3-Step Regimens For Minimalists With Any Skin Type

Photo: Via Murad.
Some people go all out when it comes to their skin-care routines: cleansing oil, toner, serum, all sorts of masks and creams, and more. But, using that many products can be time-consuming and expensive. Plus (and this is a big plus), there’s no scientific proof that a Neverending Story of a regimen means better skin.
While we’re making childhood pop-culture references, you may recall that Schoolhouse Rock! told us “three is a magic number.” And, it very well can be! Thanks to well-thought-out three-piece sets, a minimalist approach can yield just as impressive results as a complex one. It’s a matter of finding the right trio for your needs.
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Read on to discover the best less-is-more routine for you.
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Photo: Via Murad.
For Discoloration And Dullness
In comedy, there’s a philosophy that things are funnier when they come in threes, but this trio is no joke. Both the cleanser and daily moisturizer pack a punch of vitamin C to treat and prevent the effects of stress and pollution, while the serum uses hydroquinone to target hyperpigmentation.
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Photo: Via Peter Thomas Roth.
For Sensitive, Perpetually Freaking Out Skin
Cucumber is a soothing dream-come-true for skin that just can’t even. With this set, you get a makeup-erasing cleanser, a hyaluronically endowed serum, and the famous cucumber-gel mask, which you can (and should) use every single day.
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Photo: Via Perricone MD.
For The First Signs Of Aging
The cleanser washes away dirt while leaving behind anti-aging benefits, the futuristic-sounding Formula 15 fixes “micro-scars” before they become wrinkles, and the moisturizer contains one of the brand's favorite firming ingredients, DMAE.
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Photo: Via Dr. Lin Skincare.
For Acne And The Marks It Leaves Behind
This set is inexplicably called the Complete 2 Step Acne Clarifying System, even though it comes with three products. Yeah, we don’t get it either. But, we’re not complaining, because it fights zits and dark spots with two proven ingredients: salicylic acid in the cleanser, and benzoyl peroxide in the lotion and spot treatment.
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Photo: Via Clinique.
For Rosacea And Redness
This set promises to get blotchiness and flare-ups under control in just two weeks, using a sensitive-skin-friendly cleanser, a moisture-balancing daily cream, and a protective, SPF-15 base.
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Photo: Via Josie Maran.
For The Argan-Obsessed
Few natural oils hydrate and fight aging like argan, and few brands do argan oil as well as Josie Maran. If you want to practically drink the stuff (please don’t), you need this set. The cleansing oil washes away dirt without stripping, the moisturizing oil hydrates and provides vitamin E, and the SPF-47 moisturizer adds UV protection.
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Photo: Via Dr. Brandt.
For Pores Someone Could Conceivably Fall Into
Awesome for shine-prone skin with pores that are a little more obvious than you’d like, this regimen starts with a salicylic-acid-based cleanser, which is followed by an all-over, mattifying lotion. The kicker is the gel, which helps tighten pores in the T-zone.
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Photo: Via Kora Organics.
For "Normal" Skin, Whatever That Means
Miranda Kerr, who is behind Kora Organics, swears by this three-step routine for her normal — but come on, it’s extraordinary — skin. It includes a cream cleanser, a balancing rose mist to tone and provide antioxidant benefits, and a hydrating day-and-night cream. All three include noni, a vitamin-packed botanical the supermodel has been drinking since she was 12.
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