Mature skin is characterized by loss of elasticity and tone, significant discoloration, dullness, dry patches, larger pores, and more profound wrinkles and expression lines. Additionally, it becomes thinner and more fragile. But here’s the thing: “mature” skin isn’t just about getting older. While intrinsic (chronological) aging does play a role, other influential factors include genetics, skin type, lifestyle factors (think poor diet, sun exposure, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol, stress, illness, etc.), and potential skin conditions such as eczema, acne, or psoriasis.
Whether you’re looking older than your years because you spent too much time in the sun sans SPF or you’re at the age when your skin is changing significantly, here are the best moisturizers for mature skin.
BEST: Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer, $60
Dr. Brandt Hyaluronic Facial Cream, $72
What Defines “Mature” Skin?
Sixty is the new fifty, and fifty is the new forty, right? Society has changed substantially over the past few decades, so it’s not fair to only pinpoint those who are 60-plus as having mature skin. In fact, those who took preventative measures to take care of their skin in their late 20s, early 30s, and beyond are likely to have healthier, younger-looking skin down the road than those who did not. A solid, daily skincare routine that includes sunscreen (an SPF of at least 30) and healthy lifestyle habits can help slow down the aging process a bit.
Ingredients to Look For In a Mature Skin Moisturizer
Here’s the thing: While a moisturizer is a crucial component to any skincare routine, slathering it on every day isn’t going to prevent wrinkles. However, what a hydrator will do is keep your skin’s lipid barrier intact and prevent crucial moisture loss, both of which make wrinkles and other signs of aging less prominent.
Some of the age-fighting ingredients are vitamins A (retinoids) and C, alpha hydroxy acids, niacinamide, flavonoids, and resveratrol. They correct the signs of age and protect against harmful UV rays, neutralize skin-damaging free radicals, and brighten and tone.
However, there’s no one-size-fits-all skincare routine. The combination of products and ingredients that work for someone else may not be effective for you and vice versa regardless of your age — mature or otherwise. Skin type and tone, the climate where you live, and whether or not you have an underlying skin condition (thing eczema, rosacea, etc.) are a few factors that should shape your skincare routine. Also, patience is a virtue. On average, most anti-aging products take approximately six weeks to start producing a result — longer in some cases — so don’t expect an overnight miracle.
The Best Moisturizers for Mature Skin
BEST: Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer, $60
This supercharged antioxidant formula is a hydrating powerhouse that leaves skin feeling remarkably smooth and radiant. Overflowing with potent plant proteins, vitamins, peptides, and amino-collagen, it delivers multi-level hydration. Our active complex of three natural bio-ferments supports greater nutrient density and more efficient absorption. Caffeine adds an energy boost that revitalizes dull, mature skin, while botanical elements promote overall conditioning.
Carrot & Stick Repair Serum, 80
Apply this serum daily to keep skin hydrated and protected from free radical damage. The Repair Serum by Carrot & Stick helps lift, tighten and firm the look of skin thanks to seven plant-based neuropeptides, while synthesized growth factors help keep skin looking its radiant best.
Carrot & Stick The Repair Cream, $60
A proprietary probiotic formulation keeps the microbiome operating at peak performance and skin looking hydrated and visible issues diminished. Formulated to nurture and protect the skin’s microbiome. The microbiome is the ecosystem of microbes that live on the skin surface. Happy microbes equal a healthy microbiome and a healthy microbiome equals healthier-looking, more radiant skin.
Formulyst Lifting and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream, $80
This velvety smooth formula contains a powerful blend of lipids and botanicals that help lift, smooth, and refine the appearance of mature skin. Moringa seed oil provides intense moisturization, evodia rutaecarpa fruit extract helps to visibly brighten and refine, and peony extract improves skin density. In the short term, skin appears smoother and healthier looking, while over time, your complexion feels firmer and visually lifts with a radiance that imparts a beautiful, youthful glow.
Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream, $80
When sleeping, your body goes into repair mode, so it’s an excellent opportunity to nourish crepey, mature skin with a cream formulated with retinol, the gold standard for anti-aging. This vitamin A derivative helps boost cell turnover and smooth out the appearance of crepey skin while soothing safflower seed and jojoba oil seal in moisture, leaving skin refreshed and renewed.
Dermalogica Pure Night, $82
Formulated with niacinamide, vitamin C, and zinc glycinate, this nourishing night treatment cream works overtime to brighten and deeply hydrate the skin. Pumpkin enzyme improves texture while white bird of paradise seed extract restores the skin’s luminosity. For an extra brightening effect, use it in conjunction with Dermalogica’s C-12 Pure Bright Serum.
Dr. Brandt Hyaluronic Facial Cream, $72
Anyone with dry, mature 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. As the product’s name implies, hyaluronic acid works to hydrate and plump the skin, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Lancôme Renergie Lift Multi-Action Ultra Firming and Dark Spot Correcting Moisturizer SPF 30, $109
This day cream is an excellent choice for those who are battling with mature skin that’s associated with dark patches. Hydroquinone-free, glycolic acid is the key ingredient that improves skin texture, reduces wrinkles and pigmentation, lifts, and firms. The addition of an SPF 30 protects the skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
Neostrata Pigment Controller, $74
This brightening treatment is packed with an arsenal of natural ingredients to treat stubborn pigmentation issues. One of the key components is SabiWhite, derived from turmeric root. It lightens skin and 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.
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, $128
Typical characteristics of a mature skin type include uneven texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and a loss of fullness. This rich yet fast-absorbing cream helps combat all of these issues by restoring essential skin lipids (fatty acids, natural cholesterol, and ceramides) lost with age. The result? Improved moisture levels, tone, texture, and luminosity.
Strivectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Moisturizer, $112
Sure, this is an anti-aging cream — but retinol stimulates cell turnover and inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme our skin needs to produce melanin, which means it’s an effective option for treating melasma, too. It should be used at night and paired with sunscreen during the day.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $37
As we’ve mentioned, sun exposure is the number one cause of crepey skin — and aging skin, for that matter — so it should be included in your skincare routine daily. The sunscreens from EltaMD are favored by dermatologists and the Skin Cancer foundation alike. 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.
Mature Skin: The Bottom Line
The most significant cause of mature skin is what’s known as intrinsic aging, a genetically determined process that we cannot manipulate. Contributing factors include oxidative stress, glycation, your DNA, and fluctuating hormones, all of which contribute to the loss of collagen and elastin, roughness, uneven and dull skin, and (of course) wrinkles. On the other hand, extrinsic aging is caused by circumstances we can change, 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.
Society has changed substantially over the past few decades, so it’s not fair to only pinpoint those who are 60-plus as having mature skin. In fact, those who took preventative measures to take care of their skin in their late 20s, early 30s, and beyond are likely to have healthier, younger-looking skin down the road than those who did not. A solid, daily skincare routine that includes sunscreen (an SPF of at least 30) and healthy lifestyle habits can help slow down the aging process a bit.
While a moisturizer is a crucial component of any skincare routine, slathering it on every day isn’t going to prevent wrinkles. However, what a hydrator will do is keep your skin’s lipid barrier intact and prevent crucial moisture loss, both of which make wrinkles and other signs of aging less prominent. Some of the age-fighting ingredients are vitamins A (retinoids) and C, alpha hydroxy acids, niacinamide, flavonoids, and resveratrol. They correct the signs of age and protect against harmful UV rays, neutralize skin-damaging free radicals, and brighten and tone.