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How do I Choose the Best Face Lotion?

Sarah Sullins
Sarah Sullins

Choosing the best face lotion starts with a person first determining what type of skin he or she has. Each type, whether it be oily, normal, sensitive, dry, or a combination of various types, will require a different kind of lotion. Another consideration a person may need to think about is what he or she wants the face lotion to do. Some lotions keep the face safe from the harmful damage of the sun, while others help prevent or slow wrinkles. Skin can change with the seasons, so a person may have to have a couple of different lotions ready for those seasonal skin-type shifts.

Normal skin is ideal skin. People who have this skin will usually have fairly clean skin, free of pimples and blackheads, the majority of the time. Just about any kind of face lotion will work for people who have this skin type.

A woman putting lotion on her face.
A woman putting lotion on her face.

Those who have oily skin frequently deal with breakouts. With this skin type, a person's face may look great for a few hours after it has been washed but get progressively oilier after that. Washing the face a few times throughout the day can help keep a person's face from looking too oily. The best face lotion for this skin type is usually one that is oil-free and has water as a base.

Face lotion.
Face lotion.

People may have dry skin if they wash their face and immediately feel it become tight and dry. This kind of skin needs a lot of moisture to feel comfortable. Many people with dry skin also have to deal with premature wrinkles, so a face lotion that provides extra moisture and may help prevent wrinkles is often a good choice.

Sensitive skin can be difficult to treat because it is prone to allergic reactions to many products. For this reason, any product that is used on a face with sensitive skin needs to be hypoallergenic and indicate that it is gentle on skin. All new products should be tested on a small area of the skin to see if there is an allergic reaction prior to it becoming part of one's regular skincare routine.

Extra moisture may help prevent wrinkles.
Extra moisture may help prevent wrinkles.

Dealing with combination skin can be frustrating and take a lot of time and energy. Each dry and oily area of the face must be dealt with individually, instead of simply slathering moisturizer all over one's face. Moisturizing face lotion can be applied to dry areas, such as the cheeks, while toner can be applied to the oily areas, such as the forehead, chin and nose.

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Discussion Comments

I believe that skin type isn't the only factor to consider when getting face lotion. I think climate is also another very important factor.

The reason I say this is because I had an experience about this recently. I normally have oil skin that does well in dry, cooler climates. But recently, I went to visit my cousin near the coast where the climate is hot and humid. My skin went crazy there! I couldn't use my regular lotions because they were making me break out. I had to get a much lighter, oil-free lotion with salyclic acid in it to keep my acne under control.

When I came home and continued to use this light lotion, my skin dried out and started flaking, and my acne also disappeared! So now I have gone back to my old, more moisturizing lotion.

So climate plays a huge part in skin care for sure!


@burcinc-- My skin isn't like that at all. I think I have dry-combination skin. I don't get acne, and I definitely need a lotion that's moisturizing or my skin becomes very dry. But I also have a problem with enlarged pores.

Even though I can use most moisturizing face lotions, over time, my pores get bigger and bigger. Like right now, I've been using Aveeno face lotion and my pores are really noticeable and ugly.

I guess I need a lotion that will minimize my pores. But most of those appear to be for troubled skin and I'm afraid it will dry my face out. I'm so confused about what kind of face lotion is best for me.


I have oily skin that's prone to breakouts, so I cannot ever use face lotion with any kind of oil in it. Surprisingly though, I also cannot use lotions that have many drying ingredients because that aggravates my acne further by causing my skin to produce more oil.

So I basically stick to oil-free, acne face lotion for sensitive skin. The lotion I'm using right now has glycerin as a main ingredient and that keeps my skin soft and hydrated without breaking me out. It also has something called burdock extract in it that helps to balance oil production.

It's been working pretty well for me so I'm going to keep using it. It's rare for me to find a face lotion that doesn't give me anything to complain about.

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    • A woman putting lotion on her face.
      A woman putting lotion on her face.
    • Face lotion.
      By: MM
      Face lotion.
    • Extra moisture may help prevent wrinkles.
      By: Valua Vitaly
      Extra moisture may help prevent wrinkles.