Four Skincare Must Have’s For Beginners

Hi friends! While most of us are home and might have free time on our hands, I thought it would be a good time to talk more in-depth about skincare. Skincare is one of those things that can be VERY overwhelming and I know a proper routine can get pushed to the wayside. With about a million products out there, and then another million ways to apply products, it can be a scary place to jump into. So instead of breaking down my full routine, I wanted to keep things very basic for this post.

Whether you’re looking to start a simple routine or want to check out new products, below you’ll find four types of skincare products I suggest starting with. Of course, there are more things I personally do in my own routine, but this is an excellent starting point.

Everything on this list is available at Walmart, which is a place that y’all probably recognize on this site by now. The Walmart Beauty section has always been a trusted place to venture to for well-priced and quality skincare items, especially since they carry such a wide variety of products. As someone who is becoming a little more aware of the dangers of certain chemicals used in products, I love that they have a Mindful Beauty section to help guide smart consumer purchases. This entire section is curated with products free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates! And with Walmart’s 2-day shipping on SO many of their products, you can snag products and start implementing them into a routine within a matter of days. A little self-care is something I hope we’re all prioritizing right now!

I’ll link to all recommended products in the shopping collage below, but I also wanted to break down each skincare product category on this list and why I find it imperative to start with!


We’ve all heard it before … cleansing your face before bed is one of the best things you can do for your skin. I find this to be true, but I typically take it one step further. I double-cleanse my face in the evenings – first, to take off makeup [usually with an oil-based cleanser] and second, to actually cleanse the skin [usually with a gel-based cleanser] to rid your pores of their impurities. If you’re just starting on your skincare journey, I can understand how confusing this can all be! The first thing I would do to guide you is figuring out your skin type. Do you have oily skin? Combination? Dry?

From there, you will be able to what type of cleanser might be right for your individual skin type. There are oil cleansers, gel cleansers, micellar cleansers, foam cleansers, and the list goes on. I suggest doing some research or working with a dermatologist to see what’s best for you. For me, I tend to gravitate toward gel cleansers as I feel like they are the most gentle on my skin and keep everything balanced as I have combination skin. If you aren’t sure where to start, I would take a look at these below.

Vitamin C Serum

While everything else on this list is very basic and likely things you’ve used before, a Vitamin C Serum might be new. There are endless serums on the market but if I were to suggest one to start with – or that most skin types could benefit from – it’d be Vitamin C. The list of benefits ranging from hydration to lessening sun or dark spots to reducing fine lines and under-eye circles to reducing redness and irritation on the skin and so forth. It also gives your skin the ultimate, gorgeous glow!

Since it covers so many issues, it’s a great serum to start with if you’re looking to improve your skin or are unsure how to build a daily skincare routine. Experts usually suggest applying this in the morning so that you also get the benefit of it protecting your skin from free radicals. Just remember to apply that SPF after, as it’s crucial!

If you’re wanting to get into more detail about the benefits of Vitamin C and why a serum is so special, I found this article to be helpful. As with any new product, especially a serum, I suggest starting with this a couple of times a week and gradually increasing to every day when you find your skin able to handle it. I’m sharing several favorites and types of Vitamin C, including this peel, in the collage.


One of the more basic products on this list, this is one thing I never skip. I think there’s a common misconception that if you have oily skin you should skip moisturizer, but that’s false. Your skin will actually produce more oil on its own, without moisturizer, because it thinks it needs it. If you’re applying moisturizer, you’re essentially applying a balance to your skin and giving it benefits at the same time.

I apply moisturizer after a serum morning and night. In the morning, I like something lightweight that absorbs well, especially if I’m planning on wearing makeup. At night, I’ll usually grab something slightly heavier, especially in the winter months.

While there are face oils and several different ways to moisturize your face, I suggest starting with a basic and lightweight option. If your skin is craving more moisture, mix in a heavier option at night, and then you can always play around with oils down the road. I have a deep love for this moisturizer and brand in general, and I think it’s a nice option for most skin types!


As a Florida girl, I cannot preach the importance of SPF enough. In fact, I’ve dealt with sun spots and other dark spots on my skin for years – so much so that I had a laser treatment that y’all might be interested to hear about here. Clearly, I wasn’t always conscious of SPF, especially as a teenager, but now it’s a must for me especially after investing in my skin with time and money. Even if I’m not leaving the house, it’s on my skin, since rays can hit your skin through windows.

I know SPF can get a bad rep for being oily or just icky on your face, especially under makeup, but I’m confident that I’m sharing a few options that blend nicely. Honestly, SPF, especially of the face, has come a long way over the years and there are endless quality products out there now.

While this is more of a personal initiative, since chemicals in SPF can be some of the most harmful, I try to use a clean version whenever possible. Elta MD is a longstanding brand who are known for SPF in their products. I’m also sharing Cleen Beauty, which is a clean brand that has rave reviews.

When applying your SPF, don’t forget your neck, ears, and décolletage as they are commonly missed areas. And, while it’s not a general “skincare” area, the back of your hands, as well – especially if you’re driving often! As for when to apply, I apply SPF right before I start my makeup routine and it’s the last of my skincare products to be applied. I skip it in the evening, of course.

While I, again, use more products in my daily routine, I think this is a good basic list for any of you beginners. If y’all would like to see a few more products that I’d throw into the mix after getting into the habit of these four, just let me know! I’m happy to share my routine in “chunks” or whatever is best for y’all. Hope you get some time to spend on yourself this week, whether through skincare or whatever else relaxes you. Thanks for being here! xo.


Editor's Notes



  1. Being a constant learner I can tell these are some really good options, thanks for sharing with us 🙂

    Published 8.22.20 · Reply
  2. Kelly Coba wrote:

    Hey Alyson haley,

    Do you have a blog on all your skincare routine including eye cream and lip cream? Just wondering if you can share link thanks. Great article really appreciated learning and all advice you give for skincare.

    Published 9.6.20 · Reply
  3. Good portion of content, thanks! Its really nice article! I found derma e here for myself, cant wait to try it!

    Published 2.15.21 · Reply