Skin care for aging skin Part 3: Moisturizers, Serums and Overnight Treatments

Here are some recommendations for moisturizers and serums. This was the toughest assignment yet, as there are hundreds of anti-aging creams on the market, each with extravagant claims (lifting! firming! boosting!) and mile-long ingredient lists. When researching this article, I attempted to find at least one option in each category that was available at the drugstore and/or under $100. Unfortunately, this was extremely difficult. As you will see, the majority of the products that I chose (based on their ingredient lists) were around $100 and upwards. To narrow down the field, I looked for products where the ingredient list was fairly short, and the active ingredients were near the top of the ingredient list, or at least made up the better portion of the list.


La Roche Posay Active C Facial Moisturizer (approx. $35; available at Shopper's Drug Mart)

This is available in two variations, one for normal/combination skin and one for dry skin. I tested the normal/combination one, which comes as a lotion in a squeeze tube. It is a thin yellow-coloured lotion that has a mild citrus-y fragrance. This has a very nice skin feel and absorbs readily. It contains Vitamin C in 5% concentration, as well as glycerin (a humectant).

It does contain synthetic fragrance and parabens, and it is silicone-based, any one of which you may want to avoid. However, the relatively high Vitamin C content does help to brighten skin, so I would continue to recommend it, especially if you are looking for an affordable moisturizer that offers anti-aging and brightening benefits.

Jouviance EcoRejuvenation Anti-Aging Cream ($93.50; available at Shopper's Drug Mart)

Ingredients for "Normal to Dry":  Aqua, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Isocetyl Stearate, Steareth-2, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Myristyl Myristate, Isopropyl Myristate, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Ceramide 2, Titanium Dioxide, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Dicetyl Phosphate, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, PEG-8, Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Steareth-20, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Hydroxide

Jouviance is a fairly new Canadian company with some interesting products. All of their products are paraben-free .This cream comes in two variations, Normal to Dry, and Combination to Oily. It also comes in 2 different formats, a regular jar, and an airless pump that dispenses metered doses. I would prefer to get the pump as it is more sanitary and aids in extending the shelf-life of the product.

I received samples of this from the dermatology clinic at Women's College Hospital. It is a lightweight lotion that has a really nice skin feel and absorbs well. Rare for an anti-aging cream, it does not contain any fragrance. This contains peptides that are supposed to aid in collagen and elastin production in the skin, thus promoting skin firmness and reduction of wrinkle formation. It also contains "Ceramide 2". Ceramides are lipid components of cellular membranes. The addition of ceramides to skin creams may aid in the absorption of the active ingredients into skin cells. Finally, the cream contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are supposed to be beneficial for skin health.

It is marketed as a "3-in-1" formula that may be used as a day cream, night cream, and an eye contour cream. If you view it that way, this one is good value, as most companies try to get you to buy 3 separate  products.

Dermaglow Sensitive Rx Anti-Age Treatment ($123.99; available at Shopper's Drug Mart and

Ingredients: Water, cyclomethicone, glyceryl stearate, propylene glycol, ethylhexyl palmitate, mannitol, cetyl alcohol, glycerin, steareth-21, steaeth-2, dimethicone, polyacrylate-13, algae extract, artemisia vulgaris extract, acetyl hexapeptide-8, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, bisabolol, aesculus hippocastum (horse chestnut) seed extract, ammonium glycyrrhizate, caffeine, Canadian mineral clay, tocopherol (Vit. E), zinc gluconate, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, butylene glycol, carbomer, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate.

Dermaglow is another new Canadian company, with several different product lines. The Sensitive line is, for the most part, free of parabens, and synthetic fragrance and dyes. I previously reviewed Dermaglow's Glycolic 10% Gentle Peel Solution (see here), which is a very good alpha-hydroxy acid toner. This anti-aging cream promises among other things, a 45% reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and a 350% increase in collagen production (!).

I have not tested this one personally, but I chose it as definitely worth trying because the ingredient list is fairly short and simple, and the active ingredients make up the better portion of the list. Bisabolol and zinc gluconate provide an anti-inflammatory effect. Meanwhile, horse chestnut seed extract is a traditional remedy that is known to have a positive effect on blood vessel health.  Caffeine provides a temporary firming effect, while the clay content provides a temporary skin-tightening effect. Ammonium glycyrrhizate is a tyrosinase inhibitor, thus providing some melanin suppressing effect. The peptides (acetyl hexapeptide-8, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7) are supposed to aid in collagen and elastin production. This also contains artemisia vulgaris* (mugwort), another traditional herbal remedy that supposedly has a stimulatory effect.

Due to the silicones and the clay content, this lotion has a slightly drier feeling than the Jouviance cream, and does not seem to absorb into the skin as well.

If you try this out and have good results, please let me know!

*Artemisia vulgaris is known to stimulate uterine contractions and is not to be used by pregnant/breastfeeding women.

Serums and Overnight Treatments

Avalon Organics Vitamin C Vitality Facial Serum ($24.95; available at health food stores and Walmart)

See my earlier review of this serum here. If you are looking for an affordable Vitamin C serum that works well, give this one a try. I have been using it regularly for a few months and have not experienced any irritation, and it gives skin a boost that is apparent the next day.

Dermaglow Nuvectin Retinol Px* ($76.99; available at Shopper's Drug Mart and

Another product from Dermaglow. This was my only pick for creams containing retinol and/or retinoic acid derivative. There were many other creams containing retinol but the retinol concentration is rarely ever disclosed - it almost always appears near the bottom of a very long ingredient list, which made me suspect that the retinol concentration was very low. As with other Dermaglow products that I have looked at, the ingredient list for this one was comparatively short and retinol appears about mid-way down the list.

Besides retinol, this cream also contains peptides that are supposed to boost collagen and elastin production. It also contains Acmella oleracea extract that is supposed to provide a freezing effect similar to Botox (!!), to help smooth the skin and inhibit wrinkle formation.

I have not tested this cream but online reviews of the product are mostly favourable. If you try out this product, please let me know how it goes.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (75 mL - $100 U.S.; available by mail order from Saks Fifth Avenue and resellers on Ebay, and at Asian malls)

I also wrote about this treatment lotion in an earlier post. Although the formulation is like water, this is basically a treatment serum, as it is mostly composed of Pitera, SK-II's trademark ingredient. Pitera is supposed to be rich in vitamins, amino acids, peptides, and other nutrients for skin.

To use, you apply with a moistened pad or directly with wetted fingertips. The website description of this product is a little over the top, but having tried it myself, I do notice that the product gives the skin a very healthy glow the following day. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to boost skin radiance.

I hope this is helpful! If you have any recommendations for anti-aging skin care products, please share in the comments section!


  1. Some great information and new things to try, which I always enjoy. I've mentioned before that I use Perricone and Sisley products and I like the results. Perricone is moderately expensive but I've never had an issue where I'm disappointed or have irritation. Sisley can be quite expensive and it is hit or miss for me, likely due to my sensitivity to botanical ingredients that you cautioned about in a previous post. The Sisley rep at Holt Renfrew will allow me to return any of the items that I can't use though, I do appreciate that.

    I am going to also try the Dr. Dennis Gross peel that you mentioned in a previous post.

    Love your blog, often wish I was a chemist.

  2. Louise, I LOVE your blog and have been reading your older posts for someone with aging skin I appreciate ALL the info you have shared. Thank you! I am curious to hear your thoughts on Nu Skin's Ageloc products, I have just started using them and so far so good! : ) I couldn't find any older posts on these products so I was wondering if you had heard about them.


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