Face Cream Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right One


Before choosing a face cream, it’s important to understand your skin type. Different skin types have different needs, and using the wrong face cream can cause a variety of problems, including breakouts, dryness, and irritation.

Here are the four main skin types and their characteristics:

  1. Normal skin: Normal skin has a balanced amount of oil and moisture. It’s not too dry or too oily and has a smooth, even texture.
  2. Dry skin: Dry skin lacks moisture and feels tight and rough. It may also be flaky and have visible fine lines.
  3. Oily skin: Oily skin produces excess oil and has a shiny appearance. It’s prone to clogged pores, blackheads, and acne.
  4. Combination skin: Combination skin has both oily and dry areas. The T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) tends to be oily, while the cheeks are dry.

By identifying your skin type, you can choose a face cream that meets your specific needs. For example, if you have dry skin, you’ll want a face cream that’s rich and moisturizing. If you have oily skin, you’ll want a lightweight, oil-free formula. Combination skin requires a face cream that balances moisture levels without making the skin too oily or too dry.

Ingredients to Look for in Face Creams

Choosing the right ingredients in a face cream can make a big difference in achieving healthy, glowing skin. Here are some ingredients to look for when shopping for a face cream:

  1. Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that attracts and retains moisture in the skin, keeping it hydrated and plump.
  2. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, brightens the complexion, and stimulates collagen production for firmer, younger-looking skin.
  3. Retinol: Retinol is a form of vitamin A that promotes cell turnover and collagen production, improving the texture and tone of the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  4. Niacinamide: Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that helps regulate sebum production, brightens the complexion, and improves the appearance of enlarged pores and fine lines.
  5. Peptides: Peptides are amino acid chains that stimulate collagen production and improve the firmness and elasticity of the skin.
  6. Ceramides: Ceramides are lipids that help strengthen the skin barrier and retain moisture, preventing dryness and irritation.
  7. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is a soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredient that calms irritated skin and promotes healing.

By choosing a face cream with these beneficial ingredients, you can address a variety of skin concerns and improve the overall health and appearance of your skin.

Ingredients to Avoid in Face Creams

Not all ingredients in face creams are beneficial for the skin. Here are some ingredients to avoid when shopping for a face cream:

  1. Fragrance: Fragrance can irritate sensitive skin and cause allergic reactions. Look for fragrance-free face creams or those that use natural essential oils for scent.
  2. Alcohol: Alcohol can dry out the skin and disrupt the skin barrier, leading to irritation and inflammation. Look for alcohol-free face creams or those that use fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol or stearyl alcohol, which are moisturizing and non-drying.
  3. Parabens: Parabens are preservatives that can mimic estrogen in the body and disrupt hormonal balance. Look for paraben-free face creams or those that use natural preservatives like tocopherol (vitamin E) or ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
  4. Sulfates: Sulfates are surfactants that can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing dryness and irritation. Look for sulfate-free face creams or those that use gentle surfactants like coco-glucoside or decyl glucoside.
  5. Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is a petroleum-derived ingredient that can clog pores and prevent the skin from breathing, leading to breakouts and dullness. Look for face creams that use natural oils like jojoba oil, almond oil, or avocado oil instead.

By avoiding these harmful ingredients in face creams, you can protect your skin from irritation, dryness, and other negative effects, and promote its overall health and wellbeing.

The Importance of SPF in Face Creams

One of the most important ingredients to look for in a face cream is SPF (sun protection factor). Here are some reasons why SPF is crucial for maintaining healthy skin:

  1. Protects against UV damage: Sun exposure is the primary cause of skin damage, including wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer. SPF in face creams forms a barrier that blocks UV radiation and prevents it from penetrating the skin.
  2. Prevents premature aging: UV radiation breaks down collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to sagging and wrinkles. By using a face cream with SPF, you can slow down the aging process and maintain a youthful appearance.
  3. Reduces the risk of skin cancer: Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. SPF in face creams protects against both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause skin cancer.
  4. Easy to incorporate into your routine: Applying SPF every day can be a hassle, but using a face cream with SPF simplifies the process. You can moisturize and protect your skin at the same time, without having to layer multiple products.

When shopping for a face cream, look for one with at least SPF 30, which provides adequate protection for daily use. Make sure to apply it generously and reapply every two hours if you’re spending extended periods in the sun. By incorporating SPF into your skincare routine, you can enjoy the many benefits of healthy, protected skin.

Texture and Consistency: Choosing the Right Formula

The texture and consistency of a face cream can greatly impact its effectiveness and how well it suits your skin type. Here are some tips on choosing the right formula:

  1. Cream: Creams are thick, rich, and moisturizing, making them ideal for dry or mature skin types. They may take longer to absorb, so they’re best applied at night or when you have time to let them fully sink in.
  2. Lotion: Lotions are lighter in texture and more fluid than creams, making them suitable for normal to oily skin types. They absorb quickly and leave a non-greasy finish, making them perfect for daytime use.
  3. Gel: Gels have a lightweight, refreshing texture that’s ideal for oily or acne-prone skin. They absorb quickly and leave a matte finish, without clogging pores or causing breakouts.
  4. Oil: Face oils have a silky, nourishing texture that’s beneficial for all skin types, including oily skin. They provide intense hydration and can help regulate sebum production, leading to a more balanced complexion.
  5. Balm: Balms have a thick, buttery texture that’s perfect for very dry or irritated skin. They provide a protective barrier that locks in moisture and promotes healing, making them ideal for use on areas like lips, elbows, or hands.

When choosing a face cream, consider your skin type and your personal preferences for texture and consistency. Experiment with different formulas until you find one that feels comfortable and nourishing on your skin. By choosing the right formula, you can enhance the effectiveness of your skincare routine and achieve healthy, radiant skin.

Scented vs. Unscented Face Creams: Which is Better?

The debate between scented and unscented face creams has been ongoing for years. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which is better for your skin:

  1. Fragrance Sensitivity: If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions, you may want to avoid scented face creams. Fragrances can irritate the skin, causing redness, itching, and dryness. Unscented face creams are a safer option for those with sensitive skin.
  2. Personal Preference: Some people enjoy the sensory experience of using scented face creams, as they can provide a relaxing and luxurious feel. If you prefer scented face creams, opt for those that use natural essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances.
  3. Ingredient Safety: Synthetic fragrances may contain harmful chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system or cause other health problems. Look for face creams that use only safe and natural ingredients, including natural fragrance options like essential oils.
  4. Sun Sensitivity: Some fragrances can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, making it more prone to sunburn and skin damage. If you’re using a scented face cream, be sure to also use SPF to protect your skin.

Ultimately, the decision to use a scented or unscented face cream comes down to personal preference and skin sensitivity. If you have sensitive skin, opt for unscented face creams to avoid potential irritation. If you enjoy using scented face creams, make sure to choose those with natural fragrance options and apply SPF to protect your skin from sun damage.

Cruelty-Free and Vegan Face Creams: What to Look For

If you’re committed to using products that are cruelty-free and vegan, it’s important to know what to look for when shopping for face creams. Here are some tips to help you choose products that align with your values:

  1. Look for the Leaping Bunny or PETA logo: These logos indicate that the product has been certified as cruelty-free by an independent organization. This means that the product and its ingredients have not been tested on animals at any stage of the manufacturing process.
  2. Check the ingredient list: Make sure that the face cream contains no animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax, lanolin, or collagen. Instead, look for products that use plant-based ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, and plant-based glycerin.
  3. Avoid products that contain animal byproducts: In addition to the obvious animal-derived ingredients, some products contain less obvious animal byproducts like carmine (a red pigment derived from insects) or squalene (derived from shark liver oil). Look for face creams that are free of these ingredients.
  4. Look for eco-friendly packaging: Consider the environmental impact of the product’s packaging. Look for face creams that come in recyclable or biodegradable containers.

By choosing cruelty-free and vegan face creams, you can make a positive impact on animal welfare and the environment. Remember to always check the ingredient list and look for certified logos to ensure that the product aligns with your values. With so many options available, you’re sure to find a face cream that meets your needs while also being ethical and sustainable.

Natural and Organic Face Creams: Pros and Cons

Natural and organic face creams are becoming increasingly popular due to their perceived benefits for both the skin and the environment. However, like any skincare product, they come with their own set of pros and cons. Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing natural and organic face creams:


  1. No Harsh Chemicals: Natural and organic face creams typically use plant-based ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. This can be beneficial for those with sensitive skin or those who prefer to avoid these types of ingredients.
  2. Environmentally Friendly: Organic skincare products are often produced in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner. This can reduce the amount of pollution and waste generated during the manufacturing process.
  3. Potentially Better Results: Some people report better results with natural and organic face creams due to the high concentration of active ingredients that are naturally derived.


  1. Limited Shelf Life: Natural and organic face creams may have a shorter shelf life than their conventional counterparts, as they lack preservatives that can extend the product’s lifespan. This can make them less convenient for some users.
  2. Potentially Higher Cost: Organic skincare products often come with a higher price tag due to the cost of sourcing high-quality, sustainably grown ingredients.
  3. Inconsistent Product Quality: The quality and effectiveness of natural and organic face creams can vary widely depending on the source and quality of the ingredients used.
  4. Risk of Allergies: Natural ingredients can still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it’s important to test the product on a small patch of skin before using it all over your face.

In summary, natural and organic face creams can be a great option for those who prioritize sustainability and avoiding harsh chemicals. However, they may not be the best choice for everyone, as they can have a higher cost, limited shelf life, and inconsistent quality. Ultimately, it’s important to choose a face cream that works best for your skin type, lifestyle, and values.

The Benefits of Anti-Aging Ingredients in Face Creams

As we age, our skin loses elasticity and wrinkles become more visible. This is where anti-aging ingredients in face creams come in. Here are some of the benefits of incorporating anti-aging ingredients into your skincare routine:

  1. Reduce the Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and peptides are known to stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  2. Improve Skin Texture: Some anti-aging ingredients, like glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids, help to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and revealing smoother, brighter-looking skin.
  3. Hydrate and Plump: Many anti-aging ingredients also have hydrating properties that help to plump and firm the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient for its ability to attract and retain moisture, resulting in a more youthful appearance.
  4. Protect Against Environmental Stressors: Antioxidants like vitamin E and green tea extract help to protect the skin from free radicals and other environmental stressors that can lead to premature aging.
  5. Improve Overall Skin Health: Using anti-aging ingredients can help to improve the overall health and appearance of your skin, leaving it looking brighter, smoother, and more youthful.

It’s important to note that anti-aging ingredients are most effective when used as part of a consistent skincare routine, in combination with a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper hydration. When choosing a face cream with anti-aging ingredients, look for products that are suited to your skin type and free of harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin. With regular use, you can help to minimize the signs of aging and maintain a healthy, youthful-looking complexion.

Budget-Friendly vs. High-End Face Creams: Pros and Cons

When it comes to face creams, there are a wide variety of products available at different price points. Here are some of the pros and cons of both budget-friendly and high-end face creams:

Budget-Friendly Face Creams:


  1. Affordability: Budget-friendly face creams are often much more affordable than their high-end counterparts, making them accessible to a wider range of consumers.
  2. Availability: Many budget-friendly face creams can be found at drugstores or online, making them easy to purchase and restock.
  3. Simple Formulas: Some budget-friendly face creams have simple formulas, which can be beneficial for those with sensitive skin or those who prefer to avoid complex ingredient lists.


  1. Limited Active Ingredients: Budget-friendly face creams may have a lower concentration of active ingredients, which can result in less noticeable results.
  2. Potential for Irritation: Some budget-friendly face creams may contain harsh ingredients that can irritate the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin.
  3. Less Luxurious Formulas: Budget-friendly face creams may have less luxurious formulas, with less emphasis on texture, scent, and packaging.

High-End Face Creams:


  1. High-Quality Ingredients: High-end face creams often use high-quality, clinically proven ingredients that can lead to more noticeable results.
  2. Luxurious Formulas: High-end face creams often have luxurious formulas, with emphasis on texture, scent, and packaging.
  3. Prestige: Some high-end face creams come with a certain level of prestige and brand recognition, which can be desirable for some consumers.


  1. High Cost: High-end face creams can come with a significantly higher price tag, making them less accessible to some consumers.
  2. Availability: Some high-end face creams are only available at select retailers or online, making them less convenient to purchase.
  3. Potentially Overhyped: Some high-end face creams may be overhyped, with marketing claims that are not supported by scientific evidence.

In summary, both budget-friendly and high-end face creams have their own set of pros and cons. Ultimately, it’s important to choose a face cream that fits your budget, skincare needs, and personal preferences. Regardless of the price point, look for products with high-quality ingredients that are suited to your skin type and free of harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin. With regular use, you can maintain healthy, glowing skin, regardless of the price tag of your face cream.

Tips for Choosing a Face Cream for Acne-Prone Skin

Acne-prone skin requires special care, and choosing the right face cream can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you select a face cream that’s best for acne-prone skin:

  1. Look for non-comedogenic formulas: Non-comedogenic face creams are designed not to clog pores, which can help prevent the formation of acne.
  2. Choose lightweight formulas: Lightweight, oil-free formulas can help prevent excess oil and shine, which can contribute to acne breakouts.
  3. Avoid heavy fragrances: Heavy fragrances can irritate the skin and cause acne breakouts, so look for unscented or lightly scented face creams.
  4. Opt for ingredients that target acne: Look for ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids, which can help treat and prevent acne breakouts.
  5. Avoid pore-clogging ingredients: Avoid ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa butter, and lanolin, which can clog pores and worsen acne breakouts.
  6. Consider a gel formula: Gel formulas can be a good option for acne-prone skin, as they are often lightweight and non-comedogenic.
  7. Choose the right SPF: If you have acne-prone skin, choose a face cream with an SPF of at least 30 that is oil-free and non-comedogenic.
  8. Consult with a dermatologist: If you have severe or persistent acne, it’s a good idea to consult with a dermatologist who can recommend a face cream that’s tailored to your specific skin type and needs.

By following these tips, you can select a face cream that’s gentle on your skin, helps prevent acne breakouts, and leaves your complexion looking healthy and clear. Remember to always patch test new products before using them regularly and to be patient with your skincare routine, as it may take time to see results.

How to Incorporate Face Cream into Your Skincare Routine

Using a face cream is an important part of a healthy skincare routine. Here are some tips on how to incorporate it into your daily regimen:

  1. Cleanse your face: Before applying face cream, make sure to cleanse your face thoroughly to remove any dirt, oil, and makeup.
  2. Tone your skin: For an extra boost of hydration, consider using a toner after cleansing to help prepare your skin for the face cream.
  3. Apply the face cream: Take a small amount of face cream and apply it to your face, focusing on areas that tend to be dry or prone to wrinkles. Gently massage the cream into your skin, using upward circular motions.
  4. Use SPF during the day: If you’re applying face cream during the day, choose a formula with SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  5. Don’t forget your neck: Your neck is just as important as your face, so don’t forget to apply face cream to this area as well.
  6. Use the right amount: Use a dime-sized amount of face cream for your face and neck. Using too much cream can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
  7. Use it daily: To see the best results, use face cream daily as part of your skincare routine.
  8. Apply at night: Apply a heavier face cream at night to provide extra hydration and help repair your skin while you sleep.

By following these tips, you can make sure that your face cream is properly incorporated into your skincare routine, helping you to achieve healthy, glowing skin.

How to Store Face Creams Properly

Storing your face cream properly is important to maintain its efficacy and prevent contamination. Here are some tips on how to store face creams properly:

  1. Keep it in a cool, dry place: Store your face cream in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity. Exposure to high temperatures and humidity can cause the cream to break down and lose its effectiveness.
  2. Avoid keeping it in the bathroom: While it may seem convenient to keep your face cream in the bathroom, the humidity and moisture can cause the cream to deteriorate and increase the risk of bacterial growth.
  3. Don’t share your face cream: Sharing face creams can introduce bacteria and other contaminants into the product, which can lead to skin irritation and infections.
  4. Keep the lid tightly closed: Make sure to keep the lid tightly closed on your face cream to prevent air and moisture from getting in.
  5. Store it upright: Storing your face cream upright can help prevent the product from leaking or spilling.
  6. Don’t store it in the fridge: While it may be tempting to store your face cream in the fridge to extend its shelf life, this can cause the cream to become too cold and alter its texture and consistency.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your face cream stays effective and free from contaminants, helping you to achieve the best possible results from your skincare routine.

Frequently Asked Questions About Face Creams

  1. What is the difference between a face cream and a moisturizer?

A face cream is typically thicker and richer in texture than a moisturizer. It is designed to deeply hydrate the skin and provide extra nourishment, while a moisturizer is lighter and is primarily intended to provide hydration.

  1. How often should I use face cream?

You should use face cream daily, both in the morning and at night, as part of your skincare routine.

  1. Can I use the same face cream for day and night?

While you can use the same face cream for day and night, it’s recommended to use a heavier cream at night to provide extra hydration and help repair your skin while you sleep.

  1. Can face creams cause breakouts?

Some face creams can cause breakouts, particularly if they are too heavy or contain ingredients that can clog pores. Look for non-comedogenic face creams that are specifically formulated for acne-prone skin.

  1. Can I use face cream around my eyes?

You should use an eye cream specifically formulated for the delicate skin around the eyes, as regular face creams may be too heavy and can cause irritation.

  1. Are natural or organic face creams better?

Natural and organic face creams can be better for those with sensitive skin, as they tend to be free from synthetic fragrances and other irritants. However, it’s important to note that not all natural or organic ingredients are safe for all skin types.

  1. How long do face creams last?

The shelf life of a face cream depends on the specific product and its ingredients. Generally, most face creams have a shelf life of around 6 to 12 months after opening. Check the product label for specific instructions on storage and use.

  1. Can I use face cream with SPF at night?

It’s not recommended to use face cream with SPF at night, as the ingredients can clog pores and irritate the skin. Instead, opt for a heavier, non-SPF cream at night to provide extra hydration and nourishment.

Alyssa Popovich

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. – Babe Ruth

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