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How to Choose a Moisturizer

by C.D. Crowder

Fresh Face

Moisturizer is important for healthy, smooth, glowing skin, and it's appropriate, year-round, for both men and women. Many types of moisturizers are available, and choosing the right one is essential for good skin care. As with other skin care products, moisturizers come in many varieties. Everyone's skin is different, so use our tips to choose a moisturizer that will be perfect for your skin care routine.


  1. Determine your skin type. There are five main skin types, and knowing which type you have can help you choose the right moisturizer. The five main skin types are dry, normal, oily, combination and sensitive. Assess your skin in the morning before applying skin care products. Dry skin will have some rough patches and oily skin will be shiny, while combination skin might have both shine and dryness. Normal skin and sensitive skin will likely appear fine and normal most of the time, but sensitive skin can react poorly to chemicals and fragrances.

  2. Choose a moisturizer for your particular skin type. Individuals with oily skin should choose moisturizers that are oil-free or contain ingredients to help battle shine and acne. If you have dry skin, choose a heavy moisturizer that will nourish your skin and keep it soft. Men and women with combination skin should consider oil-free formulations or moisturizers that cater specifically to combination complexions. If you have normal skin, you have a wide range of moisturizer options and you might like a moisturizer that targets specific problems, such as under-eye circles. Individuals with sensitive skin should consider gentle, natural moisturizers that are made without fragrances and chemicals.

  3. Consider sun protection. Moisturizers with SPF can help prevent aging and decrease your chance of developing skin cancer. SPF 15 is a common formulation for many moisturizers and is sufficient for normal daily sun exposure, such as your afternoon walk or daily commute. Moisturizers with higher SPF formulations are great for men and women who spend a lot of time outdoors or who are at a higher risk for skin cancer.

  4. Compare extras. Special ingredients that fight aging, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, combat acne and exfoliate dead skin cells can help improve your overall skin tone. When these ingredients are combined with a moisturizer, taking care of your skin properly is a snap. Remember that your skin can change with age. If your moisturizer seems to be counterproductive, consider a new type.

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