Take a stroll down the skin care aisle in your local drugstore. There are so many options for moisturizing and renewing your skin that -- depending on your personality -- you'll either feel like a kid in a candy store or be extremely overwhelmed. The shelves are filled with facial lotions, body lotions, wrinkle creams and rejuvenating solutions -- not to mention highly priced anti-aging serums. Each product makes its own claims, promising to repair, prevent, smooth or reverse the signs of aging.
Before you add a few wrinkles to your brow trying to choose among these products, it might be helpful to learn more about the benefits of various types of moisturizers and what kind of protection you need, specifically. Understanding a little about the ingredients moisturizers contain, what kind of skin you have and other factors that impact your skin can help you zero in on the best product for you.
First and foremost, the main purpose of a moisturizer is to help add hydration to your skin and keep it there -- but how moisturizers do that varies from product to product [source: Mayo Clinic]. Learning how to read the label and identify key ingredients can help you figure out how each product works.
Next, you need to match products to your personal needs. Consider whether your skin is prone to acne or dry patches, or whether it is a mix of oily and dry skin. Think also about how your skin responds to perfumes or other additives such as preservatives. If you find, for example, that you break out in a rash at the drop of a hat, you probably have sensitive skin that needs special care.
You'll also want to consider how old you are and where you live. Your skin will get drier and require more intense moisturizing as you age, so you'll need to re-assess your moisturizer needs occasionally [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Both what season it is and the climate in which you live will also play a role in what type of moisturizer you choose, since the amount of moisture in the air affects how much moisture you have in your skin.
Read on to learn more about the different types of moisturizers and what they can do for your skin, and find out what to look for when you're scanning the list of ingredients on the label.