What’s the best anti-aging cream? Our pick is Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer.
Are you concerned about aging skin? You’re not alone. But these changes are driven by more than simply “getting older.” There are specific reasons why your skin isn’t as taut and toned as it used to be.
The most significant cause of aging skin is intrinsic aging, a genetically determined process that we cannot manipulate. Contributing factors include oxidative stress, glycation, your DNA, and fluctuating hormones.
On the other hand, extrinsic aging is caused by circumstances we can influence, such as smoking, poor sleep habits, the environment (think pollution), an unhealthy diet, drinking too much alcohol, and sun exposure — the number one cause of aging skin. Additional influences include gravity, fluctuating weight changes, and daily facial movements.
Studies revealed that 62% of Americans use anti-aging products daily. Consumers tend to incline toward quality skincare products. The popularity of premium and branded products continues to grow in the anti-aging product market, which is estimated to record a value equivalent to 14 billion by 2027. With that said, shopping for the best anti-aging cream can feel overwhelming — where do you even start? Not to worry. We’ve got you covered.
Here at The Derm Review, we’ve reviewed hundreds of products with a scientific lens to ensure you’re creating a skincare regimen that’s safe and effective. Ahead, 22 of the best anti-aging creams to help you retain a healthy, glowing complexion while softening the signs of age.
The Best Anti-Aging Cream: Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer
In our opinion, the best anti-aging cream is Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer because it’s both clinical and clean. This high-performing cream was formulated with a science-based approach void of pollutants, irritants, and toxic chemicals. What it does contain are clinical and natural evidence-based ingredients such as:
- PhytoCellTec™ Alp Rose: A complex based on alpine rose technology that increases skin’s vitality, boosts epidermal regeneration, and improves the skin’s natural barrier function.
- L-Arginine & L-Glutamic: Natural, plant-based amino acids serve as building blocks of protein and peptides in the skin.
- CoCo Complete BCR: Five naturally derived components of the coconut provide multi-functional support, from cell renewal to hydration.
- PhytoSpherix: Natural green glycogen increases cell metabolism and stimulates hyaluronic acid and collagen production.
- Trealix: Vegetable protein provides exceptional hydration.
- XpertMoist: Naturally fermented probiotic plus amino acids hydrate skin and support its natural barrier function.
- DayMoist CLR: A complex containing beet root extract immediately increases the concentration of natural moisturizing factors in the skin’s upper layers.
For the best results, use with Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum.
The Best Anti-Aging Creams: The List
Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer, $60
Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream With Retinol, $59
Chanel Le Lift Crème, $170
8 Key Signs of Aging Skin
After the age of 20, a person produces about one percent less collagen in the skin each year. As a result, the skin becomes thinner and more fragile with age. With that in mind, the earlier you adopt an anti-aging skincare routine, the better.
When it comes to intrinsically aged skin, the most significant changes occur within the basal cell layer. Research finds that as a person ages, the proliferation of cells in the basal layer reduces. The epidermis then becomes thinner, and the contact surface area between dermis and epidermis decreases, resulting in a smaller exchange surface for nutrition supply to the epidermis and further weakened ability of basal cell proliferation.
As early as 1969, it was suggested that sun exposure also leads to skin aging besides intrinsic factors. Exposure to UV radiation is the primary factor of extrinsic skin aging; it accounts for approximately 80% of facial aging.
While it’s unlikely that you’ll immediately exhibit all of the signs at once, aging skin can be characterized by:
- Loss of tone and elasticity due to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Rough texture
- Thinner and more delicate
- A more translucent appearance
Ingredients to Look for in the Best Anti-Aging Cream
- Retinol: This vitamin A derivative is an anti-aging powerhouse that helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration — it can also even out and brighten your complexion.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Every skin type can benefit from hyaluronic acid because it provides deep hydration without heaviness. As it’s a humectant, it can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water, so it’s safe to say it’s a super-hydrator of epic proportions. It also helps to plump up fine lines and wrinkles.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: Sodium hyaluronate is the salt of hyaluronic acid. It retains water remarkably and plumps your skin but has a smaller molecular weight to allow deeper penetration.
- Alpha- and Beta-Hydroxy Acids: These agents are citric and other fruit acids suitable for dull or ashy-looking skin. They gently exfoliate and soften while helping your night cream penetrate your skin.
- Glycerin: Glycerin is another humectant that effectively locks in moisture to keep skin supple and smooth.
- Lactic Acid: helps to keep the skin moisturized and feeling less dry. When you use lactic acid regularly, it can also improve signs of aging. It stimulates collagen renewal and can firm your skin.
- Ceramides: Ceramides help create a barrier to prevent permeability. This locks moisture into your skin, which helps prevent dryness and irritation.
- Tocopherol: The term “tocopherol” encompasses various vitamin E derivatives. It contains powerful antioxidants and protects cells. Additionally, tocopherol binds moisture in the outer layer of the skin. It affects cell renewal, has anti-inflammatory properties, and reduces skin damage caused by UV radiation. The skin texture is also much smoother.
Anti-Aging Cream Vs. Serum — What’s the Difference?
Clinically speaking, creams, such as an anti-aging creams, are the most common moisturizer delivery systems. Creams are a two-phase system (emulsion) containing two immiscible liquids — oil and water, one of which is dispersed in the other in the form of microscopic or submicroscopic droplets. To be effective, the ratio between oil and water is essential, as well as the type of oil and the amount and type of other ingredients. An anti-aging cream or any other moisturizer form does not replace a serum. Here’s why.
A serum is a highly concentrated liquid that delivers a hefty dose of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants to the skin. Most face serums are water-based and thin, although some are oil-based. Because facial serums are highly concentrated, they can deliver a generous dose of good-for-you, results-driven ingredients that penetrate deeply into the skin — more than an anti-aging cream ever could.
To be clear, serums are made of tiny molecules, so the skin absorbs them quickly and deeply. The thicker, heavier ingredients in creams form a barrier on your skin. Without these obstructions, the active ingredients in a serum penetrate your skin more effectively.
But you don’t have to grasp every deep scientific detail of creams and serums to understand that they work best synergystically. Simply put, creams protect and hydrate and serums deliver active ingredients into the skin at a deeper level. Looking for the perfect pairing? Try Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer and The Repair Serum.
You’ll learn more about the antioxidant-packed cream in a second, but the brand’s high-performance serum is designed to visibly lift, tighten and firm as it helps defend against damaging free radicals. Hyaluronic acid and vitamin E deliver an instant boost of hydration. A blend of synthesized growth factors encourages elasticity, cell turnover and nutrient absorption to support revitalization. Seven plant-based neuropeptides enhance the skin’s structural integrity from the inside out, promoting smoother, more resilient-looking skin. Soothing and brightening botanicals, including chamomile, licorice root and green tea, impart an ageless glow — who could ask for more?
The 22 Best Anti-Aging Creams of 2022
Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer, $60
Suitable for all skin types, this lightweight antioxidant formula is a hydrating powerhouse that leaves skin feeling remarkably smooth and radiant. It delivers multi-level hydration using potent plant proteins, vitamins, peptides and amino-collagen. The brand’s proprietary active complex of three natural bio-ferments supports greater nutrient density and more efficient absorption. Caffeine adds an energy boost that revitalizes aging skin, while five distinct coconut elements promote overall conditioning.
Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream With Retinol, $59
Specifically formulated to target the visual signs of aging, Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream profoundly moisturizes and visibly transforms your skin while you sleep.
An advanced overnight formula penetrating deep below the surface, innovative Encapsulated Retinol Technology delivers a higher concentration of the essential vitamin retinol to your skin for intense rejuvenation. At the same time, naturally nourishing jojoba, safflower, and moringa seed oils provide long-lasting hydration, while evodia ruteacarpa fruit helps brighten and refine. Peony extract works to improve skin texture. Over time your complexion feels firmer and looks lifted and more radiant.
Sun exposure is the number one cause of aging skin, so an SPF should be included in your skincare routine daily. Dermatologists and the Skin Cancer Foundation favor the sunscreens from EltaMD. This particular version is formulated with niacinamide (vitamin B3), hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid, promoting healthy-looking skin while protecting it from harmful UVA/UVB rays. It’s lightweight and suitable for even the most sensitive skin types. It’s your choice if you want to wear it alone or with makeup, but it should always be applied after your moisturizer.
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter reduces damage from advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, resulting from excess sugar that negatively impacts collagen and elastin in the skin. This anti-aging cream helps counteract collagen and elastin loss with potent ingredients like proxylane, blueberry extract, and phytosphingosine. Pro Xylane helps support the skin’s glycosaminoglycan (GAG) synthesis. GAGs like hyaluronic acid keep skin plump, firm, and hydrated.
Advanced Clinicals developed a light, encapsulated retinol that remains potent and highly effective in a water-based gel cream. Despite being light, this powerful gel cream effectively targets wrinkles, sun damage, large pores, and discoloration while providing optimal hydration. It instantly absorbs into the skin, leaving your face looking and feeling replenished and more youthful. Like Carrot & Stick’s The Moisturizer, it’s 100% clean beauty — paraben-free, alcohol-free, phthalate-free, and fragrance-free.
Anyone with dry, aging skin knows that if they skimp out on moisturizer just once, their parched facial features pay the price. While we don’t want to give you an excuse to become lazy with your skincare routine, this peptide-packed moisturizer keeps the skin moist and supple for an impressive 72 hours while targeting loss of tone in the process. Hyaluronic acid works to hydrate and plump the skin, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
This clinically-proven anti-aging cream is one of the newest products to be added to StriVectin’s impressive collection. The brand says it’s “an upgrade to our fan-favorite face cream.” It was formulated with elastin-targeting dipeptides, thyme extract liposomes, and glycolipids to restore contour and volume — even along the jawline visibly. With daily use, a lax jawline should improve in four weeks, and cheeks will appear less sunken in after eight weeks.
Chanel Le Lift Crème, $170
A trusted and revered company, Chanel knows a thing or two about beauty. The Le Lift line was specifically created to target the most apparent signs of aging — wrinkles and sagging. The key ingredient of this firming face cream is dicaffeoylquinic acid, or 3.5-DA, derived from the Edulis morning glory. Chanel researchers labored for 12 years to isolate this potent extract that promotes collagen synthesis to improve skin elasticity.
Known as “the red jar,” over 50 million jars — and counting — have been sold. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, amino peptides, and antioxidants, this drugstore moisturizer visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles, increases cell turnover rate, and deeply hydrates. It’s designed to deliver moisture ten layers deep into the skin. When used daily, you’ll see a significant difference in 28 days.
This gel-cream anti-aging moisturizer is formulated with three different hyaluronic acid forms to moisturize, nourish, and revive the skin’s appearance deeply. Micro hyaluronic acid plumps the skin, cross-linked hyaluronic acid delivers continuous hydration to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and barrier HA helps prevent vital moisture loss. Additionally, DMAE helps address the loss of tone over time.
There are moisturizers with SPF, and then there’s this super formula from Skin Authority. For starters, it has a broad spectrum SPF of 50, which can be hard to come by. But it’s also a high-performing moisturizer that protects against blue light, infrared radiation, activity-induced heat, and pollution. We can’t forget to add that the formula contains retinol (an anti-aging powerhouse) and vitamins C and E — up to 200%. Even though this moisturizer seems to do pretty much everything, it’s void of parabens and fragrance.
Murad’s award-winning cream is powered by Retinol Tri-Active Technology, a fast-acting retinoid, time-released retinol, and a booster, which reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging skin.
At the same time, peptide-rich red algae extract helps improve firmness and elasticity, and niacinamide and picolinamide support the skin’s natural protective barrier. In a consumer satisfaction clinical trial, 83% noticed firmer, more supple skin in just four weeks, and 80% saw increased radiance and glow.
Dr. Barbara Sturm has a cult-like following for her pricey yet effective products. Her Face Cream is a rich, highly moisturizing product with ingredients like panthenol, squalane, and shea butter, as well as several antioxidants to help protect against free radical cell damage.
The key ingredient in this moisturizer is Dr. Sturm’s signature purslane, an herbaceous plant that reportedly has regenerative properties. According to Dr. Sturm, “Purslane protects the DNA of the cells from age-related dysfunction, thereby maintaining the cells’ repair function and strengthening them with the natural antioxidant system contained in these compounds.”
This luxurious anti-aging cream’s secret ingredient is moringa extract, which contains nourishing nutrients like vitamin C to help fade discoloration and hyperpigmentation while promoting collagen synthesis. Hydrating ingredients in this formula include sodium hyaluronate (the salt of hyaluronic acid, which can retain 1,000 times its weight in water) and squalane.
Estée Lauder’s laboratory testing found that 96% of women in the study felt they had firmer skin after just four weeks of consistently using this moisturizer.
A sure bet for mature, postmenopausal dry skin, this antiaging moisturizer nourishes and hydrates the face with the help of phytohormones — or phytoestrogens — which are plant hormones that are critical components of plant growth.
In human skin, they have estrogen-like effects. Isoflavones are one of the three categories of phytohormones and have been shown in studies to “significantly” improve skin roughness and dryness, reduce facial wrinkles and improve skin laxity.
Even though this award-winning retinol cream is formulated with the highest concentration of pure retinol, it visibly reduces signs of aging with minus any irritation. A concentrated 0.1% of retinol and 0.2% of retinol linoleate combined with adenosine (another anti-aging ingredient) are slowly released into the skin, significantly reducing the possibility of irritation. Its total concentration of 0.3% makes it desirable for sensitive skin types and those just starting their anti-aging skincare journey.
This wallet-friendly anti-aging day cream features No7’s proprietary Double Defence technology and age-defying actives to reduce three key signs of aging: wrinkles, tone, and texture — all of which are improved in two weeks, more so after time. Skin remains moisturized for up to 24 hours after application.
This anti-aging face moisturizer promises to hydrate, lift, firm, and plump the skin. With time skin tends to become lax, develop fine lines and deep folds, and overall roughen in texture. It also becomes dryer, and oil production decreases. Hyaluronic acid is one of the top ingredients, helping to retain as much moisture as possible to achieve that desirable, highly sought-after plumpness.
Drunk Elephant has its fair share of loyal fans who love the brand for its powerful and clean products. One percent vegan retinol is the critical ingredient in this anti-aging cream, designed to help minimize the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Other wrinkle-fighting components include a triple peptide blend and vitamin F from skin-soothing fatty acids.
Formulated with Shiseido’s proprietary ReNeura Technology+, this daytime SPF improves the appearance of dark spots and the signs of aging while promoting a vibrant, bright complexion. Additionally, it protects the skin from pollen and air pollutants while providing moisture to lessen the fine lines and dryness.
Dermalogica has specifically developed a nourishing facial moisturizer to restore lipid balance to dry, depleted skin for optimal barrier performance that comes with age. The formula contains a BioReplenish Complex that combines crucial barrier lipids to help enhance the skin’s natural resilience and support barrier recovery.
This anti-aging moisturizer also includes two forms of hyaluronic acid — sodium hyaluronate and hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate — to help enhance the skin’s moisture content and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
This brightening treatment is packed with an arsenal of natural ingredients to treat stubborn pigmentation issues. One of the critical components is SabiWhite, derived from turmeric root. It lightens skin, fights free-radical damage, and is a natural alternative to hydroquinone.
NeoGlucosamine is a proprietary blend that exfoliates dark spots and increases cell turnover rate. Rounding out the formula is retinol to boost skin renewal and stabilized vitamin C to even out the skin tone and brighten the complexion while reducing the signs of age.
Best Anti-Aging Creams: The Final Word
In our opinion, the best anti-aging cream is Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer because it’s both clinical and clean. This high-performing cream was formulated with a science-based approach void of pollutants, irritants, and toxic chemicals. It contains clinical and natural evidence-based ingredients that deliver superior results without harming you or the environment. Don’t forget to pair it with Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum for the ultimate arsenal against aging skin.
Remember, after the age of 20, a person produces about one percent less collagen in the skin each year. As a result, the skin becomes thinner and more fragile with age. With that in mind, the earlier you adopt an anti-aging skincare routine that includes an anti-aging moisturizer, the better.
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“62% of Americans Use Anti-Aging Products Daily,”PR Newswire.
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