While your skin-care routine may currently be heavy with stuff to treat acne or get a covetable glow, it’s never a bad idea to incorporate products that prevent and treat signs of aging. “As we get older, our skin gets thinner, and produces less collagen and elastin — which means it doesn’t repair itself as well, and isn’t as plump or moist, which in turn causes our expression lines and wrinkles to stick around,” explains dermatologist Noelani Gonzalez, a specialist at Mount Sinai Health System. Wrinkle creams can be a great, all-around solution to the skin’s natural aging process because the best will both “provide support to your aging skin, and deliver ingredients to the skin that help it better repair and renew itself.”
To find the best wrinkle creams for preventing and treating fine lines, we spoke to Gonzalez and six other dermatologists. Read on for their picks, which include wrinkle creams with SPF, overnight wrinkle creams, ones specifically for under eyes, and more.
Best overall wrinkle cream
Every dermatologist we spoke to agreed that the vitamin A derivative retinol is the most potent ingredient when it comes to getting rid of wrinkles (other important ingredients to look for are SPF, antioxidants, acids, and peptides). “When I think about the best anti-wrinkle creams, I immediately think about which over-the-counter creams contain retinols — which, in my opinion, are the No. 1 most important ingredient when looking for an anti-aging cream,” says Morgan Rabach, a dermatologist at LM Medical NYC. Dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum concurs that retinols are the “gold standard” and “one of the hardest working products — the MVP — in your beauty arsenal” for treating aging skin. That’s because retinols can help increase cellular turnover and encourage the formation of new skin, as well as the production of collagen and elastin, all of which help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, according to Nussbaum. They also help fade discoloration, improve the appearance of pores, and repair UV damage.
Dermatologist Carlos A. Charles, the founder of New York City–based Derma di Colore, told us he typically suggests that patients use retinols’ prescription-strength cousin, retinoids, to treat wrinkles, but says that “in the over-the-counter world, RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream can be used for those who prefer a milder retinol formulation.” Rabach agrees, adding that the RoC is gentle enough to use on more sensitive, wrinkly skin around the eyes, too. When using a retinol, correct application is key to avoid irritating skin (which may still occur if you’re just starting out). According to Gonzales, start slow and apply pea-size, just two to three times a week, and work up from there. Nussbaum adds that it’s best to only use this (or any anti-aging cream with retinol) at night, since your skin has a better chance to repair itself while you sleep — and because retinol makes skin more sun-sensitive (so she additionally advises to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily if you’re using retinol creams nightly).
Best drugstore wrinkle cream
“Slathering a moisturizer on every night will also help” plump wrinkles and fine lines, according to Rabach, who suggests Olay Regenerist for its thicker texture — which she notes is particularly good for wrinkly skin that’s also super dry. It is infused with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and niacinamide, all of which work together to plump and smooth fine lines. And if wrinkles are really stressing you out, Rabach adds that some small lifestyle changes can make a big difference. “Simple things like cutting down on smoking, hydrating when you’re out drinking, using a moisturizer every morning with sunscreen, and remembering to take off makeup will help reduce wrinkles over time.”
Best (less-expensive) drugstore wrinkle cream
For an even more affordable over-the-counter option, Rabach loves this daily moisturizer from Neutrogena, which contains the hero ingredient retinol, as well as hyaluronic acid to plump skin. And whether you’re using this or any of the other creams on this list, Gonzalez has this tip to share: “I always tell my patients to never forget their neck; any anti-aging cream you’re using on your face, you should apply to your neck.”
Best wrinkle cream for deep wrinkles
If you’re looking to treat particularly deep lines, say, around your mouth or in between your brow, they may likely require extra attention, according to dermatologist Samer Jaber, founder of Washington Square Dermatology. He told us that Olay Pro-X Deep Wrinkle is “an effective” option, but it’s admittedly more expensive than others on this list. However, Jaber pointed us to a 2010 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology that showed this cream effectively minimized facial wrinkles in just eight weeks, making it seem worth the price. He notes that this cream, which contains retinol, is also “fragrance-free, and has the anti-inflammatory vitamin niacinamide, which improves tolerability for those with sensitive skin.”
Best wrinkle cream with SPF
“UV damage is one of the leading causes of wrinkles, so finding a great anti-aging day cream with SPF is critical,” explains Nussbaum, who loves — and personally uses — La Prairie Anti-Aging Day Cream, which contains SPF 30. In addition to protecting skin from UV light, the day cream is also formulated with a cellular complex, Nussbaum says “helps stimulate the skin’s natural repair process by encouraging cell turnover, moisturizing, and energizing with nutrients that boost collagen production.” This is not formulated with retinol, making it safe to use all day. Dermatologist Heidi A. Waldorf, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, agrees that using sunscreen is the No. 1 rule for preventing wrinkles in the first place.
Best tinted wrinkle cream with SPF
Revision Skincare Intellishade is a combination anti-aging moisturizer (with collagen-boosting peptides) and broad-spectrum sunscreen (with SPF 45) that also contains a slight tint, making it a versatile product that “helps protect, correct, and even hydrate the skin,” according to dermatologist Ainah Tan. This can also be worn in place of makeup to help even your skin tone and smooth out any imperfections.
Best wrinkle cream for sensitive skin
Tan calls this a “great anti-aging cream for patients with sensitive skin.” The product is formulated with retinaldehyde, which, while gentler than traditional retinol, is still an effective active ingredient. She adds that this also contains antioxidants to protect sensitive skin from free-radical damage.
Best brightening wrinkle cream
Jaber notes that, in addition to retinol, this cream is “formulated with lactic acid, so you get the brightening effects of that in addition to the anti-aging effects of the retinol.” If you’re concerned that combining the two potent, active ingredients will irritate your skin, Jaber assures that even his patients with the most sensitive of skin, who have struggled with irritation from other retinol formulas, find this “very tolerable.” Nussbaum also loves the product, recommending you apply it nightly like other retinol formulas — none of which should be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, she cautions.
Best wrinkle cream for under eyes
If you’re struggling with under-eye wrinkles, Nussbaum suggests splurging on the SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex, which she calls one of her “favorite creams to combat those pesky wrinkles around the eyes.” She adds that “its balmy formula and optical diffusers reflect light away from the eye area, instantly illuminating.” But this stuff also works below the skin’s surface to prevent future fine lines, too. It’s formulated with blueberry extract, peptides, and Proxylane to “moisturize, nourish and prevent future visible signs of aging, while also boosting elasticity and fortifying the skin’s matrix, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s-feet,” Nussbaum explains.
Best wrinkle cream for sensitive under-eye skin
According to Gonzalez, this slightly less expensive cream is an excellent choice if you’ve got sensitive eyes or under-eye skin because “it improves the appearance of dark circles and crow’s-feet and isn’t irritating because the active ingredient hesperidin — which is derived from citrus fruits — only exfoliates dead skin cells.” It’s also a good bet if you prefer natural products, as the entire Restorsea line is “nontoxic and made from natural ingredients,” she notes.
Best under-eye wrinkle cream with SPF
For a slightly more affordable option than the above under-eye creams (that also contains SPF), consider this Colorescience cream, recommended by Tan. In addition to providing UV protection with a broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen, “it also helps correct the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines or wrinkles,” she explains. Plus, the packaging includes an applicator tip that she says dispenses the right amount of product every time.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.