What Would You Recommend?

Just today, a friend messaged me and asked for some advice on what to do with dry and dull skin.
Do I use a ten step skincare routine? Would that help? What about products?
Here's a run down of what I told her:

My skincare routine ranges from 6 to 10 products. For me, it works.
Having a routine that goes above and beyond the basic cleanse, tone, moisturize, may seem daunting because of the added time and expense. However, I would much rather take the time to care and protect my skin now with products, than to turn to cosmetic procedures later that can be even more costly and extreme.

I do think that introducing an essence and serum can make a difference to your skin. Essences have ingredients that will absorb deep into your skin to deal with dullness and potentially make your other products work better. And then serums will take on whatever they are made to address: dryness, dullness, or anti aging. Prices and brands are many, so you will have a lot to choose from in terms of what you want to target and what you want to pay.

Here's what I suggested to my friend.
Truth be told, I haven't used this, but bloggers and reviewers give it positive ratings. The price point isn't outrageous, since many high end serums can start at $60 and up. Two higher priced serums that I've liked are genifique by Lancome or the advanced night repair by Estee Lauder. 

5 ounces for $39 is a pretty good deal. This a serum plus lotion that's full of ceramides, which helps the skin retain moisture. I received a travel size of this from a Sephora gift set, and I bring it on flights. It's light, so you'll definitely need a moisturizer. You could even add this in to your routine if you already have a serum, but want even more hydration. 

This is not a serum. This is a few steps away from putting Aquaphor or Vaseline over your face. This is thick and rich and not for everyone. This could potentially turn your face into a grease ball. However, dry and irritated skin sometimes requires the big stuff.