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How To Pick Skin Care Products

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How much effort do you put into choosing what you wear? For many of us, the answer is, quite a lot. Granted, with the year we’ve just had, things might’ve been a little different. Working from home, not being unable to socialise and pretty much everything going online has all meant changes. 

Opening the door to the local (and increasingly regular) delivery driver isn’t quite the same as going shopping or getting on a train to the office. So our clothes might’ve taken a bit of a back seat. I’ve certainly spent most of the year dressed in leggings and a vest top. With a jumper or two thrown on over the top as the weather got colder.

But in the main, our clothing choices are considered choices. They reflect who we are and what we want to say about ourselves to the world. 

Making considered choices 

The same goes for our food and drink choices. We all have preferences, cravings and desires, and these are often reflected in what we choose from menus and put in our basket (virtual or otherwise) during our weekly food shop. 

Often, what we eat is determined by a long and complex set of ‘rules’ governed by what we like and what we choose. For example, being vegan or vegetarian is a considered choice that influences what we eat.

Making skin care choices 

So what about our skin care? Do you spend as much time considering what products you put on your face as you do considering what to wear or what to eat?

If not, why not? It’s a common phenomenon. We agonise over how to dress for a night out (or at least these days what to wear for a Zoom meeting or family WhatsApp call). We might have difficulty choosing what to eat. But we might not even give our skin care products a second thought. 

Why these choices might not be so considered

This could be for many reasons. We might have used the same products and brands for years, decades even, and we simply don’t think we need to change.

But the problem is, skin care product formulations do change, and so do the needs of our skin as we get older. 

Even in our 30s, our skin care needs are different to those in our 20s. The first signs of ageing occur in our 30s, and in our 20s, we might be experiencinghormone fluctuations that make our skin more prone to oiliness or acne spots and breakouts. 

Therefore, our skin needs to be supported and nourished in different ways as we go through life. Other factors, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding and the menopause alter our hormones whichcan alter our skin. Also,stress plays a large role in how our skin behaves and what it needs. 

Skin care brands do sometimesalter their formulations to exclude certain ingredients or add new ones in. This might be to enhance their texture or fragrance, or because a certain ingredient has become difficult to get hold of, more expensive or has become a known hypoallergenic ingredient. 

This can mean that our skin reacts differently to the same products we’ve been using with no irritation or any negative side effects for years. Then all of a sudden our skin changes, and we might not even realise that our skin care products have changed. Manufacturers don’t always state on their packaging that things have changed. It might just appear on their website, or nowhere at all. 

We may also base our skin care buying decisions on cost or on which brand has a three for two offer on at our local supermarket or pharmacy. 

All of these factors will contribute towards the health and appearance of our skin.

So if we’re looking to press reset on our skin care, how do we go aboutchoosing the right products for our skin?

How to choose the right skin care products

Here’s our top tips on getting things right for your skin when it comes to choosing the skin care products that will support and nourish your skin…

  • Don’t be lured in by bargains! Three for two, buy one get one free and money off deals are great if you know what you’re buying. But don’t be tempted to buy a different skin care brand because it’s working out cheaper. If you have skin that gets stressed out or acts contrary at the merest hint of change, then don’t be swayed. You might end up with irritated or inflamed skin, caused by using skin care products that your skin simply doesn’t like. 
  • Know your skin type. We know and understand all thedifferent skin types and know that each one needs to be treated with respect. Don’t choose skin care products designed for oily skin if your skin is dry and vice versa. If your skin is prone to acne, choose products that will respect this. If you have sensitive skin, then again, choose wisely and choose for your skin type. 
  • Be mindful of the time of year. The seasons bring with them changes in weather patterns, which can affect our skin.Hot, humid weather can cause blocked pores and acne breakouts. Cold, harsh winter weather can lead todry, irritated and red skin. You might need to adjust your skin care routine according to the weather. 
  • Understand skin care ingredients. Just like reading the packaging for the things we eat and drink, pay as much attention to the ingredients in skin care products. Here on ourskin care information pages, we talk a lot about individual ingredients and whether or not they’re good for the skin or not. So stay informed and become a label reading pro! 
  • Give skin care products time. Ourskin renews every 28 days or so and it takes around three cycles (so, three months) for our skin to truly tell us whether or not a product is working for us. So give things time and wait for those messages from your skin! 


Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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