Best Wrinkle Creams for Smoother Skin (2024)

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Are wrinkle creams for real? If they really do work, which one should you use? Check out our recs and more below to help guide you.

Best Wrinkle Creams for Smoother Skin (1)Share on Pinterest
  • Best wrinkle cream overall: SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum | Skip to Review
  • Best deep wrinkle cream: RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best drugstore wrinkle cream: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best for dry skin: Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best for sensitive skin: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Overnight Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best for oily skin: First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Coconut Water Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best drugstore wrinkle cream for under eyes: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best wrinkle cream for deep wrinkles under eyes: Jurlique Nutri-Define Supreme Eye Contour Balm | Skip to Review
  • Best firming wrinkle cream for neck: StriVectin TL Advanced Light Tightening Neck Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best wrinkle cream for hands: Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best wrinkle cream for men: Kiehl’s Age Defender Moisturizer | Skip to Review
  • Best wrinkle cream with sunscreen: CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best sustainable wrinkle cream: Indie Lee Retinol Alternative Cream | Skip to Review
  • Best for hyperpigmentation: Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Vitamin A | C | E Retinoid Treatment | Skip to Review
  • Best for adult acne: Jan Marini Bioclear Face Cream | Skip to Review

Wrinkle creams aren’t one-size-fits-all. Different products are formulated to address specific areas, such as the eyes or neck. While there may be some overlap, the creams on our list are some of the best in each category.

Keep in mind that no at-home wrinkle cream will give the same results as dermatological procedures like laser resurfacing. However, these products have happy customers backing up their claims. With popular active ingredients that work to enhance skin tone and texture, they’ll also target fine lines and wrinkles.

  • We chose the products below because they contain beneficial ingredients that may help improve skin tone, texture, hydration, and collagen production over time.
  • We got input from dermatologists and analyzed customer reviews. We also considered cost and ethical manufacturing practices.
  • Finally, all the products on our list have been vetted to make sure they adhere to Healthline’s medical and business standards. Read more about our process here.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $25–$95
  • $$$ = over $95

Buyer beware

A word of caution: Customers mention that counterfeit versions of this serum and other SkinMedica products are sometimes sold by disreputable sellers. To avoid this, only buy from sellers you know and trust, check the seller’s reviews, and be aware of unauthorized distributors.

If the price quoted is very low, it may be too good to be true and should be avoided.

Also, be sure to check the expiration date, and avoid or return products that are past their prime.

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Best deep wrinkle cream

Here’s how to do a patch test

  1. Apply a small amount of product to the inside of your forearm.
  2. Wait 2 days to see if you experience an adverse reaction, such as redness, itchiness, irritation, or blistering.
  3. If you do have a reaction, immediately wash the area with soap and warm water. Discontinue use of the product immediately.
  4. If no signs of reaction appear after 2 days, be sure to check the area again after 4 days for signs of a delayed reaction. If you don’t have a reaction after 4 days, the product is likely safe to use on your skin.

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Best wrinkle cream for men

PriceSizeSkin typeAlso helps with
SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum$$$ 1 fl oz alldark spots, crepey skin
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream$1 fl ozall except sensitiveacne, hyperpigmentation
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream$$1.7 fl ozdryacne, sun damage, redness, excess oil production
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream$$1.69 fl ozdrydryness
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Overnight Cream$$1.7 fl ozsensitivedryness
First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Coconut Water Cream$$1.7 fl ozoilyuneven texture
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream$0.5 ozaverage to oilyplumping skin
Jurlique Nutri-Define Supreme Eye Contour Balm$$0.5 ozalldark circles, under-eye puffiness
StriVectin TL Advanced Light Tightening Neck Cream PLUS$$1.7 fl ozall except sensitivecrepey skin
Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream$3.5 ozallbrittle nails
Kiehl’s Age Defender Moisturizer$$2.5 fl ozalldull skin, under-eye puffiness
CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream $1.8 ozoily, combinationdryness, hyperpigmentation
Indie Lee Retinol Alternative Cream$$1.5 ozall dryness, crepey skin
Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Vitamin A | C | E Retinoid Treatment$$1 oz oily, combinationfine lines, uneven texture, hyperpigmentation
Jan Marini Bioclear Face Cream$$1 oz oily, acne-proneacne, dryness

The way wrinkle creams work is determined by the ingredients they contain.

Most wrinkle creams work primarily by moisturizing the skin. They also contain emollients that make the skin feel smooth, plus other active ingredients.

Effective, high quality wrinkle creams add water to the skin, which is held in place by occlusives, such as oil or petrolatum. This plumps up the skin’s appearance, eliminating dryness and reducing the look of fine lines.

Some moisturizers contain humectants like glycerin, which helps skin retain moisture by pulling water out of the air.

In addition to adding moisture, some creams, such as those containing retinol, exfoliate dead skin cells and debris from the skin’s surface layer. Exfoliation makes the skin look brighter and fresher. It also enables the skin to better absorb the moisturizing ingredients in the wrinkle cream.

Retinol, a type of vitamin A, also increases collagen production. This helps reduce the occurrence of fine lines and wrinkles.

Here’s what to consider when shopping for a product.

Active ingredients

First things first: You’ll want to scan your product’s label for beneficial active ingredients. Here are some common ones and what they do:

  • Retinol: Retinol is the over-the-counter (OTC) form of retinoids. Retinoids, or vitamin A derivatives, are a popular ingredient mainly used to remedy signs of aging and acne. Retinoids help skin cells turn over faster, and they boost the production of collagen and elastin.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants and is thought of as one of the top ingredients available for mature-looking skin. It helps skin stay smooth and offers a glowing effect. It also protects skin from free radicals. Free radicals are unbalanced oxygen molecules that damage skin cells, triggering wrinkles and breaking down collagen.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): This term refers to a group of plant- and animal-derived acids. There are actually seven different types of AHAs commonly used in skin care products. AHAs are mostly used to gently exfoliate. But they’re also known for other benefits, like encouraging collagen and blood flow, brightening skin, preventing acne, reducing the appearance of scars and age spots, and more.
  • Peptides: Peptides are amino acids that structure specific proteins the skin needs. For example, collagen has three polypeptide chains, so increasing peptides can encourage skin to make collagen. This could possibly lead to more youthful, firmer-looking skin.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is an antioxidant. It has many benefits, one of them being lowering oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays, smoke, and pollution. It can also reduce the depth of some wrinkles.

Your skin type

As you scan ingredient lists, you’ll want to consider your skin type.

If you’re looking to target wrinkles and acne at the same time for acne-prone skin, consider creams with retinol, which do just that.

If you have oily skin, look for products that are lightweight and free of oils. Retinoids are also a good choice for oily skin, as they can remove some oil and help with fine lines and wrinkles.

If you have dry skin, consider wrinkle creams that promise to give an extra boost of hydration. It’s still a good idea to look for noncomedogenic options, though, so all that added moisture won’t clog your pores.

Got sensitive skin or combination skin? Steer clear of options that have fragrances or alcohols.

If you have rosacea, you may also want to stay away from retinols and vitamin C. Vitamin C can sting when applied, and retinols can worsen rosacea. Look for products specifically made for rosacea or talk with a dermatologist for suggestions.

Finally, know that heavy night creams can clog pores. No matter what type of skin you have, look for products labeled noncomedogenic to avoid this.

Time constraints

Before you buy, make sure you pick a product that you’ll use. A mistake many people make is spending oodles of money on a skin care system that contains lots of products and is more time-consuming than their lifestyle allows.

Budget

The most expensive wrinkle creams out there aren’t necessarily the best. There are options for every budget, so you don’t need to break the bank to get good results.

Sellers

You can avoid buying counterfeit products by checking seller reviews. The seller and the manufacturer aren’t necessarily the same. If you have any doubts, buy directly from the manufacturer in store or online, or consult a dermatologist.

Allergies and sensitivities

If you have sensitive skin, look for a hypoallergenic product or one that’s fragrance-free.

  • Use sunscreen: Wrinkle creams don’t take the place of sunscreen. Always use sunscreen in addition to your facial cream when you’re planning on being in the sun. Be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVA rays can cause premature skin aging.
  • Follow the product’s directions: Some wrinkle creams are meant to be used specifically at night or during the day. Others are designed for twice-daily use.
  • Consider how much to use: You may have to experiment with the amount of cream that you use. Too much, and your skin can’t absorb it and will feel greasy. Too little, and you may not reap the full benefits. Try using a small dab at first and see how your skin responds.
  • Go easy on retinoids: When it comes to retinoids, more isn’t better. You only need about a pea-size amount to cover your whole face.
  • Apply with care: Even creams that are designed for the eye area should be used carefully so that they don’t get into the eye and cause stinging or irritation.
  • Store it properly: You can store most wrinkle creams in a medicine cabinet or shelf in the bathroom, even if it gets humid.
  • Keep an eye on the date: Don’t use a cream that’s past its expiration date. Also, don’t use the product if the scent changes, as this may mean that it’s gone bad.
  • Check the packaging: There’s some frustration in the beauty world over the way certain products are packaged and how it affects the product’s effectiveness and shelf life. For example, with retinol and vitamin C items, it’s important that the product is packaged in tinted or dark glass bottles. When these products are exposed to light, air, and heat, they can quickly become degraded. Keep your eyes open for brands that use dark, tinted bottles with airless pumps to get the best results and shelf life out of your product.
  • Give it time: Even the best wrinkle cream doesn’t provide immediate, dramatic results.

As with so many things, preventing wrinkles is the best “cure.” You can’t stop the aging process, but you can protect your skin from damage by using sun protection and avoiding tanning beds.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays damage skin by reducing its elasticity. This accelerates photoaging, causing the skin to become wrinkled, leathery, and dull. It can also cause skin discoloration and thinning. Protecting your skin from the sun year-round can help protect it and significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Need a new sunscreen?

In the market for a new sunscreen? Check out our recs for the best sunscreens for year-round wear.

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Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol to excess both contribute to skin aging and wrinkles. Quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol intake will not only support your health, but it will also protect your skin from premature aging.

Eating nutrient-rich, whole foods, including vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, supports skin health. So does exercising consistently.

In addition to making healthy choices, remember that it’s never too early to moisturize skin regularly.

If you have oily skin or are prone to acne, choosing the right type of moisturizer can help your skin retain elasticity and reduce wrinkles.

And, of course, cleanse your skin daily to remove makeup and debris.

It’s best to see a dermatologist if your skin gets irritated or sensitized after introducing any new wrinkle creams to your skin care routine.

Severe acne, scarring, or other skin irritations may need prescription treatment such as oral antibiotics, topical prescription retinoids, or birth control. A dermatologist may perform an extraction for deeper cysts or acne spots that are stuck underneath your skin.

Remember that your skin type can affect how products work. Using the wrong product, even when natural, can cause breakouts, worsen blemishes, or cause redness. It’s best to find out what skin type you have and build your skin care routine around that. You can also take notes on product ingredients to see if specific ingredients are causing unwanted skin reactions.

Is there a wrinkle cream that really works?

Yes. You may be able to decrease the appearance of wrinkles with a cream that contains ingredients like:

  • retinol
  • vitamin C
  • AHAs
  • peptides
  • CoQ10

However, an OTC topical cream probably won’t be able to eliminate wrinkles entirely.

How can I get rid of wrinkles on my face fast?

Wrinkle cream may be able to help you reduce the appearance of wrinkles on your face, but it doesn’t work overnight. It may take several weeks before you start seeing results.

Other treatments, like Botox or fillers, take effect more quickly — usually within a few hours to 1 or 2 weeks, depending on the treatment.

When is the best time to start using wrinkle cream?

It’s important to remember that “wrinkle cream” is not a scientific term — any product can call itself a wrinkle cream.

Rather than focusing on just using a wrinkle cream, it’s important to implement a consistent skin care routine that includes cleansing and moisturizing. Wearing sunscreen and using sun protection should also be a part of this routine.

That being said, skin changes over time. The moisturizer you use as a teen or young adult may not provide enough nourishment for your skin as you age. Continuing to evaluate your skin’s needs over time will help you determine the type of product best suited to you at any age.

How do you apply wrinkle cream?

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some wrinkle creams may dry out or sting your skin if used too often or incorrectly.

Only apply wrinkle cream to freshly washed skin. You may get better results if your skin is slightly damp.

A 2017 study made up of 20 women looked at the effects of a skin massaging device. It found that massaging skin care products into your skin may make them more effective.

Applying wrinkle cream with an upward motion is often recommended — though, be careful not to pull or tug on your skin, especially around the eye area.

What makes a wrinkle cream work the fastest?

Using a wrinkle cream daily along with sunscreen may lead to faster results. If it contains effective ingredients like retinol or AHAs, you may notice a difference within a few weeks.

What is best for deep wrinkles?

Ingredients like retinol, antioxidants, and peptides may result in improvements for deep-set wrinkles. You may want to look into fillers, Botox, or laser skin resurfacing if you want to reverse deep wrinkles.

Many creams are available at different price points and can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face, eye area, neck, and chest. Before buying, take your age, skin type, and skin care habits into account.

Always remember to put on sunscreen before applying any other products in the morning. UVA rays can cause premature skin aging — even through a window.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer and reproductive health professional who specializes in health and wellness content. She has spent much of the last two decades educating people about infertility and family building options. Whelan is a science nerd, and her heroes span the gamut from Temple Grandin to her wonderful mom. She shares her life in Brooklyn, NY with her all-grown-up, fascinating children and their wacky shelter dogs. Follow her on Twitter.

Breanna Mona is a writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a master’s degree in media and journalism and writes about health, lifestyle, and entertainment.

Best Wrinkle Creams for Smoother Skin (2024)

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