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Buy moisturizer -- it seems easy enough when you jot it down on your to-do list. But wander the skin care aisles and you quickly learn that the choices can be confounding. There are face creams, body and facial moisturizers, and lotions or ointments for dry, sensitive, light, or dark skin. Add in anti-aging ingredients and sunscreens and the confusion just grows.

So how do you know what moisturizer is best for you? Use these no-nonsense strategies from top dermatologists to help choose the right moisturizer for giving your skin the healthy glow you're after.

 

Cream, Lotion, or Ointment?

Picking a moisturizer is a must, no matter what kind of skin you have -- oily, dry or a combination of both.

If you've got itchy or dry skin, you'll probably want to lock in moisture with a thick ointment. Creams are thinner, help hydrate, and are good for normal skin. Lotions are the lightest (water is their main ingredient) and are a good match for oily skin.

Base the thickness of your moisturizer on when and where you use it on your body. Florida dermatologist Andrea Cambio, MD, says, "Choose a light moisturizer for day and a heavier one for nighttime." You can also use a thicker cream for your body and a lightweight moisturizing lotion for your face. Stick with lighter, hydrating moisturizers in the summer months.