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If you are looking for a face cream for all skin types, check the ingredients list. Make sure that there’s no SLS (not good for sensitive skin), no perfume (not good for dry skin) and no stripping agents (not good for oily skin – the dermis will just start producing more oil to make up). According to Allure, these are the most important things to put in face creams suitable for all skin types. See what you think!
It’s kind of like a vacuum that sucks water from the atmosphere into your skin—so moisturizers with glycerin work best if you put them on immediately post-shower, when your bathroom is still muggy. Compared to other moisturizing ingredients, glycerin is inexpensive (which means products can actually contain a lot of it) and silky (which means you can put on your makeup immediately). We love: Matis Reponse Jeunesse Fundamental Beautifying Cream
If you want an immediate glow (tough decision…) or need to relieve dry, itchy skin, ceramides are a no-brainer. They’re fats found naturally in the skin, and their whole job is to seal in water so skin cells don’t dry out. “They reinforce the skin’s natural moisture barrier,” says dermatologist Francesca Fusco. “And they get absorbed really quickly.” We love: Maria Galland Creme Mille 1000 – Cream
Sure, it sounds gross. But stay with us: Synthetic (key word!) urea is actually really great at exfoliating and moisturizing at the same time. It’s such an effective exfoliator that it’s best for rough spots on the body, like your heels. “A lot of other moisturizing ingredients just sit on top of your skin,” says Fusco. “Urea helps melt away dead cells, then other moisturizing ingredients can penetrate better.” We love: Biodroga MD Cerato-Balance Smoothing Cream
- Hyaluronic acid.
Fine lines, crepey skin—meet hyaluronic acid. This molecule swells after it absorbs water, and that plumps lines on the spot. But that doesn’t mean every product with hyaluronic acid offers immediate gratification—because the ingredient is expensive, it may be present in a low concentration. Look for products with hyaluronic acid listed near the top of the ingredient list. We love Atlantis Skincare’s Glowing Skin Day Cream with Hyaluronic Acid.
- Lactic acid.
It exfoliates. It hydrates. It’s the solution to one very common gripe: “A lot of patients complain about dry legs in the winter,” says Fusco. “Apply a product with lactic acid when they’re still damp from the shower, then layer on a basic moisturizer. That’ll take care of it.” (Obviously, it works on ashy arms, too.) We love: Biodroga Lotus & Science Anti-Age Day Care