How to Choose the Right Moisturizer For Your Skin Type: Oily, Dry + Skin of Color

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Still using the same skincare products that you have for years? It may be time to upgrade! 

Cosmetic pro Dr. Vanita Rattan, author of Skin Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to Beautiful and Healthy Skin of Color, explains how skincare has evolved through the years, including the types of moisturizers available to consumers.  

Years ago, Dr. Vanita says there was a “one size fits all” approach that didn’t cater to all skin types. “In the past, there were very limited moisturizers that didn’t take in account, not only dry vs. oil skin, but also how melanin rich your skin is,” she says. As a result, many households bought “one family-sized tub for everyone.”  

These days, she says there are so many more options out in the market, especially for people of color. But which moisturizers are actually worth your money? Dr. Vanita says you should consider 3 things: 

If You Have Dry Skin... 

Dr. Vanita recommends using a heavy, fatty moisturizer.   

If You Have Oily Skin... 

She says to use a light-gel moisturizer, especially if you have acne

If You Have Skin of Color... 

Dr. Vanita defines skin of color as having skin that is more likely to tan than burn in the sun. 

She says that those with skin of color have less ceramides, which are fatty acids that are essentially the glue that holds our skin cells together to keep our skin barrier intact and healthy.  

Because of this, she recommends buying moisturizer, as well as toners and serums, that include ceramides in the ingredients list. 

Dr. Vanita also says people with skin of color are more likely to have hyperpigmentation, a condition where some areas of the skin are darker than others. To help with this, she says to wear sunscreen and to not irritate the skin.  

“One scratch, one bite or one burn and we pigment, so we have to be quite careful,” she says. 

Additionally, Dr. Vanita says that if you have contact dermatitis, an itchy rash that could be caused by using moisturizers with fragrance, you are more likely to have hyperpigmentation. 

“We tend to recommend fragrance-free [products] with skin of color.”

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