When I went off hormonal birth control I started getting acne. I did not appreciate this. So, I bought various lotions and potions to try and make it go away. Nothing really worked. I have since gone back on hormonal birth control to help with painful ovulation (Who knew!?) and the majority of the acne is gone. However, as someone who has had clear skin for the majority of her life, and also has the tendency to obsess about something, I knew I wanted to do more.
But now, I'm actually doing less. My new "skin care routine" involves a whopping 4 products. I've pared down, as suggested by Ellen Marmur, MD in her book Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide To A Lifetime of Healthy Gorgeous Skin. Rather than just listing products she thinks you should buy, she tells you what ingredients to look for. So I went through what I already had.
When I get out of the shower, I apply Aveeno Positively Radiant Moisturizer SPF 30 (which Marmur also happens to use) to my face and neck (daily moisturizer with SPF of 15+). At night, I wash my face with warm water and a washcloth and then apply Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion (regular moisturizer without SPF).
PLEASE NOTE: I normally wear zero-to minimal make-up, so there is not much to wash off my face.
If I do have a breakout, I apply Clean & Clear Advantage Spot Treatment (acne spot treatment with Salicylic Acid). And once a week I use Mary Kay Timewise Microdermabrasion (at-home dermabrasion).
(I also have various sunscreens for when I will be out in the sun longer.)
The other benefit of simplifying your skin care is that you have less bottles and tubes banging around. It's quite peaceful to only see what you need.