eli5:How are different facial cleansers/moisturizers formulated for certain skin types?


I’ve seen some products that have the same name but are meant for different skin types(dry,combination,oily). What do they do to the product to make it for certain skin types?

In: Chemistry

A lot of it is marketing (creating more products for more shelf space), but on some level, they just have small changes usually. Say a shampoo is offered in oily, normal, and dry hair. The oily hair one might have the least amount of moisturizers added, and the dry one the opposite, and the normal one in the middle. Usually it’s these extra ingredients that make up the various formulations.

For face products specifically, I know that there is a critical difference in products marketed for different skin types. For example products for dry skin would tend to be more oil based products or contain ingredients that promote hydration while, products marketed to oily skin would be more stripping and harsher to remove the excess oils on the skin. A person with already dry skin wouldn’t want to use a product for oily skin as it would only exasperate their skin issues.
But that being said some of it really is just a marketing scheme, with no real difference between formulas.