Essential Beauty Products Checklist

Like air and water, some beauty products are absolute musts—whatever your skin type—say dermatologists.

  1. Check Gentle cleanser

    No matter if it's a bar, a liquid, or a gel, a cleanser should suit your skin type and be mild enough to use two times a day.

  2. Check Daily facial moisturizer with SPF 30

    A high SPF ensures that skin is protected every day of the year. "Ones with antioxidants, like green tea, are terrific because they offer a second line of defense against UV damage," says David E. Bank, M.D., director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, in Mount Kisco, New York.

  3. Check Broad-spectrum sunscreen

    Pick up another sunscreen to use in place of your daily one on days when you're outside for an extended time, like on vacation or in the summer. "It's the single best anti-aging product on the planet," says Ranella Hirsch, M.D., vice president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. Look for one with stable UVA shields, like Mexoryl and Helioplex, which can be used on the body, too.

  4. Check Lip balm with SPF

    You want the highest SPF you can find, since lips are ultrasensitive and susceptible to UV damage.

  5. Check Hand cream with SPF

    It will help keep your hands from revealing your age. "Be sure to hydrate nails well, too, to prevent splitting and ridges," says Jeannette Graf, an assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center, in New York City.

  6. Check Body moisturizer

    To fend off dry, itchy skin, use one with a rich mix of humectants (like glycerin) and occlusives (like petrolatum) twice a day.