Most people dream of having flawless and ageless skin. And that usually means going on frequent trips to makeup and beauty stores to find the safest and the most effective products out there.
Given the variety of options you find in stores, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you. But while there’s no universal rule that applies for everyone, there are two secrets you can learn that could help make the decision easier.
1. Buy products especially made for your skin type
The first and foremost rule when buying beauty products is your skin type. Remember that your skin is as unique as you are. Nobody would have the exact same skin as you.
You’ll definitely come across the major skin-type categories, which most manufacturers use as a reference to include the perfect ingredients and formulations in their makeup and skincare products.
If you’re not sure what your skin type is, read on to learn about the five main skin-types and the kinds of products you should choose for each:
If you feel like something’s missing, it is most likely because you have normal skin. Essentially, normal skin will look like this:
- Few or zero imperfections
- No intense sensitivity
- The complexion is radiant, but not necessarily white
Normal skin is the most common of the five skin types and is normally deemed the image of healthy skin: small pores, balanced moisture, and very few visible concerns. It is also typically the kind of skin that you’re trying to maintain or achieve through a skincare routine.
However, it is important to note that even normal and healthy skin could still have minor visible issues, most of which would appear more frequently as you age.
That said, people with normal skin types can go for broad-spectrum beauty products for maintenance. Also, almost all products that are okay to use for this skin type are labeled as such.
Dry skin tends to be flaky and rough and often needs to be moisturized throughout the day. It may also peel, crack, and become itchy, inflamed, or irritated.
People with dry skin will also notice that they have a dull complexion, almost invisible pores, red patches (a sign of itch or irritation), more visible lines, and less elastic skin.
Considering these characteristics, use products with ingredients that offer added hydration and mild exfoliation, like those that contain lactic acid and shea butter
Oily skin feels and looks just as it is called – oily and greasy. People with this skin type usually have overactive sebaceous glands that produce too much sebum, which is the oil that coats the skin as a protective barrier.
If you have oily skin, you’re likely to have large and clearly visible pores, as well as skin that looks paler and thicker. You may also experience more skin issues than you care to have. However, oily skin normally looks less aged and plumper than dry skin.
To care for oily skin, stick to products that control excess oil production like those with alpha hydroxy acids (either salicylic acid or glycolic acid) and benzoyl peroxide. It would also be good if the product has hyaluronic acid as it will only produce hydration in areas where it is needed.
Sensitive skin may come as dry, red, or itchy. Sometimes, it may even come with a burning sensation when exposed to the sun or certain chemicals contained in beauty products.
With sensitive skin, you have to figure out the triggers so you can avoid them. Although there are many potential reasons, sensitivity is more commonly a response to certain products used on the skin.
Choose products that have oatmeal, aloe vera, and shea butter. Besides serving as excellent moisturizers, they also don’t cause breakouts.
Having a combination skin type means that certain areas are either dry or normal, while the rest — particularly the T-zone (along the forehead, nose, and chin) — is oily.
People with combination skin can also have blackheads and pores that look bigger than normal because they’re more open. This type of skin can also be a bit shinier in certain areas.
Maintenance for combination skin types can be a bit tricky. Since it is composed of at least two other skin types, the different regions of the face may each require different skincare regimens.
2. Read the labels on your beauty products
Reading the labels on the beauty products before using helps you avoid any untoward effects on your skin. Doing so will allow you to know the active ingredients of the product. But what you need to look at may not be advertised in the promotion.
That said, be sure to look for:
Often, people only look at the active ingredients in beauty products that are advertised. However, finding the right product for you entails looking at the other ingredients as well.
As a rule of thumb, experts recommend studying the first five ingredients on the list first since they account for approximately 80 percent of the product’s total makeup. The order of the ingredients list will be from highest to lowest concentration. When you find a problematic ingredient listed in the first five, it may be best to steer clear of that product.
Likewise, you can also use this information to determine whether a product is worth your money. If you see an ingredient you’ve been looking for at the end of the list, it would only comprise a small percentage of the overall product. Thus, it won’t provide as much of the benefits you’re after.
Besides knowing all its ingredients (and checking whether it’s truly safe to use for your skin type), the label should also let you know the expiration date of the product. Remember that products that have passed the date indicated in the label must never be used as they may already contain bacteria that cause rashes, blemishes, skin irritation, and even infections.
When checking the label, it is also good to seek out the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol, which comes in the form of a floating lid and jar containing a number and an “M.” This indicates the length of time the product is safe to use after opening.
For example, if the PAO symbol has a 12M, it means that it would expire 12 months after it is opened. So, don’t forget to jot down the date when you opened the product and dispose of any remaining product once the period indicated has passed since opening.
Skincare and beauty are all about knowing what’s good for your skin. Make sure that you only use the right products by using this article as a guide.
Nick Vinckier is Head of Growth at Chalhoub Group, the largest luxury retailer in the Middle East. In his current role, he focuses on taking Faces.com from 0 to 1, transforming the beauty retailer into the fastest growing online beauty platform of the GCC.