8 Skin-Care Products You Should Be Using, Ranked By Importance

We’ve come a long way from our grandmothers' cold creams. These days, the products in the beauty aisle are stocked with a whirlwind of claims, an alphabet’s worth of acids and vitamins, and every possible formulation you could imagine. (What the heck does a toner do, anyway?) It can all make finding a daily routine overwhelming — to say the least. What do you truly need to keep your skin healthy, happy, and radiant?
The answer depends, in part, on how much time you’re willing to invest. For some, a quick and easy two-step method can get the job done. But, if you have a few extra minutes, an antioxidant-rich vitamin-C serum or a wonder-working exfoliant (like the beloved Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid) can make a huge difference. It’s simply a matter of knowing when you should add what to your daily regimen. Don't worry — we won't leave you hanging. We spoke to the pros to piece together the best skin-care routines for when you have two minutes or 20. And none of them involve cold cream.