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How to Pick the Perfect Moisturiser for Your Skin Type

Aside from trial and error, there are a few ways to go about finding the best moisturiser for your face. For starters, it’s important to identify your skin type and pay attention to the ingredients label. Don’t know what your skin needs? Use this easy guide as your cheat sheet.

By Adarsh Soni
26 Oct 2021

A good moisturiser is the foundation of a well-rounded skin-care routine. It helps hydrate your skin, makes it more soft, and with the assistance of a few additional ingredients, it can also combat some common skin-related issues. Now we know that finding the right moisturiser can be really hard, especially because most people don’t exactly know what their skin-type is. If you’re struggling with similar problems, then keep reading to find out how you can pick a product that’s right for you.



Dry Skin
An uncomfortable feeling of tightness is the most common sign of dry skin. The more visual symptoms include redness, itchiness and flakiness. “Dry skin is more prone to getting fine lines and wrinkles but breaks out less often than other skin-types,” says Dr Aanchal Panth MD, a Surat-based dermatologist with over ten years of experience. The easiest way to find out if you have dry skin has to do with how it feels in the morning or right after you wash your face. “If you wake up with tautness or flaking, and you tend to apply multiple thick layers of moisturiser to keep your skin feeling normal, it’s safe to assume that you have dry skin,” she adds.


The right moisturiser for you: Cream
Creams are usually oil-based and provide dry skin with the extra hydration that it needs. “But make sure that the oils in your cream are non-comedogenic otherwise it could lead to pimples in some cases. Look out for ingredients like ceramides, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, and apricot oil,” says Dr Panth.


Oily skin
One of the most common skin-types in India—oily skin is characterised by a perpetual sheen on your face. Along with getting progressively shinier (not in a good way) throughout the day, oily skin also tends to leave a thin layer of grease on your phone screens and pillow covers. “People with oily skin often struggle with acne because of overactive sebaceous (oil producing) glands,” says Dr Panth. “They also deal with large, uneven pores and all the products they apply to their skin seem to slide off within a short period of time,” she adds.


The right moisturiser for you: Gel-based
A lightweight and non-sticky formula that gets absorbed quickly works best for oily skin. You don’t want anything that’s too dense or rich because that can cause breakouts. “Get something that includes ingredients like niacinamide, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil,” says Dr Panth.


Combination skin
Ever heard of the T-zone? It includes your nose and forehead area and is the most prone to oiliness. People with combination skin often have oily T-zones, while the rest of their face is extremely dry. It’s like two rivals battling it out on the same playground. “The negative impacts seem to accelerate due to both extreme weather conditions and the wrong skin care products,” says Dr Panth. “In summers you keep chasing the T-zone area and end up neglecting the other dehydrated parts of your face, while in winter, you load up on rich moisturisers that lead to even more oiliness,” she adds.


The right moisturiser for you: It’s complicated
If you have combination skin, you need to keep a couple things in mind while moisturising. “First, remember to tone your face where it feels oily. Once you’re done with that, use a hyaluronic acid serum as that will hydrate your skin efficiently. If your skin still feels dry, follow this step with some gel-based moisturiser,” says Dr Panth.


Sensitive skin
Sensitive skin is hard to identify because symptoms like redness and flakiness can be confused for dry skin, while bumps and pimples can make you think that you just have acne-prone skin. Dr Panth says that an easy way to tell if you are dealing with sensitive skin is by playing close attention to how your skin reacts to certain products and environmental factors. Does your skin turn red and itchy when you drink caffeine, eat spicy food or simply when you’re stressed? Do you get rashes when you accidentally try a potent skincare product? If yes, then it might be a sign of sensitive skin. “Sensitive skin is often caused due to underlying skin problems like eczema and rosacea and should be treated by a dermatologist,” says Dr Panth.


The right moisturiser for you: Balm
Balms are heavier than cream-based formulas and are best suited for cold temperatures or if your skin is extremely sensitive or inflamed. “Look out for relaxing ingredients like squalane and ceramides—which also boost your skin’s natural barrier to common irritants,” says Dr Panth. Also make sure that your moisturiser is fragrance-free.


Mature skin
Now you might think that this skin type is easy to understand because of the obvious age factor right? Well, it’s not that simple. “Mature skin comes with advancing age indeed, but some people may also start experiencing symptoms from an early age,” says Dr Panth. “It’s because of both genetics and other factors like sun exposure, pollution and smoking,” she adds. Ageing skin is generally characterised by increasing dryness, fine lines, pigmentation, and lack of elasticity. If you have a good number of fine lines around your eyes even when your face is resting, it’s safe to assume that you have ageing or mature skin.


The right moisturiser for you: Double-duty cream
Mature skin is similar to dry skin in many ways, but requires special care. “Get a rich, cream-based moisturiser for your nighttime routine—this should include anti-ageing ingredients like retinol and peptides,” says Dr Panth. Make sure to follow it with a layer of hyaluronic acid as that helps your skin appear smooth and plump. “As for the morning, use a lightweight formula that is rich in antioxidants and ceramides,” she adds.




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