Finding the right moisturizer for your skin type can be as tricky as finding Waldo on one of his adventures. It’s never simple, and sometimes figuring out what your skin type actually is can be an adventure of its own. Here to help clarify a few things in the land of lotions, we’ve put together a guide based on skin type with tips from dermatologist Dr. Bruce Katz of Juva Skin in NYC, to make your next skincare shopping trip a little less strenuous.
If you’re constantly suffering from dry skin that peels and flakes, you’re in need of some serious hydration. “Rich creams are better for dry skin than light lotions or gels, but stick to something with a clean consistency since heavy or greasy moisturizers can feel uncomfortable,” says Dr. Katz. And not all rich creams are equal when it comes to this matter. Find a moisturizer that’s full of healing ingredients like avocado oil, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. A daily dose of these ingredients will deliver relief and assist in treating your condition instead of just covering it up like a band-aid.
Product Recommendations: L’Oréal Paris Ideal Moisture Dry Skin Day Lotion SPF 25, Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Rich Cream, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream-Intense Hydration
Preventing and treating wrinkles is at the top of our priority list. It’s most likely at the top of everyone’s priority list, really. Anti-aging products have a way of working themselves into your routine once you hit your 20s and 30s. But before you go out and purchase anything that says “wrinkle” on the bottle, here’s what you need to look for. “Adding peptides, retinol and antioxidants to your routine are great things to keep in mind when considering anti-aging benefits,” says Dr. Katz.
Product Recommendations: Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream, Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Cream, Garnier Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisturizer
Over-production of sebum. It doesn’t sound pretty, but that’s what is happening. There’s an ugly oily-skin myth out there that says you don’t have to moisturize — definitely not true! Keep an eye out for products with botanical extracts, oil-free formulas and lightweight consistencies. “Clay is also an ingredient used to absorb oil, especially in areas like the T-zone,” says Katz.
Product Recommendations: The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat, Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer
If you turn red to the touch and any and every product causes irritation, your skin is super-sensitive. Simple formulas that contain only a few soothing ingredients are the right route to take. “Products with oatmeal or aloe are ideal for soothing sensitive skin. Look for fragrance-free formulas without parabens because these things can tend to cause skin reactions, especially for those with rosacea, eczema and allergies. Also, a lot of people think the most expensive moistures are the best, but it’s not always true. Some can block pores and be too heavy for sensitive skin as they are formulated for dry, mature skin,” says Katz.
Product Recommendations: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra, The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Day Cream, SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer
While acne may seem like a nightmare, there are specific products out there targeted to your skin issue that can definitely call for some clarity (literally!). Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria that cause blemishes while salicylic acid slows the shedding of cells to prevent pores from clogging. They both range in concentration levels and can cause sensitivity if used improperly. According to Dr. Katz, these products should be used as spot treatments and you should use a light, oil-free moisturizer daily since anything heavy can mechanically block pores and cause for more concern.
Product Recommendations: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion, Vichy Normaderm Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion, The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
You’ve got some oily skin, some dry, and maybe even a few breakouts. That’s all right! Most people don’t have one specific skin type and concerns change along with the seasons. “In this case, you would benefit from using slightly different types of skin care for each area. If your T-zone is oily, use a lighter-weight formula around that area and a cream for the drier parts of your face,” says Dr.Katz.
Product Recommendations: Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream, The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion
What’s your skin type and favorite moisturizer? Let us know in the comments below!
About the Author: Diana creates on-trend beauty content for Makeup.com readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.