If you know me or follow along with
my beauty musings here on Who What Wear, then you may have noticed that I’ve become a low-key anti-anti-aging crusader. It’s not that I’m against the products and practices that encourage healthy, glowing skin, but I just think the youth obsession that’s swept our society is wack. Not only is it an impossible ask to expect women to defy nature by not showing any natural signs of age, but it’s also a super-problematic message to send that we are only beautiful up to the point that fine lines or wrinkles start to appear.
Even though I’ll always advocate for more realistic and less exploitative conversations around aging, I recognize, as well as anyone, the appeal of having a
skincare routine in place to keep our epidermis in tip-top shape, starting with a good moisturizer. So I’m going to step off my soapbox for a quick second to give a shout-out to my mom, Gerri, who, at 62-years old, only has half a wrinkle on her face (a single line between her eyebrows that was probably born right around the time of my rebellious teenage years). In fact, I’ll venture to say mom looks about 20 years younger than she is. Cool? Yes! A measure of her value in this world? Absolutely not!
My mother is a gal of short stature, and perhaps, standing just south of five feet tall could have something to do with her youthful appearance. But she’s also got some of the softest, most supple, and curiously wrinkle-free skin I’ve ever seen. Her secret weapon? Genetics! Oh, and Olay’s Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid Lotion ($13).
“Up until a few years ago, this OG Oil of Olay pick was my go-to moisturizer,” she told me when I asked about the vanity staple she used for decades. “It worked well all day on my combination skin, never caused irritation, and provided such great hydration that I’m sure has contributed to my skin’s current condition. Plus, it’s always been inexpensive, which is a huge plus since I prefer to spend my money on shoes!” While she’s since opted for a more active formula to support her changing skincare needs, she says that Olay is still among her favorite skincare brands of all time, especially where anti-aging creams are concerned. A good moisturizer is the cornerstone of any good skincare regimen, and fortunately, the aforementioned Olay option isn’t the only drugstore anti-aging cream that my mom, and hoards of other online reviewers, love. Ahead, check out more top-rated anti-aging creams meant to keep your skin looking fresh without breaking the bank.
This retinol cream is a drugstore mainstay that continues to rack in rave reviews because, according to its devotees, it truly works. Just ask the 3000+ Amazon reviewers who gave the cream five-star reviews, touting its abilities to even out dark spots and soften the look of severe ice pick marks leftover from acne.
This cream deploys slow-release retinol into the skin by using stabilized retinol in tandem with a proprietary glucose complex and hyaluronic acid. It goes to work on existing wrinkles, including crow’s feet, while also preventing the formation of new ones.
My mom was on to something with her OG cheap moisturizer pick because Olay is kind of the Beyoncé of drugstore skincare brands. Of all its offerings, this anti-aging cream is currently among its most famous. It’s infused with all kinds of buzzy ingredients, like vitamin B3, amino peptides, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants, for an instantly hydrated and lifted look. My mom is a fan, too, adding that she loves how this cream imparts such great moisture without making her face look greasy or leaving it congested.
Not only does this day cream block the adverse effects of the sun with broad-spectrum SPF protection, but it also hydrates the skin with hyaluronic acid and hibiscus while brightening it and offering even more sun protection via vitamin C.
The cheat code of this affordable cream is retinol plus hyaluronic acid plus vitamin C. This powerhouse trio smooths, plumps, and brightens the skin all at once.
This cream comes with a low price tag, but it still means business. It defends against premature aging, using an antioxidant called coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and beta-carotene to protect against free radicals and deeply moisturize the skin.
“I like this one when I’m going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, like when I’m playing golf,” my mom told me. SPF protection is among the most important anti-aging measures, but this lightweight cream also supports supple skin with hyaluronic acid and a specially formulated amino-peptide complex for smooth, healthy-looking skin.
This overnight cream employs vitamin A, vitamin E, allantoin, and panthenol to smooth out fine lines while also imparting soothing nourishment.
Ceramides and peptides are what give this cream its ultrahydrating and skin-firming edge. It’s thick without being greasy and plumps up tired-looking skin to reveal a more youthful appearance by morning.
This night cream combines retinol and hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated while smoothing the complexion and refining the look of enlarged pores.
My mom is fairly new to retinol but told me she thinks this Olay option is the perfect formula to get used to it. “Even though this one has retinol, which I’ve heard can dry out your skin, I like that the formula feels deeply moisturizing and serves as a great nighttime treatment after removing makeup, or after a long day of wearing a mask outside,” she said.
Up next, These 8 Ladies Over 40 Just Shut Down Every Cliché I’ve Ever Heard About Aging