Dr. Claire Wolinsky recommends affordable anti-aging products

Anke Neustadt

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Jars and tubes of the five products included in the article.

Effective anti-aging products don’t need to leave your wallet empty. (Photo: Amazon)

Jars and tubes of the five products included in the article.

Effective anti-aging products don’t need to leave your wallet empty. (Photo: Amazon)

We’re all about embracing our age, and yes, we realize that every laugh line represents a rich life well lived. But there’s nothing wrong with a little spit and polish when it comes to your appearance, in the form of accessible, affordable anti-aging products that actually work.

Brands will promise you the world from their anti-aging products: That in the span of a week, you’ll look decades younger. That your sunspots will miraculously vanish. That the crow’s feet you recently noticed will somehow just, poof, be gone if you religiously dab on fill-in-the-blank serum or cream. The pricier, the better. With new products launching weekly, it’s hard to figure out what’s worth your money.

And that’s the crux of the problem — it feels impossible to know which creams and serums will work and which ones we might as well toss in the trash. To get the ultimate answers we spoke to one of our favorite dermatologists, Dr. Claire Wolinsky, a New York-based doctor in private practice who believes that products don’t work miracles, but can help you look fresher, brighter, and younger.

The products below are her top picks, all of them under $50, and all of them available on Amazon for easy shopping and fast shipping. If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

Step 1: Vitamin C serum

A tube of CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum with its box.

This affordable daytime moisturizer is loaded with vitamin C to help brighten your skin. (Photo: Amazon)

Wolinsky recommends that all women add a vitamin C product to their arsenal.

“Vitamin C is a clinically proven skin brightening antioxidant that when used daily can protect against harmful environmental pollutants, UV rays and free radicals,” says Wolinsky. “A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can be used once or twice a day. A serum version of vitamin C is nice because it’s easy to apply underneath sunscreen in the morning.”

This CeraVe serum is a great inexpensive, over-the-counter option. It contains 10% L-ascorbic acid which Wolinsky says is the best, most effective version of vitamin C. It’s blended with ceramides and hyaluronic acid to counteract any irritation or drying effect of the antioxidant.

$16 $22 at Amazon

Step 2: Sunscreen

EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Moisturizer

This highly-rated moisturizer also provides zinc oxide- and titanium dioxide-based sun protection. (Photo: Amazon)

Wolinsky stresses that one product that everyone needs is sunscreen.

“SPF is the most essential and basic anti-aging product. Before discussing any anti-aging potions and lotions, sunscreen comes first in my book. Sunscreen should always be applied first thing in the morning and reapplied if sitting by a window or participating in outdoor activities,” she says.

“I love Elta MD Elements Tinted because it has zinc and titanium dioxide for a physical sunscreen and hyaluronic acid as a moisturizer as well as a perfect tint that serves as light makeup. The formulation is hydrating but not greasy,” says Wolinsky.

$39 at Amazon

Step 3: Hydrate

A bottle of Osea argan facial oil.

A gorgeous face oil made with ingredients you can actually pronounce, like lavender and grapeseed oil. (Photo: Amazon)

“I love Osea,” says Wolinsky, of the Los Angeles-based brand. “This soothing blend of oils has few but powerful all-natural ingredients for dry, sensitive skin. Moroccan argan oil and essential fatty acids restore hydration to dull, dry skin, leaving it with a healthy glow.”

$38 at Amazon

A box and jar of Andalou Naturals Hyaluronic DMAE Lift & Firm Skin Cream.

The hyaluronic acid in this face cream helps your skin look brighter and dewier. (Photo: Amazon)

“With the third ingredient as shea butter, this moisturizer provides major hydration to extra dry skin. It also includes a slew of natural oils including jojoba, argan, sunflower and primrose oils. Resveratrol is an ingredient naturally found in the skin of red grapes that has been clinically shown to work as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in skincare,” says Wolinsky.

$17 $27 at Amazon

Step 4: Retinol treatment

A tube of RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Night Cream next to its box.

The secret sauce in this night cream is retinol, so you want to use it while you sleep. (Photo: Amazon)

Retinol is another ingredient that Wolensky recommends adding to a skincare routine.

“I recommend looking for a retinol or retinoid cream over the counter. Retinol exfoliates the skin and helps with cell turnover as well as increases collagen and elastin leading to a reduction of fine lines and improved texture over months of use,” she says.

“I typically use my vitamin C product in the morning and a retinol or retinoid at night. Most retinoids are deactivated by sunlight, so they are recommended for nightly use, like this product,” says Wolinsky.

$18 $20 at Amazon

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