When it comes to maintaining healthy skin, it's not just about keeping it clean. The right face cream can make a big difference in the health of your skin -- but not all creams are created equal. Some are better for dry or mature skin, while others work best for oily, acne-prone complexions. Still others are designed to help all skin types. Choose the right one for your particular skin concerns.
Moisturizer is a type of face cream that is designed to keep the skin hydrated by restoring water to the upper layers of the dermis. By maintaining your skin’s hydration levels, moisturizer helps prevent dry, flaky patches on your face. Because it adds water, it can benefit all skin types. Choose an oil-free, water-based face cream if you have oily skin. Normal and dry complexions are better off with an oil-based moisturizer for more intense hydration.
Get a Youthful Glow
Anti-aging creams help combat visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles and sun spots. They have hydrating properties, and include ingredients that smooth and brighten the skin for a more youthful appearance. Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, for example, help exfoliate dead cells and stimulate collagen production so your skin looks firmer. Other anti-aging creams contain retinol, a vitamin A derivative that helps speed up cell turnover and boost collagen production. Retinol can be potent, however, so if you have sensitive skin, start with an every other night application to get your skin used to it.
Clear Your Complexion
Treat breakouts and prevent future ones from occurring with a cream that addresses acne. acne creams often contain benzoyl peroxide, an antibacterial agent that can penetrate the pores and kill the bacteria that causes breakouts. It can also help reduce acne inflammation. Other acne face creams may contain salicylic acid, which also has antibacterial properties and can help reduce inflammation associated with breakouts. It also helps to exfoliate the skin and clean inside the pores to prevent clogs that can lead to acne. If you have active breakouts, use an acne face cream twice a day. To prevent breakouts, a once-a-day application is usually sufficient.
Protect Your Skin
Sunscreen may be the most important face cream that you can use. It protects your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, which can cause damage that leads to fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. It also helps prevent skin cancer. For the most effective protection, choose a sunscreen cream of an SPF of 15 or higher, and with broad-spectrum protection to guard against both UVA and UVB rays. Use sunscreen or a product containing sunscreen on your face year-round – even in the winter. Look for moisturizers with SPF in them, so you can moisturize and protect your skin in one step.
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- The New Science of Perfect Skin: Understanding Skin Care Myths and Miracles For Radiant Skin at Any Age; Daniel Yarosh
- Dr. Oz: Get Better Skin With Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids
- Total Beauty: 12 Anti-Aging Skin Care Ingredients You Need to Know About
- Oprah: Retinol Cream --Your Skin's New Best Friend
- Teen Vogue: Salicylic Acid vs. Benzoyl Peroxide -- How To Decide Which Acne Fighter Is Right For You
- American Melanoma Foundation: Facts About Sunscreen
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.