Cosmetify guide to help you find the right face cream for you…
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed when faced with picking out a face cream, you’re not alone. There are so many products out there today that it can be hard to decide what your skin actually needs – and what it really doesn’t.
Q: When should you start using a face cream & why?
A: Get in the habit of using face creams in your mid to late 20s. It’s a good idea to use one cream during the day & another at night. You’ll also want to be sure that you choose the right product for your skin type. If you’re not sure what your skin type is, start by asking your dermatologist.
Using a face cream is important because it keeps the moisture & elasticity in your skin. Also can help reduce wrinkles, age spots, and other fine lines. Face creams also act as a protective barrier for your skin. Look for products, which won’t block your pores and cause your skin to break out.
Day and night face creams differ in what they are supposed to do for your skin. At night you’re looking for a cream to penetrate deeper into your skin to help repair it. And with day creams, you’re looking for something to help protect your skin from the outside elements.
Q: What ingredients do you need in a day face cream?
A: Day face cream should be lighter and include:
- Sunscreen. A good sunscreen blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays that have the potential to wreak havoc on your skin by aggravating signs of aging, pigmentation, and fine lines. We have rounded up SPF 30 sunscreens that have been formulated for all skin types including sensitive and acne-prone skin. We advise looking for a cream with long-acting sunscreen. This means a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
- Vitamin C. Promotes collagen production, which has the potential to thicken the dermis, diminish fine lines, and is essential for firm, youthful skin. On top of that, vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure.
Pro tip: Use a day face cream with SPF year-round. You don’t realize how much sun exposure you get through windows or even getting in and out of the car.
Don’t let fancy packaging or a high price tag fool you. Always read the ingredients on the label.
Q: What ingredients do you need in a night face cream?
A: Night face creams moisturize, soothe, and repair your skin while you sleep.
Look for products that include:
- Retinols. This vitamin A derivative is anti-aging and helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots. It can even out and brighten your skin tone. But beware, this over-the-counter agent is powerful and can cause irritation. Start with a very small amount three times a week and increase as tolerated. If you have sensitive skin, be especially careful.
- Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids. These agents are comprised of citric and other fruit acids and are good for dull or ashy-looking skin. They gently exfoliate and soften skin and help the cream to penetrate your skin.
- Hyaluronic acid (HA). This ingredient absorbs moisture to plump your skin and helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and skin pigment issues.
- Vitamin E. This antioxidant moisturizes skin and brightens the complexion.
Q: If you have dry or sensitive skin, what ingredients should you look for in a face cream?
A: It can be a struggle to find a product for skin that’s easily irritated or prone to dryness.
Read the product labels and look for the following ingredients:
- Ceramides. These are natural proteins in the outer layers of the skin that keep moisture in and protect skin from environmental toxins. Older and sensitive skin tends to have fewer ceramides.
- Glycerin. A natural humectant (moisturizer) that repairs skin.
- Lactic acid. An exfoliant that removes the outer layer of dead skin cells, allowing moisturizers to better penetrate the skin.
Q: What ingredients should you avoid in a face cream?
A: If you have oily or acne-prone skin, then avoid oils, waxes, and petrolatum. They’re too heavy and can plug pores and make acne worse.
Other ingredients to avoid include:
- Fragrances and perfumes. They can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
- Retinoic acid. This anti-aging ingredient can irritate your skin.
- Methylparabens/parabens. These cosmetic preservatives can cause allergic reactions and block your pores.
- Salicylic acid. This exfoliant can irritate sensitive skin.
All-natural ingredients can be good, but plants, nuts, and berries can cause allergic reactions for some people. Pay attention to these ingredients and what your reaction is.
Q: Do you need to be using a face serum too?
A: Serums are lighter than moisturizers and are more concentrated with active ingredients. You can wear them during the day or at night. Serums are usually worn under a moisturizer and come as gels, lotions, or liquids.
Because serums are typically very potent (and can be pricey), it’s recommended to speak with your dermatologist or consult your skincare specialist before trying one. Based on your skin type and goals, he or she can let you know if you’d benefit from a serum.
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