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  • Writer's pictureAli Rislan

5 Tips For Choosing Your Skincare Products

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

Stop wasting money on products that don’t suit your skin with this simple advice!

Have you ever been excited to try a new skincare product that you’ve bought, but saw no results or even a worsening in your skin? It can be so demoralising, especially if you’re struggling with skin conditions such as acne or rosacea. If this sounds familiar then keep reading, because this blog is written specifically for you!

Face Cleanser | A studio image of multiple Dr Hala Gentle Cleanser bottles.

The thing with skincare is that it’s not one shoe fits all. Your skin can be ever so uniquely different to someone else’s, and those differences can dictate whether a product works for you or not. It can be easy to simply follow whatever your favourite beauty influencer uses, but there will often be products better suited to you.

So, how can you get around this? The answer is simpler than you may think…

Here are 5 tips to help you develop your own bespoke skincare routine.

1. Know your skin type

“Knowing your skin type is, in most cases, the most important thing when it comes to choosing skin care products,” says Dr Hala, MD. “As part of my consultations, I always conduct a full skin analysis before recommending treatments and products for my clients.”

And this is with good reason. Some active ingredients can work wonders for some skin types yet be detrimental to yours. What are the skin types, and what could work for each type?

  • Normal skin is neither too oily nor too dry. You may have guessed it already, but people with normal skin don’t need any special care for the most part.

  • Dry skin is lacking in oils. This is what leaves the skin dry and even susceptible to disorders such as eczema if left unchecked. A gentle exfoliator combined with a strong moisturiser (with actives such as shea butter) will work wonders for dry skin.

Skin Health | An infographic of different skin types.
  • Oily skin has an excess of oils. Combining active ingredients such as glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid is an effective solution. The glycolic acid will control the excess sebum production while the hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin to avoid dehydration. Oily skin can however lead to acne breakouts as your pores become clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. In this case, it’s worth consulting with your dermatologist or aesthetician before adding a new product to your routine.

  • Sensitive skin is more prone to become irritated by external stimuli. Your skin requires more delicate care, so delicate products are best for you. For example: choose a chemical exfoliator over a physical exfoliator and look for cleansers with calming ingredients such as sweet orange oil.

If you’re not sure of your skin type there are a few tests you can try, such as blotting your face with a clean paper towel 30 mins after washing and noting the pattern of oil on the tissue or doing an online test. Nothing beats a consultation with an aesthetics professional, however!

For conditions such as rosacea or cystic acne, however, it is always advised to consult with your dermatologist or aesthetician before taking any steps in sourcing skincare.

2. Ingredients to look for

While skincare should be unique to you, there are some ingredients that everyone can benefit from. If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, it’s better to err on the side of caution and consult with your dermatologist first.

  • Hyaluronic Acid is a wonder ingredient that will work for everyone. Essentially, hyaluronic acid is an ultra-lightweight & ultra-powerful moisturiser that works for every single skin type (even sensitive skin!)

  • Retinol is great for maintaining skin health and appearance by increasing cell turnover and collagen production. Want younger, radiant, and firmer skin? Add a good retinol serum to your nighttime routine. Watch out if you have sensitive skin and start by using a low-concentration retinol serum, slowly increasing concentration as your skin adjusts.

  • Vitamin C is a potent anti-ageing and skin-brightening ingredient, but it also helps to aid your skin in recovering from UV exposure. The result? Actual healthier skin, not simply healthier looking.

3. Avoid, avoid, avoid

Regardless of your skin type, we recommend that you always avoid: Sulphates, Parabens, and Fragrances. Why? These ingredients are often purely detrimental to your skin.

  • Sulphates are powerful stripping agents and will often leave your skin irritated and dry.

  • Parabens are preservatives used to extend the shelf-life of products. They can alter your hormonal balance and have a harmful effect on your body, not just your skin.

  • Synthetic fragrances are added to products to make their smell more appealing. It’s nice to have a gorgeous smelling skincare product, we won’t argue against that, but these types of fragrances can really irritate your skin.

4. Read the ingredients list

While it can be intimidating, the ingredients list is your friend. It can be daunting so keep reading to learn an easy method for product screening.

Pay attention to where the ingredients you’re looking for fall on the ingredients list. Commonly the top 5 ingredients make up most of the contents of the product. If the active ingredient you want isn’t at least near the top 5 it’s likely it isn’t in a high enough concentration to be effective.

As mentioned before, look out for parabens as well as sulphates (SLS, SLES).

5. Don’t follow the crowd

Products aren’t necessarily good for you just because they are popular. And unfortunately, what works for your favourite skincare influencer might not work for your skin. But that doesn’t mean ignoring all these types of products – instead, use the tips we mentioned in this guide to screen them and evaluate if they are a good investment for your skin.

Choosing skincare can be difficult, and even demoralising when your products don’t work for you or even make your skin worse. So, make sure to follow these 5 tips and you’ll have a much better idea of which products will help your skin. The more you practice the quicker you’ll become, and eventually finding skincare gems will be second nature. For personalised advice fill out the form here, and comment below to let us know what you thought of these tips!

For more skincare tips, we recommend you also read our Change How You Think About Your Skin blog post.

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