11 Best Anti-Aging Skin Products Under $20 That Really Work

What I wouldn’t pay to turn back the clock of time…

Scratch that. The truth is, I wouldn’t pay that much. Not when there are effective anti-aging skin products on the market that REALLY do work. Ever notice that the most highly touted anti-aging products cost an arm and a leg? Call that expensive marketing. It turns out that there are plenty of affordable options for anti-aging out there, and they don’t skimp on quality.

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First, know what to look for in an effective anti-aging skin product. Lots of products will say that they’ve got the ingredients you need, but here’s what doctors (that aren’t trying to sell us anything) say you need to be looking for:


What is it? It’s a Vitamin A compound.

What does it do? Some studies suggest that topical tretinoin (all-trans retinoic acid, the acid form of vitamin A) may improve sun damaged skin.

Hydroxy acids

What is it? Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, and poly hydroxy acids are a class of compounds that achieve a variety of beneficial effects for the skin.

What does it do? All three forms of hydroxy acids are exfoliants that remove a layer of old, dead skin and stimulate growth of new, smooth, and evenly pigmented skin.

Coenzyme Q10

What is it? It’s an antioxidant which is crucial for cellular energy production in your skin, but you lose it with age.

What does it do? Topical application of this ingredient has been shown to replenish Q10 and provide antioxidant effects. This ingredient may help reduce fine wrinkles around the eyes and protect the skin from sun damage.

Tea extracts

What is it? It’s an herbal derivative from tea leaves.

What does it do? Green, black, and oolong teas contain compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-aging creams will most commonly feature green tea extracts.

Grape seed extract

What is it? It’s an industrial derivative from whole grape seeds.

What does it do? In addition to having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it also promotes the healing of wounds. If you have acne scars, this is an ingredient to look for.


What is it? It’s a vitamin B3 derivative.

What does it do? Niacinamide protects your skin against pollution and irritants. It has hydrating properties and corrects skin tone, as well as helping to reduce water loss in the skin.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, The National Center for Biotechnology Information

Now that you’re armed with the info you need to choose an effective anti-aging cream or serum, check out our guide to the best anti-aging skin products that all come in under $20 in the slideshow.

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