The term “anti-aging” now comes with an understandable stigma. Is it possible to be both appreciative for our years and experience while also wanting to halt crow’s feet in their tracks? Here at Camille Styles, we view aging as a gift to embrace, but it’s also perfectly fine to want to do so as gracefully as possible. After all, when you look beyond “anti-aging” marketing ploy, the category’s best skincare lines are formulated to support general skin health, not to make you look 22 forever.
But because anti-aging ingredients like antioxidants and retinol are harder to manufacture and stabilize, they tend to be on the pricier side. And since we know higher price points don’t always equal efficacy, we tapped a board-certified dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, and well-known Instagrammer, Dr. Heather Rogers to help us cut through the noise.
For Dr. Rogers, a good anti-aging skincare routine boils down to three specialty products: an antioxidant serum (like vitamin C) paired with a zinc-based sunscreen in the morning, and a nighttime cell turnover treatment (like retinol, AHAs, or BHAs).
Beyond that powerful trio, you’ll also want to pair your plan with a moisturizer that helps maintain a healthy balance of oil and water on the skin—this helps it tolerate all those active anti-aging ingredients. Ahead, Dr. Rogers helps identify the best current products on the market that address anti-aging concerns and are well worth the investment.
Feature image of Alicia Yoon by Winne Au.
Read on for Dr. Roger’s Insights and Product Recommendations
What Age Should You Begin Using Anti-Aging Products?
According to Dr. Rogers, it’s never too early to start investing in preventative skincare, but don’t go overboard. That goes for spending and your beauty lineup. “You should not spend over $100 on any product that lacks scientific data to support its claims,” she says. “Instead, if you want to target anti-aging, I recommend putting the money toward a laser treatment or a bit of preventive botox. Equally important to remember, our skin does a remarkable job of taking care of itself, and the more products and steps you give it to deal with, the more frustrated it may become. This can present as irritation and inflammation that speed the signs of aging.”
Breaking Down the Perfect Anti-Aging Skincare Routine
Hypothetically, say you’re constructing your morning and nighttime skincare routines completely from scratch. Where do you start? For Dr. Rogers, everything hinges on a solid sunscreen. “There is no reason to spend money on more steps until you get into the habit of applying sunscreen every day because the sun is causing the damage,” she explains.
Anti-Aging Product #1: Sunscreen
The Night Shift
“Once you get in the habit of applying sunscreen, washing your face, and applying a moisturizer at night, I have my patients start an evening treatment step to promote cell turnover,” Dr. Rogers shares. Retinol or products with AHAs and BHAs help smooth texture and promote collagen production, but it’s important to start slow—twice a week for those with sensitive skin.
Dr. Rogers always recommends prescription tretinoin, although it may not be well tolerated by those with sensitive skin. To get you started, these milder over-the-counter options are great alternatives.
Anti-Aging Product #2: Retinol + Exfoliants
Once you’ve nailed cell turnover, turn your attention to your morning routine, where you’ll add an antioxidant serum (like vitamin C) to bare skin before moisturizing. “A well-formulated antioxidant protects your skin from further damage by sun, pollution, and blue light differently than sunscreen,” Dr. Rogers adds. “That is all you need! Of course, additional steps may help, but they have far less data to support them.”
Anti-Aging Product #3: Antioxidant Serum
The Products That Bind Us
Beyond your three anti-aging heroes, finding a good cleanser and moisturizer is critical to nailing your routine, too. Antioxidant-rich products and cell turnover treatments ask a lot of our skin, so it’s important to support it with well-formulated daily essentials to keep it healthy and able to reap the benefits of all the great ingredients you’re applying.
To help on your hunt, Dr. Rogers shares some of her go-to skincare shopping tips.
- When shopping for a cleanser or moisturizer, look for a succinct ingredient list. You’re using these products on your skin every day, so you should preferably be able to pronounce all their ingredients.
2. Avoid ingredients that do not biodegrade. From parabens to PEGS (polyethylene glycol), they can accumulate in our world and on our faces.
3. Prioritize what is most important to you. There are a lot of options on the market today. Decide what you most value in your daily skincare staples (like being hypoallergenic or cruelty-free) and focus on finding a lineup that helps make and keep your complexion healthy.
She adds: “It is always important to remember that there is no quick fix, and ultimately, you are fighting a losing battle. You have to put in the work, meaning creating healthy habits for your body and skin, starting with sun protection.”
We couldn’t agree more!