Choosing the right moisturizer for your skin can be tricky. There is an endless array of products, all vying for your attention, all making claims as to the health benefits they offer – but how can you know which one is right for you, when every individual’s skin is different?
While each individual is unique and has unique needs, most fall into four main categories or skin types. Still, there are some basic needs that all skin types seem to have in common.
For example, whatever type of skin you have or moisturizer you choose, it should include an element of sun protection. Ultraviolet rays are damaging to all human skin, and therefore an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for everyone.
If there are any special medical issues with your skin, such as eczema or psoriasis, then you should definitely consult a dermatologist before using any new products.
But for general purposes, most skin types fall into four main categories – and knowing which category your skin falls into can help you to choose the best moisturizer to maximize the health of your skin.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, then you’ll probably want to stick with a lighter lotion. Alpha-hydroxy acids can aid with exfoliation and breaking up oil, and may help to keep your skin appearing younger, longer; but you should be careful not to use lotions that contain too many different types of acids, to avoid further skin irritation which can lead to worsening of breakouts.
If you have sensitive skin, you should try hypoallergenic and fragrance-free moisturizers, designed to minimize irritation and maximize the health of your skin. The fewer ingredients, the less chance that you might have an allergic reaction to your chosen product. All-natural products are often a safer choice for this skin type, as well.
If you have dry or itchy skin, you may need a heavier moisturizer, perhaps more of an ointment to protect your skin from the harshness of the elements that can lead to dryness and irritation. Products rich in proteins, lanolin, and mineral oils can be helpful in keeping your skin healthy, nourished, and well-hydrated.
Finally, there is what is referred to as “normal” skin. The word “normal” in this case does not by any means indicate that “most” people fall into this category. It simply means that these individuals are less prone to the aforementioned skincare challenges of the other three types. Skin creams are a good option for normal skin, providing more hydration than lotion, but not being as thick or oily as ointments can be.
You don’t necessarily have to stick to just one type of moisturizer, either. It’s a good idea to experiment with different sorts of products until you find what works best for you. You should moisturize daily, and for the best results, before going to bed – ideally, fresh out of the shower while your skin is still damp and the water can help to seal in the moisture provided by your chosen product.
Whether your skin is sensitive or not, it’s always a good idea to avoid extra unnecessary ingredients that might cause irritation. Natural products are generally safer and provide more health benefits for all skin types.