I don’t know about you, but when it comes to approaching beauty counters at various retailers, I’m always a little intimidated by just how many products are available on offer. 

Not only do you have to navigate the path of exploring different brands, but within each brand’s section there’s a versatile and wide variety of products that are tailor-made for different skin types.

The choices are overwhelming. And it’s even worse when you don’t know which products will work for you.

Personally, I think finding makeup products are a lot easier than skincare products, because you at least know which colour preferences you have and what works well with your skin tone.

Skincare products on the other hand are a lot harder to get right.

According to our recent Clarins Bright Plus survey, when it comes to buying a moisturiser or any other skin creams, 49.6% of women are most concerned about whether the product they’re buying will work.

This would suggest that many women might not be as knowledgeable about the kind of products that will work for them and ties in with the fact that 22.3% who aren’t sure what to buy.

So, when it comes to shopping for a day or night cream, just what are the kinds of things that you should take into consideration?

Know your skin type

The most important thing you should know before you buy a day cream is to know what product is suited for your skin type and skin needs.

Yes, this might seem like an obvious point, but the ingredients in the specific item you’re keen on trying might be the difference between a skin cream working perfectly or not helping at all.

Normal skin would indicate a balanced amount of oil in all areas, while a combination skin type would show that some areas are oiler than others.

The main skin types are normal, dry skin, oily skin and combination. There are a number of ways that you can check, but one of the most common ways (i.e. one you can do at home) to determine what kind of skin you have is the blotting sheet test. 

According to Tatcha.com, the blotting method is actually an excellent way to determine the levels of oiliness in your skin. Myawesomebeauty.com says that the best way to do the blotting test is to wash your face at night and go to bed without applying any skin creams. 

Apply the sheets the next morning and blot key areas on your face like your forehead, cheeks, underneath your eye and your jaw line. If the sheet is excessively oily all over, it might be an indication that you have oily skin. If there’s little too no oil on the blotting sheet, it could be that your skin is dry.

Normal skin would indicate a balanced amount of oil in all areas, while a combination skin type would show that some areas are oiler than others.

There are, of course, a number of other methods you could use to determine your skin type, but the point is, you need to know what skin type you have in order to purchase the correct products.

Check the ingredients

Super important because a product that uses ingredients meant to combat oily skin wouldn’t work as well if you have dry skin, and as we’ve mentioned above, could end up being a waste of money if you end up buying the wrong product.

READ MORE: 5 minutes every morning can transform your skin

Don't be fooled by the brand or the packaging

Look, while there is no doubt that there are some pretty solid brands whose expensive products work like an absolute dream, don’t let that be the reason you’re buying the product.

Pretty packaging and brand names don’t always mean that the skin cream you’re purchasing will work for your skin. 

Take Cetaphil for example. 

The packaging of their items is decidedly bland and simple in comparison to say, Lancôme. But it’s really great for those who have sensitive skin, and according to Refinery29 it’s clearly a winner with dermatologists too.

Sampling is your friend

Most store counters often have products available for testing, so if you’re not sure of what you should get, testing is your friend. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask store consultants – they are there to help.

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