buying guide skin care

skin care starts with skin type.

what's your type?

Since your skin type will guide many of your skin care buying decisions, here's an easy way to figure yours out. After a quick rinse first thing in the morning, dab a clean tissue around your face. Take a look at the tissue. How does your skin feel?

  • normal

    The tissue won't show oil. Normal skin usually feels soft with minimal care and doesn't blemish often.

  • dry

    The tissue won't show oil, but instead of feeling soft, your skin may feel dry, tingly, tight or even be flaky. Dry skin doesn't break out as much, but it can look dull and may show more signs of aging.

  • oily

    The tissue may show oil spots. Your skin often looks shiny and may break out often.

  • combination

    If the tissue blots oil from your "T-zone" (forehead, nose and chin), but not others, you have combination skin.

  • sensitive

    Wiping the skin with tissue may leave it feeling chapped or tight. Sensitive skin tends to be dry and easily irritated, so you'll want to treat it gently.

step 1: cleanse.

  • Start with a clean slate, morning and night. Cleansers, toners, astringents, and exfoliants work together to get your skin clean. Pick the products that do the job without irritating your skin.

    shop cleansers
  • exfoliants.

    Find a fresher face by removing dead surface skin cells. Exfoliants typically contain salt or crushed shells and should not be used too often. For dry or sensitive skin—or for daily use—products with microbeads tend to be gentler.

    shop exfoliants
  • oscillating brushes.

    Removing the top layer of dead skin cells helps your products work better and your skin look more youthful. Use brushes morning and night, in or out of the shower and with a gentle cleanser. Sensitive- skin types should test on a small patch first. Replace brushes every 3-4 months.

step 2: tone.

To make sure your cleanser and moisturizer are doing everything they should, use a toner—which may also be called an astringent, clarifying lotion, refiner or freshener.

toners & astringents.

Pick a toner that will help gently exfoliate your face without drying your skin.

step 3: moisturize.

Choose moisturizers that are best for your skin type and appropriate for day or night. You'll want something with SPF for daytime. At night, you can use a richer formula, especially if you have dry skin.

moisturizers.

  • normal

    For normal skin, look for vitamins A, B, C and E, collagen or aloe vera.

    shop moisturizers for normal skin
  • dry

    For dry skin, look for the same ingredients as for normal skin, plus cocoa and shea butters, and coconut oil.

    shop moisturizers for dry skin
  • oily

    Look for an oil-free formula.

    shop moisturizers for oily skin
  • combination

    For combination skin, moisturize dry areas, but not as much in the T-zone where you may need an oil-free product. Special skin care products such as oatmeal mask creams can be great for combination skin. You'll find your skin glows and feels great after using products with oatmeal—it is a natural exfoliant and an anti-inflammatory agent.

    shop moisturizers for combination skin
  • sensitive

    For sensitive skin, look for hypoallergenic, natural moisturizers with lots of vitamins. Always spot-test new products.

    shop moisturizers for sensitive skin

step 4: enhance.

Now that you've found the right cleansing and moisturizing routine, it's time to address skin challenges with the right products and habits.

  • puffiness & under-eye circles.

    Puffiness or darkness around the eyes can be signs of illness somewhere else in the body. Common causes are lack of sleep, stress, aging, a deficiency of vital nutrients, and hyperpigmentation from the sun.

    what to do

    To get rid of dark circles and puffiness (and prevent them in the first place) drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Apply moisturizers with natural ingredients such as avocado oil, sesame, vitamins C, K and E and retinol. Be aware that scented cosmetics, and those containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid, may make dark circles worse.

  • beat acne, one pimple at a time.

    Acne isn't the end of the world, although it can feel that way. Find out how to treat and prevent it.

    learn more about acne
  • sunscreen for every body, every day.

    Whatever your age or skin type, wear SPF protection every day, year-round. After being out in the sun, use after-sun products to replenish moisture. If you do get too much sun, look for a product designed to soothe sunburn. And brush up on sunless tanning basics for a healthier way to glow. The sun care buying guide explains it all.

    sun care buying guide
  • get glowing at any age.

    Different ages face different challenges when it comes to skin care. Find out how to do the best for the stage your skin is in.

    learn more about the right skin care for your age
  • anti-aging ingredients
    fight the signs of aging.

    learn more about anti-aging ingredients