Luckily, there is help on hand.
To know what skin care products to buy, you first need to know your skin type (see our Skin Type Consultation for help). Once you know if your skin is dry, greasy, combination or balanced you can then put a skin care routine in place that follows the basic rules of cleansing, toning and moisturizing, and buy the appropriate skin care products for this routine.
For tips and more info about routines see our beauty blogs: Morning Skin Care Routine in 3 Easy Steps and Night Skin Care Routine in 3 Easy Steps, and our beauty article: 6 Simple Steps to a DIY Facial.
Two things to keep in mind when choosing skin care products is that the safest choice is hypo-allergenic (as these products don’t contain any irritants like perfume) and that the most expensive doesn’t always mean the best.
There are 4 main types of cleansers available on the market today:
- Greasy cleansers like oil, lotions, creams and cold creams that you rub into your skin and then wipe off with tissues or cotton facial pads.
- Rinsable cleansers which require you to rinse your face with water to remove and that come in the form of special facial soaps, lotions and creams.
- Alcohol-based lotions that you apply with cotton balls to ‘wipe away’ dirt and make-up.
- Cleansing pads that come pre-loaded with make-up removers and cleansers which you simply wipe over your skin for a quick clean-up.
The type of cleanser that you use is up to you and how you prefer to clean your skin. For your skin type though, you should keep in mind that dry and balanced skin will benefit from greasy cleansing creams, and greasy and combination skin types should try cleansers that are alcohol-based.
After cleansing, a skin toner is used to wipe off any final traces of dirt, makeup and cleanser residue that may still be on your skin. If you’re using a rinsable cleanser then water does do the job of toning, but there is certainly no harm in using a toner as well if you like the cooling, refreshed feel that it gives to your skin.
Alcohol is one of the main ingredients of a toner and has a drying effect so those with dry skin should only use mild toners that contain very low levels or no alcohol at all. The same goes for balanced skin types. If your skin type is combination then you can use either a mild or strong toner (try a few to see what works best for you). Just stick to using it only along your T-zone where the skin is greasy. Stronger toners that contain high levels of alcohol should be used by those with greasy skin.
Considered to be one of the most indispensible beauty products available, moisturizer will protect your skin from the rigors of the day and provide nourishment at night. The purpose of a moisturizer is to prevent your skin from losing moisture, rehydrate your skin if it has lost moisture and to plump out the dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your skin. For those reasons alone it’s important that ALL skin types use a moisturizer-just make sure it’s the right one!
If you have a dry skin type, rich moisturizers that contain water and grease will help to combat the dryness. Those with balanced skin can also benefit from the hydration of a rich moisturizer, or use a lighter moisturizer if they prefer. Anyone with greasy or combination skin should stick to a lighter, grease-free moisturizer to avoid causing issues with the skin.
It may take some trial and error before you find which products will work for you, but once you do, the reward of a healthy, glowing complexion speaks for itself.