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Top 10 Must-Have Skincare Products for the Budget Savvy Older Woman

Updated on September 9, 2018

Which product do I choose?


Why is this happening???

To know the secrets to having healthier skin in your 30’s, 40’s and beyond, you must first understand WHY your skin is changing. As explained by top dermatologists and other scientists, there are many causes behind this change. According to the experts at the Aesthetic Science Institute, the main reason is that our cell turnover rate begins to decline as we approach 30. This is what causes us to have drier and thinner skin as we age. Additionally, ASI experts mentioned that the lessening collagen and elastin levels will also contribute to the appearance of aging skin. Sounds boring, I know right? But don't stop reading just yet! Trust me, you will soon understand why I am telling you this information!

Check your current skincare regime

How often do you moisturize your face?

See results

There's more to skincare than foundation and soap.

Like some of you, when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s, I never took care of my skin at all! I wore a ton of makeup and was always tanning. It wasn’t until I had a part-time job one holiday season working at a make-up counter when I realized that there was more to skincare than foundation and soap.

I soon learned about things like exfoliators and toners. I even learned that it was okay to moisturize oily skin. For years I avoided moisturizing my face because I thought I would breakout in a ton of pimples, but, as with many skin products, it’s about finding what works best with YOUR skin. In addition, I was now taught that a nighttime regime is just as important for your skin as a daytime one.

How do I take care of my aging skin WITHOUT breaking my budget?

However, the toughest part about this skin regime equation, besides finding one that worked best with my skin, was finding products that didn’t cost my whole paycheck!

I won't took me several painful and expensive years of product testing before I found the right facial skincare regime. And now that I have found the perfect blend for my tricky older combination skin, I felt obligated to share it with all of you.

So here’s a list of my top 10 must-have facial skincare products! I have done all the homework for you! I have priced them out, and even put down the best places to get them. Hope this helps to jump start YOUR search for YOUR perfect skin regime!

#1. The Cleanser

My perfect cleanser was the hardest to find. I either had ones that were too oily or dried out my skin. But once I found the Aveeno facial products, I pretty much never looked back! The thing I like most about them (besides the price point) is that their products are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.

Aveeno Facial Cleansers: (I use Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser) You can find it for $5.31 on Amazon, and if you sign up for their Subscribe & Save program, you can get this product at a monthly discounted rate of either 5% or 15%.

#2. The Exfoliator

Exfoliating your skin is more important than you may realize. It took me years to find a gentle daily exfoliator. However, not everyone needs or should do this step every day. Doing so could severely dry out your skin. Once again, I recommend an Aveeno product due to its gentleness.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Exfoliating Daily Scrub. You can find it for $5.29 on Amazon.

#3. The Toner

Toners are a great way of keeping your skin clean if you have oily or acne-prone skin. Believe it or not you can still get zits in your 40’s! I am a big fan of gentle and all-natural toners. Remember, just because your skin is oily that doesn’t mean you want to dry it out.

I use Natural Witch Hazel (CVS Pharmacy Pore Perfecting Toner), and I use it every day. The best part about CVS is the ExtraBucks, and if you sign up for their online delivery service, you save even more money! Starting at $6.29 CVS

#4. The Moisturizer

This is where things start to get tricky. Not everyone can use the same moisturizer, despite what your mother or grandmother may have told you. And most definitely do NOT start putting body lotion on your face! It’s not the same thing! Some of the more expensive facial moisturizers are fabulous (but who can afford them right). Yet again, I use another Aveeno product, and no I am not a spokesperson for that company (I only wish). Their products just seem to work the best with my skin. The best part about their moisturizer is if one month I need to save a few dollars, I just get the store brand version and it works just as well. But overall, I have found it is substantially cheaper to purchase this online through Amazon's Subscribe & Save program.

Aveeno Facial Moisturizers: (I use Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin) and pay $12.19 on Amazon.

#5. The Eye Cream

This unfortunately is where things do start to get a tad expensive. I don’t splurge on too many things for my face, but eye creams is one of the items that I don’t skimp on. There are several wonderful creams that will help reduce both dark circles and fine lines.

I like to use a Burt’s Bees product during the day because I found it also reduces the puffiness I sometimes get when I’m overtired. (Day) Radiance Eye Cream with Royal Jelly by Burt’s Bees. You can find it for $34.95 on Amazon.

Estee Lauder is also a great product for individuals that have a hard time getting rid of dark circles. It is a lot more expensive than most eye creams, but it is well worth the investment! There is a trick to getting it for free though…Shop the major retailors like Macy’s and Nordstrom. They often have free gifts with purchases over a certain dollar amount. Nordstrom is great because they have free shipping and free returns (in case you don’t like the item). (Night) Advanced Night Repair Eye by Estee Lauder $0-62 at Nordstrom.

Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Creme With Royal Jelly - 0.5 oz

#6. The Makeup Remover

I’m not going to get into what kind of makeup you should wear or even whether you should wear it at all; I feel like that’s a personal decision, not a skin regime treatment. Personally, I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I have learned that it is always necessary to clean my face before I go to bed. I love the CVS brand of cleansing wipes. I know Walmart has their own version as well that is just as great! These towelettes are gentle on my skin and clean off all the crud no matter how dirty my face is. Beauty 360 Cleansing Towelettes by CVS pharmacy (compare to Oil of Olay and Neutrogena towelettes) starting at just $4.49 at CVS.

#7. The Night Serum

Here is my last big-ticket item. Now, not everyone will need a night serum, but I wanted to recommend one anyways. Our body repairs itself best when we are resting so it can only be assumed that it might be a good idea to treat your skin while you are sleeping. Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair has been on the market for 30 years. It may be pricey but it works great, especially if you are attempting to reduce the appearance of sun spots, acne scars, and fine lines and wrinkles. It may not be the fountain of youth, but it sure as heck feels like it! And once again, I recommend shopping around between stores like Macy's and Nordstrom. Although there is never a "sale" or "discount" on this item, there are always free gifts being given out if you purchase so many products, and Estee Lauder is VERY generous with their free gifts!

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair starting at $69 Nordstrom

#8. Collagen Vitamins

Think about it, if you take a vitamin for your bones, why wouldn’t you take one for your skin? It is just as important to take a daily vitamin that helps to promote healthy skin regeneration as it does for any other part of your body. And I know vitamins aren't necessarily considered part of the normal skincare regime, but they should be. Taking care of the inside of your body is just as important as taking care of the outside!

***However, please note that you should consult your physician before taking any vitamins. I am not a doctor! I can only tell you what I have researched and found to be true in nature for myself and for the general public.***

With that said, Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and Nail vitamins are awesome and start at $6.49 at CVS!

Youththeory Collagen Advanced Formula type 1, 2, & 3 is another great supplement and starts at $12.79 at Walmart

Don't forget the water!


#9. Water

Nothing will EVER replace the value of drinking enough water on a daily basis. The older you get, the more water you most likely will need, depending upon your personal health. Think about it, if your skin gets drier as you age, wouldn’t you want to hydrate it just as you would a wilting flower?

And the best part about water is that it is FREE! You can find it anywhere! Believe it or not you don't have to pay for water if you don't want to. The trick is figuring out that you really don't need that fancy $5 bottle of spring water to make your skin look shinny and new.

There's a reason why Sleeping Beauty still looked great after all those years!


#10. SLEEP

And last but not least....we are at number 10 on our list! Drum roll please......

Your skincare regime will mean absolutely nothing if you don't get enough sleep. Sleep is soooo important! And I know everyone says that the older they get the less sleep they need, but that’s not true. You may THINK you need less sleep but you really, on average, need 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Older people need at least 7 hours of rest each night according to a research article published by I don’t know about you, but my skin looks horrible whenever I have a bad night’s sleep! My friends may poke fun at me sometimes about sleeping 8-9 hours a night, but this girl has yet to give into Botox! I firmly believe that a healthy lifestyle along with the help of a few simple but good products will keep my skin looking great well into my 50's and 60's!

What is most important to you?

What facial skincare product can't you live without?

See results

Final Thoughts

I hope my little product reviews and tips helped. I don't claim to be an expert, but I know aging can be stressful for all of us, men and women alike. And believe it or not, this same regime can be used for men; although I recommend using products made especially for men since their skin are different than women's (and that would be a whole other article).

Lastly, I want to add that in my opinion I will always feel that less is better. The more products you use on your face, the greater your chances are of having breakouts and other reactions. If you are having absolutely no luck with over-the-counter skincare products, it might be worth seeing a dermatologist for a consultation.

Best wishes!




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