Much like doing your taxes, aging is an unavoidable part of life. Developing laugh lines around your mouth or wrinkles on your forehead are completely and utterly natural, so there's nothing wrong if you don't want to prevent or minimize signs of aging.
However, for anyone whose skincare routine is zeroed in on anti-aging, there's a right and wrong way to do it. Dr. Morgan Rabach, a board certified dermatologist and co-founder of LM Medical in New York City tells InStyle that she often comes across two common mistakes when people are looking to turn back the hands of time: "One is people making the effort to use anti-aging creams, but picking brands based on cute packaging instead of quality of ingredients," she says. "The second common mistake is having a routine that's overly complicated to the point where doing it is overwhelming so it becomes a chore. Or it contains a product that irritates you, but since you can’t isolate which one it is, you wind up using nothing at all."
The good news is that Dr. Rabach knows how to get this routine right. That's why we turned to her for insight on what types of products you should use if anti-aging is your main concern. Keep reading find out what she recommends.
Cleanser: SkinCeuticals Soothing Cleanser
Typically, skin gets drier as we get older. Starting things off with a cleanser that's strong enough to remove makeup, dirt, and debris, but gentle enough that it doesn't strip skin is your best bet. This SkinCeuticals wash gives you that satisfying lather minus the harsh soaps found in many foaming cleansers.
Daytime Serum: Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++
Dr. Rabech recommends including an antioxidant-based serum with ingredients like ferulic acid, and vitamin C and E for your morning routine. "These serums actively protect your skin during the day from pollution, smoke and free radicals generated from sunlight," she explains.
Murad's serum includes vitamin C to boost collagen and improve clarity, plus an advanced ploymer complex counteract environmental damage from UV exposure. Bonus: It's infused with mineral SPF 50 broad spectrum protection.
Nighttime Serum: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Serum
The reason why dermatoligists won't shut up about retinol is that the ingredient can be super transformative — especially when treating signs of aging. There's only one caveat: It can cause skin sensitvity to UV/UVA rays, and sun exposure can make it inactive. That's why Dr. Rabach suggests using a retinol serum in your nighttime routine.
Along with retinol as the star ingredient, this serum by Dr. Dennis Gross is formulated with ferulic acid. Like vitamin C, this antioxidant can improve skin clarity and radiance.
Daytime Moisturizer: Avène Hydrance Aqua-Gel
Since hyaluronic acid draws in moisture, it has an instant plumping effect. That's why it's ideal for the humectant to be in your morning moisturizer. Plus, your makeup will go on more smoothly.
Avène's oil-free gel-like moisturizer is just as hydrating as a rich cream, but it dries down fast without any greasiness.
Nighttime Moisturizer: Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream
A thick, rich cream is the ideal nighttime moisturizer, because it will act like a cushion for the retinol product you just used. It will also replenish your skin if it's dried out from heat or air conditioning.
Eye Cream: Kate Somerville Retinol Firming Eye Cream
A rich cream with retinol and hyaluronic acid will boost collagen and hydrate skin so that your entire eye area appears firm and plump. Bonus points if it contains caffeine, which can lighten up dark circles by fading and shrinking blood vessels.
Kate Somerville's cream has retinol, hyaluronic acid, plus a blend of extracts that mimic vitamin A. With continued use, this mix of ingredients firms and brightens the entire eye area.
Face Mask: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask
"I love a gentle exfoliation at least once a week with a product containing alpha and beta hydroxy acids," says Dr. Rabach. "These improve the tone and texture of your skin, reduce pore size, and help keep collagen activated."
While Drunk Elephant's cult-favorite Babyfacial includes a whopping 25% AHA blend, soothing ingredients like matcha, milk thistle, and apple extracts stop these potent acids from irritating the skin. Instead, your face will look clearer, smoother, and glowy once you've rinsed the mask off.
Sunscreen: Supergoop! Mattescreen SPF 40
Retinol aside, sunscreen is the best way to prevent signs of aging. SPF blocks your skin from UV/UVA rays to prevent skin cancer, but wearing it will also keep dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles at bay.
The caveat is finding a sunscreen that isn't greasy or doesn't leave behind a white cast. Enter Supergoop!'s SPF 40 mineral matte sunscreen. The lightweight cream has a matte finish that blends seamlessly into skin, so makeup goes on evenly.