Welcome to Part 2 of my Skincare series, where I’ll list my Top Favorites for Skincare, specifically for anti-aging. Keep in mind that anti-aging doesn’t just refer to women and men in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and older. It starts when you’re young. I tried to provide options that will fit a variety of budgets, big and small. I have personally used all of these products for at least a year or more. Some of these I have used for over 10 – 15 years, and I have re-purchased almost every single one of these. Keep in mind that with anti-aging skincare products, if you’re specifically looking for products that will reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, they won’t give you miraculous results overnight. You will typically see immediate benefits with any good skincare product (vibrancy, skin texture, tone, pore reduction, etc.). However, don’t expect deep lines and wrinkles to disappear in 5 days… or ever unless you’re willing to visit a physician and undergo a cosmetic procedure. What you can expect is the eventual softening of fine lines and wrinkles, lightening of dark circles under the eyes, a change in elasticity to the skin, and the reduction of visible pores and discoloration. With an established, committed skincare routine (twice a day care) and commitment to that routine, you will realize noticeable results. With that said, let’s get to the list! If you missed part 1, be sure to go back and read the blog Skincare 101 – The Foundation to Everything.
ON A BUDGET OR MONEY-CONSCIOUS – $50 OR LESS
- Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Facial Serum ($17) – Serums are a good way to get a lot of bang for your buck. They typically have powerful ingredients packed into a serum that can be applied before your normal makeup routine. This serum is wonderful and addresses the look of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and dry skin. It’s suitable for everyday use for normal, dry and combination skin. Fast-Absorbing. Dermatologically tested. Non-Comedogenic (Won’t Clog Pores). Non-greasy and Fragrance-Free. This product is readily available at your local drugstore, grocery store, and anywhere that Olay products are sold. I purchased mine on Amazon. The price will vary according to location, but I paid around $17 for 1.7 fl oz. A little goes a long way and lasts a long time. I’ve used this product for several years. It is one of those “tried and true” products, and it has excellent reviews online.
- Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum ($22-29) – This is one of those that I’ve repurchased a few times over the past couple of years. It’s intended to help prevent the signs of aging and slow it down. I discovered it a few years ago and have repurchased multiple times. It’s an excellent serum that has several key ingredients. I’ve also noticed it’s made it’s rounds recently on the media trail, i.e., talk shows and such. This serum contains an ingredient called Matrixyl 3000 Plus. It contains antioxidants that protect the skin from future signs of aging, keeping it looking younger longer. With continued, consistent use, it does fight the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s probably more powerful of an antioxidant and free radical fighter than something that will truly eliminate any wrinkles that already exist though. Just keeping it real. This is also available in multiple stores, but I usually purchase it at Ulta. The retail price averages around $29.99, but I usually wait for a sale. I saw it’s also available on Drugstore.com for around $22 (all prices subject to change).
- Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Protection et Perfection ($14.99) – The hands! Don’t forget the hands. Women tend to forget anti-aging products for the hands and the neck, and those are the areas that will show your age quickly. If you have a wrinkle-free face and look like a 30-year old but your hands look like you’re 50… errr, no thanks. So let’s talk about this nice little product that I’ve been using for over 2 years to prevent that from happening. This is an intense overnight treatment designed to improve the visible signs of aging. Used nightly, they claim you’ll see noticeable results in 4 weeks. I’ve been using it so long that I can’t remember how long it took, but obviously it works since I keep using it. Keep this by the bedside and make it the last thing you apply every single night. Boots No 7 also makes a daytime version with sunscreen to protect your hands from the damaging effects of the sun. I have both, but I tend to be more faithful about using the night time intensive treatment. Both creams retail for $14.99 each. They are available anywhere Boots No 7 products are sold (Ulta, Walgreens, Drugstore.com, Amazon, etc.).
- Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex ($25-29.99) – If you have fine lines around the eyes, this is an excellent choice to try. This is a cream, not a serum. This is intended to reduce the look of crows feet, dark circles, and puffiness. Use this every morning and night for best results. Again, this is readily available where other Olay skincare products are sold. You can find it in most drugstores, grocery stores, or Amazon. Retail price of this is around $29.99, but I paid around $25 on Amazon. Look out for Olay coupons for a better deal.
- Serious Skincare C Extreme Results and other SSC Products ($26 – varies) – For those of you looking for a great dermabrasion-type scrub that will take away the top layer of dead skin cells and renew your skin, this is a phenomenal option. It’s a great dupe for the Philosophy Resurface Microdelivery Peel (which retails for $72 at Sephora). Forget the high prices of Philosophy products. Serious Skin Care is a real skincare company that packs quality ingredients and high percentages into a package that is affordable for most people. They choose to spend their money on their products rather than fancy packaging and advertising. You can purchase this peel/kit at HSN.com for just $26.50 (prices subject to change). However, look out for the Serious Skin Care kits where you can get multiple products in one bundle set for one low price. You can get everything you need to make your skin look phenomenal in these sets that they often offer, including your cleanser, serums, face creams, eye creams, and more. HSN also offers flex-pay options for many of their products for customers who pay via a credit/debit card. Even the $26 product is currently available on Flexpay right now where customers can pay just over $6 a month for 4 months until it’s paid off. You can’t beat that!!!
- Wei East China Herbal Intensive Eye Treatment Pads ($25 retail – currently on special for $19.99) – Wei East and the Herbal Intensive Eye Treatment Pads are a hidden gem and product line that is sold primarily on HSN.com (it’s been sold for several decades with great success) and also direct on their brand’s website. The eye treatment pads are the first product I ever used for my eyes. Dark circles and puffiness genetically run in my family. Even in my twenties, I looked like a raccoon if I didn’t pile on the concealer, and that certainly hasn’t improved as I’ve gotten older. I discovered these little gems over 10 years ago and just fell in love! They sell out so frequently on HSN that it’s impossible to track them down, but you can buy them directly from the Wei East website. The pads in each package are huge, and they can be cut in half, doubling the life of a box. They work especially nicely if you put them in the fridge or freezer for a while before use, especially if you have a lot of eye puffiness. These are an instant eye transformer. They will noticeably and immediately take away the dark circles from under your eyes and reduce any puffiness that you have when you apply them and leave them on for a period of time while resting. If you’re looking for a wrinkle treatment, these will provide some help over time, but you won’t notice immediate effects with it. I would say that they’re more effective for the dark circles and puffiness than wrinkles, but they’re an all-around great product. I usually apply these at night before bedtime or when I want to relax and close my eyes. After cooling them in the fridge, I cut them down, apply them around my eyes, and I leave them on about an hour. You don’t have to leave them on that long, but I’ve found the longer you can leave them on, the more noticeable and immediate your effects will be. Sometimes I fall asleep with them on and wake up looking AMAZING! They’re very affordable, at only $25 for a box of 10 pads (each containing 2 pads = a treatment for both eyes). The Wei East website currently has them on sale for $19.99 as of the time this was published. Again, cut them down in half (you can cut them in a semi-circle to fit perfectly around your eyes), wrap the other half up tight, and save it for the next use. You won’t regret trying these!
- Indeed Laboratories ($24.99) – I fell in love with 2 products I saw on a daytime talk show about 2 years ago made by Indeed Laboratories called Hydraluron Serum and Hydraluron Moisture Jelly. It was once sold at Ulta but is no longer there now. You may find it elsewhere online if you do a quick Google search. If not, you can purchase them direct from their website – Indeed Laboratories. Both products are $24.99 each, or you can save by buying them on a Subscribe & Save. These are just good basic products for everyone, no matter what your age is and what your skin type is. It fills your skin with moisture in the form of hyaluronic acid, but these products aren’t greasy or heavy like moisturizers. It’s almost impossible to describe unless you try them. They just soak into your skin and plump the cells of your skin at the same time then they instantly dry. I wear this under my primer and foundation. Many wrinkles are caused by loss of moisture and dryness of our skin. From their website: “Proven to boost moisture levels in your skin daily, it contains the purest form of hyaluronic acid – an incredibly hydrating ingredient that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water – as well as red marine algae – which mildly stimulates blood circulation – to provide maximum delivery of moisture beneath the skin’s surface.”
- Signature Club A ($39.50 – Varies) – This is a brand found on HSN.com that has sold millions and millions of products for decades. The founder of the line Adrienne Arpel is in her 80’s (or something like that) and looks like she’s 50. Earlier I mentioned their capsule technology, and the capsule products are the ones I recommend out of the entire product line. She offers many other products, but I find a lot of them to be too heavy or greasy, not for the average woman under 50. The capsules is what makes everything worth it. There are capsules with Vitamin C for the eyes, Retinol capsules for the face, and a several other options. Out of her entire line, here’s what I recommend:
- Signature Club A Rapid C Infused High Potent-C Capsules – best for people in their 30’s, 40’s and older. Price $39.50 for a month’s supply (or longer). Squeeze this out in a line in the creases of your face (frown lines, forehead, etc.), then blend in.
- Signature Club A Rapid Transport C Infused Multi-Functional Age-Defying Capsules for Eyes. Contains approximately 60 capsules. $39.50. Usually available on Flex Pay monthly payments or in a kit with other products for a cheaper price per product. Another great anti-aging product for the eyes, packed with Vitamin C.
HIGHER-END PRODUCT OPTIONS – GREATER THAN $50
Let me just say this, I don’t believe for one minute that a product is “better” just because it is more expensive. There are many expensive products on the market that don’t do anything special at all compared to their budget-brand counterparts. I try not to pay excessive amounts for products, but there’s a few things that I feel are truly worth their price tag. Here they are:
- Perricone Neuropeptide Facial Conformer ($250 w/options) – Yes, this is pricy, but it works and it has pretty great reviews online. It’s one of only a few Perricone products that I readily recommend, primarily because I believe there are equal or better products available for a lesser price by other brands. This product was made to pack a serious punch for those of us with more serious signs of aging. It’s not for the average teenager or 20-something year old. I feel like that would be a waste of money. This contains Neuropeptides and is meant to target deeper lines and wrinkles, as well as improve the skins elasticity. It comes with a pretty steep price tag though. I always wait for a sale and never pay retail price for this. I recently purchased this during a Today’s Special Value sale at QVC where they offered a once in a lifetime deal of their 2 most costly products combined. They offered this Facial Conformer in addition to the Perricone Neuropeptide Facial Cream for just $199. Yes, I said JUST $199 for both. Why? Well, because the Facial Comformer alone retails for $325 for just 1oz. You didn’t read that wrong. The Neuropeptide Facial Cream (which is intended to be used intermittently with the Conformer) retails for $250 alone, for 2.5 oz. Together they should cost almost $600, so I was pretty estatic to get them both for $199 and on Easy Pay for 6 monthly payments. Those deals rarely, if ever, come around so keep your eyes open. This was the first time EVER that Perricone offered this deal a few months ago. Where to buy? Perricone.com, QVC, Sephora, Ulta, other online retailers and department stores .
- Perricone High Potency Evening Repair ($115) – This is one of the few expensive products that I’ve re-purchased repeatedly over the years from Perricone MD. This is a very powerful night time treatment that I apply before bedtime after cleansing my skin and applying a serum. It contains DMAE and Retinol. It’s formulated to refine and resurface the skin’s appearance while minimizing the look of surface imperfections for smoother, healthier-looking skin. When purchasing the Perricone MD kits, always look for a kit option and don’t buy each product on its own, or else you’ll pay a fortune. I usually purchase my Perricone products on QVC. If you wait for Perricone MD to come on QVC during a special event, they will have amazing specials and kit configurations that you can’t purchase anywhere else and for prices that you’ll never be able to get again. That’s the only way that I can afford these products. Usually I will get a kit with 4 – 5 products in it for $100-200, and it will be available on 4 – 6 monthly flex-payments by debit/credit card. That’s also a great way to sample products you wouldn’t otherwise be able to try or wouldn’t have thought of trying beforehand. You can also look at QVC.com to see what configurations may be available, although the best deals occur when Perricone representatives are scheduled to appear on the air. Look for their programming in the QVC program guide.
- Murad Complete Reform ($75) – This is a multi-benefit treatment that provides immediate firming results and also reduces the signs of aging over time. It improves the skins texture, increases firmness, and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Murad products can be purchased directly on their website or at Sephora and other similar stores. Murad Complete Reform retails for $75 for 1 fluid oz. I purchased this in a Murad trial kit, which was a little more affordable and gave me an opportunity to try some of the other products in the same line. Murad has multiple lines targeted for specific issues such as acne and anti-aging.
- Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask ($63) – These little things are a gem, but use them wisely and not daily. They’re rather expensive and meant to be a targeted special treatment for the eyes. They are formulated to reduce the signs of aging and fine lines around the eyes, reduce darkness, and puffiness. You’ll be able to see an amazing difference after just one application of these. You just unwrap the sheets from each package and apply under/around the eye area (you can cut them to contour around your eye). Leave on for a minimum of 15 minutes. Instant results! A pack of 12 containing 2 sheets each is $63. You can find this brand at Sephora.
- Lancôme Genifique and Lancôme Visionnaire ($79) – I’m lumping these 2 products together, but they’re really very different, distinct products offered by Lancôme. Visionnaire is a second generation serum that helps correct wrinkles, minimize the look of pores and corrects skin texture in real time, and over time. You will see some immediate results and more results with long term use. Clinical tests prove that 75% of women aww visible skin transformation in 4 weeks. Genifique was the first product Lancôme made out of the 2. It’s also a serum that targets the visible signs of aging, intended to improve skin texture, improve skin tone and radiance. Out of the 2 products, Visionnaire will give you more results of you have visible signs of aging. Genifique is a good serum for people who are a little younger and haven’t developed wrinkles or fine lines. Honestly, it won’t deliver a,axing results for people who are showing visible signs of aging. The results are much more subtle. Used together, you may love them, but I don’t routinely buy both at the same time. I find myself repurchasing Visionnaire more frequently, although I love the feel of Genefique as a base serum under my makeup. Each of these costs around $79 for 1 fluid ounce. You can find these products at Lancôme.com, major department stores, Sephora, Ulta, or anywhere else that Lancôme products are sold.