We all want brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin, but the quest to what is essentially the fountain of youth is arduous (and really expensive). Save for a few free Sephora samples, finding the exact right products that work miracles for your own skin type can feel like a neverending quest. It's even harder when your knowledge of anti-aging skincare products starts and ends at "retinol."
To demystify anti-aging products once and for all, we tapped Byrdie beauty managing editor Lindsey Metrus, who also happens to have phenomenal skin. "A solid ingredient list is always key when looking for anti-aging sincare products," she told us. "I look for actives that dermatologists have recommended to me or that I know have a scientific backing (because why spend money on products that only claim to work?). The power players I often turn to are hyaluronic acid (to deeply hydrate and plump the skin), antioxidants (to ward off environmental aggressors), chemical exfoliants (to increase cell turnover), retinol (to exfoliate and strengthen the skin), and lipids (to repair the skin barrier)."
Ready to reverse-engineer your skin à la Benjamin Button or Ramona Singer? These are the best anti-aging skincare lines Metrus swears by.
"Renée is a celebrity esthetician and skincare genius with an eponymous line so good it's transformed my skin. You can take a quiz on her website to find out which skin type you are and then shop around that skin type for your own bespoke routine."
"SkinCeuticals is most famous for its CE Ferulic serum, an immensely brightening tonic beloved by celebrities and laypeople alike."
"This French luxury skincare line is fragrant (okay, it's famously stinky), but that's because of ingredients like onion extract, horseradish, sulfur, and vinegar (found in hero product P50). That said, it exfoliates and nourishes like none other."
"This skincare line free of toxins and unnecessary filler ingredients is the epitome of affordable luxury. For instance, its Organic Rose Water Toner is made with only 100% rose water, not rose water mixed with 11 other ingredients like some rose toners and facial mists."
"Our co-founder Hillary Kerr calls this cult-loved Active Serum 'botox in a bottle,' and she's not wrong. Botanical extracts help fill out fine lines and clear breakouts for your smoothest, brightest skin ever."
"I trust this line because it was founded and formulated by a dermatologist and rooted in clinical testing. It's got everything you need to repair past damage and prevent accelerated skin degradation to keep skin looking smooth and vibrant."
"If you're in search of even, glowing skin, DDG is your go-to. His peel pads are magic (they even removed milia in seconds), and his serums are hardworking and deeply replenishing. I'm game for any new launch to spring from his line."
"I saw the magic of Sk-II's Facial Treatment Essence work first-hand on my 60-year-old mom. She'd begun to see sagging in her neck, so I gave her this essence to pat into her skin, and after several weeks, it looked like she'd gotten a neck lift. The secret is pitera, the yeast found in sake full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to help rejuvenate the skin."
Next up: 30,000 people agree that this Sephora eye mask for dark circles is worth every penny.