The Best Anti-Aging Products at Every Price Point
No matter what your budget may be, you can find anti-aging skin products that get the seal of approval of top dermatologists.
Eye creams: Under $10
When it comes to eye creams, Erum Ilyas, MD, a dermatologist at Montgomery Dermatology, says the focus should always be hydration. “Products with lots of alpha hydroxy acids can be a bit too harsh for the thin skin around the eyes,” she says. She likes Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment Skin Protectant, $7, for its hydrating effects even on the thin skin around the eye area. “By applying petroleum jelly around the eyes first, then applying your anti-aging products on the rest of your face, you can avoid excess irritation and the skin around your eyes will look great in the morning!” she says.
Eye creams: Under $30
To wake up tired and puffy eyes, you’ll need a solution that contains caffeine, like The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG, $12, which helps reduce the appearance of eye contour, puffiness, and pigmentation all in one application. “Caffeine has clinically been shown to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness under the eyes,” says Dr. Ilyas. “EGCG is a green tea extract with clinically proven benefits as an antioxidant that is great for this area.”
Eye creams: Under $50
Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist at Skinney Med Spa and clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, loves Sumbody Calm, Cool, Collected Calming Eye Serum, $35. “It contains essential fatty acids to promote a healthy skin barrier and amino acids and vitamin A to promote skin cell renewal,” she explains. “Additionally, two of its ingredients, organic mustard seed, and evening primrose, contain alpha-linolenic acid, which helps maintain skin structure.” Don’t miss the best anti-aging products for every decade of your life.
Eye creams: $50+
One of Stacy Chimento’s, MD, a Miami-based dermatologist at Diane Walder by Riverchase Dermatology, personal favorites for daily use on her eyes is ISDINCeutics K-ox Eyes, $110. “This product contains vitamin C oxide, hyaluronic acid, haloxyl, matrikines, and flavonoids to combat dark circles,” she says. “It’s great for puffiness, pigment and fine lines.”
Serums: Under $10
Dr. Ilyas recommends thinking of serums as lightweight products with a very small particle size. “They do not have the thickness or weight of a lotion or a cream and can penetrate the skin more effectively,” she says. For a low-cost serum, her go-to is Seventh Generation Boost Hydrating Skin Serum, $8. “It’s a mild product that contains lightweight oils, like jojoba, to hydrate and soften the skin effectively,” she says. “Remember these products come in smaller containers for a reason—a little bit goes a long way!”
Serums: Under $30
Even at such a reasonable price point, CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum, $17, packs everything you need in a serum into a tiny package—skin-plumping ceramides and hyaluronic acid and skin-protecting vitamin b5 (pantothenic acid). “Hyaluronic acid in a serum form allows it to penetrate between the skin cells to draw moisture into the superficial layers of skin,” says Dr. Ilyas. “Hyaluronic acid can find its way into these cracks and draw moisture into the skin to repair and hydrate!”
Serums: Under $50
“Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum‘s, $19, amino-peptide complex II delivers both moisturizers as well as anti-aging peptides,” says Dr. King. “Clinical studies have shown a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and improvement in skin firmness after four weeks of use.” She loves it for its non-greasy and lightweight formula that’s easy to layer under products—sunblock, a heavier moisturizer or makeup. These are the anti-aging secrets dermatologists won’t tell you for free.
The combination of two antioxidants—vitamin C and the herb gingko biloba—found in Pure Bioderm Antioxidant Super Serum, $58, protects your skin from free radical damage from UV radiation and pollution, explains Dr. King. “Not only is this serum shown to smooth the skin and hydrate the skin after one month of use, but the addition of gingko biloba also adds to the stability of the product, which is often an issue for vitamin C serums.”
Night creams: Under $10
Although marketed for acne, Dr. King says that AcneFree Daily Skin Therapy Complexion Perfecting Cream for Overnight Skincare with Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, $9, is a great low-price-point way of including a retinol night cream for anti-aging. “Retinoids are proven to increase the turnover of skin cells and stimulate the production of collagen,” she says. “This night cream is enriched with hyaluronic acid and moisturizers to make it gentle and not irritating, which is great because retinol can sometimes cause irritation of the skin.”
Night creams: Under $30
This drugstore-priced night cream is a favorite of both Dr. Chimento and Dr. King for its suitability for all skin types and intense moisturizing properties. “Olay Night Cream Regenerist Night Recovery Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer, $21, has an advanced amino acid complex supercharged with intense, moisturizing ingredients and niacinamide (topical B3) which is a great anti-inflammatory and soothing component,” says Dr. Chimento.
Night creams: Under $50
Dr. Ilyas’ pick of a night cream under $50 is CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM, $27, which she says is lightweight and won’t mess up your bed sheets with a greasy film. “It has Cerave’s signature ingredient, ceramides, which have been proven to effectively improve the hydration of the skin and improve the barrier function of the skin overall,” she says. “Cerave also contains hyaluronic acid to further improve the skin’s hydration.” Find out the 10 pieces of anti-aging advice you should definitely ignore.
Night creams: $50+
If you’re willing to splurge on a night cream, Dr. King recommends spending your hard-earned money on something that works, like SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream, $110. “This product offers a unique combination of alpha hydroxy acid and a retinoid to leave the skin looking refreshed, without irritation, and also provides moisture to counteract the dryness that can be caused by retinoids,” she says. “Clinical studies showed a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles in 4 weeks, with little-to-no irritation.”
Oils: Under $10
“Facial oils can do much for the skin if used correctly because they contain antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids that work very nicely to balance the complexion and provide nutrients to the skin,” explains Joel Schlessinger, MD, dermatologist and RealSelf advisor. “They also provide moisture, which is great for keeping dry and rough skin soft and healthy.” For a fragrance-free formula that’s fantastic for sensitive skin that needs quick hydration, Dr. Chimento recommends Neutrogena Sheer Oil-Lotion, $7.
Oils: Under $30
Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, loves Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light, $12, because it can be applied all over the body and it is 100 percent argan oil. “With this face oil, you’re getting the highest concentration which can be mixed or directly applied,” she says.
Oils: Under $50
According to Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist, Caudalie Vine[activ] Overnight Detox Oil, $36, is an excellent choice for folks showing signs of aging. “It contains 100 percent organic essential oils including lavender, neroli, carrot, and white sandalwood to detoxify the skin and pull out pollutants from the day with its antioxidant and antibacterial properties,” she says. “Grape seed oil regenerates the skin overnight so you wake up to glowing, more luminous skin.” Don’t miss the 10 anti-aging myths dermatologists need you to stop believing.
Dr. Schlessinger is a big fan of the Nia24 lightweight oil ($71), which contains the brand’s formulation of Pro-Niacin as well as vitamins A, B, C, D and E to protect against future signs of aging and provide antioxidant protection. “The potent combination of ingredients allows this oil to keep skin hydrated while also improving the tone and texture of skin,” he says. “The Pro-Niacin in this formula is a very good option for those with aging concerns.”
Face wash: Under $10
For a gentle cleanser that targets signs of aging, experts recommend Neutrogena Hydroboost Hydrating Cleansing Gel, $9, which is clinically proven to boost skin’s hydration level and lock it in throughout the day. Dr. Chimento typically recommends this facial wash for patients with anti-inflammatory and skin sensitive skin and says that it’s ideal for winter months when the air is depleted of moisture.
Face wash: Under $30
One of the reasons Dr. Ilyas recommends this cleanser to patients is because it’s non-foaming. “While many patients seek out foaming cleansers, they actually make skin more drying and potentially irritating,” she says. “I love IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser, $28, because it’s gentle and has ceramides and hyaluronic acid which hydrate the skin while it cleans,” she says. “It also has colloidal oatmeal to soothe the skin.”
Face wash: Under $50
For a cleanser that doubles as a makeup remover—something that not all face washes do!—reach for Kate Somerville’s Cold Cream Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover, $48. This multitasking product really comes in handy, as Dr. Ilyas believes that excessive use of makeup wipes has led to an increase in eyelid rashes. “These can become pretty harsh to the point where they start to dry the skin out and cause premature signs of aging,” she says. “I love this cleanser because it cleans and moisturizes while gently removing makeup.”
Face wash: $50+
Though on the pricey side, Dr. Ilyas swears by this cleansing wash that uses botanical oils to remove dirt, grime, oil, and makeup. “In La Mer’s The Cleansing Oil, $136, sesame seed oil hydrates the skin while cleansing and eucalyptus oil helps treat and repair aging skin,” she says. “I love algae extract on ingredient labels as an antioxidant for the skin and its conditioning effects.” Find out the anti-aging foods you should add to your diet.
Moisturizer: Under $10
No matter the price tag on your moisturizer, if it contains hyaluronic acid, you’re in the right place, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “Hyaluronic acid, found in Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Body Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid, $9, is like a sponge that binds to 1000 times its weight in water to hydrate and plump the skin,” he says. “It is extremely popular in face care and has now made its way over as a hero ingredient in body moisturizer as well.”
Moisturizer: Under $30
Another key ingredient in a moisturizer, especially for those concerned about signs of aging, is sunscreen. “Broad Spectrum SPF of at least 30 protects the skin from UV damage,” says Dr. Kin. She loves Aveeno Active Naturals Absolutely Ageless Daily Moisturizer, $22, which contains just that as well as antioxidant-rich blackberry extract which protects the skin from free radicals from UV and pollution. “It’s non-greasy, doesn’t cause breakouts and has been shown to improve firmness and elasticity.”
Moisturizer: Under $50
Though not a moisturizer, this serum is a favorite of Dr. Ilyas to use in place of a moisturizer for individuals showing signs of aging who do not have terribly dry skin. “Linoleic acid and omega 6 fatty acid are two important ingredients found in Philosophy When Hope is not Enough Nightly Restorative Serum, $40, that work to thin out the thick sebum or oils in our skin and helps prevent our pores from getting clogged,” explains Dr. Ilyas. “It’s also an effective antioxidant that touts anti-inflammatory benefits.” Check out these 9 tricks to looking younger from dermatologists.
This cream is Dr. Ilyas’ splurge. “I can honestly say that when I use Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream, $57, I’m routinely told my skin looks like it glows or it looks as if I just had a skin tightening treatment,” she says. “It has algae extracts that condition the skin allowing makeup to spread evenly, the caffeine soothes the skin, and the hyaluronic acid is essential for added hydration.”
Face mask: Under $10
Face masks are garnering more and more attention now that they come individually packaged in the form of sheet masks, however, all sorts—gel, cream, peel off, etc.—still provide plenty of benefits. Dr. Ilyas loves Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hydrogel Mask, $3, which is cost-effective and, unlike ordinary sheet masks, it contains a unique hydrogel material that seals in moisture. “It also contains hyaluronic acid that will hydrate the skin and plump its appearance,” she adds.
Face mask: Under $30
If you’re looking for a mask that will help even out skin tone and exfoliate to leave a smoother surface, try Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay, $28. “Rose clay absorbs extra oil and dirt out of the skin. It can lift out makeup as well,” says Dr. Ilyas. “With added botanical oils and hyaluronate, the polished effect of a mask is further enhanced with added moisture.” These are the worst pieces of skin-care advice dermatologists have heard.
Face mask: Under $50
Not only is Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask Argan Hydrating and Detoxifying Treatment, $48, hydrating and detoxifying, but it provides a great deal of anti-aging benefits as well. “Argan oil has proven benefits to protect and repair the skin.,” says Dr. Ilyas. “The added omega fatty acids will help thin out the thick sebum or oil of a skin quality of skin to leave it glowing and minimizing the appearance of pores.”
Face mask: $50+
If you’re looking to target both adult acne and signs of aging, try Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask, $55. “It provides anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and pore-unclogging properties and also includes 4 percent niacinamide to promote clear skin and zinc and bentonite clay to reduce excess oil,” says Dr. King. “Pimples still happen at an older age, so I believe this is a nice option for more mature shoppers.” Next, don’t miss these 30 anti-aging secrets that could add years to your life.
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