The Best $25-or-Less Anti-Aging Products

Photo: Oprah.comBy Jenny Bailly

The only thing that's extravagant about these skincare treatments is their rejuvenating qualities.

Boots Botanics Intensive Wrinkle Reduction Serum

Vitamin A derivatives--like the retinol in this serum--are the superstars of skincare. Piles of research prove that these ingredients smooth roughness, fade discoloration and build new collagen to soften lines and improve laxity (in other words, reverse all of the damage done before your religious sunscreen use). Apply a thin layer of this silky serum before bed (sunlight can deactivate retinol); layer a moisturizer on top if you have dry skin.


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Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel

Glycolic acid peels are mainstay treatments in dermatologists' offices because they improve the look of your skin in minutes by increasing cell turnover to reveal a brighter, more even-toned complexion. These pads contain a 10 percent concentration of glycolic acid (safe for at-home use). Swipe one over your face, neck and décolletage twice a week, says dermatologist Anne Chapas, MD, of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. Your skin will look more luminous immediately; rough spots and discoloration fade away gradually.


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Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55

Sunscreen is far and away the best product you can use to preserve your youthful skin. It prevents damage--wrinkles, redness, brown spots. So why aren't you wearing it every day? Probably because you think it's too greasy, or too sticky, or too pasty white against your complexion. Enough excuses. This formula absorbs quickly so skin looks clean, not shiny or chalky. Put it on every morning and slow the clock.

$11, drugstores

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Kiss My Face C the Change Ester C Serum

"If you're going to apply one thing besides sunscreen every morning, make it a vitamin C serum," says Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, MD. "It helps neutralize the damage caused by UV light." This serum is light enough to wear under makeup and doesn't have the sticky texture of some vitamin C products.


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Jergens Natural Glow Face SPF 20

Is self-tanner an anti-aging product? We would argue yes! It evens out discoloration and softens shadows. But-perhaps most critical to looking youthful--it eliminates the temptation to warm up your skin tone with wrinkle-inducing sunlight. This formula gradually tints your skin over several days (to avoid a color overdose) and has an SPF of 20 (so you can use it as your daily moisturizer).

$9, drugstores

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Vichy Normaderm Anti-Aging

Breakouts and crow's-feet aren't mutually exclusive; this moisturizer combines lipo-hydroxy acid (to unclog pores) and vitamin C (to improve discoloration and smooth lines). Its luxurious, cool-yet-velvety gel-cream texture belies its reasonable price.


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Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum

"There's some good evidence that peptides can trigger your skin to create more of the collagen that makes skin taut and smooth," says dermatologist Jeffrey Benabio, MD, of Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. "This serum contains a peptide that's also found in far more expensive brands." Use it in the morning under makeup or at night under a richer moisturizer.

$19, drugstores

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