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I'm almost 50 but I look a decade younger — 12 drugstore anti-aging products that *actually* work

Spoiler alert: you don't need to spend a fortune for great anti-aging skincare.

woman in late 40s wearing baseball cap with anti-aging beauty products in front of her, anti-aging beauty products, best anti-aging drugstore beauty products, Best drugstore anti-aging products, according to a 47-year-old (photos via author).
Best drugstore anti-aging products, according to a 47-year-old (photos via author).

The fact is, as I get older, the skincare that once worked so well for me in my 20s and 30s doesn't cut it anymore in my 40s. I used to worry about blemishes and breakouts, but now, I would kill for the oily and bouncy skin of my younger years. Now, that doesn’t mean a bright, glowy complexion is impossible after 45 — however, you need to find the right products for the skin you're in. Every once in a while, I splurge on some new celebrity-endorsed or viral product, but my tried-and-true beauty staples are much more affordable. When I need a top-up of my anti-aging creams, serums and supplements, I turn to my tried-and-true brands like Cerave, The Ordinary and L'Oréal.

Quick overview
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Below, I've listed 12 anti-aging beauty products I turn to time and time again for their affordability, popularity and, most importantly, efficacy. To shop my 47-year-old skincare routine, including my go-to moisturizers, eye creams, and wrinkle fighters, check out my picks below.

Retinol is the holy grail of anti-aging. This serum contains encapsulated retinol for fine lines and wrinkles as well as niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated and fresh. 

Just remember when using this fragrance-free formula to always apply sunscreen as retinol can make skin more sensitive to the sun. 

Pros
  • Great for all skin types
  • Won't clog pores
  • Fast-absorbing
Cons
  • Results aren't immediate
  • Skin can be more sensitive to sun
$14 at Amazon
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$31 at Walmart$37 at Well.ca

This lightweight moisturizer with 30 SPF is great alone or under makeup. Its three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid protect and nourish your skin all day long. 

Pros
  • Fragrance-free
  • Very hydrating
  • Skin feels great after applying
Cons
  • I wish the SPF was higher
  • I also wish it came in larger sizes
$16 at Amazon
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$19 at Shoppers Drug Mart$21 at Walmart

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When it comes to anti-aging, it's important to never neglect the neck. The delicate skin in the neck and chest area can often show the earliest signs of aging. 

This firming cream contains a unique blend of retinol, jojoba oil, avocado oil and hyaluronic acid to provide your skin with the nutrients it needs to keep you looking fresh. The convenient dispenser jar also ensures that you use the right amount every time. 

Pros
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Love the dispenser
Cons
  • Need to use for several months to see any substantial results
$26 at Amazon

Even as I write this, I'm wearing a pair of these revitalizing eye masks. After a long night up with a sick kiddo, these cool masks are giving this tired mama a much-needed refresh. 

It may not be the same as a good night's sleep, but the mask's vegan formula of orange juice and hyaluronic acid is helping to keep my dark circles and under-eye bags at bay. And at under $4, I don't travel anywhere without them! 

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Immediate results
Cons
  • Might not be ideal for sensitive eyes
$3 at Walmart
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$3 at Amazon$4 at Well.ca

I've been a fan of Bethenny Frankel since her Skinnygirl Margarita days on The Real Housewives, so when I read that she uses this Loreal lotion to give her skin a radiant glow, I was sold

I'm all about getting a healthy sun-kissed look sans sun and this product delivers just that. Plus it comes in four different shades for a more customized look.  

Pros
  • Comes in several shades
  • Looks good alone or under makeup
Cons
  • Not great for oily skin
  • Darker than a tinted moisturizer
$20 at Amazon
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$20 at Walmart$25 at Shoppers Drug Mart

As I've said before, there is nothing ordinary about The Ordinary products. They are the perfect blend of awesomeness and affordability and this serum is no exception. 

A few drops of this hyaluronic and B5 hydrating serum and your skin appears immediately plumper and more hydrated. Hands- down, it's my absolute favourite hyaluronic blend ever. 

Pros
  • It feels great on your skin
  • A little bit goes a long way
  • Super affordable
Cons
  • It's a bit sticky
  • I wish it came in a larger size
$12 at Sephora
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$12 at The Ordinary

Amazon

Made with clean, vegan ingredients, this easy-to-use retinol eye stick is perfect for travel and on-the-go application. 

After a few weeks of continual use morning and night, fine lines and dark circles are visibly improved. Just be sure to apply gently and avoid tugging at the delicate skin area around the eye during application.  

Pros
  • Vegan
  • Fuss-free application
  • Travel-friendly
Cons
  • Can be irritating
  • Be careful when you apply as it may tug on your skin
$25 at Amazon
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$8 at Walmart

The anti-aging products I stick with the most are the ones that feel great on my skin. After a long day, this vegan toner from Sephora adds moisture and hydration to my tired skin. The fragrance-free formula gives my face a hydrating spa treatment right at home.  

Pros
  • Great for mature skin
  • Won't dry out skin
Cons
  • It's super hydrating, so it might not be best for oily skin
$19 at Sephora

Amazon

There's a reason why this product is a number one bestseller on Amazon — it actually works! This ophthalmologist-tested cream is ideal for even the most sensitive eyes. It absorbs quickly into the skin and with just a little bit twice a day, the fine lines around your eyes will improve. Trust me, I know. 

Pros
  • Great for sensitive eyes
  • Absorbs quickly
Cons
  • Runs out quickly
$15 at Amazon
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$20 at Walmart$30 at Shoppers Drug Mart

Amazon

Everyone I know over 45 uses or has used this "Amazon's Choice" product and loves it. With its powerful formula of pro-retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this cream leaves my skin looking and feeling firmer. 

Pros
  • Skin looks visibly firmer after continuous use
  • Great for moisturizing
Cons
  • It's a heavier moisturizer
  • Might not be great for those with sensitive or prone-to-breakout skin
$38 at Amazon

If you would have told my acne-prone 16-year-old self that one day I would be applying oil to my skin, I would have never believed you. 

Made with essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, this facial oil is exactly what my over-40 skin needs to rejuvenate and revive my dull complexion. 

Pros
  • A little goes a long way
  • Skin feels immediately hydrated
Cons
  • Scented
$25 at Amazon
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$28 at Shoppers Drug Mart$25 at Well.ca

Amazon

Nothing gives away your age more than the skin on your hands. This lightweight and fragrance-free hand cream is ideal for dry and damaged hands like mine. The ceramides and hyaluronic acid help keep my hands feeling soft and smooth all day long. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • A little bit goes a long way
Cons
  • Might not be strong enough for super rough hands
  • It runs out quickly
$17 at Shoppers Drug Mart

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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