — Camp

U Beauty The Barrier Bioactive Treatment

This highly concentrated overnight treat is a pick from the HuffPost editors that we couldn’t pass up. It uses bioactive marine ingredients that promote skin renewal and can soften, renew, revitalize and strengthen the skin.

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