There are just two big beauty rules: wear sunscreen, and moisturize every day. That alone can prevent wrinkles or even reduce their appearance. However, buying moisturizer is a little bit more complicated. We have so many options, with each brand touting their own miracle ingredient and promising visible results in one month or less. And, many brands have multiple variants and formulations. How do we know which one to get?
Start with your skin type
Moisturizers can come in cream, lotion or ointment form. What’s best depends on your skin. Very dry skin neds a thick ointment that can trap moisture. Normal skin needs creams. Lotions, which are mostly made of water, are best for oily skin.
Day vs. night cream
A light moisturizer is best for the day time and the hot summer months. Apply them right before putting on makeup, because they’ll prep the skin so your foundation goes on more smoothly. The thicker creams work better at night, especially if they contain ingredients that may react to sunlight.
What to look for in a moisturizer
Remember that we said that the two most important beauty rules were to wear sunscreen and use moisturizer every day? Some products do both at the same time. Your day moisturizer should contain at least SPF 15 (or ideally, SPF 30).
If your skin is prone to breakouts, get a moisturizer that has no fragrances or oils. You should also look for alpha hydroxy acids, and this very important label: non-comedogenic, or won’t clog pores. Another good word to watch out for is hypo-allergenic. If your skin is very sensitive it also helps to get moisturizers that have less than 10 ingredients, since there’s a lower chance of possible interactions that can trigger an outbreak.
Once you’re 30 years old you need to think about anti-aging ingredients: green tea, chamomile, licorice root extract, pomegranate.
People with dry skin need moisturizers that have extra hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and dimethicone. Glycerin, propylene lycol, urea, and proteins even draw in moisture. Meanwhile, lanolin and mineral oil lock that moisture inside the skin.
Tips for using moisturizer
Apply moisturizer on a clean face, and with clean hands! Don’t apply near the eyes (instead, get a good eyecream). When you’re trying on a new moisturizer, don’t shake up anything else in your routine (like your facial cleanser or makeup)—if you get a reaction, you know what’s causing it.
Store moisturizer away from sunlight, especially if they contain heat and light sensitive ingredients like Vitamin C.