Forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, dark spots, sagging…these are very normal things that happen to our skin as we age. They’re largely the result of years of environmental damage (from things like UV exposure and pollution) and the fact that our bodies ability to produce collagen and elastin (the proteins that keep skin plump and firm) takes a nose dive once we hit 30. Good times. That said, there *is* a way to reverse these common signs of damage and jump start collagen and elastin production, and that’s by using an anti-aging cream.
There are of tons of moisturizers, lotions, and creams out there that make anti-aging claims, but they’re not all created equal. As a rule, the most effective anti-aging creams contains active ingredients (like retinol, peptides, and exfoliating) to make skin smooth, bright, and plump, along with hydrating and nourishing ingredients to keep your skin’s moisture levels in check. So to help you cut through all the BS and find the formulas that truly deliver results, I tested tons of new and old anti-aging creams and reached out to the experts (shout out to dermatologist Jessica Weiser, MD and licensed estheticians Elizabeth Grace Hand and Caroline Giles) to create this list of the 20 best anti-aging creams for every skin type and skin concern.
✔️ P.S., This is new, up-to-date info, bb. We updated this article in January 2023 to add new anti-aging creams the internet won’t stop talking about, delete outdated oldies, and check in with the experts for the latest in anti-aging creams, just for you.
Our top picks for best anti-aging creams of 2023:
Keep scrolling for the entire list of the best anti-aging moisturizers and creams along with the important things to keep in mind when shopping for a new anti-aging product to add to your skincare routine.
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Best Overnight Anti-Aging Cream
Allies of Skin Retinal & Peptides Repair Night Cream
Best Everyday Anti-Aging Cream
Peach & Lily Peptide Pro Firming Moisturizer
Best Ultra-Rich Anti-Aging Cream
Cocokind Resurrection Polypeptide Cream
Best Affordable Anti-Aging Cream
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream
Now 30% off
Best Clean Anti-Aging Cream
Burt’s Bees Renewal Firming Face Cream
Now 24% off
Best Anti-Aging Cream for Sensitive Skin
Sente Dermal Repair UltraNourish
This Cult-Favorite Anti-Aging Cream
Augustinus Bader The Cream with TFC8 Face Moisturizer
Best Under-The-Radar Anti-Aging Moisturizer
Eighth Day The Reparative Moisturizer
Best Anti-Aging Moisturizer with Retinol and Vitamin C
Paula’s Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturizer
Best Multitasking Anti-Aging Moisturizer
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Intense Wrinkle Cream
Best Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Moisturizer with SPF 30
Best Anti-Aging Moisturizer for Oily Skin
Alastin Skincare Ultra Light Moisturizer
Best Lifting and Firming Anti-Aging Cream
Doctor Babor Lifting Rx Collagen Cream
Now 40% off
Best Drugstore Anti-Aging Cream
Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream
Best Anti-Aging Cream with Growth Factors
Bioeffect EGF Power Cream
Best Anti-Aging Cream for Combination Skin
Rose Ingleton MD Signature Moisturizer
Best Anti-Aging Moisturizer for Dull Skin
Valmont Luminosity Lumicream
Best Anti-Aging Moisturizer for Dry Skin
U Beauty Super Hydrator
Best Barrier-Boosting Anti-Aging Cream
Defenage 24/7 Barrier Balance Cream
Best Anti-Aging Cream for a Dewy Glow
Epicutis Hyvia Créme
Do any creams actually get rid of wrinkles?
Yes, but you need to be realistic about expectations. If you want your fine lines and wrinkles gone quickly, a Botox or filler appointment is your best option. If you’re okay with waiting some time to see results, an anti-aging cream or moisturizer with retinol will do the trick. Retinol is every derm’s favorite ingredients for jumpstarting collagen production and cell turnover—two key functions for smoother, plumper skin with less noticeable fine lines and wrinkles.
What do dermatologists recommend for deep wrinkles?
To smooth deep wrinkles, most dermatologists will often recommend a combo of injectables and/or non-invasive treatments (like Fraxel, RF microneedling, or Emface) plus topical skincare that contains retinol. By combining in-office technology with at-home skincare, dermatologists agree you’ll get the fastest, most visible wrinkle-reduction results.
What’s the best moisturizer for aging skin?
While anti-aging creams with retinol are the gold standard when it comes to anti-aging, it’s not the only ingredient option. Peptides, stem cells, and growth factors can also help smooth and tighten the skin. These ingredients are proven to stimulate collagen and elastin production, so keep an eye out for them on your moisturizer’s label. Other key ingredients include vitamin C and niacinamide for improving skin tone and fading discoloration, along with glycolic acid and lactic acid for improving skin texture.
How to choose an anti-aging creamr:
Don’t get hung up on the price.
I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: price isn’t always an indicator of quality when it comes to skincare, so don’t think you need to spend a ton of $$ to get a formula that delivers on results. There are plenty of drugstore options and affordable picks (including 5 under $40 on this list) that will smooth lines, fade dark spots, and firm your skin just as well as more expensive luxury options.
Keep your skin type in mind.
Your skin type—so whether it’s sensitive, acne-prone, dry, oily, or combo—will determine the texture and formulation of the moisturizer you choose. If your skin is oily or acne-prone, look for a lightweight anti-aging lotion or gel moisturizer that’s labeled “oil-free” and/or “non-comedogenic”. If your skin is prone to dryness, an anti-aging cream with a thicker consistency and moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides will do the trick.
Meet the experts:
- Jessica Weiser, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder and medical director of Weiser Skin MD in New York, NY. Dr. Weiser is an assistant clinical professor at Columbia University and specializes in cosmetic and procedural dermatology.
- Elizabeth Grace Hand is a licensed esthetician and founder of Stalle Studios in New York City.
- Caroline Giles is a licensed esthetician with nearly 20 years of experience in the spa and skin industries. Caroline is based at the Jersey Shore shore and is the lead esthetician for the Milagro Spa Corporation.
Why trust Cosmopolitan?
Lauren Balsamo is deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan with nine years of experience researching, writing, and editing skincare stories that range from the best retinol eye creams to the best lasers for acne scars. She’s an authority in all skincare categories but an expert when it comes to anti-aging creams. She regularly tests and analyzes anti-aging creams for efficacy, while working with the industry’s top dermatologists and estheticians to assess new formulas, brands, and technologies.
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