Smooth Operator

5.12.2011

By Out.com Editors

Want to keep fresh-faced all summer long? Use these tips to find the moisturizer that's best for you.

There's a reason moisturizers are one of the most commonly sold over-the-counter products in the world: they work absolute wonders. Not only do they bring out your skin's natural moisture, they improve the overall feel and appearance of your skin. The challenge is finding the right one for your particular skin type. Unfortunately, not all moisturizers are created equal, and not everybody's skin will respond the same way to every product out there. So what makes the perfect moisturizer? Below, we provide some tips to get you on the road to healthy skin.

If your skin feels dry or parched...
..you'll want a thick, oil-based moisturizer, which means you should check the label for the active ingredients carbamide (the synthetic version of urea), which has been medically proven to have anti-microbal properties that help dry skin back to health, or propylene glycol, which, when combined with other ingredients, helps reduce redness and scaling.

If your skin is itchy and/or easily irritated...
...you may have sensitive skin. That means you should avoid creams that are heavily scented or dyed. Seek products that tout the fact that they're specifically made for "sensitive skin," which usually take advantage of dimethicone -- an emollient, organic silicone that's remarkably gentle on any skin type. Not only does dimethicone provide a breathable barrier to protect against moisture loss, it can be used long-term on sensitive skin without any issues arising.

If you're trying to make aging skin look younger...
...opt for moisturizers that heavily concentrate shea butters, glycerine, and petrolatum. You might also want to try out soy-based moisturizers, which are reliable hydrators that can also vastly improve your appearance.

If your skin is oily...
...choose a light, water-based moisturizer that contains alpha hdroxy acids. This ingredient smoothes skin texture, cleans up blackheads, and has a mild peeling effect to reveal the softness of your skin beneath. (It's also great if you're starting to develop sun damage.) Alpha hydroxy acids work best when a concentration of 5% to 8% is used with a pH of 3 to 4. (That means you should make sure it's listed as the second or third ingredient on the label.)

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