The 8 Best Drugstore Anti-Aging Creams of 2024

If you pay close attention to the ingredients in each of our anti-aging cream picks below, you’ll notice that many of them have one in common: retinol (also commonly referred to as vitamin A). The ingredient has been witnessing what can only be described as renaissance in the past couple of years, making appearances in everything from liquid exfoliants and serums to hand creams and targeted topical ointments. But is it ideal for everyone? The answer is heavily dependent on your skin type, with mature skin perhaps benefiting the most from a retinol treatment.

Retinol is popularly used in skincare to renew the appearance of skin by promoting epidermal cellular turnover. As skin matures, skin cell turnover and collagen production slows, resulting in the signs we associate most with aging: fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles. When used safely, retinol can vastly improve skin texture, reduce fine lines, and prevent dullness. However, retinol at a high strength can result in irritation, itchiness, and scaly patches. These side effects are noticeable in first-time users of retinol products, particularly for individuals with sensitive or easily irritated skin.

Retinol use can also make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, so it’s crucial to get your hands on a good sunscreen for protection (we’re talking at least SPF 30). In other words, it can be beneficial but shouldn’t be treated as a one-size-fits-all ingredient. If you’re worried about the effects of certain ingredients in your anti-aging cream, it’s best to receive guidance from a dermatologist. Before adding any new product to your skincare lineup, it’s also a good idea to try a patch test.

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