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How to Choose Skin Care


Legend has it that Juan Ponce de León, a 16th-century Spanish explorer, searched for the mythical Fountain of Youth in Florida. The search for youthful rejuvenation goes on today, and is nowhere more visible than in the hundreds of skin care products lining store shelves. Such products often promise to restore and rejuvenate your skin for a younger appearance. While choosing the right product may seem daunting, you can take advantage of expert advice on how to choose skin care items. Use guidelines from dermatologists and product testers to evaluate skin care items.

Step 1

Avoid multi-purpose skin care items. Select a product that has one purpose, such as a cleanser or anti-wrinkle cream, to avoid excessive irritation to your skin, advises the American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD.

Step 2

Read a product's ingredient list. Put it back on the shelf if it contains alcohol, witch hazel, menthol or--if you're prone to developing acne--oil. These four ingredients often cause skin irritation, according to the book "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" by Paula Begoun and Bryan Barron.

Step 3

Look for an effective active ingredient, preferably in the first few ingredients. Labels list ingredients in order of how large a role they play in a product's formulation--the greater the percentage of an ingredient, the higher it is on the list. For example, a cleanser should list a soap or detergent ingredient. If you're searching for an anti-aging product, it should list retinol, alpha or beta hydroxyl acids, hydroquinone, kojic acid or azelaic acid, according to the AAD. Buy a moisturizer that lists an emollient or such humectants as glycerin or silicone.

Step 4

Compare prices if you find skin care products that contain similar ingredients. A skin care product's price isn't an indicator of its value, according to the AAD. Divide the price of each product by the product's volume for an accurate price comparison.

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