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People can buy skin care products to suit different skin types, concerns, and needs. Some products may not be suitable for individuals prone to allergic reactions, and some can increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. For this reason, people should research different skin products to find the best one for them.

A quick look at the best skin care products

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products that clearly list all ingredients.
  • Skin concerns: Where appropriate, MNT selects products that target a specific skin concern, such as dryness, oiliness, or aging.
  • Safety: MNT chooses products that contain ingredients safe for topical use.
  • Reputable: MNT selects products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for exfoliation: TATCHA The Rice Polish: Classic

TATCHA Rice Enzyme Powder

Key features:

  • Skin type: Normal
  • Best for: Exfoliation
  • Key ingredients:
    • green tea
    • rice
    • algae
    • silk protein
  • Fragrance-free? No
  • Vegan? No
  • Pro: pH neutral formula
  • Con: Expensive

This nonabrasive exfoliator transforms into a creamy foam when a person applies it to their skin.

The manufacturer claims the product promotes a healthy glow, massaging the skin without removing any moisture. It contains the following key ingredients:

  • green tea
  • rice
  • algae
  • silk protein, which is not suitable for vegans

The manufacturer’s recommended price for this product is $65.

Best for puffy eyes and dark circles: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream

Key features:

  • Skin type: Suitable for all skin types
  • Best for: Eye puffiness and dark circles
  • Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Vegan? No
  • Pros: Fragrance-free and noncomedogenic.
  • Cons: May still cause skin irritation in some people.

This cream claims to help reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. It is suitable for all skin types.

The product contains hyaluronic acid, which helps with retaining skin moisture.

The manufacturer recommends that individuals apply the cream in small dots around the eyes and smooth it gently until it absorbs.

This product is available for about $13.

This product is fragrance-free and suitable for people with sensitive skin.

Best for hydration: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream

Key features:

  • Skin type: Very dry
  • Best for: Very dry skin
  • Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Vegan? No
  • Pros: Noncomedogenic and hydrating.
  • Cons: Some users report allergic reactions.

This gel cream is suitable for people with very dry skin. It contains hyaluronic acid to help attract and retain moisture. The manufacturer claims that the product provides a long lasting moisturizing effect.

The product is fragrance-free and noncomedogenic, meaning it will not block pores and cause acne.

People can apply this cream after washing and cleansing the skin.

The manufacturer’s recommended price for this product is about $20.

Best for body washing: CeraVe Body Wash

CeraVe body wash

Key features:

  • Skin type: Rough and bumpy
  • Best for: Body washing
  • Key ingredients:
    • salicylic acid
    • ceramides
    • hyaluronic acid
    • niacinamide
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Vegan? No
  • Pros: Contains multiple ingredients for skin health.
  • Cons: Some users state that the product is not effective.

This exfoliating body wash claims to improve the texture of rough and bumpy skin.

The product contains salicylic acid to exfoliate and soften the skin and ceramides to help repair the skin’s protective barrier. The manufacturer claims that the product offers long lasting moisturization.

People can apply this product to the skin when washing or bathing.

The manufacturer’s recommended price for this product is $13.99.

Best for acne: Hers Prescription Acne Cream

Hers Prescription Acne Cream

Key features:

  • Skin type: Acne-prone
  • Best for: Acne
  • Key ingredients:
    • tretinoin
    • clindamycin
    • azelaic acid
    • niacinamide
    • zinc pyrithione
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Vegan? Yes
  • Pros: Convenient access to prescription acne treatment
  • Cons: Requires a subscription

Hers is a telehealth company that specializes in women’s health. Their prescription acne cream requires a person to attend an online consultation with a doctor. The doctor can then determine whether the product is suitable for the person’s skin.

Some of the product’s ingredients include:

  • tretinoin, which helps to treat acne and bring new skin cells to the surface
  • clindamycin, which helps to prevent future breakouts
  • azelaic acid, which reduces inflammation and helps to manage hyperpigmentation
  • niacinamide, which reduces flushing and moisturizes the skin

People can apply this serum after cleansing the skin and before using a moisturizer.

This product costs $45 per month and is only available through a subscription to Hers.

Learn more about Hers here.

Best for anti-aging: The Inkey List Retinol Serum

Inkey List Retinol Serum

Key features:

  • Skin type: Oily, normal, dry, and combination
  • Best for: Anti-aging
  • Key ingredients: Retinol
  • Fragrance-free? No
  • Vegan? No
  • Pros: Time-released retinol for anti-aging with a reduced risk of skin irritation
  • Cons: Lower retinol content compared to some other retinol products

This serum contains retinol, which is a derivative of vitamin A that may help to prevent and treat the following signs of skin aging:

  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • dark spots
  • uneven skin texture

The serum contains time-released retinol to reduce the risk of skin irritation.

The product is suitable for normal, dry, oily, and combination skin types.

People can apply this serum after cleansing the skin and before using a moisturizer.

The manufacturer’s recommended price for this product is $9.99.

Learn more about retinol here.

Best for sensitive skin: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

Key features:

  • Skin type: Dry, sensitive, oily
  • Best for: Moisturising sensitive skin
  • Key ingredients:
    • Hyaluronic acid
    • ceramides
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Vegan? No
  • Pros: Suitable for use on the body, hands, and face.
  • Cons: Some users report that it has an unpleasant smell.

This moisturizing lotion has a smooth, lightweight consistency that rapidly absorbs into the skin. The manufacturer claims that it can provide 24-hour hydration.

The formulation contains hyaluronic acid, which helps retain the skin’s natural moisture, and ceramides, which restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. It is suitable for dry, sensitive, and oily skin.

The product is fragrance-free and allergy-tested. It also has the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.

People can apply this cream after washing and cleansing the skin.

The manufacturer’s recommended price for this product is $13.99.

Best for eczema: Neosporin Eczema Cream

Key features:

Neosporin Eczema Cream
  • Skin type: Mild to moderate eczema
  • Best for: Mild to moderate eczema
  • Key ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Vegan? No
  • Pros: Can alleviate mild to moderate itching and dryness
  • Cons: Some users state that the product was not effective, and some report negative skin reactions

The National Eczema Association has given this anti-itch cream its Seal of Acceptance. The product contains colloidal oatmeal, which protects the skin and relieves irritation. It does not contain steroids, fragrances, or antibiotics.

The product page states that the cream is effective for mild-to-moderate eczema.

People can apply the cream after washing and cleansing the skin. They can use it twice daily or as needed.

The manufacturer’s recommended price for this product is $12.62.

Best for rosacea: La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense

La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense

Key features:

  • Skin type: Sensitive, normal, and dry
  • Best for: Rosacea
  • Key ingredients: Ambophenol, spring water
  • Fragrance-free: Yes
  • Vegan? No
  • Pros: Can soothe skin and reduce redness.
  • Cons: Some users reported problems with the pump handle breaking.

Skin experts specifically formulated this product for people with rosacea.

The formulation has a gel texture and does not contain common skin irritants, such as:

  • fragrances
  • colorants
  • preservatives
  • parabens
  • alcohol

The product is suitable for sensitive, normal, or dry skin.

The manufacturer recommends using two to three pumps over the face after using a mild cleanser and before moisturizing the skin. They recommend using the product in the morning and evening.

The manufacturer’s recommended price for this product is $42.99.

The table below compares the products in this article on key features:

PriceFormSkin typesIngredientsBest for
The Rice Polish
$65powdernormalgreen tea,
silk protein
Eye Repair Cream
$13creamnormal to dryhyaluronic acidpuffy eyes
dark circles
Hydro Boost Gel Cream
$20gel creamvery dryhyaluronic acidhydration
Body Wash
$13.99cleansing creamdry, roughceramides,
salicylic acid,
hyaluronic acid, niacinamide
body wash
Prescription Acne Cream
$45creamacne pronetretinoin,
azelaic acid, niacinamide,
zinc pyrithione
Inkey List
Retinol Serum
$9.99serumoily, normal,
dry, combination
Moisturizing Lotion
$13.99lotiondry, oily, sensitive,hyaluronic acid, ceramidessensitive skin
Eczema Cream
$12.62creameczemacolloidal oatmealeczema
La Roche-Posay
Rosaliac AR Intense
$42.99serumsensitive, normal, and dryambophenol,
spring water

Some factors can help a person choose a skin care product based on their skin type. These include:

  • Ingredients: Some ingredients are unsuitable for all skin types, as they can irritate. People with sensitive skin may wish to consider choosing products that do not contain fragrances, parabens, or sulfates.
  • Reviews: People can read other customers’ reviews to check whether or not a product is suitable for their skin type or condition.
  • Personal habits: These affect how a person looks after their skin. For example, some products may increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, so they may not be the best option for individuals who spend a lot of time in the sun.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are five different skin types. These are:

  • Normal skin: This is skin that has fine pores, healthy blood circulation, and a smooth texture. It can become dryer with aging in a condition that doctors may refer to as age-induced dryness.
  • Dry skin: This skin produces less sebum than normal skin. This means it cannot lock in moisture and protect itself from external germs. People with dry skin may experience scaling, flakiness in patches, itchiness, and feelings of tightness.
  • Oily skin: This type of skin overproduces sebum, sometimes due to hormonal changes, stress, and medication use. The skin usually has visible pores, a glossy shine, and may be prone to acne.
  • Combination skin: This skin has some areas that are oily and some that are dry. For example, people with combination skin may have an oily forehead, chin, and nose but normal-to-dry cheeks.
  • Sensitive skin: People with sensitive skin are more prone to inflammation or adverse reactions. Sensitive skin can be a symptom of conditions such as rosacea or eczema.

Learn more about the different types of skin here.

There are several different types of products available for the skin, including:

  • Serums: These may have antioxidant properties that protect the skin from pollution and UV rays. They are also effective in hydrating dry skin. Learn more about serums here.
  • Moisturizers: These hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. Using them after taking a bath or shower can help prevent dry skin. People with oily skin may want to choose a lighter moisturizer.
  • Exfoliators: These remove dead skin cells from the skin’s top layer and may improve circulation. However, they may also cause irritation and might not suit sensitive skin. Learn more about exfoliators here.
  • Eye creams: An older study found that eye products may improve under-eye smoothness and reduce the depth of larger wrinkles. Learn more about eye creams here.

The American Skin Association states that the skin is the largest body organ and prevents harmful bacteria from damaging a person’s internal organs.

The skin also plays a role in:

  • regulating body temperature
  • recognizing pain sensations
  • controlling moisture loss

Some factors can damage the skin. These include sun exposure, dehydration, and smoking.

However, there are natural remedies that a person can try to protect and nourish their skin, including:

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about skin care products:

How can I train my skin to be less greasy?

The following practices can help to manage greasy skin:

  • washing with a gentle cleanser every morning, before sleeping, and after exercise
  • always removing makeup before going to sleep
  • avoiding cleansers containing alcohol or oil
  • using “oil-free” or “noncomedogenic” products
  • applying moisturizer and sunscreen, daily
  • avoiding scrubbing, rubbing, or touching the face throughout the day

What are good ways to practice skin care?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), the order in which a person uses skin care products affects how well the products perform. The AADA recommends the following skin care sequence:

  • Step 1: Wash the face with a gentle cleanser.
  • Step 2: Pat the skin dry.
  • Step 3: Gently apply any skin treatments or medications.
  • Step 4: Apply moisturizer and sunscreen.
  • Step 5: Apply makeup last, if using.

What are helpful skin care routines?

The best skin care routine for a person involves using products appropriate for their skin type and one they can follow regularly. Dermatologists recommend these basic steps:

  • using a gentle cleanser
  • applying a moisturizer
  • applying sunscreen

Different skin care products are suitable for different skin types and conditions. Some products are specifically designed to help relieve conditions such as acne, eczema, and rosacea.

Skin care products include serums, moisturizers, exfoliators, body lotions, and eye creams. People should check the product’s ingredients before purchasing to ensure that it suits their skin concerns and needs.