14 Anti-Aging Breakthroughs Dermatologists Need You to Know
Dermatologists share the anti-aging advances they love best for better skin health.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Anti-aging skin treatments
When it comes to looking a few years younger, face it, you will probably be intrigued by a skin treatment that can reverse the signs of aging. There is no shortage of skin care products that claim to fight against wrinkles and delay the effects of aging on the skin. However, when it comes to their effectiveness, it is a mixed bag.
So, what anti-aging treatments are worth trying and which ones should you skip? We spoke with board-certified dermatologists who share their picks of anti-aging breakthroughs they stand by for better skin health. Read on to learn more about these dermatologist-recommended skin treatments.
Fraxel laser treatments
Billed as “the original fractional skin-resurfacing treatment,” Fraxel laser treatments have proven their worth. “Not only does it lessen brown spots and reduce wrinkles, but it also targets actinic keratoses lesions, which are precancerous,” says Janet Prystowsky, MD, board-certified dermatologist and an associate clinical professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. “Combining youth-boosting and therapeutic benefits is a win for sun-damaged baby boomers.” (You might be interested to learn the ways dermatologists wake up with younger-looking skin.)
LovelySkin Luxe Brightening Gel
Struggling with age spots? Joel Schlessinger, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of LovelySkin, a beauty skin care website, recommends LovelySkin Luxe Brightening Gel. It contains asafetida—a natural gum from the roots of Ferula species of herbs—which helps with hyperpigmentation. It also has patented protein-like filaments called filaggrin that help speed up cellular turnover. “In my opinion, this is a truly novel product that has a unique way of exfoliating effortlessly, while evening tone and radiance.”
DefenAge Clinical Power Trio
“[In 2018], some compelling evidence came out showing that defensins can stimulate stem cells to produce newer, younger skin,” notes Jennifer L. MacGregor, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. Defensins are proteins loaded with cysteine that also seem to protect against bacteria, fungi, and some viruses. DefenAge Clinical Power Trio uses synthetically produced defensin peptides—plus niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and sea whip extract—to keep skin youthful. (Find out the things people with perfect complexions always do before bed.)
“Juvéderm Volite is a new treatment in Europe that involves a series of shallow injections of hyaluronic acid gel all over the face,” explains Dendy Engelman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. It works to hydrate, smooth lines, and increase elasticity. The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of Juvederm treatment only as a prescription device that should be injected. The agency warns against the use of Juvederm Ultra 2, 3, or 4, because they are not approved for use in the U.S.
ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50+
ISDIN is another company making headlines with skin-rejuvenation technology, according to the experts. Dr. MacGregor likes Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50+, which combines DNA-repair enzymes, antioxidants, and broad-spectrum sunscreen. “These ingredients actually guard against and reverse sun damage—with the added benefit of making your complexion look radiant and fantastic.” (Don’t miss the best anti-aging products for every decade.)
AquaGold Fine Touch
AquaGold Fine Touch is a micro-needling device that uses 24-karat-gold needles, each thinner than a strand of hair, to place custom solutions—Botox to shrink pores, for example, or Restylane for volume—deep into the dermis, says Michele Green, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. Dr. Green says she particularly likes the way a doctor can tailor the treatment to your needs.
Not ready to go under the knife? “If there was a Holy Grail of noninvasive rejuvenation, Ultherapy would be the winner,” says Dr. Schlessinger. The treatment uses ultrasound energy to lift and tighten loose skin—which would normally be “nipped and tucked” during a face-lift—while stimulating collagen production. (On the flip side, read up on the 12 things dermatologists say you should never, ever do to your skin.)
Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield
According to the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report, 45.8 percent of Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of smog and soot. “Environmental aggressors cause hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and loss of firmness,” notes Dr. Engelman. “There are many products that tackle pollution-related issues. My favorite is Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield. It protects and prevents future damage with a [strengthening] DNA Enzyme Complex.”
The Skin Medicinals platform allows dermatologists, for the first time, to completely customize anti-aging topicals for patients. As Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist explains, everything starts with a retinoid and a base of vitamins C and E, turmeric, and resveratrol. Retinoid strength can be changed based on sensitivity. From there, you can add hyaluronic acid for better hydration or azelaic acid to diminish dark spots. (Make sure you’re not following any of these 37 worst pieces of skin-care advice dermatologists have ever heard.)
As the name implies, Aerolase is a laser-based treatment. The company recently debuted a device called Neo that targets dark spots, rosacea, wrinkles, and acne. “It requires a series of sessions at monthly intervals and is effective for all skin types,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, assistant clinical professor, dermatology, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The laser is safe and gentle for patients.
Perhaps you heard of the Vampire Facial on an episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami, but how much do you really know about this age-reversing procedure? “Platelet-rich plasma (taken from your own blood) is injected into the face to stimulate cell turnover and collagen production,” Dr. Green notes. While it may look scary, the procedure has made many patients happy.
“One of the greatest technologies is the Exilis Ultra, which combines a radiofrequency (RF) and ultrasound device,” explains Suneel Chilukuri, MD, cosmetic dermatologic surgeon and director of cosmetic surgery at Refresh Dermatology in Houston. Unlike its painful predecessors, this game changer provides a more comfortable “hot-stone massage-type experience” with stellar outcomes. “I’ve seen significant lifting and tightening of the face with an improvement of texture,” Dr. C.hilukuri says
Senté Dermal Contour Pressed Serum
Have you heard of heparan sulfate? This glycosaminoglycan plays a role in many aspects of skin health; studies show it may help cells receive messages to make more collagen. Sejal Shah, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, suggests slathering on Senté Dermal Contour Pressed Serum. Sold exclusively through physician offices, this formula works to amp up firmness and elasticity. (Of course, beauty isn’t just skin deep. Consider buying these 15 worthwhile anti-aging supplements.)
Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum
Until now, your doctor’s best weapon against stubborn dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, has been hydroquinone, which is irritating and harsh on skin potentially triggering inflammation that can cause even more hyper-pigmentation. New York City dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD, has created a hyperpigmentation treatment that he says not only works as fast as prescription-strength hydroquinone but is gentle on skin. “With Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum, I hand-picked proven pigment-fighting ingredients, deliberately layering them in specific clinical concentrations to create a potent corrective serum that significantly fades the look of stubborn dark spots and discoloration for all skin types, all while preventing future hyperpigmentation,” Dr. Gross says.
Next, don’t miss the best anti-aging products at every price point.
- Janet Prystowsky, MD, board-certified dermatologist and an associate clinical professor, dermatology, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City
- Joel Schlessinger, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of com, Omaha, Nebraska
- Jennifer L. MacGregor, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City
- Dendy Engelman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist
- Michele Green, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist
- American Lung Association: “The State of the Air 2020”
- Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, assistant clinical professor, dermatology, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Suneel Chilukuri, MD, FAAD, FACMS, cosmetic dermatologic surgeon and director of cosmetic surgery at Refresh Dermatology in Houston
- Journal of Dermatological Science: "Glycosaminoglycan and Proteoglycan in Skin Aging"
- Sejal Shah, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City
- Dennis Gross, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City