Some people seem to be blessed with naturally healthy skin…then there are people who have problem areas and need skin care products to look their best. We call the people in the latter group “normal”. In other words, if you have less-than-perfect skin, then you are not alone.
When purchasing any skin care product, it is important that you read the label carefully. You want to make sure the product is right for your age and complexion. If you have any allergies or are sensitive to particular ingredients, then you will want to know if the product contains anything you can’t tolerate. If things such as animal testing are a concern, then you will want to check the label for that too.
It would be possible to list hundreds, if not thousands, of different skin care products, but it is much easier to break them down into four broad categories: moisturizers, cleansers, exfoliants and sunscreen.
1. Moisturizers – As with any skin care product, you need to select a moisturizer that is right for you. It’s even possible that you may not need a moisturizer, but if your skin doesn’t snap back, feels tight, is wrinkled or just looks dull, then moisturizing is important. Look for products that not only hydrate the skin, but also trap the moisture. If the label mentions “humectants” or the ability to “lock in moisture”, then that’s what you want. The ability to trap moisture will allow the product to keep on working long after you apply it. If your skin is oily then choose moisturizers that are oil-free as well as noncomedogenic (which is the technical way of saying the product won’t clog your pores). If you have sensitive skin then opt for products that are free of scents and dyes.
2. Cleansers – You need to keep your skin clean, but you don’t want to overdo it by using harsh cleansers that do more harm than good. Again, your cleanser will be determined by your skin type, and where you will be using them (e.g., use a more gentle cleanser on the face). A general cleanser such as Ivory soap works for most people, but try not to use regular soaps as they tend to be too harsh when used on a regular basis. Cleaning your face at night and then using a warm-water rinse in the morning may be enough for you, but you shouldn’t have to use a cleanser more than twice a day, at most.
3. Exfoliants – These are the skin care products that take off the dead skin cells that are left on the top of the skin. Exfoliation can be thought of as a deeper cleaning, and most people find that doing it every one to two weeks is sufficient.
4. Sunscreen – While you need to get some sun, getting too much will quickly age your skin. Using a sunscreen every time you go outside will protect you and your skin from the damage the sun can do. You can get stand-alone sunscreen, or you can get skin care products that have a sunscreen added to them.