I’m a dermatologist – here are 3 cheap anti-aging skincare products that you can buy in the pharmacy

Over time, everyone’s skin shows signs of aging.

Although everyone ages differently, one dermatologist said three things happen to everyone that cause wrinkles and duller skin.

And she said there are three products you can use to fight them.

According to Maren Locke, collagen loss is one of the natural processes of aging


According to Maren Locke, collagen loss is one of the natural processes of agingPhoto credit: Getty

Maren Locke — a board-certified dermatologist who calls herself “The Budget Dermatologist” — claimed she’s created “an affordable and simple anti-aging skincare routine that works.”

At a video For her YouTube channel, Maren had a disclaimer: “I don’t just randomly pick three cool products that I like and tell you to buy them.”

Instead, the dermatologist said she would outline the top three things that happen to your skin as you age and recommend products you need to help address those changes.

She said she’s watched her own patients — each with a different skin type — use these products for years and see results.

First, Maren started with a crash course in why your skin looks older as you age. It’s due to three things:

  1. You lose collagen – the “framework” of the skin that keeps it firm, plump and taut. As it fades naturally, your skin will look saggy and sagging, leading to fine lines and wrinkles
  2. The top layer of skin (the epidermis) gets thicker and the middle layer of skin gets thinner, due to slower cell turnover you lose yours glow
  3. Your skin becomes blotchy and appears to be uneven – probably due to skin exposure

“It takes three powerful products to manage these three changes,” explained Maren.

“You really don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars per product,” she pointed out.

Instead, you can buy them at the drugstore or pharmacy.

So what are Maren’s sacred antiaging products?

1. Retinoids

Maren’s first recommendation for combating collagen loss was “the most important” in her opinion.

Retinoids help you rebuild collagen, she said.

“It’s one of the few products that can penetrate deep enough to do this in cells,” Maren explained.

“This is an absolute must in your routine if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding,” she said.

Retinoids are not the same as collagen creams, the dermatologist emphasized – these are unable to restore lost collagen.

If you’ve never used retinoids or have dry or sensitive skin, Maren recommends the unscented Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair – that’ll cost you £32.60 on Amazon.

Maren said she uses this on her neck and palms. Since it’s so moisturizing, you may not need to buy another cream to apply on top.

For normal to oily skin, she recommends L’Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum, 03 percent pure retinol, a lighter option but with a higher concentration of retinol.

You can buy it from Boots for £29.99 or half price from Amazon.

For an “expert-level” retinoid, Maren suggested you look at Avene’s RetrinAL line, which has three strengths and is the closest thing to prescription-strength retinoic acid.

The RetrinAL 0.05 cream is the gentlest and the strongest is the Intensive 0.1 cream.

She recommended that you start “low and slow” if you’ve never tried retinoids.

However, the dermatologist emphasized that the stronger your product, the more side effects — like dryness, burning, stinging, and irritation — you may experience.

Finally, Maren recommended the Differin 0.1 percent adapalene acne gel for acne-prone skin – if you can’t find this specific product in the UK, look for other products that contain adapalene.

2. Hydroxy acids

Glycolic acids, salicylic acids, and lactic acids all help combat a dull complexion, Maren said, because they “drastically speed up the cell cycle” and shed unwanted cells.

While a washable product works best for sensitive skin, you can use a leave-on product or opt for another product that you apply once or twice a week.

She recommended the L’Oreal Pure Glycolic Acid Cleansing Gel or the Cerave Renewing SA Cleanser as affordable options.

For leave-on products, opt for L’Oreal 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum or Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant – follow with moisturizer.

Maren recommended the L’Oréal Brightening Peel Pads to use once or twice a week in the evening.

3. Vitamin C

To combat this uneven skin tone, a vitamin C product is just the thing—it’s also, according to Maren, “a real anti-aging workhorse.”

In addition, it acts as an antioxidant that protects your skin from skin cancer and photoaging, and treats dark spots and redness.

The dermatologist’s first recommendation was the Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C anti-aging ampoules.

Next was Vichy’s Liftactiv Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector, available from Boots for £41.50.

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Maren recommended Neutrogena, Rapid Tone Repair, 20% Vitamin C Serum, 30 Serum Capsules – she said this is a great option if you don’t have sensitive skin.

And for acne-prone skin, she recommended La Roche-Posay Vitamin C Serum.

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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