12 best products for building a skin care routine in the new year

A fresh skin care routine could be the perfect amount of change you need in the new year to feel like your best self. While there are likely some parts of your process that are tried and true, little additions —like trying a new serum here or a reputable SPF lotion there — can really work wonders for your skin.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry stopped by the show to discuss what products to implement into your routine this January, whether you’re a skin care novice who’s unsure where to start or an aficionado looking to freshen up an already-impressive beauty regimen.

From gadgets to indulge in to products that have earned the Shop TODAY seal of approval, the picks below are perfect for tweens, grandmothers and everyone in between.

Basic skin care routine | Leveling up your routine | Adding to an advanced skin routine

Basic skin care routine

If your tween or another skin care newbie has recently expressed interest in taking extra care of their skin, help them do just that with dermatologist-recommended products that are easy to use.

Whether they’re prone to acne or are sensitive to irritants as they strive to find products compatible with their skin concerns, the products below resolve specific concerns for oily, dry or combination skin.

Henry recommends determining your skin type before stocking up, then arming yourself with products that tackle pivotal steps of moisturizing, cleansing and protecting yourself from the sun.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30

A 2-in-1 product that combines sun care with the typical nourishing components you expect out of a moisturizer, this CeraVe product promises to last throughout the day.

“It contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin and provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection, making it a convenient choice for daily use,” says Dr. Henry.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

This product is not only dermatologist-recommended, but it’s editor-loved as well, earning high ranks during Shop TODAY’s Beauty Awards and taking home the title of “Best Cleanser for Dry Skin.” It’s affordable, reputable and truly works. What more could you ask for in a beauty product?

“This gentle cleanser is an excellent choice for beginners,” according to Henry. “It is formulated with ceramides to help maintain the skin’s natural barrier and hyaluronic acid for hydration. It suits most skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin.”

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

“This lightweight moisturizer is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin,” says Henry. “It provides hydration while also replenishing the skin’s barrier with ceramides. It is non-comedogenic, making it a safe option for those prone to acne.”

Since this moisturizer works double time to provide hydration among other things, it’s perfect for combating dry skin during the winter.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk and Body Face Sunscreen

A “highly effective” option according to Henry when it comes to sun protection, this product also “ensures easy application without a heavy or greasy feel.”

“It offers SPF 100 protection and is suitable for sensitive skin,” she adds.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Nicknamed a “hydrating powerhouse” by Henry, this moisturizer works best on normal-to-dry skin.

“It offers 24-hour moisture and is formulated with squalane and glacial glycoprotein to maintain skin hydration and protect against environmental stressors,” she says.

Leveling up your skin care routine

Serums, masks and oils target more specific skin care concerns, such as anti-aging and vitamin deficiencies. Whether you’re hoping to firm and tighten your skin, or simply brighten your complexion, Henry notes that these additions are just one step above for those who have already gotten their routine down pat.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Moisturizing Face Oil

Take the term ‘beauty sleep’ to the next level with this face oil that puts in the work while you sleep.

“This nighttime facial oil contains a blend of botanical oils, including evening primrose and lavender oil,” says Henry. “It helps to nourish and replenish the skin while you sleep, leaving it looking more refreshed and revitalized in the morning.”

Lancome Advanced Genifique Radiance Anti-Aging Serum

Unlike tweens and those who are in the beginning stages of taking care of their skin, anti-aging serums are helpful for those wanting to “improve skin texture, radiance and firmness,” according to Henry.

“It contains probiotic extracts to promote a healthy skin microbiome and boost skin’s youthfulness,” she adds.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum

Is this a splurge-worthy purchase? Sure, but Henry notes that this product is worth it as it includes premium ingredients that promise to “brighten skin, reduce fine lines and protect against environmental damage.”

“It’s suitable for various skin types and addresses multiple concerns, making it a valuable addition to an intermediate regimen,” she adds.

Advanced skin care routine additions

These options are for those who are dubbed “skin care enthusiasts,” and want to explore trendy, buzzy and noteworthy gadgets for taking care of their skin.

From LED light face masks to skipping your microneedling appointment and doing it at home instead, there’s both affordable and splurge products on this list.

Dermapore Dermaflash 2-in-1 Skincare Device

Available in two different colors, this 2-in-1 device works to extract pores (and remove dirt, oils and blackheads) and infuse serums (filled with “active ingredients”) for a healthier and fresher face.

“Ultrasonic skin scrubbers use high-frequency vibrations to exfoliate the skin, remove impurities and improve product absorption,” says Henry, noting that “they can be an effective addition to your weekly skin care routine.”

BeautyBio Get That Glow Kit

“Microneedling at home can help stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture,” says Henry. “Devices like derma rollers or Dermapen can be used with caution to enhance skin care product absorption and overall skin quality.”

Included in this starter kit is everything you need to microneedle at home, including a gel cleanser and cream, plus a facial regeneration tool.

NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device

“Microcurrent technology helps stimulate facial muscles and improve skin firmness,” says Henry, adding that “devices like the NuFace Trinity can be used at home to enhance the contour and tone of your skin.”

NuFace is a popular device among the Shop TODAY team, with editors loving both the full and miniature versions, noting that they see a visible difference in their skin after dedicated use.

Dr. Dennis Gross SpectraLite FaceWare Pro LED Mask

“LED masks or handheld devices can be incorporated into your skin care routine,” says Henry. “They use various wavelengths of light to address concerns like acne, redness and signs of aging. The Dr. Dennis Gross SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, for example, offers both red and blue light therapy.”

Specifically, the blue light in LED masks work to improve acne-prone skin, a plus for those more likely to break out every so often.