We know what you’re thinking: Sureif you’re willing to empty out your savings in the name of skin care, anything’s possible. But you don’t have to go to extremes: Pricey procedures at the dermatologist’s office aren’t the only anti-aging options that work.
"You can reverse skin damage with three basic tenets," says New York City dermatologist Neil Sadick, MD. "Turn over skin cells, stimulate collagen, and add volume."
In the last 10 years, skin-care breakthroughs have made it possible to pull that off, repairing skin’s most vulnerable areas with targeted products and treatments.
So what gets results you can actually see at the best possible price? That’s the question we put to leading dermatologists. The good news: Many of the remedies they raved about are affordable and don’t require a trip to the dermatologist. Get ready for smoother, softer, younger-looking skinstarting right now.
Rejuvenate your face
It’s not your imagination: Your skin may still be willing, but it’s no longer able to bounce back quite the way it did even five years ago. With every birthday, your body’s production of collagen and elastintwo proteins responsible for skin’s structural support and elasticityslows down. As a result, your skin begins to stretch, especially if you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun.
Bottom line: If you do nothing else to age-proof your skin, apply sunscreen each morning and a retinoid at night. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every dayno matter the weather or seasonisn’t just about preventing sun damage.
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that sunscreens also protect against free radicalsthe molecules that cause agingand the majority of the protection is thanks to the UV filters rather than antioxidants.
As for retinoids, research shows that they’re the ultimate multitaskers, preventing the buildup of dead skin cells, diminishing wrinkles, and lightening sun spots. Not everyone can tolerate the vitamin-A derivative, so start with an over-the-counter retinol product. If you don’t notice an improvement after six weeks, see your dermatologist for a prescription retinoid (like Renova) and apply it every other day until your skin adjusts, then every day, suggests Dr. Sadick.