A common myth in skincare ideology is that products need to be expensive in order to be effective—especially when it comes to anti-aging. Sometimes it can feel like the best anti-aging products on the market are all outrageously priced. Yes, plenty of pricey skincare products are worth the tag, but that doesn’t mean some drugstore dupes can’t do the job. Not to mention, stocking up on eye cream, night cream, serums, and oils, with each one costing $50 or more, quickly adds up. That’s enough of a headache to give you wrinkles.
We asked skincare experts to weigh in on their favorite budget-friendly anti-aging skincare options—all available at your local drugstore. Here are their top picks for dry skin, sensitive skin, pigmented skin, wrinkled skin, and more.
RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules
“RoC’s retinol night serum capsules contain a stabilized form of retinol in a single-use capsule to maintain potency until you’re ready to use it. Plus, unlike other retinol applications that might cause you to over-apply, it eliminates the guesswork by giving you the right amount to use for the full face.”
—Joshua Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City
Pond’s Rejuveness Advanced Hydrating Night Cream
“Pond’s Rejuveness Advanced Hydrating Night Cream is a great option for moisturizing while also delivering anti-aging benefits. It’s formulated with vitamin B3 and a gentle retinol complex, as well as glycerin and pro-ceramides to hydrate and support the skin barrier.”
—Hadley King, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City
CeraVe SA Lotion
“Anti-aging efforts are often concentrated on your face, but it’s important to incorporate full-body products in your routine as well. My favorite over-the-counter product is CeraVe—it contains salicylic acid and lactic acid, which are not as strong as retinol but good at minimizing wrinkles and brown spots.”
—Sandy Marchese Johnson, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist at Johnson Dermatology in Fort Smith, Ark.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Facial Moisturizer
“This rich, affordable cream feels like a splurge even though it won’t break the bank. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, this moisture-packed product can be applied every night post cleansing to instantly plump and seal in hydration.”
—Anna Guanche, MD, board-certified dermatologist and celebrity beauty expert
Differin Adapalene Gel
“This is a prescription retin-A that is now approved for over the counter use. Adapalene reduces acne, diminishes brown spots, and increases collagen to improve fine lines and wrinkles. I advise my patients to apply a thin layer to entire face once a day, then apply a moisturizing lotion right afterwards to prevent dryness.”
—Ted Lain, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City
No7 Early Defence Glow Activating Serum
“In spring, I recommend that my patients refresh and restore their skin’s healthy glow by adding an antioxidant serum containing Vitamin C to their skincare routine. This option contains salicylic acid to unclog your pores and to reveal healthier, glowing skin. Typically, I advise my patients to use exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid only twice per week, but this particular product is very gentle and is formulated so most people will be able to use it daily without causing irritation. This serum also contains Vitamin C and ginseng–powerful antioxidants that restore radiance by protecting your skin from the harmful free radicals, which can zap away your glow. Its rice peptides support your skin’s natural defenses by calming reactivity so that your skin appears more even and radiant. Serums can be so incredibly expensive because they are often one of the most potent, powerful products you will use on your skin. No7’s products are powerful and deliver results at a very affordable price point.”
—Whitney Bowe, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City