In June, we talked about how important it is to understand your skin and what problems you are trying to correct when you go about picking a skincare regimen. Today, let's go into greater detail about common types of skincare products so that you can better understand what is available to you today.

In the world of skincare, there are many different categories of products. Here are the major categories (clearly, this is why this can be so confusing!):

  1. Cleansers
  2. Toners
  3. Exfoliators
  4. Sunscreens
  5. Antioxidants
  6. Moisturizers
  7. Acne Products
  8. Rosacea Products
  9. Hyperpigmentation Products
  10. Anti-Aging Products
  11. Skin Soothers
  12. Eye Creams
  13. Neck Creams

What of the above do you need? Why would you choose one type of product over another? Let's start with the top and work our way down.

1. Cleansers -- designed to remove excess oil, dirt, and make-up off at the end of the day; everyone needs one of these!

2. Toners -- an alcohol-based solution designed for acne patients to remove excess oil; we generally do not recommend using a toner; unless your skin is excessively oily, this is just going to dry and irritate your skin

3. Exfoliators -- mild acid-based solutions, scrubs, or mechanical devices designed to remove excess skin; this is a must, but the choice of which product depends on your skin type

4. Sunscreens -- designed to protect your skin from the sun; another MUST! 

5. Antioxidant -- designed to be used in addition to sunscreen to protect from UV and environmental agents that age your skin; another MUST!

6. Moisturizer -- designed to combat skin dryness

7. Acne Products -- over-the-counter versions include salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide; many presription products are available; all designed to help treat, control, and reverse acne

8. Rosacea products -- both over-the-counter and prescription products used to correct and reverse the various aspects of rosacea

9. Hyperpigmentation products -- OTC and prescription lighteners and brighteners; hydroquinone is the most common, but kojic acid, azelaic acid, and others are also available

10. Anti-Aging products -- vitamin-A derivatives that are either OTC ( retinols) or prescriptoin (retinoids) that have a myriad of benefits including exfoliation, reduction in hyperpigmentation, building collagen, and unplugging pores 

11. Skin Soothers -- often botanicals and/or products containing caffeine to reduce redness and inflammation in the skin

12. Eye Creams -- products with a variety of ingredients to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness around the eyes

13. Neck Creams -- products with intense moisturizers and collagen builders to reduce the appearance of crepey skin on the neck


Whew! That was a lot. The next series of posts will address the most common skin types we see in the office and what types of products from the list above are generally best for these skin types.