Are You Using the Right Moisturizer?

How to pick the perfect lotion for your skin

If there's one thing that most cosmetologists and aestheticians would agree on, it's that every woman -- no matter our age, skin type, where we live, or what we do -- should use moisturizer.

"The environment we live in, how we treat out bodies, and the aging process play a huge factor in moisture loss in the skin," says Tina M. Zillmann, president of the Aesthetics International Association and founder of Advanced Rejuvenating Concepts, a skin care company.

The challenge is choosing the right one. With so many options out there, you could use a little moisturizing 101 to get started on a smart beauty routine. We talked to the "professors" of cosmetology -- the experts -- for their tips and cool product picks. Take a look...


Know Your Skin Type

The most important thing to consider when purchasing a face moisturizer is what type of skin you have. "Everyone needs a moisturizer, but different skin types require different types of products. It's also a common misconception that people with oily skin don't need to use a moisturizer but everyone does," says Erica Chung, co-founder of 3LAB, a skincare line.

So here are some basic guidelines: "If you are oily skinned, stick to an oil-free moisturizer, one with Salicylic Acid, which is good for oily skin and also moisturizing," advises Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD, director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and creator of Dr. Loretta Dermatologist Skin Care product line. "If you have very dry skin, you may want to use a hydrating serum before you apply moisturizer," she adds.

And, remember: If you do skip your moisturizer, your face might produce more oil to compensate for the unbalanced hydration.


Consider Ingredients, Not Price

When buying a moisturizer, look at the ingredient listing and be sure that you're paying for key ingredients and not a label or marketing and advertising, suggests Zillmann. "Look for a moisturizer that is clean -- by that I mean not a lot of fillers, waters or waxes. When looking at the label, the higher concentrations will be near the top. More pure formulas will have a smaller ingredient list."

Here's the best news, ladies: You don't have to spend a small fortune to find a quality moisturizer, says Dr. Naila Malik, dermatologist and creator of the Naila MD Skin Care collection. "For someone with extremely dry skin Aquaphor or Eucerin Plus is great choice at low price. I use these frequently for my patients and for my body," she says.

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