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What should men look for in an all-in-one moisturizer?

Personal Hygiene Image Gallery The term "all-in-one" can be misleading. Make sure you buy a moisturizer that matches your particular needs. See more personal hygiene pictures.
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The lotion and moisturizer aisle can be the most confusing part of the drugstore for men. With all the options, it's easy to just grab something and walk away as quickly as possible. What difference does it make anyway? Actually, it makes more of a difference than most men think. A man's skin is thicker than a woman's and his pores are larger, so his needs are different, too [source: Sine]. All-in-one moisturizers are designed to be used any time of day, on any part of your skin, but you still need to be thorough when making your choice.

There are many different moisturizers for many different skin types. Each moisturizer -- all-in-one's included -- is specifically designed to meet a particular set of skin care needs. The term "all-in-one" would seem to indicate the moisturizer does everything, but even all-in-ones vary in purpose. The all-in-one categorization is intended to convey that the moisturizer will be packed with a multitude of ingredients like sunscreen, supposed stress relievers and even tints.

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You'll likely find all-in-one conditioners for treatment of dry skin, acne, oily skin and sensitive or aging and damaged skin [source: Evans]. Just match the treatment specialty to your skin type. Since all-in-one moisturizers typically can be used all over the body, you may want to consider, for example, the difference in the type of skin you have on your face and feet. You may find that while an all-in-one moisturizer is great for your body as a whole, it won't be compatible with your face.

Even all-in-one moisturizers can't cater to every skin type, and picking one that doesn't match yours might cause more harm than good. There are a few common ingredients you'll find in most moisturizers, as well as a few you'll want to stay away from. We'll take a look at both in the next section.

 

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Each manufacturer has its own unique set of ingredients, but a few commonalities hold true across brands. Most moisturizers will have a set of organic oils that act to seal in moisture [source: Evans]. They ensure your skin won't dry out over the course of a day, and they'll help protect it from harmful outside irritants.

You'll also likely find shea butter, glycerin, silicone, aloe, omega fatty acids, antioxidants and a form of sunblock. Each one serves a specific purpose but won't harm you if you don't have the skin type specifically targeted. Aloe and antioxidants are the main ingredients found in nearly all moisturizers. They're important for keeping your skin healthy [source: Nazario].

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But don't just look for what you need -- keep an eye out for those ingredients you want to avoid. If you're prone to acne, stay away from moisturizers that have mineral oil, lanolin or waxes -- or, at least, avoid using them on your face. A better bet would be to purchase a noncomedogenic moisturizer (a moisturizer that has been tested on people who suffer from breakouts) [source: Skin Care Guide].

Alternately, if you suffer from itchy or dry skin, steer clear of acids -- specifically alpha-hydroxy, glycolic and salicylic acids. They're beneficial for people with acne or oily skin, but they'll be harmful for those who have dry skin [source: Nazario]. That's because acids have a drying effect.

Regardless of your skin type, perfumes and preservatives can be irritants. You can roll the dice and give them a try but understand that it's a risk [source: Mayo Clinic].

You can find lots more information about moisturizers and skin care on the next page.

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Sources

  • Cleveland Clinic. "Understanding the Ingredients in Skin Care Products." (Jan. 3, 2011). http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/Skin_Care/hic_Understanding_the_Ingredients_in_Skin_Care_Products.aspx
  • Evans, Susan M.D. "What's in Your Moisturizer?" WebMD. Aug. 4, 2010. (Jan. 3, 2011). http://blogs.webmd.com/healthy-skin/2010/08/whats-in-your-moisturizer.html
  • Mayo Clinic. "Moisturizers - Tips to Choose One That Works." Mayoclinic. Nov. 5, 2008. (Jan. 3, 2011).http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2008-mchi/5063.html
  • Nazario, Brunilda. "Choosing Skin Care Products: Know Your Ingredients." WebMD. Feb. 17, 2009. (Jan. 3, 2011)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/cosmetic-procedures-products-2
  • Sine, Richard. "Skin Care: It's Not Just for Women." WebMD. Oct. 12, 2006. (Jan. 3, 2011)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/skin-care-its-not-just-for-women
  • Skin Care Guide. "Skincare with Non-comedogenic Cosmetics." (Jan. 3, 2010).http://www.skincareguide.com/basics/skincare_cosmetics/non_comedogenic_cosmetics.html
  • Wright, Suzanne. "Beyond First Blush: An Up-Close Look at Natural Skin Care Products." March 17, 2009. (Jan. 2, 2011)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/beyond-first-blush-an-upclose-look-at-natural-skin-care-products

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