The Best Skin-Care Products for Every Skin Type

Whether your complexion is dry or oily, it’s important to look for the right ingredients in your cleanser and moisturizer.

The type of ingredients to look for in skincare products depends on your type of skin. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Most skin-care routines are pretty standard: Wash your face twice a day and moisturize. But is the effort you put in to keep your skin at its healthiest the most beneficial for your skin type?

Everyone’s skin is different, so it’s important to find products that are formulated for your specific complexion. Using the wrong products can do more harm than good, increasing chances of developing pesky skin issues such as dryness and acne. We reached out to dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi of Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery for recommendations of the best cleansing products and ingredients for various types of skin.

On your next trip to the drugstore, especially now that the seasons are gearing up for a change, keep these tips in mind before you make a purchase.


Having oily skin means your body produces more oils than others, causing you to look just a tad too shiny. Those with oily skin should look for a cleanser that contains glycolic acid. “Glycolic acid is really effective at breaking down oil and rinsing it away,” says Tanzi. “It exfoliates, cuts through grease, and keeps pores clean.” She recommends a gel cleanser as opposed to a creamy or moisturizing formula, which will increase the amount of oils on your face.
Try: Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3 Percent Cleanser, available at Sephora.


Recurring acne can be a pain to address, but it’s not a problem that can’t be controlled. Tanzi recommends a cleanser with salicylic acid, another glycolic acid, that also exfoliates and helps remove debris from clogged pores. Again, you want to look for a gel-based cleanser to help prevent increasing the amount of oils your skin already produces. However, if you only break out occasionally, a salicylic acid cleanser may be too drying for skin. Instead, try an acne touch stick, which helps you get right to the problem without the risk of overdrying.
Try: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, available at drugstores.


As we age, cells don’t turn over as quickly, which can lead to dull, tired-looking skin. Rejuvenate your skin with a creamy glycolic acid cleanser. The acid will remove dead skin from the surface, and the creaminess of the cleanser will help mitigate dryness. One thing to keep in mind, though: Most products for dull skin will be labeled as “anti-aging.”
Try: Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser or Neutrogena Ageless Restoratives Energy Renewal Cleanser, available at drugstores.


“For dry skin, look for something mild and hypoallergenic,” suggests
Tanzi. Look for products that will help your skin retain moisture; shea
butter, glycerin, and dimethicone are good, but shea is the best, she
says. Another helpful tip: Moisturize while your skin is still a little
Try: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, available at drugstores.

For All Types

“I love the Clarisonic brush,” says Tanzi. The exfoliating brush works like a power toothbrush for your face, brushing away dirt and waking up your pores for a completely clean feel. “I recommend it for all skin types, but one thing I’ve noticed is that patients overuse the brushes. You want to use it every other day.”

See Also:
5 Foods That Are Great For Your Face