In more simple times, the daily beauty treatment was known as the wash, rinse and repeat routine. While a lot of people still practice this unfailing pattern, the cosmetics industry warns that skin care is a bit more elaborate than that. Though one can argue that it’s all for their own corporate gain, some dermatologists claim that each of those newly created products plays an important role in our wellness regimes, simply by keeping the skin fresh, young and healthy.
As a result, the quest for the best face products can sometimes feel a bit more frustrating than it should. Have environmental factors finally made the traditional three-step procedure insufficient? What is the difference between creams and lotions? How come we need serums too? These are only a few of the many recurring questions to which most modern women have no answers.
Hopefully, this guide will solve at least a couple of these daunting mysteries.
A Word to the Wise
Oddly enough, the answers you seek are not the answers that will help you choose from the wide range of skin care products now available on the market. Though not entirely a myth, the best face products are only as good as they are suitable to your skin; consequently, the only knowledge you need for shopping wisely is about how to make decisions in accordance to your unique skin type. Learn which bracket you belong to, do a little research on the best skin care products that are created specifically for your type, and voilà, the solution will come before you manage to say “cream”.
Keep the basic three steps, though. Discarded as supposedly outdated, the wash, rinse and repeat routine that our grandmas have been so dedicated to is nothing less than crucial. Cleanse until every single pore gets unclogged, then moisturize gently to keep natural oils and water flowing through and finish off with additional protection from the sun or cold winter temperatures, depending on which one you need at the moment.
Then and only then, treat yourself with a pampering beauty treatment. Exfoliating and toning may not be essential, but they certainly help. In fact, each of the following skincare product types is effective in its own way, so feel free to experiment until you eventually build the routine that includes the best beauty products on the market, while working flawlessly for your unique type of skin.
Part One: Cleansing
Who knew that face washing could ever get so complicated? Instead of those old delightfully scented soaps, ladies now use micellar waters and Dead Sea face products. Toning, on the other hand, is still considered a controversial topic in cosmetics circles. However confusing it all may seem, a proper cleansing routine is still the most vital part of skin care, so be sure to get it right.
Though quite tiny, pores are the main culprits for all those unnerving imperfections that appear on your skin – what makes them clogged is a combination of sebum (oil naturally produced below the surface of the skin) and external pollutants. The best face products designed specifically for cleansing target those impurities and wash them away, thus preparing the foundation for smooth and soft skin.
Choose oil- or milk-based face washes if your skin is atypically dry. Oil-free foaming cleansers with salicylic acid are great for oily types; simple, mild cleansers work best for those with combination skin, while sensitive skin demands unfragranced, irritant-free face washes.
Best Pick: the irresistible citrus scent of Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser will get your skin flawless and your senses excited.
Masks and Exfoliators
Whatever sneaky impurities face cleansers cannot reach, cosmetic masks sure can. Their main purpose is to dive deep into skin layers and remove any kind of dirt that had settled there, thus making the skin thoroughly clean.
While both work on a cellular level, masks and exfoliators are not exactly the same thing. Just like masks, exfoliators excel in cleaning dirt from deep pores, but they are also in charge of the top layers of the skin, where they successfully deal with dead cells.
Best Pick: According to Cosmopolitan, the Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment is currently unparalleled when it comes to exfoliating.
You can still hear dermatologists arguing about toners – though quite refreshing and easy on the skin, they’ve been hugely criticised as redundant and even harmful. Ultimately, toners may not be of fundamental importance for cleaner, healthier skin, but they certainly make it even more so by removing traces of other skincare products, primarily face washes and makeup.
Best Pick: Kylie Jenner’s favourite, the Glycolic Acid Toner by Mario Badescu is all the most soothing toning treatment your complexion can wish for.
Step Two: Moisturizing
Being the second fundamental step of regular skin care routines, moisturizers may just be the most vital part in the overall process. Without them, the skin starts to crack and age, thus becoming less immune to other unfavourable factors that lurk in our environment. The best face products of this type should help you retain water and natural oils in proper amounts, thus keeping pH levels in much-needed balance, but not only that.
Facial moisturizers are created to play a protective role as well, so don’t get confused by different SPF factors that keep your skin safe from harmful UV rays. Their third purpose is to repair and rejuvenate, which is why most face creams come with powerful skin tissue stimulants and anti-aging formulas.
Depending on your skin type, you can choose between creams, lotions, serums, oils, ointments and face mists, and you’ll definitely need a suitable night cream to soothe and relax your skin while sleeping.
Creams and Lotions
Being thicker, richer and heavier in texture, the best beauty cream is mostly intended for those with dry skin. Regardless of season, such complexion is characterized by an unusual lack of moisture, and needs a delightfully nourishing face product to help it lock the water in. Though widely popular and used by people with different skin types, creams are still most effective when applied to a dry complexion.
Lotions, on the other hand, work perfectly on all skin types. While creams can make oily skin even greasier, this type of facial moisturizer are certain to prevent any kind of unwanted shine. The best skin lotion is a non-comedogenic one that’s even lighter and silkier, and takes care of deep and surface pores alike, thus allowing your skin to achieve a natural glow.
Best Pick: However dry or sensitive your skin might be, Själ Cela Intuitif Light Cellular Renewal Crème will make it soft and resistant.
Unlike creams and lotions, serums are usually made for a specific purpose. Some of them combat only wrinkles, while others target sunspots or acne. Still, facial serums are pleasant and hydrating enough that they can be used without any additional moisturizer. As such, they are the best face products for people with sensitive complexions.
Oils and Ointments
Never use oil and ointments if your skin is greasier than it should be! Extremely nourishing, these moisturizers are good for those with unusually dry skin, but quite risky for all other skin types. The only exception may be sensitive skin that’s already aged or afflicted by eczema – high in moisture, oils and ointments are perfect for treating deep lines, cracks and sunburns.
Best Pick: If looking for something to make your skin spotless and makeup-ready, look no further than Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil.
Face mists are not your typical kind of moisturizer, nor are they a suitable replacement for one. Instead of hydrating from within, they simply keep your face fresh and radiant during the day, especially when applied over makeup. Having a nice, scented face mist that you can spritz whenever needed is as beneficial as it is fun.
Best Pick: Keep your foundation intact and dewy the whole day long with Bliss Triple Oxygen Radiance Restoring Mist.
Alongside many other properties that day moisturizers and night creams have in common, collagen stimulation is probably the one your skin needs the most during the night. From microscopic sunspots to unnoticeable blackheads, any tiny damage that our skin suffers while we’re out and about has to be mended until the morning comes, and the best night creams do exactly that: heal and revitalize.
Best Pick: Though a bit costly, the Verso Skincare Night Cream is pure magic when it comes to overnight revitalization.
Just like moisturizers, eye creams can be a bit tricky to choose. They also come in different shapes and sizes, with each type being created for a specific kind of skin problem. If your complexion is not in need of any additional treatment, choose protective eye creams – rich in vitamins, they keep your skin nourished, thus nipping wrinkles in the bud.
In case fine lines have already appeared under your eyes, seek retinol-based creams. Caffeine-based treatments are considered the best eye cream for dark circles, while buttery creams that are high in moisture soothe dry and sensitive skin that’s most fragile here, in the area under the eyes.
Best Pick: The Illuminating Eye Gel is a petite, but powerful solution from La Mer, brilliant for plump skin and rested eyes.
Branded or not, the best anti-aging cream should contain hyaluronic acid and retinol; while the first moisturizes the skin, the second stimulates further cell growth, thus keeping you rejuvenated. Other ingredients you should look out for in your best wrinkle cream are AHA or BHA exfoliates, Vitamin C, niacinamide, peptides and, of course, Coenzyme Q10.
Best Pick: Opt for L’Oreal Skin Expert Revitalift Bright Reveal Glycolic Moisturizer SPF 30, since this luxurious crème has already passed all the tests and delighted many gracefully aging women.
Now that you know every single term from the overextended glossary of the best face products, your quest for the ultimate elixir of health and radiance shouldn’t be so difficult. With nothing to discourage you any longer, you can finally start building the ultimate regime that will nourish your skin to perfection.