If you want to start a skincare regime, you probably have a few questions.

So, how many skincare products should you be using? Does the order in which you apply them matter? And what do these products do, anyway?

The three foundations of any good skincare regime are a gentle oat cleanser, serum or toner treatment, and a high-quality moisturizer – no matter what skin type you have.

Incorporating an additional step or two between cleansing and moisturizing to “treat” your skin is the best way to get the most out of your regime.

Read on for six tips about what you should be incorporating into your daily skincare regime.

1. Start with a Gentle Cleanser

The first thing you should always do is cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser. Cleansing products clear away the excess oil, impurities, and dirt that block pores and leave your skin looking dull.

Be sure to use a gentle cleanser free from harsh chemicals – especially if you suffer from dry skin. Using a cleanser that’s too harsh can actually damage your skin’s protective barrier. If your skin is very dry, consider cleansing your face with a cleanser no more than once per day.

2. Use Toner to Rebalance Your Skin

Although toner isn’t essential for every skin type, it is the best way to remove any impurities you missed during the cleansing step and restore your skin’s PH.

If you have oily skin and you’re prone to breakouts, choose a toner that contains salicylic acid. If your skin is sensitive or dry, choose a toner with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid – and avoid toners that contain high concentrations of alcohol.

3. Choose Serums with Antioxidants

Applying a serum that contains antioxidants after your cleanser and toner can help reduce the skin damage sustained from pollution and the sun.

No matter your age, serums that contain vitamin C are a “gold standard” among dermatologists. Serums that contain vitamin C can also help with hyperpigmentation – or dark spots.

4. Eye Cream Can be Optional

After cleansing and applying toner or serum, you might want to apply eye cream. Although eye cream is not necessary if you have a mild moisturizer that you can safely apply to your eye area, it is a great way to pamper yourself.

To apply eye cream, squeeze a pea-sized amount of the product onto your ring finger and gently tap it around your eyes – do not smear the eye cream on or tug the delicate, thin skin around your eyes.

5. Choose the Right Moisturizer

A good moisturizer hydrates your skin and helps strengthen its protective barrier. If you have oily or acne and blackhead-prone skin, opt for a lighter moisturizer (like a gel or lotion) – these moisturizers will saturate your skin quickly.

Use a thicker moisturizer (like a cream) if you have dry skin. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides.

6. Sunscreen is Essential

The most important step in any skincare regime is sunscreen – no matter your skin type or age. Because the sun’s damaging rays are the number one cause of premature aging, forgoing sunscreen undoes your entire skincare routine.

Choose a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher and apply it to your face and neck as the last step in your skincare routine.