This 5-step process gives you more youthful-looking skin without the high price tag.

By Dori Price
Updated August 24, 2020
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When there are countless anti-aging products available at many different price points, it's challenging to decide where to even begin. That's why we created a routine to keep your skin plump and smooth that's affordable, easy to follow, and requires just five products, which are $30 or less. Although the treatments are effective, you need to give them time to work properly. You have to be consistent and patient, says Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., a dermatologist in Westport, Connecticut. It takes about 28 days for skin cells to turn over, so the sooner you start your routine, the better off you'll be. Follow these steps, in order, to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and keep your skin looking as youthful.

Credit: Courtesy of Target


Wash with a gentle cleanser at night to remove dirt, pollution, and makeup and, if you like, in the a.m. as a refresh. This foam is tough enough to remove all impurities but still gentle enough for sensitive skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid that retains water and keeps your face from drying out.

Buy It: AHC Aqualuronic Cleanser ($15, Target)

Credit: Courtesy of Target


To defend against free radicals, blue light, and pollution, apply an antioxidant serum with vitamin C in the morning. This serum is especially helpful for those with dry skin. (But it's still useful for those with combination or even oily skin.) Just a few drops of the product will hydrate your face for a brighter look.

Buy It: Lumene Glow Boost Essence ($25, Target)

Credit: Courtesy of NET-A-PORTER


It’s never too late to start protecting your skin, even if you do have sun damage from the past. Top your daily serum with a broad spectrum SPF 30 or plus. Remember, it's essential to apply sunscreen every single day—not just when it's sunny outside.

Buy It: Avène Mineral Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50+ ($28, NET-A-PORTER)

Credit: Courtesy of Ulta


When it comes to moisturizer, look for a face cream with ceramides. These fatty acids strengthen the skin barrier and offset dryness or irritation. This lotion from Curél is ultra-hydrating, but still lightweight so it won't feel heavy or greasy.

Buy It: Curél Intensive Moisture Facial Cream ($30, Ulta)

Credit: Courtesy of Walmart


Skin goes into repair mode at night; support that effort with a product containing wrinkle-smoothing retinol. The serum delivers ingredients to the surface slowly, so it will keep moisturizing long after you've applied it. The product can also be used in the morning and is light enough to wear under makeup.

Buy It: CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum ($18, Walmart)


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