15 Anti-Aging Skin Care Products Doctors Won't Go Without

Every day, dermatologists and plastic surgeons treat their patients to make them look younger, whether it be with fillers, Botox, chemical peels or laser treatments. These treatments keep wrinkles at bay, improve sagging skin, elicit that youthful glow and erase age spots ― but which day-to-day products do dermatologists swear by to keep their skin looking fresh? 

We asked some leading dermatologists and plastic surgeons from around the country to tell us about their favorite anti-aging skincare products. Now you can benefit from their secrets.

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The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Gary Motykie, a board-certified plastic surgeon and owner of Motykie Med Spas, has worked with the likes of Kylie Jenner and Sofia Riche. “I’ve been using chemical exfoliants, specifically The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution from Sephora," said Motykie, who is working on his own skin care line. "Chemical exfoliants or washes are a great alternative to beaded cleansers like St. Ives.” <br><br>Find it for $8.70 on Sephora.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

To cleanse his skin and keep it moisturized, Motykie uses CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser. “It is a great, affordable, hydrating cleanser,” he explained. <br><br>Find it for $13.79 on Amazon.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

Motykie also stressed the importance of using a sunscreen every day. “After I cleanse, I use EltaMD’s Broad Spectrum SPF 46," he said. "In 2019 this almost goes without saying, but you should always apply SPF, not just on hot, sunny days.” <br><br>Find it for $35 on Amazon.

Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin and Nails

Packed with biotin and vitamins C and E, Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin & Nails enhances skin, hair and nail growth and comes recommended by Elizabeth Mullans, a board-certified dermatologist who has been practicing for more than 20 years. The vitamins also promote the growth of collagen, an essential protein that promotes skin elasticity and helps it to appear more youthful and healthy. <br><br>Find it for $9.98 on Amazon.

RoC Correxion Eye Cream and RoC Sensitive Eye Cream

Mullans also recommends RoC Correxion Eye Cream because it's good for decreasing signs of aging around the eyes. RoC Correxion Eye Cream contains superstar ingredient retinol, which helps correct fine lines and wrinkles. RoC also has a formula for those who are sensitive to retinol and need something gentler. <br><br>Find it and the sensitive formula for $17.95 on Walmart.com.  

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Calling retinol "liquid gold," Zain Husain, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of New Jersey Dermatology and Aesthetics Center, recommends Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream. “These products work by increasing skin cell turnover, boost collagen production and help keep the skin looking youthful by diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps combat acne and uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation,” Husain said. <br><br>Find it for $74 on Sephora.

Obagi Professional-C Serum

Zain is also a fan of vitamin C serums because vitamin C is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. Zain said, “I love Vitamin C because it assists in skin cell damage repair and protects against free radical agents that can harm the skin. Vitamin C also has anti-aging benefits including diminishing fine lines, reducing redness and brightening your overall complexion.” If you want to incorporate a vitamin C serum into your routine, Zain recommends Obagi Professional-C Serum. <br><br>Find it for $102 on Dermstore.

Alastin Restorative Skin Complex

Retinol alternatives “work by increasing collagen, the building block of our skin, without irritation or sun sensitivity,” explained Deanna Mraz Robinson, a board-certified dermatologist from Westport, Connecticut. One of her favorite anti-aging products is Alastin Restorative Skin Complex, a peptide-based serum that improves collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. <br><br>Find it for $195 on Alastin’s website.

Care Skincare Eye and Lip Nourishing Cream

Robinson also likes Care Skincare Eye + Lip Nourishing Cream, which she described as “a dense cream with a light-diffusing finish that softens the look of fine lines and dark circles; it absorbs quickly and won’t drift into eyes or interfere with makeup." <br><br>Find it for $30 on Care Skincare’s website.

Isdinceutics Melatonik 3-in-1 Night Serum

Another favorite of Robinson’s is Isdinceutics Melatonik 3-in-1 Night Serum, a vitamin C and bakuchiol-based serum that helps reduce fine lines and pigmentation and improve texture. <br><br>Find it for $160 on Isdin.

La Roche Posay Melt In Sunscreen Milk

“Broad-spectrum, high-SPF sunscreen is the most effective anti-aging tool,” said Sheila Krishna, a board-certified dermatologist who serves on the advisory board for Smart Style Today.  “Broad-spectrum means it protects from both UVA and UVB rays, and a high SPF is generally anything over 30.” Her personal favorite is La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60 because “it blends in very well into all skin types and doesn’t smell strong. It has excellent protection and SPF and stays on for long periods of time.” <br><br>Find it for $21.99 on Dermstore.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum

Krishna also recommended vitamin C because “it is a potent antioxidant that absorbs free radicals from ultraviolet damage, pollution and general skin wear and tear. It also assists in collagen production and improves fine lines.” She personally uses SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum. <br><br>Find it for $166 on Dermstore.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

“Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is a great moisturizer that uses hyaluronic acid to plumps the skin very nicely. I use it every day and I like that it is universal so works with most skin types,” said Sapna Palep, a board-certified dermatologist who works at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. She added, "It’s an effective non-clogging moisturizer for people needing some extra moisture.” <br><br>Find it for $23.99 on Ulta.com.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

“Vitamin C, topical retinol, and sunscreen are what I consider the ‘holy trinity’ in skin care. I incorporate a vitamin C serum as a quintessential component in my morning skin care regimen,” said Rina Allawh, a board-certified dermatologist who practices at Montgomery Dermatology in Philadelphia. “My top pick is the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, containing L-ascorbic acid, pumpkin ferment extract and pomegranate enzyme. This cruelty-free product helps to both exfoliate and brighten the skin. I found that the ingredients are safe, effective and gentle on sensitive, dry and acne-prone skin.” <br><br>Find it for $80 at Sephora.

Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Foundation

Allawh also recommends using foundation to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. “My top pick is the Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging skintone matching makeup,” Allawh said. This foundation is cruelty free and has an SPF of 20. “I find that the lightweight liquid formula and buildable texture is ideal for my Mediterranean skin type.” <br><br>Find it for $13.99 on Almay.

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For the best of the best: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

The skincare experts who talked to HuffPost overwhelmingly recommend SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Vitamin C serum, but it doesn't come cheap. "Be aware that Vitamin C serums are a concentrated ingredient, thereby [are] very potent and active," says esthetician Melissa Lekus of Melissa Lekus Skincare Consulting. "So don’t be surprised when your Vitamin C serum is one of the most expensive products in your arsenal." So, what's the difference between a $10 Vitamin C serum and a $100 Vitamin C serum? It's due in part to its formula. "Vitamin C is an unstable molecule on its own, so it works best when combined with Vitamin E or ferulic acid," says dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse of Rapaport Dermatology. <br>
<br>SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is available at Dermstore for $166.

For first timers: The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%

Dermatologist Erum Ilyas of Montgomery Dermatology recommends first-time users try The Ordinary's Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%. It's a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C, which is a fancy way of saying it's less potent than other forms of Vitamin C. "If it’s someone with lots of sun damage and looking for something more potent, I recommend the Vitamin C Suspension," she says. "The magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is effective and doesn’t tend to feel uncomfortable when used. I’m a fan of The Ordinary — I think of their products as a spice rack. It’s easier to modify routines day to day or week to week (or season to season) because their products have great ingredients. And, you can't argue with their price point."<br>
<br>The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% is available at Beauty Expert for $10.50, or SkinStore for $9.60.

For a stable formula: Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum

Dermatologist Erum Ilyas of Montgomery Dermatology says that the key to buying a good Vitamin C formula is to educate yourself on its ingredients. "If you are going to look for a Vitamin C-containing product, make sure the concentration and type of Vitamin C is listed. L-ascorbic acid or tetrahexyldecyl (THD) ascorbate are the most active types." She also recommends searching for serums with between 10- to 20-percent concentration, like Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum. "If [that's] not the case, Vitamin C can be very unstable on exposure to light, and essentially be useless. That’s money wasted.”<br>
<br>Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum is available at Sephora for $95.

For daily use: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Though Vitamin C serums are touted as a remedy for sun spots, aging skin and a dull complexion, green beauty expert Annie Tevelin notes that healthy skin starts from the inside out. "Healthy skin really starts within, so eating your daily suggested amount of Vitamin C is great for your overall immunity, so grab fresh foods like kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit," says Tevelin, who's also the founder of SkinOwl. "Applying a Vitamin C Serum topically is excellent for transforming dull, lackluster skin, especially post-summer months." She recommends Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum daily in the mornings, before gradually using it twice daily.<br>
<br>Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum is available at Ulta for $34.

For all-natural ingredients: 100% PURE Vitamin C Serum

Susie Wang, chemist and founder of 100% PURE, recommends prepping the skin at night using a lemon water rinse before applying your serum. "Topical Vitamin C works much faster and directly targets the skin to improve it, whereas ingesting Vitamin C boosts the immune system. Although this helps bolster collagen and elastin production, it's not targeted and works a lot slower since our body only accepts a certain amount of Vitamin C." For ingredient-obsessives, she recommends 100% PURE's Vitamin C Serum to plump skin, improve elasticity and slough off dead skin cells for a brighter, healthier glow.<br>
<br>100% Pure Vitamin C Serum is available at 100% Pure for $41.

For dull skin: Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C is a "powerhouse ingredient," says esthetician Melissa Lekus of Melissa Lekus Skincare Consulting. "Vitamin C is the most abundant antioxidant in the body fighting free radicals to slow the aging process." She recommends Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum to help with hyperpigmentation, prevent the breakdown of collagen and actually increase collagen production for a smoother, brighter complexion. <br>
<br>Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum is available at Sephora for $78.

For age spots: Citrix Vitamin C Pro-Collagen Brightening Serum

If your main skincare concern is reducing the appearance of age spots and other skin discoloration, dermatologist Melanie Palm recommends Citrix Vitamin C Pro-Collagen Brightening Serum. "Vitamin C is a well-known brightening agent," she says. "It is used topically to fade brown spots without altering normal skin pigmentation.” With any new Vitamin C skincare product, she advises using three to five drops every other morning on the entire face for two weeks before gradually using it every day.<br>
<br>Citrix Vitamin C Pro-Collagen Brightening Serum is available at Dermstore for $114, or Walmart for $77.

For acne scars: Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot

Glow Recipe cofounders Christine Chang and Sarah Lee know a thing or two about glowing skin thanks to their cult-favorite Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask. The duo recently launched an ultra-affordable line called Sweet Chef, that includes a brightening and tone-evening Vitamin C serum. "Vitamin C’s anti-aging, damage-repairing and UV-protecting powers make it a Holy Grail ingredient," Lee says, "but it takes time and consistent application to see the best results." She recommends Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot for hyperpigmentation and acne scars.<br>
<br>Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot is available at Glow Recipe for $20, or Target starting Jan. 27.

For affordability: Oz Naturals Vitamin C Facial Serum

Dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse of Rapaport Dermatology recommends Oz Naturals Vitamin C Facial Serum for those who want a wallet-friendly serum. "[It's] a much less expensive, vegan-friendly Vitamin C serum with AHA (natural glycolic acid)," she says. "Consumers love the texture and notice brighter skin with reduction in hyperpigmentation over time." She advises wearing it in the morning under sunscreen for protection from free radicals, as well as as nighttime to undo oxidative damage from the day.<br>
<br>Oz Naturals Vitamin C Facial Serum is available at Oz Naturals for $18.

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