Which cream suits me? A guide for everyone

Welche Creme passt zu mir? Der große Ratgeber

"Come on, confess at last! If you tell the truth now, you'll save yourself...!" It is really unpleasant that most reports about the benefits and sense of face creams remind of a police interrogation after a crime. Where dermatologists take the role of investigators and care-unwilling readers are portrayed as evildoers. The victim is - of course - the facial skin. To mention it right away: The intention of these articles is correct - the wording could just be a little nicer. So we fold in the raised forefinger - and inform entertainingly as well as factually about which skin type needs which cream, how to preserve or get back one's youthful face, keyword: anti-aging cream. And of course - why it really, really makes sense to give your face care. So then... let's get started:

Dander vs oily skin

Let's look the truth in the ... exact... face. What is it actually about when you are dealing with scincare? About personal vanity? Everyone should have the right to feel good in their skin. And who wants to have to endure wrinkles or furrows. Keeping healthy is also an important issue: dry skin, even cracked or flaky skin quickly becomes inflamed. You may still be able to tolerate the itching. But eczema or neurodermatitis are also possible consequences. Nobody really wants that. The other side is too oily skin. The much-named bacon rind is not a comparison that women like to hear. In other words: care is essential in order not to have to deal with the topics listed here.

Why does the skin no longer protect?

But why is our facial skin not a self-sustaining system? Did Mother Nature screw up there, set one of the many predetermined breaking points, so to speak, which also makes all of our lives a test? So why do we have to protect, wash, cream, massage, cool, etc.? Civilization is to blame. If it weren't for the stress caused by UV radiation, exhaust fumes, heating air - all external influences - but also factors such as stress, insomnia, psychological strain, wrong diet - then our skin would not age premature. Our protective shell - after all, the largest organ we have - could maintain itself dazzlingly with moisture and fat (both from our own production). But who wants to live in a time in which we were still described as hunters and gatherers...

The sun makes us old

Again, some tens of thousands of years forward and many dermatological findings later, it can be said with certainty: Our skin needs support. And besides the obligatory cleansing - more on this later - it is nevertheless easy to provide a minimum of care by applying a sun protection factor cream. Because, "aging ultimately begins with the first day we expose ourselves to the sun." This wise phrase comes from Ulrike Blume-Peytavi, the senior consultant at the Clinic for Dermatology at Berlin's Charité hospital. That settles that. The question remains: Can the effect be stopped, perhaps even reversed? Hollywood took this idea to the extreme in the wonderful film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and had lead actor Brad Pitt age backwards. In reality, however, anti-aging means showing commitment and acquiring a certain set of tools.

All about choices

Equipment means the choice of cream. Which skin needs which product (not to be confused with brand)? Basically, a distinction is made between normal, dry, oily and combination skin. It is advisable to clarify with an expert: Which kind of skin do you have and which care do you need. However, the most important rule is: Especially after the shower, the skin should be sufficiently cared for. This is because hot water and washing products strip the skin of much-needed moisture and wash out lipids (fats).

Let's talk about the individual skin types:

Normal skin:

Normal skin - yes, the desired candidate (after all, 41 percent of all German women fall into this category according to a study). If you want to describe normal skin in a few words, it is characterized by a smooth, rosy surface structure, has fine pores and a soft shimmer. If you now feel reminded of "Spiderman" girlfriend Zendaya, you're not far wrong. This skin needs creams with a balanced proportion of fat and moisture.

Dry Skin:

Dry skin (21 percent of German women suffer from it) develops because the so-called protective skin barrier crumbles. Experts explain this by the fact that more moisture and lipids are lost from the skin than are added. Known reasons for this, in addition to those mentioned above, are hormonal or metabolic disorders. But the list is long - and only dermatologists can provide qualified answers. However, dry skin is quickly recognizable. It looks tired and sallow, has reddened areas and sometimes shows flaking. It also becomes thinner, in the worst case appearing parchment-like. The result can be cracks and inflammations. But it certainly leads to the formation of permanent wrinkles and furrows. Dry skin therefore requires consistent care that first and foremost restores the moisture balance and thus rebuilds the protective barrier. Richness is the keyword here. Creams rich in aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, perhaps in combination with healing mastic oil.

Oily skin:

Oily skin (according to a survey, 6% of German women suffer from it) is caused by increased sebum production. The glands located under the skin secrete significantly too much sebum, causing an oily film. What is known as the rind effect has an advantage that should not be underestimated: the skin is better protected against environmental influences and thus forms wrinkles later. The disadvantage, however, is an enlargement of the pores and thus an increased susceptibility to inflammation, blackheads and acne, as bacteria can settle better. Basically, the key here is to find a cream that restores balance. Not too "degreasing" (because otherwise the sebum production is increased by the body), but clearly moisturizes. Here it is also important to seek advice from a specialist. However, the packaging note "non-comedogenic" (meaning: does not clog the pores) is always important.

Mixed type skin:

Mixed type skin (survey: 30 percent of German women) is characterized by the fact that, for example, the T-zone is oily-greasy, but the cheeks and mouth area are rather dry. This is naturally a problem for skin care, because finding the right balance is difficult for many products. Basically, creams should have a light, not too oily texture, they should also not clog the pores. In addition, however, other aids should be used. For example, gentle peelings that remove dead skin flakes and masks with soothing ingredients that provide rich moisture. The interaction of these products results in a smooth, healthy complexion even for mixed type skin.

Cleaning the right way

As different as the skin types are, so similar, on the other hand, is the cleansing of the skin before creams can be applied. We list the most important tips:

1) Cleaning and applying cream

Who says, the skin must be properly dry after washing, has no idea. The best time to apply the cream to the face is when there is still a bit of moisture on it. Then the nutrients can best penetrate into the pores.

2) Less is always more!

In fact, too much of a good thing, really is always too much. At least when it comes to skincare. If you spread more than a hazelnut-sized amount of cream on your face, you run the risk of clogging your pores. The consequence: impurities develop, which can turn into pimples or inflammations.

3) It's all about the technique!

If you really want to take care of your face, you should consider in advance how to massage the cream into the tissue. It is not done with a simple back and forth wiping. Professionals know: Circular, lightly massaging movements from the center of the face outward ensure the best results.

4) Now please wait!

It is perfectly okay to use several skin care products one after the other - if the ingredients harmonize with each other. The keyword here is: one after the other. What this means is that each product must be absorbed into the skin before the next one is applied. Otherwise, there is a risk that the effects will cancel each other out.

5) The order must be right!

In the skincare regime, the order is extremely important. It is not only about whether products harmonize with each other, above all, the following must be observed: Serums or fluids are applied to the skin first, followed by creams or oils. Conversely, the high fat content causes the skin to close up - and thus renders the water-containing textures ineffective. They simply can no longer penetrate the skin.