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Published on July 02, 2021

woman looking in mirror putting on moisturizer

Simple steps for choosing the best moisturizer for your skin

Options abound when it comes to moisturizers for your face, with every bottle seeming to cater to different skin types or complexion issues. How do you know what one is right for your skin's needs? These guidelines from Gundersen skincare specialist Annie Holliday can help you make sure you're getting the most out of your moisturizer.

Q: What should I look for when picking a moisturizer?

A: The most important things to consider when choosing a moisturizer are the ingredients and your skin type. A high-quality product has high-quality ingredients and will make whatever amount you pay worth it. Keep in mind that you want a product whose ingredients are going to work for your skin, not sit on top of it.

Q: Since skin type is so important, how do I determine mine?

A: A great way to find your skin type is to think about how your skin feels and looks at the end of a normal workday. Does it have a shine to it? Does it feel oily? If so, you most likely have an oily skin type. Does your skin feel oily in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin area) but fine in other places? Then you most likely have combination skin. On the other hand, maybe your skin feels tight or flaky. In this case, you most likely have a dry skin type.

Q: What's the best way to apply moisturizer?

A: You generally do not need a lot of moisturizer at a time—only about the size of a dime. Once you've dispensed some into your palm, apply it using small circular motions in an upward pattern, avoiding directly under your eyes and on your eyelids. The skin on these parts of your face is too thin for a normal moisturizer and does much better with a cream made specifically for such delicate areas. Regardless of the product you're using, you always want to put skincare products on using an upward motion rather than pushing or pulling the skin down. Gravity does that on its own as we age. As you're applying the product, softly push it in to ensure it's working into the skin.

Q: When in my skincare routine should I apply moisturizer? First? Last? Somewhere in the middle?

A: You want to make sure moisturizer is the final step in your skincare routine—besides sunscreen. When you apply moisturizer, the product should not feel like it's sitting on the surface of your skin and shouldn't make you feel oily. Out of all the steps in your skincare routine, putting on moisturizer is one of the most important for all skin types. Even oily-prone skin types need a moisturizer, because a lack of hydration can sometimes cause the skin to overcompensate and produce even more oil.

Q: Do I need a different moisturizer for the morning and night?

A: You can use the same moisturizer morning and night. If you have a drier skin type, you may benefit from a thicker, more hydrating cream at night.

Q: What about SPF? Is it better to use a moisturizer with sunscreen in it or to buy the products separately?

A: I recommend two separate products to ensure both products are working to their full ability. In this case, you want the sunscreen to be the last step in your skincare routine before applying makeup.

Get personalized skincare advice

Still not sure what moisturizer is best for your skin type? Get personalized answers at a consultation with a Gundersen skincare specialist.

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