By: Hannah Hartz
Hannah Hartz is a Chicago-based esthetician with 7 years experience. She currently works at CaTara Med Spa. Here, Hartz shares the best skincare ingredients to look out for, according to your complexion.
Trying to read a skincare label can be as frustrating as deciphering a nearly impossible code. As consumers, we all want to be as knowledgeable as we can about making certain purchases. While it’s not necessarily imperative to know what “Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose” or “Polysorbate 20” translate to, there are a few household names out there that are easy to look for. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the best ingredients, according to your skin type.
The Best Skincare Ingredients, According to Skin Type
If You Have Oily Skin …
If you have an oily complexion, you will notice larger, more visible pores, predominantly in the forehead, nose, and cheek areas. Your skin rarely feels too tight, and you typically feel like you need a little degreasing half way through the day. Oily skin types are also more prone to breakouts. Let’s look at some prime ingredients to keep in mind if you are an oily skin type.
A classic! Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid and is lipophilic, which means it is attracted to the oil on your skin and in your pores. Because of this, it is drawn right to your pores and thus breaks up all the gunk inside, allowing it to be cleared out. It may help reduce oiliness and safely balance out the skin.**
Prime mask ingredient for your oily skin types! Clays help to absorb excess oils and impurities that lead to breakouts.** Some lovely clay types you might look for in your ingredient labels include Bentonite clay, Kaolin clays and French Green clays. Try masking full face or use clay as a spot treatment for those stubborn little blemishes.
Just because you are oily does not exempt you from keeping your skin super hydrated! hyaluronic acid has been gaining lots of popularity lately – even outside the esthetics world – and for good reason. The hyaluronic acid molecules can hold up to 1,000x their weight in water, making them an invaluable ingredient to help bind hydration.** Follow with a nice light or gel formula moisturizer to lock everything in and soak in all that moisture.
If You Have Dry Skin …
If you have a dry skin type, your biggest concern probably has less to do with pore size and more to do with combatting flaky skin. Skin feels tight, especially in the winter months, and will usually feel tight pretty quickly after washing your face if you don’t immediately follow with an emollient moisturizer. Dry skin types are not out of the woods regarding breakouts, as the depleted skin barrier has difficulty keeping out blemish-causing bacteria.
Check out these key names to look for if you are a dry skin type.
Same exact thing as for oily skin types! We all need this hydration. Well-hydrated skin will help to ensure overall skin health.**
This is a beautiful, gentle alpha hydroxy acid that offers a fabulous exfoliation, skin toning and smoothing.** This form of exfoliation is different than salicylic acid in that it helps to topically shed the skin layers vs. working to clear the pores. Regular gentle exfoliation like this helps to keep the skin prepared to absorb your other hydrating products as well, rather than them just sitting on top of your dead flaking skin.
Ceramides were all the rage about five years ago, before the world started raging about the gloriousness of hyaluronic acid. But ceramides are still super stars when it comes to helping alleviate dry skin! When your skin is super dry and dehydrated, it reflects that your skin’s barrier is depleted, not able to hold in moisture or keep out pollutants and irritants.** In healthy skin, you have a very nice lipid layer helping to keep everything intact. It is the depletion of this layer that causes major stress to the skin.** This lipid layer is comprised of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol.