On the hunt for new skin-care products to enhance your daily routine? With so many different products on the market, choosing isn’t exactly easy. The labels on the back of balms, creams, and lotions aren’t very consumer-friendly, either, with ingredient names that are complex and impossible to pronounce.
So how are you supposed to choose skin-care products that are good for your skin? By understanding your skin and what it needs, of course, and by familiarizing yourself with which ingredients are inherently good and which ones are intrinsically bad. Here’s what to look for when choosing skin-care products.
Know Your Skin Type
Knowing your skin type is the first—and most important—step to finding skin-care products that work. There are three main skin types—oily, dry, and sensitive. Those with sensitive skin have to pay special attention to the ingredients in their skin-care products, while dry and oily skin can handle a broader range of ingredients.
Don’t know your skin type? A trip to the dermatologist can confirm what kind of skin you have.
If you have oily skin, look for products that contain glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and salicylic acid. These acids limit the production of sebum, or natural oils, but not to the point that your skin becomes dry.
For those with dry skin, opt for products with shea butter and lactic acid. These ingredients effectively moisturize and exfoliate the skin.
If your skin is extra-sensitive, consider making the switch to natural (non-synthetic) and vegan products. The synthetic ingredients in many skin-care products are harsh on sensitive skin and can lead to irritation, itchiness, and general discomfort. Aloe vera, oatmeal, and shea butter are three natural and vegan ingredients that are gentle on sensitive skin.
Functionality Over Appearance
Another thing to look for when choosing skin-care products is functionality.
It can be tempting to purchase products based on their appearance, but expensive-looking packaging doesn’t always translate into a more effective product. If you want to reap the best results, base your decisions on the ingredient list instead of the product’s appearance.
Don’t limit yourself to name brands, either. Just because a company isn’t widely known doesn’t mean its products are bad or ineffective. In fact, many lesser-known brands offer similarly high-quality products at a much more affordable price than name brands.
Good Ingredients vs. Bad Ingredients
Some ingredients are notoriously bad for your skin, and others are highly beneficial. But how do you tell which ones are which? Here are some common ingredients in skin-care products that you should seek out and a few more that you should avoid.
Ingredients to Seek Out:
- Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
- Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid)
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
Ingredients to Avoid:
As you can see, not all ingredients with convoluted names are bad, and not all names you recognize are good! This is part of what makes choosing effective skin products so difficult. But now that you know some of the most common ingredients in skin-care products, you can shop feeling more informed.