The Best Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine for the Money

Cynthia Bailey, MD|June 26, 2012

Dear Dr Bailey, Thank you so much for your blog! I finally found someone with straight forward information, based on science and not on the selling of a product. My question is that I am a 46-year-old mother of six with two in college, so I need the best anti-aging regimen with no frills, the biggest bang for bucks. My skin is normal, tolerates both retinol and glycolic acid well. I have sun damage from spending my twenties in a tanning bed, not good! I wash with Glytone Gel Wash am and pm then I use Glytone Step 2 Facial Cream in the morning followed by Citrix Sunscreen. After washing in the evening, I use a Hydroquinone 4% prescription product and then a moisturizer by Origins. I wait 15 min (thanks to Dr. Bailey) and apply Tretinoin 0.1% or .05% depending on area treated. I also use a product called Modern Friction from Origins for a home microdermabrasion scrubbing of my skin twice a week. Thank you again for your time and for all of your wonderful skincare and protection information! Michelle Hello Michelle, You're on it! This is the best bang for the buck in anti-aging skin care! The key elements are all in your routine and there is nothing extra there. You've got: A good cleanser matched to your tolerant skin type that gets off oil, product, and everything else the day has deposited on your skin.

Glytone Mild Gel Wash Cleanser

Glytone Mild Gel Wash Cleanser

A microdermabraision cleanser to use twice a week to keep your skin texture polished and smooth. I like Replenix Scrub for this job, but there are also other products that work. The key is to use a scrub that does not scratch, which is why I like round bead-like particles for microdermabraision scrubs.

Replenix Scrub

replenix exfoliation scrub

The best alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) for anti-aging, which is glycolic acid. You've chosen one of the best professional glycolic acid products made by choosing Glytone Face Cream. Glycolic acid builds collagen, increases hyaluronic acid in your skin, and compacts your dead skin cells making your skin texture appear smoother and "dewy." It also lightens and evens out uneven skin pigment. The higher the concentration of free glycolic acid in a product, the more results you get - your Glytone Face Cream has what it takes. Glytone Face Cream 3 has even more and, if your skin can tolerate it, you can work up to level 3 when you are ready to purchase product again.

Glytone Face Cream 3

glytone face cream 3

A high-quality mineral zinc oxide broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or above. This is mandatory for anyone serious about anti-aging skin care. The sun is not our skin's friend! Anyone who wants youthful skin that lasts over the course of their lifetime needs to keep UV rays off of their skin. Citrix is a great sunscreen for that. I've depended on it to protect my skin and my patients' skin for years. It is also very reasonably priced for a sunscreen of its quality, plus it feels nice on the skin and is easy to use every day.

Citrix Sunscreen

Citrix Sunscreen

At night you're maximizing your tretinoin (Retin A) skin treatment, which is precisely the best anti-aging product anyone can use for their skin. Tretinoin builds skin collagen, prevents age-related skin degradation, thickens the top-living epidermal layer of cells, and keeps your skin structurally youthful. It evens out uneven skin pigment, smooths skin texture, keeps pores from getting clogged, and helps lower the risk of skin cancer. It also works by a different mechanism than the glycolic acid, so you have two great things going on in your skin at the same time, and the results are additive. There is one big item you can add to your wish list. It's a Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System. There is no substitute, so don't waste your money until you can afford the Clarisonic. (It's a great gift to ask for next birthday! You can also wait until we have another Facebook Clarisonic giveaway at Dr. Bailey Skin Care.  "Like" us to stay informed on when we start giving away Clarisonic Skin Cleansing Systems again. Click here for our Facebook page.) The Clarisonic cleans skin like nothing I've ever seen and it helps your products penetrate even better too, giving you more bang for the buck.

Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System

clarisonic Skin Cleansing Brush

In the meantime, you could add a Buf Puf Facial Sponge for the morning cleansing step. It helps polish your skin on those days you don't use your microderm scrub.

Buf Puf Facial Sponge

Buf Puf Facial Sponge

I also love the antioxidant ingredients in Replenix creams and Professional Cell Repair Serum that I sell but the results are much more subtle. They are more geared to preventing free radical damage, which is important, but you don't see results as quickly in the mirror. Click here to learn more about these products, which I think are the "best of the best" for antioxidant skin care.

One additional option that I like to employ for anti-aging skin care is an annual 4-month course of Obagi Nu Derm to very specifically target stubborn uneven skin pigmentation. Obagi Nu Derm uses a combination of very collaborative product ingredients to push the hydroquinone into the skin to tackle the pigment that doesn't want to budge. Obagi Nu Derm often gives us that final touch. I think the most logical time for Nu Derm is in the fall. It's an expensive product kit, but you basically put your other products away for four months and just use the Nu Derm products. If you're interested you can read my Nu Derm Post. Great question, especially in these challenging economic times - whether you have college-aged kids or other belt-tightening adventures, it's always good to look at "return on investment" for your anti-aging skin care routine. Warm Regards, Cynthia Bailey MD, Dermatologist Disclaimer: Please realize that availing yourself of the opportunity to submit and receive answers to your questions from Dr. Bailey does not confer a doctor/patient relationship with Dr. Bailey. The information provided by Dr. Bailey is general health information inspired by your question. It should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem (and is not an extension of the care Dr. Bailey has provided in her office for existing patients of her practice). Never ignore your own doctor’s advice because of something you read here; this information is for general informational purpose only.