Facial skin care products fall into four categories: cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and sun screen. When you are shopping for facial skin care products, look for items which take into account your skin type, complexion, age, and allergies.

It’s usually best to have a pure cleanser such as Ivory soap. However, if you have a specific skin condition, you may want to use facial skin care products aimed at your skin type. For instance, if you have:

Sensitive skin – purchase a product aimed at this condition such as Oil of Olay’s Sensitive Skin Wash or Aveda’s All-Sensitive Cleaner.
Blemished skin – try Neutrogena’s Pore Refining Cleaner or Murad’s Acne Kit.
Dry skin – Cetaphil or Lancome’s Gelatee Milk Cleanser.
Oily skin – Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash ad Shiseido Pureness Cleansing Gel.

You should not over-cleanse your skin. Some people prefer to wash their faces only at night, merely rinsing with warm water in the morning. Others prefer a two times a day routine. But, unless you are under the care of a dermatologist, you should not wash more than twice a day.

Exfoliation is the next step in the skin care routine. You should exfoliate at least one to two times per week. Men exfoliate their skin on a daily basis when they shave, which is why men’s skin tends to look younger than women’s at comparable ages.

There are several different ways to exfoliate. Perhaps the one that is easiest to do at home is using facial skin care products such as Lancome’s microdermbrasion kit. This is a gentle scrub with tiny grains. Watch out for scrubs with large grains (they’re usually the cheap ones) as they can tear your skin.

Other facial skin care products are designed to give you an at-home chemical peel. If you can’t afford a monthly chemical peel at a spa, you can use MD Skincare’s product which is available over the counter.

If your acne is bad enough to need a doctor’s care, you should know that prescription Retin-A also acts as an exfolient.

Next up is moisturizer. If you have a problem with acne, you may want to skip this step. Everyone else will benefit from a daily moisturizing routine though. If your skin is tight, you will definitely want to moisturize it.

Like cleansers, the moisturizer you use will depend on your skin type. People with dry skin will want moisturizers containing glycerin, dimethicone and hyaluronic acid. Examples of these products include Dove Sensitive Essentials Day Lotion and Lancome’s Absolute Night Treatment.

If you have oily skin, look for products which advertise that they are oil-free & noncomedogenic. Some good bets include Neutrogena’s Oil Free Moisturizer and Lorac Oil Free Moisturizer.

Sensitive Skin is best treated with non-scented, non-colored lotions. Generally, the fewer ingredients the better. Dove Sensitive Skin Essentials Day Lotion and Benefit Vita Hydrating Cream for Sensitive/Dry Skin are good options.

Finally, if you have normal or combination skin, you should stick to gel formulations such as Clarins Hydration plus Moisturizer Lotion or Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel as your facial skin care products.

The last step of your skin care regimen is applying sun screen. Sun screen is you most important facial skin care product. Exposure to sun is the number one cause of wrinkles. Children should begin using sun screen at a young age and people should wear it even in the winter and on cloudy days.

Choose a sun screen with at least one of these active ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or Parsol 1789 (avobenzene). Generally a sun screen with SPF 15 is sufficient.

When choosing facial skin care products, be cognizant of your skin care type. Also, make sure that you have facial skin care products which cover all four parts of a skin care regimen: cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and sun protection.

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