Laugh lines have long been a defining feature of my smile, which is why it’s probably no surprise that my first fine line happened to be around my mouth. I noticed it around 23, as a student in graduate school. Horrified that I would end up being grad school Barbie’s doppleganger by graduation, I began sampling anti-aging products, which included creams containing retinol, hyaluronic acid, and alpha hydroxy (the latter, I would not recommend). Now at 25, I have a good idea of what skin care products effectively reduce fine lines, even skin tone, and restore moisture and collagen. A 20-something anti-aging regimen should include a daily moisturizer, eye serum, wrinkle filler (depending on the state of your skin), exfoliator, and sunscreen (I didn’t mention it in this post, but I would recommend CoTZ Face).
While the following products have been highly effective, they work in tandem with a healthy skin care routine that includes plenty of sleep, water, and a daily gentle cleanser (I recommend one that is paraben-free and sulfate-free, like this one from Yes To Carrots). In other words, don’t fall asleep with your makeup on and expect these products to do their magic (although, they probably will!). Finally, you may notice that a facial masque is conspicuously absent from this list; rest assured it’s only because I’m still trying to find the best one. Once I do, you’ll be the first to know.
1. Fresh – Black Tea Age-Delay Cream
$95, Available at Sephora
I sampled this antioxidant-rich moisturizer after seeing it make the roundup of many anti-aging skincare lists. After a couple uses, I noticed a dramatic transformation in the texture of my skin; my skin felt softer, my lines appeared smoother and my complexion more even toned. It is more expensive than a standard moisturizer, but it is every bit worth it. Use day and night.
2. Racinne – Ultimate Youth Power Eye Serum
A recent sample from my September Birchbox, Racinne quickly proved itself to be a beauty essential. With just one use, it brightened my groggy eyes, leaving me with the illusion of being luxuriously-rested. Best of all, it quickly absorbs so it doesn’t move to other areas of your face – or in your eyes.
3. Korres – Quercetin & Oak Instant Wrinkle Filler
$44, Available at Sephora
No matter how hard we try to be perfectionists, there are times when we inevitably cheat on our beauty routine. Maybe that means getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep or crashing before wiping off the day’s debris. That’s why I’m most grateful for this wrinkle filler from Korres. Just one pat of the cream over your moisturizer will instantly reduce the appearance of lines.
4. DermaE – Refining Vitamin A and Glycolic Scrub
$10.99, Available at Ulta
Along with a gentle cleanser, I recommend a gentle exfoliator for rebuffing skin of dead cells. This paraben-free glycolic scrub from DermaE contains Vitamins C and E, which leave my skin smooth and glowing after one use. I wouldn’t recommend using this daily or even every other day; excessive exfoliation can strip skin of essential oils, spawning the fine lines and wrinkles we intend to combat. That said, once or twice a week would suffice.
5. Yes To Grapefruit CC Cream
$15.99, Available at Ulta
It’s 2013 and makeup is now good for you. Or at least it can improve skin over time. Case in point: color correcting creams, or CC creams. I’ve tried a fair share of this latest alliterative cream to come from South Korea, and this one in particular from Yes To Grapefruit is one of the best. In addition to moisturizing my skin, it significantly reduced my blemishes, and evened my skin tone. It doesn’t provide the best coverage for inflammation, but that’s not really what CC cream is designed to do. CC cream is like a tinted moisturizer that goes further by correcting skin tone.
Tl;dr: All five of these products either brighten my complexion, even skin tone, or reduce fine lines for a more youthful appearance. Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments or provide your own anti-aging recommendations.