Pick the perfect moisturizer

All skin types need moisturizer, but choosing the best one for your skin type can be tricky. You don’t want to end up with something too heavy if you have oily or acne-prone skin, and you don’t want something too light for skin that needs extra hydration. Here’s a guide to picking the perfect moisturizer.

Why skin needs moisturizer

Hydrating your skin with a cream or lotion is an essential skin care step. These products seal moisture into your skin and help skin retain moisture throughout the day. Some moisturizers also help attract moisture to the skin, while others soothe, soften and work to minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

Dry skin

If you have particularly parched skin that tends to appear flaky (especially in the winter or in dry climates), you need some serious hydration. Choose a thick, oil-based moisturizer that thoroughly coats your skin and provides maximum moisture. Oil-based products last longer than water-based moisturizers because they help prevent water from evaporating off the skin.

Oily skin

You may think that the last thing your oily skin needs is moisture, but all skin types — even those that tend to be oily — need hydration. Opt for a product labeled non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores. Your choice also should be light in texture, oil free, and easily absorbed. A water-based lotion with glycolic acid or alpha-hydroxy acid will have a mild peeling effect that can help clear blackheads and smooth skin texture as it hydrates.

Sensitive skin

If you have sensitive skin, which is characterized by redness and irritation, look for a gentle formula free of chemicals, fragrances and dyes. Look for a short ingredient list: The more ingredients listed on the product, the greater the chance that one of them will irritate your skin. Ideally, these ingredients will be natural rather than chemical based.

Mature skin

Dry skin becomes more of an issue with age because the skin’s oil-producing glands slow down. Boost moisture levels with an oil-based moisturizer and a product that not only seals moisture into the skin, but also attracts it. A formula that plumps skin and fights fine lines and wrinkles helps give skin a smoother, more youthful appearance.