Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on youth in a jar? Luckily the idea isn’t wholly a fantasy. While there is no such thing as a miracle wrinkle cream that can turn back time, there are plenty of formulas that can help with anti-aging concerns. Whether that’s softening the look of fine lines, brightening up dark spots, improving texture, or just adding a little more glow to mature skin, there’s a cream for you.
Every year new advances in skincare science bring us one step closer to achieving our best-looking skin. That means a glowing, hydrated complexion where wrinkles aren’t the first noticeable trait for most of us.
But don’t take our word for it. Studies revealed that 62% of Americans use anti-aging products daily. As consumers tend to incline towards quality skincare products., the popularity of premium and branded products continue to grow in the anti-aging and anti-wrinkle product market — which is estimated to record a value equivalent to 14 billion by 2027.
Even though luxury product sales are on the rise, spending a fortune on wrinkle cream is unnecessary. There are plenty of mid-range formulas and drugstore buys that can also effectively help soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Not sure where to start? No worries. 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, 25 of the best wrinkle creams for every budget, age, and gender.
Best Wrinkle Cream: The List
BEST CREAM: Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer, $60
BEST SERUM: Carrot and Stick The Repair Serum, $80
SK-II Power Cream, $235
Dermalogica Age Smart Super Rich Repair, $89
Exuviance Age Reverse Night Lift, $79
Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream, $60.
SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream, $125
La Prairie Anti-Aging Night Cream, $255
Chanel Le Lift Crème, $170
What to Look for in the Best Wrinkle Cream
Sure, you can consider celebrity endorsements, glowing editorial reviews, and dermatologist recommendations (which are not always approved, by the way). Still, when shopping for the best anti-wrinkle cream, it’s always a good idea to do your homework. We’ve put together some easy tips to help you take the guesswork out of finding the best cream to defy visible signs of aging effectively.
The Best Wrinkle Cream Ingredients
Wrinkle creams work on multiple levels (protect, prevent, treat), so they are true multi-taskers. The first step in choosing the best face cream for wrinkles is to look for formulas with a cocktail of the best evidence-based anti-aging ingredients on the market.
Peptides for the skin have numerous benefits, which makes them one of the most attractive anti-aging ingredients. Peptides are incorporated into skincare products like the best anti-aging serums because of their performance-specific effects, such as hydration, improved skin tone, and other anti-aging benefits, such as reducing age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Derived from vitamin A, retinol is the gold-standard ingredient when it comes to anti-aging. It encourages skin cell turnover, which means skin looks smoother and firmer. While most anti-aging skincare products work on a topical level at the epidermis, retinol works at a cellular level.According to Harvard Health Publishing, retinol reduces — and prevents — fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production. It also helps to fade age spots and soften rough skin patches.
- Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is an aqueous substance that our bodies produce naturally to help maintain the skin’s moisture on a high level. While HA is found in our connective tissue, joints, and even eyes, we’re here to discuss hyaluronic acid concerning the skin.We produce less of it as we age, resulting in increased dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. For this reason, hyaluronic acid in skincare is incredibly beneficial. As it’s a humectant, it can hold over 1,000 times its weight in water.
- Vitamin C
While several antioxidants have an anti-aging effect on the skin, vitamin C tops the list. It protects your skin from elements like the sun (though it is not a replacement for sunscreen), pollution, and cigarette smoke. Vitamin C also discourages melanin production in the skin, which helps with discoloration and increases radiance.
A newer ingredient on the scene, bakuchiol, is touted as a gentle, vegan alternative to retinol products, helping to reduce the signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles, dullness) and help support the treatment of acne and congested skin.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Alpha hydroxy acids are water-soluble acids derived from fruits with high sugar content. AHAs derived from fruit acids dissolve dead skin cells and produce a peeling action that helps fade pigmentation and scarring, improves texture and tone, and softens fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide) is an essential water-soluble vitamin that cannot be synthesized in the body. The only way to reap its benefits is to eat it or apply it topically.Niacinamide enhances skin’s resilience, fades discoloration, calms inflammation, hydrates, improves texture and radiance, guards against free-radical damage, and more.
- Coenzyme Q10
CoQ10 is an antioxidant that lessens oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays, smoke, and pollution. It can also reduce the depth of some wrinkles.
How It’s Packaged
Just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the same should go for your anti-aging skincare packaging. While you may be drawn to unique, brightly colored, or glamorous bottles and jars, it’s the type of design that’s going to protect — or not — the integrity of your anti-wrinkle cream. After all, you don’t want to waste your money or time on an ineffective product.
- While face creams are packaged in jars, they’re not the most desirable option. For starters, many people are tempted to use their fingers to apply the product versus the small spatula that’s typically included — which means you’re contaminating your cream with bacteria that you’ll be spreading all over your face.Second, ingredients like antioxidants and retinol will oxidize quickly, making the product less effective.
- Wrinkle creams with vitamin C tend to hold up better in tubes and pump bottles because this active ingredient is relatively unstable and tends to degrade faster the more it’s exposed to air and light.
- While non-airtight pumps are better than jars because you’re not touching the product, they’re not suitable for formulations with airtight ingredients like retinol, peptides, and vitamin C.
- Airless packaging is a packaging or dispensing system that doesn’t allow air to contact the product, thus maintaining its integrity and efficiency. It’s one of the latest user-friendly design methods brands are turning to.Airless is great for anti-aging creams with ingredients like peptides, growth factors, antioxidants, and retinol, and formulas for sensitive skin because they’re less apt to become contaminated.
What the Best Anti-Wrinkle Creams Have in Common?
Consider Your Skin Type
Before you go running out to purchase the best anti-aging cream, you must first consider your skin type as you’re scanning those ingredient lists. For example,
- All skin types benefit from the inclusion of SPF in a daytime wrinkle cream.
- Those with extra dry skin should avoid exfoliating ingredients that could irritate the skin and opt for nourishing hydrators instead.
- Are you targeting wrinkles and acne? Reach for a non-comedogenic retinol anti-aging cream.
- Here at the Derm Review, we recommend all skin types avoid formulas with fragrances or alcohols.
- If you’re dealing with a skin condition like eczema or rosacea, steer clear of retinol and vitamin C as they can exacerbate the problem.
Consider Your Age
Wrinkle creams aren’t reserved for those in their 50s or with mature skin. Younger skin types can benefit, too — but skincare goals change with time, as should the formulations you’re using.
- 30s: Now that you’re in your 30s, it’s time to kick things up a notch by including anti-aging products into your regimen. Choose a wrinkle cream with powerhouse ingredients such as vitamin C, tea extracts, retinol, coenzyme Q10, and peptides to protect your skin from environmental stressors, plump and soften your look, and keep skin firm and tight.
- 40s: While you may have gotten away with developing prominent signs of aging in your 30s, fine lines and wrinkles seem to come into the proverbial spotlight in your 40s.
- 50s: Several changes occur when you’re in your 50s, including thinner skin, loss of elasticity, more prominent wrinkles, a tendency to bruise easily, excessive dryness, a change in texture, and more age spots. The same ingredients in your 40s still apply, but you should consider upping the ante in the retinol department and use formulas with higher concentrations of active ingredients.
Best Face Cream for Wrinkles: The Top 25
What is the best wrinkle cream on the market? We’ve got 25 of them.
Best Cream: Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer, $60
Say goodbye to aging skin with the plant-powered The Moisturizer. This cream does it all to deliver your best-looking, radiant skin. It helps to hydrate, firm, and revitalize the skin.
Suitable for all skin types, The Moisturizer is formulated with plant proteins, vitamins, peptides and amino-collagen. A caffeine boost helps perk up skin wrinkles, while five distinct coconut elements help with cell renewal and overall conditioning.
Formulyst Lifting and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream, $80
This deeply nourishing cream was designed to help reclaim a youthful-looking complexion. Formulyst’s Lifting and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream is a true multitasker. It helps lift, smooth, and refine the appearance and tone of the skin. The velvety formula contains a powerful blend of lipids and botanicals that have targeted anti-aging benefits.
Key ingredients include moringa seed oil for intense moisture, evodia ruteacarpa fruit to help brighten and refine, and peony extract to help skin look smoother. Over time your complexion feels firmer and looks lifted and more radiant.
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter, $162
SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter seeks to reduce damage from advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, resulting from excess sugar that negatively impacts collagen and elastin in the skin. This anti-wrinkle 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.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, $128
Elemis’s Pro-Collagen Marine Cream promises results in as little as two weeks. This anti-wrinkle cream is formulated with algae and other plant extracts to replenish the skin with much-needed moisture. Gradual loss of moisture, as well as the breakdown of proteins like collagen and elastin, are what lead to wrinkle formation in the first place. Padina pavonica and chlorella vulgaris are two of the algae extracts used in this cream, both of which have antioxidant tendencies to fight off free radical damage that degrades collagen.
Dior Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Creme, $70-$110
The key ingredient in this anti-wrinkle cream from Dior’s Capture Totale anti-aging skincare line is longoza, a flower from Madagascar that Dior researchers discovered approximately 20 years ago. According to the company, this ingredient revitalizes skin by boosting fibroblast, collagen, and elastin production, which helps skin look tighter and firmer. The cream is available in three textures — light, rich, and universal — to accommodate various skin types, including sensitive, oily and dry.
SK-II Power Cream, $235
This anti-wrinkle cream from the venerable SK-II brand targets several aging concerns, including loss of elasticity, dryness, wrinkles, and sagging. Like most SK-II products, the main ingredient is pitera. This substance is highly rich in vitamins, minerals, organic acids, and amino acids to truly nourish and revitalize skin.
Pitera is derived from a fermentation process featuring secret ingredients that also include yeast strains. This ingredient was discovered when sake brewers found that they’re beautifully unlined, unaged hands that seemed to be directly a result of the yeast used during the fermentation process. This cream is especially recommended for dry skin as it has a very rich texture.
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Moisture Cream Broad SPF 30, $132
Three key ingredients team up to provide long-lasting hydration and anti-aging benefits in Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage Anti-Aging Moisture Cream — idebenone, thiamine, and retinyl linoleate. Idebenone is an antioxidant that reduces and helps prevent free radical damage that can significantly degrade the skin. Thiotaine is also an antioxidant that works to make idebenone even stronger. Retinyl linoleate is a vitamin A derivative that softens the look of fine lines and wrinkles via exfoliation. Bonus points for the addition of SPF 30.
Dermalogica Age Smart Super Rich Repair, $89
A thick, rich cream that still absorbs quickly, Dermalogica’s Age Smart Super Rich Repair is a great anti-wrinkle cream for anyone with extremely dry skin. Arginine and palmitoyl tripeptide-5 discourage wrinkle formation and encourage collagen production for smooth, supple skin. Arginine helps calm the muscles responsible for creating forehead wrinkles and other lines that may form around the mouth and eyes. Apple seed extract has been shown in some studies to be effective against wrinkles as well.
Exuviance Age Reverse Night Lift, $79
This anti-wrinkle, anti-aging cream goes to work while you sleep to help you wake up with radiant, glowing skin. Peptides help create the lifting effect in this face-firming wrinkle cream. Palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 firm skin and reduce wrinkles by stimulating collagen synthesis.
Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream, $60
Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream is formulated with collagen-boosting ingredients that get the job done. Copper PCA and calcium PCA help prevent the breakdown of collagen while providing vital moisture. According to Kiehl’s, thanks to these ingredients, elasticity improves by as much as 32%. Apricot kernel oil, softens the skin and helps smooth out wrinkles, while ginkgo biloba and vitamin E guard against environmental stressors like pollution and UV damage.
SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream, $125
As the name suggests, this intense, results-driven night cream harnesses the power of an alpha hydroxy acid and a retinoid to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while improving elasticity and tone. Thanks to SkinBetter’s proprietary retinol technology (and a blend of skin-soothing ingredients), you’ll reap all the benefits minus any irritation. The addition of glycolic acid visibly improves the skin’s texture while stoking the other components to increase efficiency.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $37
Sun exposure is the number one cause of aging skin, so an SPF 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.
Estée Lauder Advanced Time Zone Night Wrinkle Cream, $85
The main ingredient in this anti-aging cream is the brand’s proprietary Tri-HA Cell Signaling Complex. According to in vitro testing, this superhero ingredient can increase the amount of natural hyaluronic acid in the skin by as much as 182%. Other vital ingredients include hydrating avocado and jojoba seed oils, wrinkle-reducing apple fruit extract and acetyl hexapeptide-8, antioxidant-rich grape seed, watermelon, and cucumber plant extracts. This wrinkle cream is ideal for normal and combination skin and is non-comedogenic.
La Prairie Anti-Aging Night Cream, $255
La Prairie is known for its luxurious formulations, and this anti-wrinkle cream is no exception. The main wrinkle-fighting ingredients are peptides. Hexanoyl dipeptide-3 norleucine acetate is a synthetic peptide that helps overall skin renewal, accelerating the speed at which cells renew to reveal a more refined complexion. It helps clarify skin texture to smooth out rough spots and make wrinkles less noticeable.
Palmitoyl tripeptide-8 soothes the skin by reducing inflammation while acetyl decapeptide-3 stimulates collagen and elastin to make firm, tighten, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Dr. Brandt Hyaluronic Facial Cream, $72
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. As the product’s name implies, hyaluronic acid works to hydrate and plump the skin, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Cream, $88
This luxurious 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.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream, $215
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 herself, “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.”
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.
Tula Skincare Beauty Sleep, $64
Before we get into why this night cream truly lives up to its name, let’s talk a little bit about Tula’s mathematics: probiotics + superfoods = glow. All of the brand’s products are formulated with these ingredients to ensure that your skin’s microbiome remains balanced. Beauty Sleep is Tula’s most potent cream. It’s also formulated with alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin C to soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve texture and tone, and brighten the skin’s appearance. While nothing truly replaces a solid 7-8 hours of sleep, this night cream comes pretty darn close.
Best Wrinkle Cream: The Bottom Line
What is the best wrinkle cream on the market? Overall, we suggest Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer.
Use a serum as part of your anti-aging routine. Serums penetrate deeper and contain a higher concentration of active ingredients. We recommend Carrot & Stick Repair Serum.
The best anti-wrinkle cream need not empty your wallet. Still, it should be formulated with evidence-based ingredients like retinol, peptides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles effectively.
Consider your skin type and age before settling on a formula. What works in your 30s isn’t going to have the same effect in your 40s or 50s. You’ll need a more potent formula that contains additional ingredients to target the progressive signs of age.
What’s the best wrinkle cream, in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re wondering if you should use a cream or a serum, the answer is “both.” Serums and creams perform different functions, and to get the optimal anti-aging benefit, they should be used together.
A serum is lightweight, water-based, and quickly absorbed into the skin. Because serums don’t contain thickeners and fats like a moisturizer, they are highly concentrated- which means they deliver a hefty dose of skin-healthy ingredients right where you need it. Serums are often called the workhorses of a skincare routine as they do the heavy lifting.
Wrinkles are a normal part of the aging process and a multitude of factors cause them. As the Cleveland Clinic notes, the dermis (the middle layer of the skin) starts to thin as we get older. The dermis is made up of elastin and collagen, which give the skin firmness and support, so as it weakens, wrinkles are more prominent.
Older skin also retains less moisture and takes longer to heal, which all contribute to wrinkles. Other factors which accelerate the aging process include sun exposure, smoking, dehydration, and repeated facial movements.
There is no single product that can solve every anti-aging concern. The best approach to skincare is a multi-prong one, using multiple types of products such as creams, serums, and spot treatments.
If you had to boil down an anti-aging skincare routine to the basics, it would include a moisturizer, sunscreen, serum, toner, spot treatment, and night cream. Still, it makes sense to identify the ingredients needed first and then find the appropriate product that contains them.
“62% of Americans Use Anti-Aging Products Daily,” PR Newswire.
“Wrinkle Creams: Your Guide to Younger-Looking Skin,” Mayo Clinic.
“Do Retinoids Really Reduce Wrinkles,” Harvard Health Publishing.
“Hyaluronic Acid: A Key Molecule in Skin Aging,” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
“Wrinkles and Aging Skin,” Cleveland Clinic.