How to choose the right skincare products for your skin

Finding the right skincare products for your skin type, concern and needs isn’t easy. There are so many products, textures and routines. It’s normal to get lost in all the options. But I’m here to help! Today, I’m sharing my 6 steps for choosing the right skincare products for your skin. These are the steps I when I’m looking for new products to add to my routine.

1. Determine your skin type

Not every product works for every skin type, so knowing which skin type you have is very important. There are 4 types: dry, normal, combination and oily. Two good ways to find your skin type are the bare-faced method and the blotting paper method. I recommend doing both, so you can double-check the result. Try this test both in the summer and winter, because your skin can change a bit depending on the season.

The Bare-Faced Method

Cleanse your skin with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Don’t apply any products. No moisturizers, no toners, no serums, nothing. After 30 minutes, check your skin. Does your skin feel tight? Do you have dry patches or some flakiness? Does your skin look dull? Then, you most likely have dry skin. If you see some shine on your t-zone, you have normal to combination skin. And if you also see some shine on the rest of your face, you have oily skin.

The Blotting-Paper Method

Cleanse your skin with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Don’t apply any products. After 1 hour, blot your face with a piece of blotting paper or a single layer of a paper tissue. Hold the sheet up to the light to see if you have any oil residue on the paper. Little to no oil means you have dry skin. A little oil mostly on your t-zone area means normal to combination skin. And if the blotting paper is saturated with oil, you have oily skin.

2. Identify your skin concern

Next you need to determine your skin concern. Do you want to combat dullness? Is your skin sensitive? Are you acne-prone or do you want to prevent aging? If you know your skin concern, it will be easier to choose the products that will actually improve your skin. The most common skin concerns are:

  • Acne-prone skin
  • Sensitive and inflamed skin
  • Anti-aging
  • Dull skin

You don’t need to have a skin concern. It’s fine to buy products that work for just your skin type, if that’s all your skin needs. But it is important to know that skin concerns exist, so you can identify when your skin needs a bit extra.

3. Which skincare products do you need?

Now you know what your skin type and concern is, you can think about the type of products you need or want. You don’t need a 10-step skincare routine that costs you a lot of money per month. The basic 3 steps of a skincare routine are: cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen. Preferably even two cleanser, so you can double cleanse. If you want to address certain skin concerns, you might want to add a serum. But if you start with these 3 steps, you are already on a good way to maintaining and improving your skin.

Which products you’ll buy, depends on your skin type and concern. If you have dry skin you’ll love a cream texture moisturizer that focuses on hydrating. If you have oily skin, you’ll prefer a more gel-like texture for your moisturizer.

Keep this in mind when browsing websites for products. You can also add your skin type and/or concern to the filter option on most websites, so it’s easier to find the right items.

4. Check the ingredients

When I’ve found products that I think I might like. I always check the ingredient list on incidecoder. This website is very easy to use and to understand. You can see an explanation per ingredient, if that ingredient is good, bad or neutral. They also have a highlights section, where they tell you the key-ingredients of the product. This makes it so much easier to decide if this product is something for you or not.

Good to know when using a site like this, is that you don’t need to only buy products with good ingredients. It all depends on where they are on the ingredient list. If there’s a ‘bad’ ingredient like perfume and it’s the last ingredient, that’s fine. But if a bad ingredient is the second on the list, I would skip that product. The higher the ingredient is on the list, the higher the concentration.

5. Watch reviews from people with the same skin type/concern

Now, you’ve checked the ingredients of the products you’re interested in. I recommend checking out some reviews of people with the same skin type and concern. They can give you an inside on how the products work, what the texture is actually like and what they think. Don’t let one bad review put you down though, if you find more positive than negative reviews, that’s great! That means a lot of people loved the product, and you will probably too.

6. Buy a small size to test the new product

Finding the right skincare products is also a process of trail and error. A product could look prefect on the website, but when you actually use it, it might not be what you expected. So I like to first buy a smaller size if it’s available, so I can try it out and see if I like it and then buy the bigger size. If I don’t like it, I didn’t spend a lot of money and can try a different product.

These 6 steps have helped me a lot when choosing the right skin care products for my skin type and concern. They made my skincare shopping a lot easier and I hope these tips do that for you too. Do you have any other tips for choosing skincare products that actually work?

Do you have any tips for choosing skincare products that actually work?

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