Skincare has seen a lot of wild trends in recent years—from the obsession with Korean “glass skin” to peel-off masks to snail mucin, it’s safe to say that we’ve all tried just about everything imaginable in the pursuit of perfect skin. Everyone has their own reasons to care about their skin, but there is one commonality among all of us: We just want to look our very best. Because we all share this common goal, the conversation around anti-aging skincare has started for the better.
We’re a far cry from never again worrying about a smile line or crow’s feet, but the messaging that younger is better has finally started to soften, and we’re seeing less and less focus on eternal youth. Brands and media are embracing skin that’s more “lived in” and less on what was once before perceived as flaws: fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, etc.
So when you see us discussing “anti-aging” skincare here at The Everygirl, we want to emphasize that the point isn’t to further stigmatize the aging process. For those who are no longer worried about acne and instead are onto the next phase of their relationship with their skin, here’s a list of drugstore products whose key ingredients are meant to nourish and protect your maturing and gorgeous complexion.
good for: beginners to retinol
This is The Everygirl’s best-selling retinol product, and we like to think it’s for a good reason. If you’ve never tried retinol, this is ideal for beginners. It’s a small percentage of encapsulated retinol that’s gentle yet effective at resurfacing skin and preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
good for: experienced retinol users who want a product that packs a punch
This product contains 0.3 percent of pure retinol, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Don’t get me wrong though, this product contains hyaluronic acid (a powerhouse hydrator that you should always combine with your retinol) and glycerin to moisturize and plump while it exfoliates.
good for: sensitive skin
This retinol serum incorporates niacinamide, a soothing anti-inflammatory, and ceramides that lock in moisture and keep your skin barrier in tact. If retinol scares you and your reactive skin, think again—this moisturizing, skin-soothing formula was made specifically for you.
good for: dry skin
With over 30,000 reviews on Amazon, this little bottle’s gotta have magic in it. Obviously, you’ll find retinol on the ingredient list, but it’s also packed with all the good stuff dry skin needs to feel hydrated and plump, like hyaluronic acid, aloe, jojoba oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and green tea. As one reviewer said, “With one use, I could tell this was different. I’m addicted now and have a hard time finishing up my other products! People at work ask me what I’m doing to my skin. They tell me how super soft, supple and radiant my skin looks.” *adds to cart*
good for: plumping existing wrinkles and fine lines while preventing more
This cult-favorite product actually targets existing fine lines and wrinkles, not just prevents new ones from cropping up, thanks to a slow release retinol, hyaluronic acid, and Neutrogena’s proprietary glucose complex. We love that this rich cream comes in a fragrance-free version that’s safe for sensitive skin.
good for: smoothing fine lines
RoC is a household name in drugstore retinol for their exclusive formula and mineral complex that boosts hydration, doesn’t clog pores, and visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
good for: reducing crow’s feet and fine lines around the eyes
This eye cream truly does it all. Formulated with retinol to reduce puffiness, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and brighten dark circles, it’s the makings of a perfect eye cream. Reviewers even call it a “miracle,” and we’ll take their word for it.
good for: dehydrated skin
This moisturizer is like a tall drink of water for dehydrated skin. As we mature, our skin tends to produce less natural oil, leading to a drier complexion than you may had been accustomed to in your early 20s. You’ll want to swap your lightweight cream for something richer, but that doesn’t mean it has to be thick and heavy. This contains a host of hydrating ingredients—peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B3—that add moisture, rivaling creams over $200.
good for: anti-aging in your 20s
You don’t have to incorporate a bunch of intense actives to get a head start on your anti-aging regimen. Incorporate a peptide serum, like this one from Good Molecules. Peptides send signals to your skin to keep producing collagen and elastin, which are the main factors that lead to sagging skin, wrinkles, and dullness. This one (that’s under $15, might we add) offers two peptides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin to moisturize the layers of your skin from top to bottom.
good for: smoothing texture
Antioxidants like resveratrol are important for protecting your skin from free-radical damage (which can lead to dull, sagging skin) and brightening and revitalizing dull skin.
good for: brightening dark spots
Vitamin C is probably the most common antioxidant, and it’s known for its ability to brighten and add radiance to dull complexions. Opt for this if you’re looking to fade dark spots (perhaps from all that sunbathing you did as a teenager before you discovered the wonders of sunscreen). While you wait for it to work its brightening magic, you’ll get a glowy complexion thanks to aloe, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E.
good for: fighting tech neck early
If you’re currently laying down with your neck creased, say I. If you’re focused on anti-aging, you’ll want a dedicated cream for the delicate skin on your neck that’s prone to creasing and fine lines much before your face. This lightweight cream won’t feel sticky or goopy when you apply, and you’ll wake up with smooth, plump skin after continued use.