How to Find a Moisturizer That Is Right for You

Testing Moisturizers

You have just learned that the type of moisturizer you should use depends upon multiple factors, including your skin type, age and where you live. Now that you've narrowed down your search to one category of moisturizer, you still have to decide which of the many products available in that category will work best for you. Reviews may be helpful, but only you have your skin, so your best bet is to try a few out for yourself.

Before you buy a moisturizer, smell it. Yes, seriously. You're going to have that scent on your body all day every day, so make sure it's a scent you like, or else you won't use it. Then, if you like it, try it on like perfume. Your body chemistry will alter the scent, so make sure you also like it once it's on you.

That brings you to the next step, which is more important than the first for your skin's health: Patch test the lotion. If you've tried it on in the store, you have taken the first step, but you would be wise to give it 24 hours before buying the product. This is especially true if there are any ingredients in the moisturizer that haven't graced your skin before. Obviously, if it itches, burns, gives you a rash or changes your skin in any way except to make it more moist, suppler and younger-looking, don't buy it.

Finally, make sure the lotion absorbs well into your skin and feels good, too. You don't want to wait around for 20 minutes in the morning to get dressed because your moisturizer will rub off on your clothes. If it leaves your skin feeling greasy, don't buy it [source: Berg].

For more information on skin moisturizers, follow the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


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  • Berg, Rona, Anja Kroencke and Deborah Jaffe. "Beauty: The New Basics." 2001. (Accessed 9/6/09)
  • Chapas, Dr. Anne. "Are Ultra-Expensive Creams Worth the Price?" Huffington Post. 9/12/07. (Accessed 9/6/09)
  • Discovery Health. "What's Your Skin Type?" (Accessed 9/6/09)
  • Goldstein, Jennifer. "The Right Moisturizer for Smooth Skin in Your 30s, 40s, 50s." Health. 8/25/09 (Accessed 9/6/09)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Moisturizers: Options for Softer Skin." (Accessed 8/12/09)
  • Schwartz, Dr. Robert A., Santiago A. Centurion and Isabelle Thomas. "Moisturizers." 8/29/09. (Accessed 9/5/09)
  • Wadyka, Sally. "New Ways to Moisturize Those Brittle Nails." New York Times. 4/6/06. (Accessed 9/6/09)
  • WebMD. "Cosmetic Procedures: Skin Care for Acne-Prone Skin." (Accessed 9/6/09)