Yes, your papa used plain old soap to wash his face every day. But he also gave you french fries before you had teeth. The man's wisdom was not infallible.
There are warehouses full of products out there that companies spent multiple years and millions of dollars formulating so that you would buy them to make yourself look great. (Makes you feel kinda special, doesn't it?) Men whose medicine cabinets are startlingly bare often just don't know what to buy. And we don't blame you -- half the stuff written on the hundreds of bottles in the drugstore is gobbledygook, anyway. But be brave. A teenage boy can get away with just a tube of zit cream and a stick of deodorant in the bathroom drawer, but a grown man cannot.
You really only need a few things, like a gentle cleanser and moisturizer (we'll get into that in a minute), and if you can't choose on your own, there's probably a sister or female friend around who can help. If you're too embarrassed to do that, take a look around the bathroom of your most GQ friend the next time you're over. It's not creepy if it's research.
Maybe the best thing you can pick up: a mattifier. Better than rabbit-out-of-a-hat sleight of hand, this is make-your-face-matte-instead-of-shiny magic in a bottle.