Spend five minutes in the health and beauty aisle of your average drugstore and one thing is very apparent: there is a huge selection of skincare products on the market.
With so much to choose from, you might feel a tad overwhelmed and basically end up grabbing a basic bar of soap for washing your face and maybe a tube of moisturizer to use at night.
Unfortunately, this choice might not be the best for your skin. Skincare products contain different ingredients based on what they are designed to treat, so the night cream you purchased might be meant for dry skin when yours is on the oily side, and bar soap with deodorant is not really meant for anyone’s face.
In order to figure out which types of products are best for your skin and which ingredients to look for, you must first figure out what type of skin you have on your face:
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Basic Skin Types
If your skin rarely or never has blemishes and is firm with no visible shine or flakiness, congratulations—you have normal skin. Speaking of shine, if you wear makeup and it seems to slide off during the day or you notice an accumulation of oil on your nose or forehead, you are in the oily skin club.
People with sensitive skin that can be itchy and flaky probably have dry skin, and if your chin is oily but your cheeks feel chapped, you likely have combination skin.
If you are starting to notice crow’s feet, “elevens” above your eyes, “parentheses” around your mouth and your skin isn’t as vibrant looking as it once was, you are now a proud member of the aging skin group. And for those who have regular breakouts, you likely have acne-prone skin.
Now that you know the different types of skin on your face and have determined the one that fits you the best, it is time to identify which products are best for you.
Hyaluronic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide and Vitamin C … Oh My!
For folks with normal skin, you can use pretty much whatever products you like and fit into your budget—other than that bar soap, of course. With oily skin, resist the inclination to over-wash and instead stick with products that do not contain oils—in addition, watch for skincare products labeled as “non-comedogenic” because they are ideal for oily skin and will not clog up your pores. For people with dry skin, the American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests using ointments or creams to hydrate the skin, rather than lotions, which can be more irritating. Key ingredients to look for include hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, mineral oil, shea butter and glycerin. Apply the moisturizer on your face right after you get out of the shower for the best results.
Have combination skin? Then you may need to choose a rich cream for your dry cheeks and an oil-free wash for the rest of your face. For those with aging skin, antioxidants including vitamin C, retinol, peptides and ceramides can be your skin’s best friends.
As HSPH.Harvard.edu notes, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals, which can do damage to the skin. It may also help to lessen brown spots and other signs of aging.
If you have acne-prone skin, for best results, look for a benzoyl peroxide face wash. Benzoyl peroxide is the “gold standard” of acne treatments, working as an antiseptic to reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin’s surface. Salicylic acid is another ingredient to watch for in acne treatments; it can help remove dead cells from the surface of the skin.
Your Research Will Pay Off
The great news is, once you identify what type of skin you have and which ingredients are best for your face, you can more easily select the best skincare products for you. This will simplify your skincare shopping immensely, meaning you will no longer feel overwhelmed when purchasing products online or in person.