You just may be able to get away without using a moisturizer.
"Not everyone needs or should use a moisturizer, especially women with oily, combination, or acne-prone skin!" Paula Begoun, author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, writes on her website. But what if you just can't part with your favorite day and night creams? What should you be looking for when shopping for a moisturizer?
According to Paula, a good moisturizer should contain emollients (essential for making skin not feel dry), water-binding agents (ingredients that attract water to the skin and help keep it there), anti-irritants and antioxidants. For daytime, it must contain a well-formulated sunscreen.
If you have an oily t-zone area (forehead, nose and cheeks) and your skin is normal to dry elsewhere on your face, you have combination skin. Most of us will have combination skin at some point in our lives. Use an oil-free moisturizer in the t-zone and a light moisturizer on other areas. In order to normalize your skin, it may be necessary to apply two different types of products on the different areas of your skin. Alternatively, you can skip the moisturizer for your t-zone entirely and just moisturize the cheeks and eyes.
If you have dry skin, your skin may feel dry and itchy and wrinkles are more obvious on your skin than other skin types. Although the use of a moisturizer can help to temporarily smooth out wrinkles, none of them can turn back the clock. Choose one which makes your skin look smooth and feel supple. A water-based moisturizer is preferable, although it won't last as long as an oil-based moisturizer. However, emollients in water-based moisturizers such as plant oils and shea butter can help to provide your skin with essential moisture. (Tip: Apply moisturizer on damp skin to lock in moisture.)
If you have sensitive skin, you may have red patches on your face and/or are easily irritated by using certain products. It can be difficult to find a product which doesn't aggravate your skin and cause breakouts or unsightly rashes. Look for moisturizers which do not contain fragrance and ingredients which you know can be potentially irritating to your skin. Even something as harmless as Aloe Vera can cause skin irritations!
Sunscreens are essential for daytime wear to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays. There are plenty of sunscreens on the market which hydrate the skin as well as protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Why not skip the moisturizer and wear a sunscreen instead? The fewer products on your skin, the less likely your skin will develop an irritation to any of the ingredients.
Tara Sabeti is Vice-President of Marketing at http://www.BeautySteals.com, an online retailer of cosmetics, skin care and fragrances. A graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, she has spent more than five years researching and working in the cosmetics and fashion industries. Her in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the cosmetics industry, from product development to e-marketing, as well as cosmetic applications for women of varying backgrounds, makes Sabeti an authority women can trust.