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Post in Skincare Aware

Anti-Aging Recommendations

Hi fellow members - I’m new to the Sephora online community and looking for recommendations for the best anti-aging skincare products. I am 52 and have been using Clinique products for years. 


Love to hear your thoughts! I’d also appreciate any recommendations for puffy eyes and wrinkles. 🙂



Re: Anti-Aging Recommendations

Hi @DeanaMary and welcome to BIC! What's your skin type/behavior? Is your skin sensitive to any particular ingredient? 


Broad spectrum sunscreen (minimum SPF 30) is the best preventative anti-aging skincare product. It should be generously applied to all skin exposed to sunlight and reapplied every 2-3 hours, regardless of weather or season. Many "signs of aging" are caused by UV damage, including some wrinkles. If you already wear sunscreen, great! If not: which one's "the best" is extremely subjective, since there are so many preference variables (finish, texture, tinted vs. invisible, etc.). One of my favorites is Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ 1.7 oz/ 50 mL , but I rotate through several different sunscreens by OMI, Avene, Colorscience, Canmake, Saie, and others. 


Vitamin A (retinoic acid/retinoid) is a great anti-aging ingredient. This includes prescription retinoids like tretinoin and derivatives of vitamin A available over-the-counter like retinaldehyde, retinol, and adapalene. Again, "the best" product is subjective and depends on your particular skin's behavior and needs. Here are some of the products I've used (your experience/results with any of these may vary from mine, of course): 


Skin type/behavior reference: I'll be 50 this month and my skin's mostly-dry combo, prone to dehydration, very inflammation-prone, and fairly sensitive. I use vitamin A to reduce hyperpigmentation and boost collagen production, but it's also helped my skin texture. All my visible wrinkles are under my eyes and I'm not super annoyed by them—I mean, I've earned those lines after decades of facial expressions—but retinoids do soften them. 

Notes: you don't necessarily need a high strength retinoid product. Retinol's been proven effective at strengths as low as 0.01-0.02%, and it's not even the "most powerful"/fastest-acting member of the vitamin A/retinoid family. Also, some folks claim OTC retinol and retinaldehyde are ineffective compared to Rx tretinoin (which is basically retinoic acid). They're wrong: tretinoin simply works faster than retinaldehyde, which works faster than retinol. All 3 are effective, and none of them are overnight miracles. Patience is key with retinoids. 

Products I've used: 

First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Retinol Serum 0.25% Pure Concentrate 1 oz/ 30 mL was my first vitamin A product. I used it to see if my skin would tolerate this ingredient at all. My face didn't throw tantrums over it, hooray! 

The INKEY List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL was my step-up from the FAB product. I wanted to see what granactive retinoid could really do (there's not much clinical study/research on this vitamin A derivative compared to retinol and others), and this product's lower cost saved me money. This stuff boosted my skin's natural radiance overnight. I'm not exaggerating. After my first month of using this serum, a friend said I had pregnancy glow. 🤣 Other results like skin tone balance and wrinkle reduction happened much more gradually, of course. I currently use this serum on my neck and under my eyes a couple days a week. 

Shani Darden Skin Care Mini Retinol Reform® 0.3 oz/ 10 mL was a curiosity-driven trial. It didn't cause major issues, but this product contains an AHA (lactic acid) that, according to the brand's description, is meant to act as an exfoliant in this formulation. (Sometimes lactic acid's used as a hydrator in products instead of an exfoliant.) I didn't like being forced to use a chemical exfoliant each time I use retinol. (I do use a 10% AHA leave-on exfoliant 1-3 times a week, and sometimes layer it under my retinoid. But I don't always use them together since I'm a nightly retinoid user; using an AHA that frequently can lead to painfully over-exfoliated skin.) I also wasn't fond of the texture and/or finish of this product, so I quickly gave up on it. 

SOBEL SKIN Rx 4.5% Retinol Complex Night Treatment 1.7 oz/ 50 mL sounds frighteningly strong, but some of that 4.5% is granactive retinoid instead of retinol. Curiosity made me wonder what difference the higher % would really make. I definitely saw faster results with this than with The Inkey List Retinol. But I also had a couple instances of dry patch irritation, even though I started slowly with this product (used just 1-2 nights a week for a while, then bumped up to 2-3 nights a week, and so on). That was around the time my dermatologist and I discussed the possibility of Rx tretinoin and decided my skin probably wouldn't tolerate it. My derm suggested I try retinaldehyde instead and see how my skin reacts. 

Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream is the 0.1% retinaldehyde product my derm recommended. I started using it early this year and it's what I currently use everywhere on my face except around my eyes (The Inkey List Retinol gets used there). It's softened and plumped up my skin, and it's gradually reducing my large patches of hyperpigmentation. The only irritation I've experienced with it was the night I accidentally put it on my undereyes and wound up with flaky burning skin there. 

Puffy eye remedies depend on what's causing the puffiness. For me, it's usually allergies, so I take an antihistamine pill and wear chilled eye patches for a few minutes. (My favorite eye patches are JayJun Green Tea Eye Gel Patch and Good Molecules Caffeine Energizing Hydrogel Eye Patches.) But if you have puffiness caused by displaced fat pads, which is also an issue for me: the old formulation of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum 0.5 oz/ 15 mL somehow reduced that puffy effect and softened some of my undereye lines. I can't speak to the current product formulation, though. 

Re: Anti-Aging Recommendations

Thank you!

Re: Anti-Aging Recommendations

@DeanaMary For anti-aging, the big three are retinols, AHA and antioxidants.


You can start with an antioxidant first, since it's probably the easiest to incorporate.  I like First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair® Hydrating Serum.


For AHA, it depends on how accustomed to acids your skin is.  5-10% is usually a good range.  For Sephora products, I've used Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant 3.3 oz/ 100 mL and liked it well enough.  I used to use Alpha Skin Care, but my fave was discontinued.


For a beginner to retinol, I like to recommend First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Retinol Serum 0.25% Pure Concentrate 1 oz/ 30 mL .  You'd be surprised at how many retinol products don't advertise their strength.


Good luck!  Let us know how it goes.  🙂


P.S. I wouldn't integrate AHA and retinol at the same time.

Re: Anti-Aging Recommendations


Re: Anti-Aging Recommendations

Hello! So for anti aging including fine lines, & wrinkles, Retinol based products are pretty much the gold standard. Retinol promotes collagen production and also resurfaces the skin which helps remove fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol can also help with puffy eyes as well as other ingredients like caffeine, antioxidants etc My suggestion would be to maybe check out the brand Murad one of my favs, they have an anti aging kit with smaller sizes of some of their amazing retinol based products.

Re: Anti-Aging Recommendations

@DeanaMary Sunscreen and retinol

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