Choosing the right skincare products can be tricky. Not only are ingredient lists challenging to understand with all their Latin jargon, but most people also don’t know what skin type they have.
Skin responds differently to various skin care products. Knowing what skin type you have and what ingredients react positively to it is key to creating a skincare routine that works.
Here’s how to choose the right skincare products for your skin:
Step 1: Know Your Skin Type
There are five basic skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive. Let’s take a look at each type’s characteristics:
People with normal skin are the luckiest of the bunch. Their skin is neither too oily nor too dry. They also have little to no imperfections—their skin often looks clean and soft. Plus, they don’t require any particular care, unlike other skin types.
Low air humidity, weather, and prolonged immersion in hot water are a few things that dry the skin. This is usually temporary and may go away after proper moisturization. Unfortunately, dry skin can be a lifelong condition for other people.
People with dry skin may often experience cracking and flaking. However, symptoms may vary between people. Generally, dry skin is characterized by a feeling of roughness or tightness around affected areas. The skin may also appear gray or ashy, with frequent occurrences of itching, cracking, and redness.
Those with oily skin often have a porous and bright appearance. Oily skin is caused by excessive fat production by sebaceous glands. This is typically caused by genetics or hormonal imbalances. People with oily skin often suffer from acne breakouts.
As the name suggests, combination skin presents symptoms from two different skin types: dry and oily skin. The T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) normally has more oil, but the skin on the cheeks is average or dry.
Sensitive skin is more likely to react to skincare products than normal skin. It’s prone to discomforts such as heat, tightness, redness, or itching. It also requires more attention to prevent roughness and dryness, as well as maintain a healthy appearance.
Step 2: Know Your Ingredients
Once you know your skin type, the next step is to find which ingredients can harm or help your skin. Generally, choosing organic products over synthetic solutions is ideal. However, you never know when you’ll come across an ingredient that may exacerbate your skin condition.
Here’s what you should be looking for in skincare products based on your skin type:
Oily Skin — Products with alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid or salicylic acid), benzoyl peroxide, and hyaluronic acid are what people with oily skin should use. These ingredients help control sebum production as well as hydrate the skin.
Dry Skin — Products with lactic acid and shea butter are a great choice. These ingredients provide the skin with mild exfoliation and hydration.
Sensitive Skin — Products with oatmeal, aloe vera, and shea butter are the ideal choice. These ingredients are less likely to cause breakouts and are good moisturizers.
Normal Skin — Use a gentle, nonfoaming cleanser and a light hydrating moisturizer. Don’t forget to use sunscreen when you’re out and about as well.
Combination Skin — Use products meant for oily and dry skin as needed.
Step 3: Beware of Hype
Don’t buy skincare products simply for their hype or popularity. Avoid listening to your friend’s or an influencer’s recommendations. Instead, make an appointment with a skincare expert and ask for their advice. These professionals have had years of training that may be valuable in diagnosing and treating skin conditions.
Additionally, some people may need more than simple skincare products to achieve their skincare goals. For instance, a patient may be recommended to get PRP facial therapy to improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face.
Step 4: Stay Consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to improving your skin condition. Once you have a routine in place, it’s important to maintain healthy habits and avoid skipping out on skincare. Of course, hormones play a huge role in your skin health and conditions. Make sure to keep track of your symptoms and consult your doctor about any changes that you notice in your skin.
For instance, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone changes can easily turn oily skin to dry skin and vice versa. A doctor may help you pinpoint what’s causing these hormonal fluctuations and offer you a way to control them.
Ingredients to Seek and Avoid
There are certain ingredients that you should seek and avoid when choosing skincare products.
Generally, for healthy and hydrated skin, you want items that contain the following:
- Hyaluronic acid
- L-Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
- Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
These ingredients provide hydration and moisturization for the skin. They also protect the skin from early signs of aging and harmful UV rays.
On the other hand, you want to avoid products that contain ingredients like:
- Fragrances or parfum
- Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers
These ingredients can cause irritation and skin allergies. Some studies even report the possibility of developing breast cancer.
Although seeing familiar phrases in the ingredients list might be reassuring, it does not necessarily imply the safest approach to skincare. Luckily, you don’t have to go into the process blindly. Use the tips and recommendations provided in this article to guide your choices for skincare products.