What skin care products are best for me? This is a common question and the answer depends on a variety of factors. You need to think about your skin type and issues before comparing active ingredients and skin care routines. Without the right products, you may not get the results you want.
Here are the main steps for choosing skin care products based on your specific needs:
Determine Your Skin Type
The first consideration is your skin type:
Dry skin feels rough and may look dull while dehydrated skin may appear to sag. If you suffer from dry skin, you may have a lack of lipids, which are needed for maintaining a protective barrier on the skin.
While dry skin is caused by a lack of sebum, oily skin is due to increased sebum production. It increases the risk of acne and may create a glossy shine.
People with sensitive skin experience inflammation easily. Harsh products or ingredients may irritate the skin and cause redness.
If you have normal skin, you may not need special treatment. However, there are other concerns to consider.
Do You Have Any Skin Issues?
Your concerns and existing skin issues may impact the types of skin care products that you choose. For example, if you want to combat the signs of aging, look for products that contain retinoids and hydroxy acids to rejuvenate the skin.
Common skin issues that may require specific treatments include:
- Acne or pimples
- Pigmentation or dark spots
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Rosacea and dermatitis
If you suffer from one or more of these issues, you may need to adjust your daily skin care routine.
Dealing with acne may require the use of a cream with benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria along with an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and open pores. Exfoliants are also beneficial for getting rid of blackheads.
Treating dark spots or hyperpigmentation typically requires a skin lightener. Using a moisturizer or cream with a high SPF factor may also help prevent additional dark spots from appearing.
Rosacea, dermatitis, and other skin conditions are often aggravated by inflammation. Using organic skin care products and ingredients intended for sensitive skin may ease some of the symptoms.
Compare Active Ingredients
Determine which active ingredients are most beneficial for your specific skin type and concerns. Here are some of the most used ingredients for skin care products:
- Hyaluronic acids: intended to increase lubrication, fight the signs of aging, and repair damaged skin
- Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs): commonly used in creams and lotions to deal with wrinkles and fine lines
- Retinoids: used to improve hydration levels, reduce acne, and help improve skin texture and tone
- Niacinamide: frequently used in acne treatments to help restore normal sebum production
- Kojic acid and hydroquinone: used as lightening agents for treating pigmentation issues and aging spots
- Vitamin A: used to promote healthier skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- Vitamin C: promotes collagen production, keeping your skin firm and protecting against damage from free radicals
- Vitamin D: may help with hyperpigmentation and dark spots
- Vitamin E: contains antioxidants to help protect and repair the skin
Each ingredient has different uses. For example, if you suffer from hyperpigmentation or want to combat the signs of aging, use vitamin C for skin care. It helps even out your skin tone and improves hydration.
Decide on the SPF Factor
If you spend time outdoors or suffer from hyperpigmentation, select a moisturizer that offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. The level of sun protection is rated and listed as the SPF factor.
Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen or moisturizer with at least an SPF of 30. This blocks 97% of harmful UVB rays. SPF 50 blocks close to 98% of harmful rays while SPF 100 blocks about 99%.
Start Choosing Your Preferred Product Line
After reviewing active ingredients, start planning your routine and choose your preferred product line for each step of the routine. The typical skin care routine includes:
Most people should start their day with a cleanser. This may include standard face soap or a gentle face cleanser with milk or gel.
Toners and micellar water are useful for those with skin issues. However, they are made for specific skin types. If you have dry skin, avoid alcohol-based toners as they may strip protective oils. Those with oily skin should avoid water-based toners as they may not penetrate the skin.
Dermatologists typically recommend using a moisturizer each day as the last step in your morning routine even if you have oily skin. Look for moisturizers designed for your skin type.
Moisturizers come in many types including oils, cremes, and emulsions. Along with using a moisturizer in the morning, people with oily skin may need to add a moisturizer to their nightly routines. Night cream for oily skin helps protect against clogged pores without causing excess oil production.
Exfoliants are used in the evening to remove dirt and oil. Knowing how to exfoliate may help open pores and protect against acne.
Common exfoliants include microdermabrasion cream and glycolic acid cleansers. If you want younger-looking skin or suffer from dry skin, add an exfoliant to your routine.
Along with removing dirt and oil, exfoliants help remove dead skin cells. Removing dead skin cells and other debris allows new skin cells to grow, rejuvenating your skin.
Last Thoughts on How to Choose Skin Care Products
Choosing the right skin care products requires a careful review of your skin type and any existing issues. If you want to address dry skin, acne, wrinkles, or any skin problem, look for products that contain active ingredients that specifically target your concerns.
Now that you know how to pick skin care products, start testing different combinations of moisturizers, creams, toners, and exfoliators.
Instead of purchasing full-size products, buy testers. Testers allow you to try various skin care routines without spending a lot of money. Test different routines until you settle on a combination that works for your skin type and concerns.