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Differentiating Skincare Products – What Does What, Again?

Differentiating Skincare Products – What Does What, Again?

Yes, we know differentiating skin care products can be quite a hair-pulling experience, and we often end up asking ourselves ‘what does what again?’

Differentiating Skin Care Products
Credit: girlwhocriedwolf

With the increasing amount and ranges of beauty products, each proclaiming to solve a specific skin problem and suitable for different skin types, choosing the right skin care product can become a huge hassle.

What’s more, now your product comes in different textures and forms! Take moisturizer for example. Most of us know it’s important to use a moisturizer to keep our skin hydrated, but how many of us know what’s the difference between an emulsion, a lotion or a cream/gel-based moisturizer.

To make it as easily digestible as possible, we’ve created a simple guide to teach you the difference between the commonly mixed up skin care products…

1. Sunblock vs. Sunscreen  

A sunblock usually has a thicker consistency that is able to stay longer on the skin. It contains physical blocks like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. When you apply sunblock, the rays are deflected before it penetrates your skin.

Sunscreen, on the other hand, absorbs the UV rays to prevent your skin from taking them in. It contains chemicals like avobenzone, oxybenzone etc, which can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin.

Rule of thumb: Choose a sunblock or sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection!  Use a sunblock instead of sunscreen if you have sensitive skin.

2. Serum vs. Essence

Serums are basically a lighter form of essence. You might have noticed that they are usually more pricey than your regular moisturizer. This is because they contain a high concentration of ingredients, designed to target specific skin problems, and also help in the absorption of your moisturizer. Essence, on the other hand, contains essential ingredients that feed your skin nutrients. Essentially, serums are usually lighter and more concentrated than essences.

3. Emulsion vs. Lotion

Emulsions and lotions are lighter forms of creams, so they’re generally more suitable for people with sensitive skin.

The difference between emulsions and lotions is simple – lotion is thicker than emulsion. So if you have ultra thin and sensitive skin, it is best that you use an emulsion, which is less likely to irritate your skin or clog your pores.

4. Cream vs. Gel Based Moisturizer

Gel- vs. cream-based moisturizers: What's the difference?
Credit: Ian Dooley

Gel-based moisturizers tend to be the thinnest and easiest to penetrate quickly into your skin. As a gel-based moisturizer is not as rich as a cream-based moisturizer, it is less likely to clog your pores. Cream-based moisturizers, being the richest of all, is most suitable for dry or ultra dry skin.

For our Singaporean readers:

See Also
facial cleanser

Based on our experience, Singapore’s climate causes you to have oily skin that appears dry on the surface. This means that a cream based moisturizer is likely to be too rich for your skin. Avoid cream-based moisturizers, as it is likely to clog your pores!

Take care of that ring on it,


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