Choosing the Right Moisturizer for You

I like to stress to my patients that the best moisturizer is the one you actually like and thus, actually apply. It's all about what works best for you and your skin type. What is aesthetically pleasing and effective to one person may not be for the other. Luckily there is a vast variety of moisturizers on the market to choose from. The downside is that it can be overwhelming to know exactly which to buy. Knowing a few helpful tips can help guide you in the right direction and reduce the burden of excessive trial and error.

Moisturizers fall into 3 basic categories: ointments, creams, and lotions.

The product will often have this distinction clearly labeled on the front.

OINTMENT

Example: Vaseline® Original Petroleum Jelly, CeraVe® Healing Ointment

Pros:

The best type of moisturizer for dry skin

Especially great for those with eczema

Ladies, you may love that it leaves the skin with a nice shine and can be the perfect accessory for bare legs

Cons:

Since it's oil-based, it's greasy, and can leave the skin feeling sticky

Gentlemen, you may dislike that it tends to mat down body hair

It is especially not appropriate to use on areas prone to acne

CREAM

Example: CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream, La Mer Moisturizing Cream

Pros:

A good moisturizer for all skin types

Aesthetically pleasing to most as you barely sense it's there

Cons:

Should be avoided in skin types prone to acne, unless the product reads "oil free" or "noncomedogenic"

LOTION

Example: Aveeno® Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Kiehl's® Light-Weight Body Lotion

Pros:

A great option for oily skin types

Feels very light on the skin and why most males prefer this type

Cons:

This moisturizer is typically a liquid that is alcohol-based and may contain salt

Applying it to irritated skin may cause a burning or stinging sensation

The effects do not last as long as a cream or ointment, requiring it to be reapplied more often throughout the day

Which moisturizer have you found works best for you?...

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