Aging is inevitable but that doesn’t mean we can’t try our best to keep our skin as healthy as possible. If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’ve noticed your first few wrinkles or maybe you’ve put your anti-aging skincare routine on the back burner for one too many years.
Whatever the reason, the New York Post is here to help!
While some people have a knack for skincare, most of us get quite overwhelmed with so many different options. Which product do you use first? How long does it take to see results? What does each ingredient do?
In an effort to help you feel your best and give you a bit more knowledge on anti-aging skincare products — we interviewed some of the best dermatologists in the country to get the lowdown on how to be preserve your skin and the best products to do so.
Sure, using face sunscreen on a daily basis is definitely a great start, but we learned that there’s so much more to a solid anti-aging skincare routine than that.
What are anti-aging skincare products?
While it may be obvious, sometimes a simple definition gives a better understanding of what anti-aging actually products are.
“Anti-aging skincare products are formulated to help reduce visible signs of skin aging like wrinkles, fine lines, leathery skin and dark spots,” said Dr. Dendy Engelman, a spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation and dermatologist practicing in New York City. “They can be preventative or work to reduce signs of aging that are already there.”
What age should I start investing and using anti-aging skincare products?
While there is no perfect age to start investing and using specific anti-aging products, most experts say yours 20s are a good time to start thinking about your skin.
“Start early and don’t wait for [skin] problems to arise or for changes to start bothering [for] you to commit to a skincare routine,” said NYC-based, board-certified dermatologist Marisa K. Garshick.
“As the saying goes, ‘the best thing you can do for your skin in your 50s is wear sunscreen in your 20s,’” Garshick said. “We begin to lose one percent of our collagen each year beginning in our 20s and we know that the loss of collagen is what can contribute to fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, laxity and [the] overall textural changes in the skin.”
Bottom line: the best anti-aging product you can use is sunscreen.
“Since an estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun, protecting your skin from these harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is the most important thing you can do in any anti-aging skincare routine,” Engelman told the New York Post. “Sun damage is cumulative, so it’s never too early or too late to start practicing sun protection. Everyone — men, women and children over the age of 6 months — should use sunscreen, including those who do not burn easily or have darker skin tones.”
That being said, Garshick explained that sun protection (even in childhood and adolescence) can have a major impact on the aging of your skin. So, committing to optimal sun protection as early as possible, will ultimately be the best investment for your skin in the long run.
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Best Anti-Aging Serums & Retinols
1. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum, $78
“This serum is designed to be mixed at home prior to first use to ensure freshness and maximum potency,” said Garshick. “It is best used once daily in the morning and can be applied to face, neck, chest and hands.”
The formula includes vitamin C, vitamin E, Ferulic acid and l-ascorbic acid, plus fruit nutrients and extracts to help fight free-radical damage while brightening and firming the skin and improving the overall complexion.
2. Pond’s Rejuveness Skin Tightening Serum, $12
When it comes to retinols, NYC dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, recommends Pond’s Rejuveness Skin Tightening Serum.
“It’s formulated with retinol as well as vitamin B3 and pro-ceramides that help to support the skin barrier,” King told The Post. “Vitamin B3 helps to even skin tone and smooth skin texture.”
Retinol is a key ingredient to anti-aging and works well to prevent wrinkles and smooth fine lines by increasing cell turnover and collagen production.
Note: Do not use retinols if you’re pregnant and always consult your doctor before using new products. Retinol should also only be used at night, as it can make your skin sensitive to the sun. Since retinol can be irritating to the skin, when you first add it to your skincare routine, start slow (try it once or twice per week) then increase the frequency if your skin can handle it — to avoid redness and breakouts.
3. Naturium Azelaic Topical Acid 10%, $20
The Naturium Azelaic Topical Acid 10% is a great option for someone who is pregnant or can’t tolerate a retinoid or retinol.
“This formulation also incorporates niacinamide and vitamin C to improve the overall texture and tone [of your skin], reducing hyperpigmentation, blemishes and redness — all signs that go along with aging,” Garshick said. “It can be used once or twice per day and it is recommended [you follow up] with a moisturizer.”
4. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex, $75
New Jersey-based board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Shari Sperling, is a fan of the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Complex. “This serum [includes] key ingredients [like] hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, which target fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness,” Sperling said. “Apply at night time to increase hydration and suppleness of the skin.”
Hyaluronic acid is a key skincare ingredient that gives your skin a nice plump and will help restore moisture.
Tip: if you’re not ready to invest $75 on the full-size bottle, you can also get a mini version of the same product for a fraction of the cost.
Best Anti-Aging Face Moisturizers
1. Pond’s Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer, $14
The Pond’s Anti-Wrinkle Face Cream Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer came highly recommended by both King and Garshick.
“This daily moisturizing cream incorporates alpha hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate the skin, collagen [to keep your skin youthful], as well as hydrating ingredients [to help] the skin look firmer and brighter,” Garshick said. “It is also thought to improve the overall appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
Note: Always remember to apply sunscreen when incorporating alpha hydroxy acids into your skincare routine.
“It’s a great option for moisturizing while also delivering anti-aging benefits,” King added.
2. CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 and Hyaluronic Acid, $13-$19
Sperling recommends this combination moisturizer with SPF for those looking for an effective but budget-friendly and anti-aging daily lotion.
“This lotion is great for all skin types, especially sensitive skin and or acne prone skin. It moisturizers the skin throughout the day and is formulated with SPF 30,” said Sperling, who recommends using at least SPF 30 for optimal protection.
Best Anti-Aging Cleansers
1. NakedPoppy Nourish Cream Cleanser, $28
King’s top pick for an anti-aging cleanser is the NakedPoppy’s Nourish Cream Cleanser.
“It thoroughly cleanses [your skin] while supporting the skin barrier [and doesn’t contain any] harsh detergents like SLS [Sodium Lauryl Sulfate] or SLES [Sodium Laureth Sulfate] which can dry out the skin,” King explained.
This cleanser features gluconolactone, a polyhydroxy acid, a lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid with humectant properties, to gently exfoliate the skin. Plus, this NakedPoppy cleanser also contains nourishing ingredients like baobab extract, which is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and aloe, which soothes the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. Other key ingredients include quinoa extract, which can help brighten the skin.
2. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Face Wash, $4-$11
Since some anti-aging products like retinoids and exfoliating acids can be especially harsh on the skin, Garshick likes to recommend this gentle (and inexpensive!) cleanser from Neutrogena to her clients.
“This gentle cleanser is a great option. It effectively cleanses to remove dirt, makeup and buildup, while helping to replenish lost moisture, leaving the skin feeling healthy and refreshed,” Garshick told the New York Post.
3. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser, $15-$18
The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is another fan favorite among the skincare community. It’s a daily face wash that features a milky cream texture to help skin retain essential moisture while gently removing face and eye makeup, dirt and impurities. This facial cleanser also helps to maintain your skin’s natural protective barrier and pH balance.
“This cleanser is good for anti-aging because it provides hydration to the skin, keeping it healthy and supple,” said Sperling.
Celebrity esthetician Nicole Caroline, is also a fan of this product particularly for those with sensitive skin, which usually goes hand in hand with anti-aging clients. “This formula is safe for all skin types but especially sensitive skin, because its formulated with niaciminide for soothing redness and ceramides for hydration,” Caroline said.
Best Anti-Aging Eye Creams
1. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream, $11-$16
Garshick and more than 20,000 Amazon reviewers are a fan of the CeraVe Eye Repair Cream.
“This drugstore favorite uses hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help hydrate the undereye [area] while strengthening the skin barrier, helping to improve the appearance of dark circles and puffiness,” Garshick said.
“It also contains niacinamide which is soothing on the skin, plus a marine and botanical complex which helps to brighten the area. The CeraVe Eye Repair Cream also uses a patented delivery system, known as MVE technology to provide long-lasting hydration.”
2. Olay Total Effects 7-in-One Anti-Aging Transforming Eye Cream, $19-$22
King likes the Olay Total Effects 7-in-One Anti-Aging Transforming Eye Cream for anti-aging because it’s “rich in moisturizing ingredients and antioxidants, as well as niacinamide.”
Accrording to the brand, this product fights seven signs of aging in one formula. It replenishes moisture, reduces the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, enhances brightness around the eyes, evens skin tone appearance as well as smoothes and evens your skin texture.
3. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum, $85
When it comes to anti-aging eye treatments, Sperling’s top choice is the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum.
“This eye serum is a great choice for wrinkle prevention, hydration and under-eye brightening,” Sperling said. “The key ingredient is retinol, which works well to prevent wrinkles and smooth fine lines by increasing cell turnover and collagen production.”
Best Anti-Aging Face Sunscreens
1. Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen, $50-$60
While all sunscreens are anti-aging, of course, there a few specific picks that the experts we interviewed like best.
The Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen, for instance, was recommended by both King and Garshick.
“This ultralight zinc sunscreen absorbs so well it’s hard to believe it contains zinc,” said Garshick. “It also contains DNA repair enzymes and antioxidants to help protect against and repair [sun] damage, making it particularly helpful in an anti-aging skincare routine.”
According to Garshick, it can be used on all skin types and is also easy to apply under makeup because it doesn’t leave a greasy finish.
Due to the combination of DNA repair enzymes, zinc oxide and antioxidants, King loves this sunscreen because “it’s actually repairing and protecting [your skin all] at the same time.”
2. Neutrogena Clear Face Break-Out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen, $11-$14
“I look for sunscreens [like this Neutrogena one] that have physical blockers in them (like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) because these physically block the sun, causing the sun to bounce off the skin and deflect the sun’s rays,” said board certified dermatologist Sandra Lee, a.k.a Dr Pimple Popper.
The Neutrogena Clear Face Break-Out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen contains a dermatologist-tested formula that’s fragrance free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. It’s also water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
3. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $37
Sperling’s favorite sunscreen is the EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46.
“Sunscreen is one of the most important anti-aging products to add into your daily routine!” Sperling said. “This is one of my favorites, as it’s good for all skin types including those with acne, rosacea, and sensitive skin. It’s both lightweight and hydrating.”
Best Anti-Aging Face Masks
1. Loops Beauty Sunrise Service Mask 5 Pack, $30
“The Sunrise Service mask is rich in baobab oil, pumpkin extract, flower extracts and a probiotic, designed to hydrate, moisturize, brighten, smooth, depuff and protect [your skin] from free radicals,” said King.
All Loops Beauty masks are compostable, cruelty free and free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and synthetic fragrances, which always an added plus!
2. First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Bouncy Mask, $38
Garshick likes this First Aid Beauty mask for all skin types but espeshially those with sensitive skin since it’s alcohol free, artificial fragrance free and free of parabens and formaldehyde.
“It contains a blend of vitamin C, Pepha Tight, Benoitine and botanical extracts that help firm the skin and improve the appearance of pores while brightening [your complexion] and reducing fine lines and wrinkles,” Garshick said. “It can be used two to three times per week and is meant to be left on for about 10 minutes.”
3. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask, $66
When Sperling’s clients ask her which mask she likes best for anti-aging, she always mentions the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask.
“It targets dull, rough and uneven skin [and is] formulated with hydrating ingredients to promote youthful looking skin,” Sperling said simply.
For more online recommendations, check out the New York Post Shopping section.