Skin Care Buying Guide

Good skin care and lifestyle choices will help to ensure your skin's health. It will also help you look good and feel good about yourself. This skin care buying guide outlines your options.

Skin Care 101

Caring for your skin is crucial to keeping it healthy, beautiful and youthful. A proper skin care routine is also an important line of defense against germs, viruses and environmental stressors that can affect your overall well-being. Not all skin is the same, so picking out the best skin care products depends on what your skin needs. The first step is to determine if your skin type is normal, dry, oily, combination or sensitive — and if you have any skin conditions that need addressing. Once you know, you can identify products suited to your skin type and develop a personal skin care routine. To maintain strong skin and a healthy complexion, you'll need a range of soaps, cleansers, scrubs, toners and moisturizers. Other useful options include eye creams, night creams, masks and serums. For best results, you should also embrace healthy lifestyle habits: eat well, avoid direct sunlight, get adequate rest and stay hydrated. 

Types of Skin Care Products



It’s important to cleanse your face in the morning and before going to bed. Makeup should be removed first with a wipe or liquid makeup remover: the purpose of the cleansers is to remove all remaining makeup, dirt and dead skin cells. It’s important to choose a cleanser that leaves your skin clean and refreshed without over-drying or stripping the skin of its natural oils. There are facial cleansers formulated for every type of skin. If you have dry skin, consider using a cream-based cleanser and avoid alcohol-based products, which could lead to over drying. For oily skin, consider a gel-based or "soapy" cleanser to help clean pores and remove excess oil. Sensitive skin types should stay away from harsh cleansers and choose hypoallergenic products.

Bar Soaps, Body Washes & Shower Gels

When cleaning from the neck down, you can choose from a wide array of bar soaps, body washes and shower gels. Regular soap-based products are great at removing dirt and bacteria from your skin. However, they can also strip away some of your natural body oils, which can lead to dehydrated, irritated skin. If you find that soap leaves your skin dry, try using non-soap bars, washes and gels. They generally don't remove excess skin oil, and their pH levels tend to be closer to your skin's natural pH level of 4.5 to 6.5. 

Scrubs & Exfoliators

Facial scrubs and exfoliators manually buff away the dead cells on the surface of your skin. This does your skin a world of good, from improving circulation and cell turnover to cleansing pores and preventing acne. They also prime the skin to allow moisturizers and serums to penetrate so that your skin can reap the full benefits of treatment. The result is a brighter complexion and skin that's soft and smooth. Choose a face scrub suited to your skin type and apply it at night once or twice a week. You can also try microdermabrasion kits with handheld applicators. Dry or sensitive skin can benefit from gentle cream or lotion scrubs that contain rounded, moisturizing microbeads; oily or combination skin responds well to gel scrubs. All skin types, except for sensitive skin, can benefit from cloth or pad exfoliators, which can be used to remove dead skin and other impurities with or without the help of a cleanser. Be gentle with exfoliation and do not use any products that tear at the skin.


Toners restore natural pH levels to make your skin more resistant to bacteria and remove traces of oil, dirt and makeup. Apply a small amount to a cotton pad and wipe it over your face and neck area after cleansing and before moisturizing, except for your eye area.   Toners may be found with different names such as astringents, balancing lotions, essences, clarifying lotions or water. Toners are available for various types of skin types. Moisturizing skin toners are ideal for normal and dry skin, alcohol-free hydrating toners are best for oily and combination skin, and calming or soothing toners are designed to work on sensitive skin. 


A moisturizer is the final essential step in your skin care routine, and is to be used after cleanser and toner. Moisturizer seals in your skin’s natural moisture while adding extra hydration and a protective layer so your skin can function at its best. For a day time moisturizer, pick one with SPF to protect your skin from UV rays. Night moisturizers are richer and provide extra benefits for the skin to heal and be re-nourished while at rest.  Apply a small dab of moisturizer; gently massaging in a circular motion into your face and neck (different moisturizers are available for the eye area).  If you have sensitive skin, look for fragrance-free and oil-free options. For oilier skin, look for non-comedogenic (non-clogging) formulas. Finally, be sure to do a patch test on your forearm with any new moisturizer. 


There's nothing like a relaxing day at the spa. But if you don't have the time or your beauty budget is tight, you can still give your face a treat. Home skin care masks are designed to clear out pores, detoxify and hydrate. Again, choose a face mask that’s designed for your skin type. A hydrating mask can help restore moisture to dry or sensitive skin, while an exfoliating or clay mask can help draw out impurities on oily skin. An enzyme mask is gentle enough for all areas on combination skin. Facial masks comes in different formats: paper masks are infused with highly concentrated active ingredients, clay masks are ideal for detoxing, and cream masks work best as night treatments. Recommended usage for a facial mask is 1-2 times per week, depending on purpose of the mask.


Serums are highly concentrated moisturizing products that deliver nutrients to the skin. The active ingredients are made from tiny molecules that actually penetrate the skin to target specific concerns such as acne, scarring, redness or anti-aging.  There are serums available to treat most skincare concerns. Serums can be a bit pricier than other moisturizers, but keep in mind they're concentrated. Serums that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid can help boost dry skin, while those that contain glycolic acid, retinol or vitamin C can help smooth oily skin and prevent clogged pores. Serums should be applied after the Toner and before moisturizer.

Night Creams

Night is the time when your body restores and regenerates itself. Night creams are packed full of vitamins and nutrients that will moisturize your skin overnight. There are two basic types of night creams: anti-aging night creams help reduce the appearance of age spots, lines and wrinkles. Since they're worn at night, you avoid the sun-sensitivity issues associated with wearing anti-aging ingredients like retinol during the day. Deep-moisturizing night creams are heavier and more hydrating to boost the skin’s natural night-time repair process. Night cream formulas can help rehydrate normal, dry and combination skin, but may cause blemishes and breakouts on oily skin. Cleansing your skin properly before application is essential for full absorption and penetration of the nutrients provided in night creams.

Eye Creams

Eye creams are moisturizers specially formulated for use on the thin, delicate skin around your eyes. These products help soothe and hydrate skin and reduce signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, under-eye puffiness and dark circles. You can apply eye cream twice a day, morning and evening. Gently pat the cream with a dotting motion onto the skin with your fingertip or a cotton swab. Every type of skin can benefit from eye creams.

BB, CC and DD Creams

BB creams, CC creams and DD creams are multitasking all-in-one products that can help you streamline your beauty routine. BB creams (or beauty balm creams) combine a mix of ingredients to simultaneously moisturize skin and even out skin tone. CC creams (or colour correcting creams) combine ingredients to correct colour-related skin issues, such as redness, dark spots and sallowness. DD creams (or dynamic do-all creams) combine the benefits of BB and CC creams with anti-aging ingredients that diminish wrinkles, fine lines and premature signs of aging.

Types of Skin



Normal skin has a proper balance of moisture and oil, feels soft, smooth and supple and displays a healthy complexion. If you wipe your face first thing in the morning with a facial tissue and the tissue doesn’t show traces of oil, you have normal skin. This skin type is easy to care for, but you should still be sure to cleanse your face gently, protect your skin with broad-spectrum sunscreen and use after-sun products to replenish moisture.


Dry skin has a more matte-like appearance and tends to show lines more easily. If you wipe your face first thing in the morning with a facial tissue and your face feels flaky and tight afterward, you have dry skin. To care for dry skin you should cleanse gently, stay away from products that contain alcohol, and choose products that help hydrate the skin. Ingredients that help to hold in moisture include hyaluronic acid, glycerin and alpha hydroxyl acids.  


Oily skin has a shinier appearance and is more susceptible to acne and enlarged pores. If you wipe your nose and forehead and cheeks first thing in the morning with a facial tissue and there are traces of oil, you have oily skin. You can improve the health of oily skin by thoroughly cleaning your skin, using scrubs to clear out pores.  If you have oily skin take care that your cleansing routine does not strip or over dry the skin, which could stimulate higher production of oil. Using a toner will assist in rebalancing the pH level of your skin prior to application of an oil-free moisturizer. 


Combination skin has patches of dry and oily skin and requires different treatments for different areas of your face. If you wipe your face first thing in the morning with a facial tissue and there are traces of oil on your nose and forehead but not your cheeks, you have combination skin. To treat combination skin, use rich creams and moisturizers on dry zones, such as cheeks and around the eyes, and use lighter weight products on the T-zone. Cleansing should be gentle and not too over-drying. A toner can be used to rebalance the pH level of the skin prior to application of differing moisturizers on the skin zones.


Sensitive skin tends to be dry and chapped and is easily irritated and inflamed. You could also have reddish, scaly or itchy areas that are prone to acne and allergies. Sensitive skin is the most problematic skin type and requires gentle skin care solutions. You can help improve the health of sensitive skin by limiting your exposure to hot water and avoiding fragrances, colourings, antibacterial soaps and antimicrobial cleansers. You should also use moisturizer and sunscreen regularly.

Skin Cleansing Tips:

  • Use a makeup remover or wipe to remove makeup prior to cleansing the face
  • Wash your face twice daily, morning and night, to remove dirt and daily buildup
  • Wash your face after you exercise or swim to remove residue
  • Wash your skin with warm water (never hot) to open pores, using upward circular motions over your face and neck, and pat dry with a towel
  • Carry makeup-removing towelettes to remove sweat after your jog or gym session

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Moisturizing Tips:

  • Change your skin care seasonally by using heavier moisturizer in winter and lighter, oil-free moisturizer in summer
  • Use daytime moisturizers that contain SPF, or use an SPF product after moisturizing.
  • Slather moisturizing cream on your hands and feet before bed and slip on thin socks and gloves for softer skin
  • Keep your skin hydrated year round with a humidifier

Your Changing Skin Care Needs

Hormonal Cycles
Hormonal changes related to your monthly periods, aging and certain medical conditions can affect how your skin looks, feels and functions. For example, the hormonal changes preceding each monthly period can trigger an overproduction of oil and skin cells, resulting in oily skin, clogged pores and acne breakouts. Perimenopause and menopause can cause your skin to become thin, dry and scaly, with signs of aging. Changes in thyroid function can turn skin coarse, thick, dry and scaly. To keep your skin looking its best, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, use skin care products suited to your skin type and change up your skin care routine to stay in tune with your body's changes.
Travelling or relocating to a different climate can change your skin’s behaviour and skin type. Dry climates can contribute to dry skin, demanding that you stay hydrated and seek help from topical skin moisturizers. Humid climates have the opposite effect. They can lead to oily skin, with blemishes and acne breakouts. Change your skin care products to suit your surroundings. Use heavier moisturizer in cold, dry climates and lighter, oil-free moisturizer in sunny, warmer climates.
As you age, your skin begins to produce less sebum and moisture. This leads to dryness, which causes lines and wrinkles. To keep your skin from aging prematurely, adopt healthy lifestyle habits such as avoiding sun damage and curbing consumption of simple carbs, which are known to cause stiff, sagging, wrinkled skin. You should also increase your consumption of vitamin C to help your body generate collagen.
Environmental factors such as UV rays and air pollution can affect the look and health of your skin. To fight back, you should use broad-spectrum sun protection and cleanse your skin thoroughly at night. You can also boost your skin's natural defenses by eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and establishing a daily skin care routine.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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