A good skin cream is the most difficult of choices
How do you buy skin cream?
Do you always buy the same one?
Do you  buy a different one every time as so far none of them work?
Do you follow what a celebrity uses as it sounds so good?
 Which ever type of consumer you are, have you asked the questions?
Does this cream work?
Does my skin recognize the ingredients in this cream?
How does this cream absorb into my skin?
Does this cream actually improve my skin?
Here is a quick and simple way to give you an idea of what to look for at the beauty counter or drugstore aisle so that you know what you are buying and putting on your skin.
Skincare are split in 2 categories; cosmetics and cosmeceuticals
 Cosmetic skin care are normally found in stores such as super markets, Ulta, Sephora, Nordstrom and your friends selling to you.  All forms of these cosmetic products have very little active ingredients.  They will not change the skin or improve any problems long term and some can even exacerbate problems due to the ingredients they contain.  I am not for a minute dismissing these creams as they have grown with advancements in science and technology.
Cosmeceutical skincare combines cosmetics and pharmaceuticals that are topically applied like cosmetics, but they contain ingredients that influence the biological function of the skin.  Cosmeceuticals improve appearance by delivering nutrients necessary for healthy skin.  Skin care products have evolved from cleanse, tone and moisturize to a serious look at cosmetic chemistry and what chemical occurrences are happening in and around the various cells within the skin.  It is important how the chemicals in the cosmetics interact with the skins own chemistry.
Cosmetic formulations are generally complex, but there are a few simple ways to make sense of a label.  The length of a typical over the counter product label contains 42+ ingredients.  Cosmeceuticals contain less and in some much less.  Where the active ingredients are positioned in the list will give you an idea of the percentage in the product.  Although some actives need to be in smaller amounts to keep their effect on the skin.  43% is the average amount of fragrance and preservatives in these OTC products.  Much less is found in cosmeceuticals.
What makes a good formulation?
*Good skin care formulation is to restore all natural skin barrier defense systems and will have the the following properties and benefits.
Mimic skin structure and function, partially occlusive, vitamin replacing, antioxidants, slow water loss, restorative properties, repairing, a balanced pH and be saturating.
 * ‘Cosmetic Chemistry’ (for the skin treatment therapist), by Florence Barrett Hill.
Please note the subject of cosmetic chemistry is huge, there are many books written on the subject if you wish to delve deeper the these books may help: ‘A Consumer Dictionary of Cosmetics Ingredients’ by Ruth Winter
‘Milady’s Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary’ by Natalie Michalun, M. Varinia Michalun