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How to Find the Best Moisturizer for Your Skin


Determine Your Skin Type

Your skin type dictates the type of moisturizer you should use. While there are several criteria to classify skin types, the best classification is based on hydration, sebaceous secretion, and sensitivity. Genetics primarily influences the type of skin, but other factors like diet can cause changes in your skin. Below are different skin types and the best moisturizer to use for each case.

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Dry Skin

You probably have dry skin if your skin appears dull and lifeless. Some of the factors that may lead to dry skin include:


-Hot showers
-Exposure to the sun


Heavy, oil-based moisturizers are ideal for dry skins. Also, look out for hydrating ingredients like mineral oil, lanolin, hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol, urea, and glycerin.

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Always pick moisturizers that are labeled hypoallergenic.

Oily Skin

People with oily skin over-secrete sebum to keep their skin moisturized. Some signs of oily skin include:


-Large skin pores
-Greasy skin appearance
-Clogged pores


A light, water-based moisturizer is the best moisturizer for oily skin. Such a product helps hydrate your skin without clogging pores or leaving behind a greasy film. It’s also advisable to use moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid. This acid helps the skin to retain moisture.

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Aging Skin

It’s normal for your skin to become rough and flaky as you age. Some of the factors that cause the drying of aging skin include loss of natural oils, years of sun damage, and slow cell renewal.


Oil-based moisturizers are suitable for aging skin. These moisturizers preserve moisture and keep your skin hydrated for long.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is prone to burning, stinging, or inflammation. You might display the following symptoms if you have reactive skin.


-Red patches

-Itching or burning


It’s vital to keep an eye on the ingredients when shopping for moisturizers for fragile skin. Always pick moisturizers that are labeled hypoallergenic. These are formulas that lack potential allergens and irritants.


Sensitive skin can benefit from ingredients (like aloe) with a soothing effect.

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Creams vs. Lotions vs. Ointments

Most moisturizers come in the form of creams, ointments, and lotions. So, which one should you pick? The answer depends on how you like your moisturizer to feel.

If you desire lightweight formulas, lotions and creams are for you. Go for ointments if you want something rich that will envelop your skin in hydration.

Lotions are the lightest, followed by cream moisturizers. These products are mainly formulated using water-based ingredients.

Use light lotions and creams to hydrate your face during the day and the summer months.

Ointments tend to be heavy moisturizers and are perfect for dry, aging skin. Stick with ointments during the winter and nighttime. Such rich moisturizers might better suit your body compared to your face.

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Do a Patch Test

The best way to determine a suitable moisturizer for your skin is by doing a patch test. Such tests help identify an irritant, allergen, or problematic ingredient. Avoid moisturizers that cause discomfort.

Broad Spectrum

Go for moisturizers that provide more benefits besides hydrating your skin. Nowadays, moisturizers are packed with sunscreen protectors to block harmful UV rays from the sun.

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Analyze the Ingredients

It’s vital to inspect the formulation when choosing a healthy facial moisturizer. Moisturizers have two types of ingredients, active and inactive ingredients.

Active ingredients are the main hydrating agents, while inactive ingredients are extra components that make the moisturizer work better.

Effective moisturizers contain three components—humectants, occlusives, and emollients.

Humectants attract water from the air and deep layers of your skin to the epidermis. Common humectants include propylene glycol, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid.

Emollients form protective films that prevent moisture loss from your skin. Examples include octyldodecanol and shea butter.

Occlusives perform the same role as emollients but are much heavier. Some of them include cetyl alcohol, petrolatum, and lanolin. A few facial moisturizers avoid occlusives because of their thickness.

Below are the ingredients you should check when picking a skin moisturizer.

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Almost all moisturizers contain glycerin. This humectant prevents the top of your skin from drying.


Hyaluronic Acid
Another important humectant is hyaluronic acid. Your body synthesizes this acid, but its production drops as you age. Consider looking for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid if you have aging skin.


Shea Butter
Shea butter is a natural emollient that soothes and keeps your skin moist.


Petrolatum is an effective occlusive agent that seals in moisture in the upper layer of your skin.


Retinol is an inactive ingredient that may help exfoliate your skin.


More beneficial ingredients include:


-L-Ascorbic acid


Problematic Ingredients

Here are some ingredients that may damage your skin or health.


Some moisturizers use parabens as chemical preservatives. According to a 2014 review article, parabens are hormone disruptors and may influence the abnormal growth of breasts.


Fragrances might cause irritation and allergies to people with sensitive/dry skin.


Sulfates in moisturizers may strip the skin of its natural oil and irritate.


Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasers
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. It’s advisable to avoid skincare products that are infused with formaldehyde or its derivatives.

Bottom Line

Choosing a healthy facial moisturizer shouldn’t be a scary task. The best moisturizers have beneficial ingredients, a broad spectrum of action, and suit your skin type.
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