Get Personalized Skin Care Advice Here
Take this skin analysis quiz to figure out what your skin type is from sensitive skin to oily to dry and get your ideal skin care regimen
Skin type changes over time. Weather, hormones, traveling -- even products -- can disguise your true skin type, says New York City dermatologist Dr. Debra Wattenberg. Diagnose your true type here, then find out how to correctly care for it.
You have sensitive skin.
If you're not normally a "sensitive" person, you may be experiencing a period of this now if you're in dry air (indoors during the winter) or if you've been spending a lot of time doing skin-drying activities like swimming. Tip: The American Academy of Dermatology suggests sticking to powder and non-waterproof cosmetics when possible because they contain less-irritating fixatives. Also, heed this very important warning: Just because a product is labeled fragrance-free doesn't mean it's safe for your fickle skin. According to the FDA definition, these products can still contain a small amount of fragrances to mask other smells. So make sure to read the list of ingredients for the word "fragrance." Follow this skin regime to prevent irritation:
Step 1. Cleanse
Find a creamy, gentle cleanser, preferably one containing less than 10 ingredients. Make sure alcohol, fragrance, perfume, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic or glycolic acids aren't on the list.
Step 2. Moisturize
Again, keep it simple by using products that don't have an epic ingredient list of unpronounceable additives. For daytime, look for something with at least SPF 15. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests some sensitive skin types better tolerate the natural sunscreen ingredient titanium dioxide (which has been proven in studies to be an effective ray-blocker). Skip SPF at night to limit your skin's exposure to chemicals.
Step 3. Pamper your eye area
Because sensitive skin is often dry, it might be tempting to pile on eye cream, but common anti-aging ingredients like AHAs or vitamin C may irritate your skin. Instead, look for a gentle eye cream that's heavy on hydrators like shea butter, aloe or olive oil, but light on everything else.