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Mystery Skin Care Explained: Not All Products Are Created Equal

by Liz W

Skin Care Products

Skin Care Products

Being a self proclaimed product junkie, I’ve tried everything from the most advanced antiaging skin care to the best acne skin care, but those of you who are not as obsessed with beauty products, I’m sure it can be quite confusing to decipher between a cream and a serum, or an astringent and a toner. Especially, when the only direction given is, “Apply to face and neck after cleansing.”

When it comes to building an effective skin care regimen, it’s important to only use products you need. One of the common mistakes people make is confusing serums and toners for moisturizers. Serums are water-based concentrated treatments, meant to heal and repair skin. A good example is Kinerase Advanced Repair Serum, which delivers potent ingredients to the skin cells, but is generally not considered a replacement for a moisturizer.  Serums should be used after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Moisturizers are usually oil-based and formulated to draw in and retain hydration in your skin. Often, they have the added benefit of an SPF. Many people think just because their skin isn’t dry, that a moisturizer isn’t needed. But everyone needs to wear a moisturizer to protect against moisture loss.

The next two products are starting to be used interchangeably, but depending on your own personal chemistry, there is probably one that will serve you better than the other. Toners and astringents are both meant to remove impurities and soap residue from your skin.

Back in the 1940s and 1950s the biggest trend in skin care was removing makeup and dirt with cold cream, instead of cleansers. With the main ingredient being mineral oil, toners were necessary to balance out the skin and remove excess residue. These days, however, toners have been reinvented and have a new purpose of refreshing and balancing freshly cleansed skin.  There are many different types that contain all sorts of ingredients, but recently sprays are very much in vogue. Kinerase Hydrating Anti-Oxidant Mist is a refreshing toner that can be used on the go whenever you need an instant skin pick-me-up.

Unlike toners, astringents are usually alcohol-based and best for acne-prone and oily skin. They kill bacteria, deliver acne skincare ingredients and control oil. They should be used after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Next time you go shopping for skin care, have a clear picture in your mind of what your skin needs, and buy products that are right for your skin type, not someone twice (or half) your age!

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One Comment

  1. Kay
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    I have been told by my Dermatologist is to apply the thinnest first and then to thick, in regards to creams. I am using Skinceuticals CE, so that goes on first, then moisturizer and then Sunscreen for just everyday.

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