The number of new beauty products being marketed to adult women is now over 100,000 a year and growing steadily — with a definite upwards price boost at every level.
Sometimes it seems as if researchers and scientists behind the scenes must be working 24/7 to develop new technologies and hotter ingredients-of-the-minute, since updated products hit the shelves daily.
Friends and readers ask me about the efficacy of products from drugstores vs. department and specialty stores. They question whether an expensive cream with megastar packaging is definitely worth the splurge.
Right now I’m feeing a big push-back in the air, as everyday lifestyles and the cost of essentials like housing, education, and childcare are genuine concerns for a lot of divorced women. How many times have you been seduced into buying a skin cream or serum that proved unworthy of its promise whether it cost $17 or $70 or $300?
Unfortunately we’ve seen the cost of many at-home anti-aging treatments climb so high they compete with in-office dermatological procedures. As a beauty editor and consultant I evaluate thousands of products each year, so when I come across amazing finds that slide in under $30 and do the job just as well or better than those costing ten times as much, I’m thrilled to share.
In this economy, every bit helps.
Here are five that won’t disappoint and are available at mass retailers and drugstores (all prices are approximate and may vary slightly depending on timing and point of sale):
• L’ Oreal Paris Age Perfect Pro-Calcium Day Cream SPF 15 ($19) Strengthens and plumps up thin, fragile skin with soy proteins, calcium, and marine collagen — just like reupholstering restores a favorite but flabby sofa gone flat and soft.
• Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Anti-Aging Serum ($14) Pampers mature skin that’s prone to rosacea or has been traumatized by aggressive peels, microdermabrasion, or laser treatments. Helps minimize discoloration and sensitivity with licorice root and coenzyme Q10.
• Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream ($26) Uses an amino-peptide complex and marine proteins to tighten saggy skin around the jawline and cheeks. Subtle pull makes face feel fresher and tauter with continued use.
• RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum ($22) A silky fluid with retinol and the minerals magnesium, copper, and zinc to layer under a gentle hydrating moisturizer day and night (be sure to use one without retinol or AHAs to avoid sensitivity overload — believe me, this works!)
• Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra Lift Daily Targeted Deep Wrinkle Treatment ($15) Vitamin A, omega 3 and 6, and essential fatty acids reinforce the skin’s protective barrier and encourage the production of GAGs (also known as glycoaminoglycans) links of sugar molecules that help keep layers of the skin together for a firmer, tighter appearance.