With so many options around, choosing the right moisturizer can be a real pain. But, keeping in mind moisturizer is something you apply to your face every day, it’s not a choice you want to make lightly. Moisturizers come in many varieties and with many ingredients. You should always look for a enriched formulas – vitamin A compound retinol has shown to temporary reduce wrinkles. SPF is always welcome, and you should typically be okay with a SPF 30 to prevent excessive sun damage. If you have sensitive skin which is prone to rashes and bumps, you should choose a moisturizer which is fragrance-free with soothing ingredients. If your skin is on the dry side and you have fine lines, you will be better of with a heavier and thicker moisturizer which is enriched with antioxidants to help prevent new lines or wrikles. Also, dry skin may require a moisturizer with occlusive ingredients such as petrolatum to seal moisture and prevent water loss. You should also mind the season and avoid heavier moisturizers in the summer, as you may risk breakouts and clogged pores. You should also avoid preservatives, especially formaldehide-releasing ones and lanolin (an occlusive agent).
As with any other skincare product type, there’s a lot of options lying around. Choosing the right one for you can be tiresome, time-consuming and may even repulse you from having 15-or-so minutes of relaxing skin pampering. If you have oily/combination skin, you’ll be best off with choosing a clay mask, since clay is great for removing excess oil. It will deep clean your pores without completely drying out your skin. Those with dry/sensitive skin who don’t need a mask to reduce oil should choose a face mask with moisturizing properties. This mask will replenish and calm your skin. For dull skin, the best choice would be an exfoliating mask which will help scrub away dead skin cells leaving a fresh layer of skin. If you have a problematic skin type, you should opt for a purifying mask as it will help with the imperfections. Mature skin requires a mask with firming properties, which will lift the appearance of your skin by softening the look of fine lines and wrinkles. And finally, for normal skin you can choose which ever you want – there’s a ton of options lying around!
Toners are a crucial step in cleaning your skin after a long day. Applied after a face wash, they unclog your pores and clean your skin of any dirt that’s left. Toners are a next step in cleaning your face before a moisturizer, and there are various types available – astringents, which are typically alcohol-based and are better in cleaning your skin, and skin refreshers which mostly just hydrate skin. If your skin is oily, you should opt for an astringent, which will tighten pores and remove excess oils your face washing missed. The acids in the toner will help remove bacteria that lead to breakouts. If you have combination skin and an oily T-zone, try to use oil-absorbing toners only along your forehead, nose and chin avoiding any dry areas. And for the dry areas, a mild moisturizing toning water will hydrate your skin without adding excess oiliness. If you have dry skin stay clear of drying astringents and choose a hydrating water instead. You can also try a toning lotion. These will help you hydrate and soothe dry skin before applying your moisturizer. If your skin is acne-prone, you should look for a toner with salicylic-acid, as it is proven to help with acne treatment.
Keeping in mind that you could seriously harm your skin by choosing the wrong exfoliator, this is not a choice to be taken lightly. When it comes to exfoliation, the less is more – so don’t overdo it. General advice is to do it 1-3 times a week depending on the product you use and your skin type. If you have oily skin, look for a physical exfoliator which isn’t too abrasive. Opt for a scrub with light granules, like jojoba beads. For dry skin, you need an exfoliator which will remove dead, dull skin, but also provide hydration – try something with fine grains in a creamy, lotion texture – one which contains moisturizing oils. For combination skin you can stick with a physical exfoliator or a light chemical one. If you need something to treat the oil opt for one with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). Although mature skin tends to be sensitive and dry, it should still be exfoliated – try a physical exfoliator with super-fine particles, like a microdermabrasion scrub. You can also try chemical exfoliation as well, using a combination of AHA and BHA acids. If you have sensitive skin, you should avoid chemical exfoliation and most exfoliators, too. For acne-prone skin, skip the abrasive exfoliators and stick to chemical ones with salycilic, lactic or glycolic acid. This will not only fight oil and remove pore-clogging skin, but also imrove the texture of your skin and repair acne scars.