Skin Gets Rougher As You Age—Here Are 8 Products Derms Recommend For Keeping It Soft and Smooth

Photo: Getty Images/ Gary John Norman
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As we age, our cellular turnover slows down, and hormonal changes lead to a decrease in oil production. The result? Rougher, drier skin. With a few adjustments to your skin-care routine, you can get your skin back to feeling soft and hydrated.

"Your skin just doesn't exfoliate as rapidly as you age," says Elyse Love, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. "Our skin is dynamic. Everything it takes to maintain our skin is a process, and as you get older, the machinery gets tired, and it gets slower. Especially once you cross over into the thirties, that's when things like retinol or exfoliators can be extremely helpful for maintaining a clear skin tone."

Experts In This Article

Plus, you want to use hydrating, nourishing ingredients to keep the skin moisturized. "Moisturizers that contain ceramides and cholesterol can help restore moisture," says Caren Campbell, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in California.

But, you don't want to move too fast while adjusting your routine.

"The most important thing is just to take it slow, says Dr. Love. "I think that there's no way to speed up results. If you try to be aggressive and use too many products or if you try to start products too fast, what ends up happening is that you get irritation, and there's no way for the skin to look good when it's irritated. It just takes a little bit of time, about six to eight weeks, to really see the results from a routine. Having a little patience will save you a lot of time and a lot of frustration." Shop eight products for smoother skin below

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One AHA Lactic Acid Treatmen, products for smoother skin
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One AHA Lactic Acid Treatment — $85.00

“Sunday Riley lactic acid is really good because it’s pretty superficial,” says Dr. Love. “It doesn’t penetrate too deep, and people with sensitive skin can tolerate it.” Lactic acid is a super-gentle alpha hydroxy acid, and exfoliates the skin without causing irritation.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum, products for smoother skin
CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum — $23.00

This retinol from CeraVe is made with moisturizing ceramides, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and soothing niacinamide. This trifecta helps to nourish the skin while offsetting retinol’s sometimes drying effect.

AmLactin Ultra Smoothing Intensely Hydrating Cream, products for smoother skin
AmLactin Ultra Smoothing Intensely Hydrating Cream — $11.00

For smoothing skin on the body, Dr. Campbell loves this AmLactin cream. It blends 15 percent lactic acid with petrolatum and glycerin to gently exfoliate the skin while infusing it with moisture.

CCMD Exfoliating Cleanser
CCMD Exfoliating Cleanser — $39.00

Using a face wash that includes chemical exfoliants is a great way to kickstart your routine. Dr. Campbell recommends this glycolic acid facial cleanser from her skin-care line.

SkinBetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream
Skinbetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream — $130.00

Dr. Love says this cream from Skinbetter is fabulous for rough skin because it combines a retinoid with lactic acid. This one-two punch of active ingredients helps stimulate cell turnover and boost collagen production while gently exfoliating skin.

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 — $130.00

Dr. Campbell loves this moisturizer from SkinCeuticals, as it includes a blend of 2 percent ceramides, 4 percent cholesterol, and 2 percent fatty acids. These fatty acids work to fortify the skin barrier, locking in moisture to keep skin hydrated and smooth.

Then I Met You Rosé Resurfacing Facial Mask, products for smoother skin
Then I Met You Rosé Resurfacing Facial Mask — $56.00

If you’re a fan of face masks, you’ll love this one from Then I Met You. It blends 6 percent glycolic and lactic acid to lift away dry skin, while 0.5 percent salicylic acid clears congested pores. It also includes hydrating and anti-oxidant rich resveratrol and damask rose petals. Plus, Coptis japonica extract has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to help soothe skin.


Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash
Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash — $33.00

Do double-duty while you shower with this exfoliating body cleaner from Glytone. It contains 8.8 percent glycolic acid to remove excess oils, debris, and dirt, leaving your skin clean and soft.

Get more pro advice on how to keep your face smooth:

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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