To create an effective anti-aging routine, Shah suggests practicing healthy skin care habits. This starts with using a broad-spectrum sunscreen moisturizer with an SPF of 30 on exposed skin year-round.

“Preventing wrinkle formation can also be achieved by the reduction of inflammation through antioxidants which should be used in combination with sunscreens and retinoids to enhance their protective effect,” Shah adds. So look for a serum with antioxidant ingredients: vitamin C and green tea extract are two of Shah’s favorites. Says Marnie Nussbaum, MD, dermatologist in New York City, “Vitamin C is my go to as a potent antioxidant ingredient. It works very well in combination with vitamin E and ferulic acid to protect against free radical damage which can cause skin cancers and collagen breakdown leading to fine lines.”

Speaking of retinoids (a derivative of vitamin A), it’s pretty much the gold standard when it comes to anti-aging ingredients. “Retinoids or retinol has been studied for anti-aging and has been shown to help promote skin turnover, which brings new skin cells to the surface and promotes collagen production, preventing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles,” says Marisa Garshick, MD, dermatologist at MDCS: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City.

Does a high SPF sunscreen make a difference?

Aug. 30, 201800:37

Another good ingredient to look for in anti-aging products: hyaluronic acid, “which is a natural sugar molecule that occurs in our body and helps to attract water, so it functions as a great moisturizer,” says Garshick. “It keeps the skin looking fresh and hydrated.” And don’t forget about glycolic acid: It exfoliates skin to help with skin texture and pore size, says Melanie Kingsley, MD, dermatologist at IU Health.

Also pay attention to your eyes. “The skin around your eyes is thin and vulnerable,” Shah says. “Choose an eye-specific product to ensure that you’re using a formula designed to minimize any skin reactions in this area, whether you prefer peptides or retinol.” (According to Shah, peptides aid in wound healing and minimizing the look of wrinkles.)

Below, top dermatologists share their favorite anti-aging products for a more youthful look.

The best sunscreens and moisturizers to help promote healthy skin

1. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 for Sensitive or Acne-Prone Skin

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Dermatologists swear by EltaMD for its cosmetically elegant sunscreen formulas (no white cast here!) that contain added anti-aging ingredients. This one earns particular raves. “It’s moisturizing and it protects my skin from dark spots, wrinkles and skin cancer,” says Shah. “It also contains niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid — ingredients that promote the appearance of healthy-looking skin.”

2. iS CLINICAL Youth Serum, 1 fl. oz.

Guanche is a fan of this anti-aging serum because it “provides immediate skin tightening, as well as long term anti-aging results, so you get immediate gratification as well as long term help.” She adds that this serum makes a nice primer under makeup, meaning you won’t have to worry about your foundation balling up.

3. Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Concentrate Retinol Serum, 1.01 Fl. Oz.

This serum packs a one-two punch, thanks to the retinol and hyaluronic acid in its formula. “This retinoid serum visibly fills and reduces wrinkles, giving skin a smoother and more plumped appearance,” says Howard D. Sobel, MD, New York City dermatologist and founder of Sobel Skin.

4. SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum, 1 oz.

Sometimes a skin care product is worth the splurge, and this is one that continually makes the list of most beloved anti-aging products by top dermatologists. “It has the power of two anti-aging serums packed into one pump,” says Libby Rhee, DO, dermatologist in New York City. One side contains a growth factor serum that restores plumpness and diminishes fine lines, while the other side features a serum chock full of antioxidants to even skin tone and smooth skin texture. “You get all that with one pump, which is helpful when you’re busy or you have a multi-step skin care routine,” says Rhee.

5. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution, 1 fl. oz.

Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, dermatologist in Los Angeles, likes this multi-purpose serum because it contains a number of anti-aging ingredients to target different signs of aging. Hyaluronic acid draws hydration into the top layers of skin for a temporary plumping effect; ferulic acid helps undo UV and pollution-related free radical damage; alpha hydroxy acids gently exfoliate dull dead skin cells that can settle into fine lines; and retinol stimulates new collagen growth.

6. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Anti-Aging Serum

Nussbaum recommends a vitamin C serum in the morning, because it offers potent antioxidant protection against free radical molecules that damage skin. It also brightens. She likes this one, which combines vitamin C, E, and ferulic acid to rejuvenate skin and prevent new damage.

7. Face Moisturizer with Collagen Peptides by Olay Regenerist, Micro-Sculpting Cream, 1.7 oz

You don’t always have to shell out major dough to reap anti-aging benefits. Shainhouse sings the praises of this drugstore staple: “It has the efficacy promised by expensive, beauty-counter products,” she says. That’s thanks to the potent ingredients in its formula, including hyaluronic acid to plump skin, niacinamide to soothe redness, dimethicone to lock in hydration, and peptide fragments to prompt skin to produce new collagen over time.

8. RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Retinol Night Cream, 1 oz

Consider this another reason to hit up your local drugstore. “This budget-friendly night treatment contains both alpha hydroxy acids, which help to unstick and exfoliate dulling, dead skin cells immediately, as well as retinol, which stimulates cell turnover and new collagen production over time,” says Shainhouse. “Together, these help to reduce the appearance of fine lines with regular use over two to three months.”

9. Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector & Optimizer, 1.7 Ounce

“Uneven and dull skin tone can actually give a more aging impression that fine lines and wrinkles,” points out Shainhouse. Enter this dark spot corrector, which relies on lightening ingredients like turmeric, birch bark and rice bran extract to fade the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

10. La Roche-Posay Redermic R Eyes Retinol Eye Cream, 0.5 Fl. Oz.

The delicate skin around your eyes deserves special care. “This anti-aging eye cream with retinol visibly reduces the appearance of crow’s feet wrinkles and the look of dark circles,” Sobel says.

11. Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Anti-Aging Renewal Therapy, SPF 35

Talk about a triple threat: This 3-in-1 eye product is Adigun’s go-to eye treatment because it acts as an eye cream, concealer and sunscreen. “It’s infused with hyaluronic acid and peptides to help reduce the appearance of fine lines,” she says. “The peach tint covers dark circles beautifully, and there’s an SPF 30 to protect the delicate eye area from sun damage.

More Tips from Dermatologists

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7 Amazing Skin Care Brands Created by Dermatologists

Who understands what distinguishes great skin care better than actual dermatologists? Instead of experimenting with drugstore products that don’t specifically target your skin’s needs, your routine should include products created by these experts. When it comes to moisturizing, cleansing, exfoliating, and treating breakouts, no one can bring you better results than real doctors.

1. Lancer

Lancer skin care system. | Lancer

Dr. Harold Lancer is probably the first person who comes to mind when you think of celebrity dermatologists. His famous clientele include Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Allison Williams, and many other A-Listers. Lancer is known for treating acne and skin disorders, but he also takes a holistic approach to skin care. If Lancer skin care is good enough for Hollywood’s elite, it’s good enough for us.

2. Colbert MD

Skin care set from Colbert MD | Colbert MD

David A. Colbert, M.D., is the founder and head physician of New York Dermatology Group. After studying medicine in Lille, France, Colbert earned his degree from New York Medical College and then did his dermatology residency at Columbia. After gaining experience at his practice, he branched into making his own “Daily Nutrition for Skin” line, which he researched and developed with a leading chemist. Colbert MD products uniquely contain ingredients that remain in the most potent state until they’re fully absorbed.

3. Perricone MD

Makeup set from Perricone MD | Perricone MD

Throughout his years as a practicing dermatologist, Dr. Perricone conducted countless biopsies and, in the process, discovered inflammation consistently coincided with signs of aging. Feeling intrigued, he developed his own hypothesis, which asserts many skin diseases associated with aging are actually the result of inflammation. For two decades, Perricone studied the antioxidants that most powerfully combat inflammation. His findings were eventually turned into his apothecary-style skin care and makeup line, which is now widely adored. (You can find his range at your nearest Sephora).

4. Murad

Skin care set from Murad | Murad

Dr. Howard Murad has been called the “father of international skin care’” — and for good reason. He was a pioneer for the use of alpha hydroxy acids in topical skin care, and in his lifetime has personally treated more than 50,000 patients. Murad eventually discovered water loss is a primary cause of aging. His legacy of groundbreaking skin care formulas will live on forever.

5. Dr. Brandt skin care

DNA set from Dr. Brandt | Dr. Brandt skin care

Dr. Fredric Brandt is one of the most forward-thinking and hardworking dermatologists of his time. With dermatology practices in both Miami and New York City, he once saw up to 40 patients a day. Soon enough, he created his skin care line out of dissatisfaction with the products on the market. He wanted to fill this void by introducing a sophisticated line that delivered powerful anti-aging results. Needless to say, he succeeded.

6. Kaplan MD

Kaplan MD skin care | Kaplan MD

Dr. Stuart Kaplan has privately practiced in Beverly Hills for 30 years. He’s also an assistant clinical professor at UCLA Medical Center, an attending physician in dermatology at a hospital, and he serves as a medical expert on national media channels like Entertainment Tonight, MSNBC, and Fox News. As if that weren’t enough, he’s also has this incredible skin care line.

7. Goldfaden MD

Skin care set from Goldfaden MD | Goldfaden MD

Since graduating from the University of Miami School of Medicine more than 40 years ago, Dr. Gary Goldfaden has shared his expertise in southern Florida. He’s also published hundreds of articles on the most innovative skin care ingredients, many of which his line now includes. All of Dr. Goldfaden’s products are developed naturally, without harmful ingredients, and promise to deliver results.

Courtesy of brand

3. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, £7

“When it comes to budget products I love La Roche Posay. The Thermal Spring Water is made up of a combination of mineral salts and trace elements, e.g selenium, which has excellent soothing and anti-oxidative properties. Ideal to use instead of a toner, and can be sprayed on as often as wanted during the day to freshen up.” Says dermatologist and co-founder of ALLEL DNA skincare, Dr Anne Wetter.

Courtesy of brand

4. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water, £7.81

“I recommend Bioderma Sensibio Micellar H20 to patients with all skin types. It’s an effective cleanser and makeup remover (including stubborn eye makeup), plus it’s well tolerated by sensitive skin. I even use it myself.” Says Dr Susan Mayou, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic.

Courtesy of brand

5. La Roche Posay Cicaplast Repairing Lip Balm, £4.50

“I really like La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Lips – a protecting and soothing lip balm that restores dry and chapped lips fast. It contains 5% panthenol and rehydrating MP-lipids.” Says dermatologist and co-founder of ALLEL DNA skincare, Dr Anne Wetter.

Courtesy of brand

6. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, £9

“My favourite product for under £10 is the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. Although very effective at removing grease and dirt, most foaming cleansers leave the skin feeling dry and parched. Not this one. It contains ceramides and hyaluronic which means that skin stays hydrated despite the deep clean. Even better news is that this gentle gel cleanser contains niacinamide to calm inflammation and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores, so it’s perfect for acne sufferers.” Says consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk.

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How to select anti-aging skin care products

Dermatologists share their insider tips

Shopping for an anti-aging skin care product can feel like a hit-or-miss experience. With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which products to choose. These dermatologist tips can help you shop with confidence.

  1. Start with sunscreen and moisturizer. Dermatologists agree that sunscreen and moisturizer are the two most-effective anti-aging products you can buy. Using these every day can make a noticeable difference.
    When shopping for sunscreen, select one that offers all of the following:

    Broad spectrum

  2. SPF 30 (or higher)
  3. Water resistance
    An anti-aging moisturizer helps to minimize fine lines. It is so effective that moisturizer is the secret ingredient in many anti-aging products.
    Using a moisturizer with sunscreen is fine. Just be sure that the product offers broad-spectrum coverage and an SPF of 30 or higher.
    If you will spend time outdoors during the day, you should apply a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30 (or higher), and water resistance. Be sure to reapply your sunscreen every two hours while outdoors.
  4. Treat your #1 aging-skin concern. Give sunscreen and moisturizer a few weeks to work. Then look at your skin. Is there still a sign of aging that bothers you?
    By focusing on one concern, such as wrinkles or dark spots, you’ll get the best results. Look for a product that targets your concern. There are two reasons for this:

    No product can treat all signs of skin aging

  5. Using more than one anti-aging product in a few days or weeks can irritate the skin, making you look older
  6. Buy a product formulated for your skin type. Your sunscreen, moisturizer, and other anti-aging skin care products will work best if they are formulated for your skin type. For example, if your skin tends to be oily, select a moisturizer made for oily skin. If you have sensitive skin, you want to see the words “sensitive skin” on the label.
    This is important because no one product works for everyone.

  7. Read product labels and select a product that offers all of the following:

    Hypoallergenic (The product can still cause an allergic reaction, but there is less risk)

  8. Non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic (does not cause acne)
  9. Consumer hotline (to contact for questions)
  10. Have realistic expectations. Exaggerated promises, such as look 10 years younger overnight or quickly reduces all signs of aging, are too good to be true. It’s important to remember that anti-aging skin care products deliver modest results. You cannot get the results of a facelift from a cream.


    “Clinically proven” means that the product was given to consumers to try. It does not mean the product underwent clinical trials and received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  11. Select a product within your price range. It’s human nature to think that the more expensive the product, the better the results. Effective anti-aging products come in all price ranges.

Maximize the results you see

Once you’ve selected a product, you can maximize its effectiveness by following tips that dermatologists share with their patients.

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Dermatologists skin care products

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