16 Anti-Aging Creams Dermatologists Trust the Most
Don't just pick a random product off the shelves and pray that it works—these are the anti-aging creams that actually follow through on their promises.
Isdin Isdinceutics Melatonik
This three-in-one night serum promises to boost your skin’s defenses, repair damage, and fight wrinkles. Its combination of vitamin C, melatonin, and bakuchiol is a gentle alternative to anyone who finds retinoids too strong, says Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD, New York City dermatologist and founder of Entiere Dermatology. “Bakuchiol is derived from a plant native to India, which has [been] shown to induce collagen production, improve pigmentation, and improve skin elasticity without causing irritation or dryness,” she says. You might think of melatonin as a sleep inducer, but for your skin, it protects against environmental damage from the sun and air pollution. Don’t miss these other 14 anti-aging breakthroughs you should know about.
SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum
This formula is “one of the best on the market,” says Jeanine Downie, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Image Dermatology. It uses powerful proteins called growth factors to help the skin maintain its youthful glow, even as you start losing the collagen that keeps your skin plump. “After age 20, your collagen starts wilting,” says Dr. Downie. “Growth factor keeps your skin from sagging, improves the texture of the skin, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.”
SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say, and it’s never too early to start an anti-aging cream. While SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum is great for aging skin, the Recovery Complex is a great option for the under-45 crowd, says Dr. Downie. Like in its sister product, the patented Tissue Nutrient Solution (TNS) rejuvenates the skin to fight wrinkles, plus even out the tone and texture. No matter what your age, you’ll want to know the best anti-aging products for every decade of your life.
Neutrogena Rapid Repair Regenerating Cream
Neutrogena touts itself as dermatologist-recommended for good reason. “They actually test the skin and have clinical trials to make sure [products] are working,” says board-certified dermatologist Edidiong Kaminska, MD, co-founder of Kaminscy Medical and Surgical Consulting Incorporated. “As physicians, we like data; we like evidence-based medicine.” This anti-aging cream uses retinol and hyaluronic acid to smooth out wrinkles and make the skin look plump and youthful.
Dealing with wrinkles and acne? The worst. That’s where Differin Gel steps in—Dr. Levin calls it the “gold standard” for almost any kind of acne. “Topical retinoids such as Differin Gel are a derivative of Vitamin A and help to normalize skin cell turnover, which will prevent clogged pores and ultimately, treat and prevent acne,” she says. “Retinoids also help improve skin discoloration, texture and tone therefore, it will restore the skin from prior breakouts.”
Skinbetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream
To get the benefits of retinoids without all the dryness and irritation, give Skinbetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream a try. Its combination of ingredients—including retinoids, antioxidants, and lactic acid—not only fights fine lines and evens out skin tone and texture, but also delivers moisture to keep skin feeling soft. It tends to be better tolerated than similar products, but still delivers the same age-erasing power as a prescription-strength Tretinoin, says Dr. Levin.
Skinbetter Science Alto Defense Serum
“Skinbetter Science Alto is an antioxidant powerhouse that protects from and corrects premature signs of aging caused by the sun, environment, and tech devices,” says Marnie B. Nussbaum, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. Powerhouse is right—this formula contains a whopping 19 antioxidant ingredients to shield against free radicals, those pesky unstable atoms that can damage the body’s cells and contribute to aging. Meanwhile, you’ll want to load up on these 13 foods directly tied to younger-looking skin.
GlyDerm Face Lotion 5
“Glyderm Face Lotion 5 is a gentle nighttime exfoliating lotion for normal to oily skin that helps to decongest skin while blurring dark spots and enhancing hydration,” says Dr. Nussbaum. Glycolic acid is a key ingredient, exfoliating to shed dead skin away while boosting collagen, a protein that keeps your skin plump and youthful.
GlyDerm Cream 5
Skin more on the dry side? GlyDerm Cream 5 could be one of the anti-aging creams for you. It uses mineral oil and petrolatum to soften the skin and lock in moisture—in addition to its anti-aging properties, of course. “The GlyDerm Cream 5 helps to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and the unwanted appearance of irregularities to reveal a brighter, younger-looking complexion,” says Dr. Nussbaum.
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Retinol Night Cream
The retinol you’ll find in OTC anti-aging creams generally won’t have the same level of wrinkle-fighting power retinoids a doctor can prescribe, but that doesn’t mean they won’t give you results. “RoC makes really good retinoids,” says Dr. Kaminska. “They’re not equivalent to a prescription, but you get the results quickly.” According to the company’s clinical trials, you should see results within 12 weeks. Best of all? At under $15, this anti-age cream won’t break the bank. Check out the other best anti-aging products at every price point.
SENTÉ Dermal Contour Pressed Serum
The anti-aging chemicals in this serum keep the skin looking tighter and younger, and it hydrates without clogging pores. “It helps control the evening out of the texture of skin,” says Dr. Downie. “My patients say their skin looks more radiant from using it.” Some anti-aging creams should be reserved for nighttime because they make the skin sensitive to sunlight, but this one gets the green light for daytime use.
SENTÉ Bio Complete Serum
The Bio Complete Serum contains retinol to fight wrinkles and smooth skin, and it’s gentle enough to be used several times a week. Its sister product, the Intensive Bio Complete Cream, contains more retinoids, so it works even harder—but it should only be used once a week to avoid irritation, says Dr. Downie.
SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3
Vitamin A might get all the attention as the base of anti-aging hero retinoids, but B3 is also an anti-aging star, helping to even skin tone and lock in moisture. On top of that, glycerin makes the formula SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 formula extra-hydrating. “It’s one of my favorite products for patients fighting adult acne who are also starting to see signs of skin aging,” says Dr. Nussbaum. If you’d rather get those vitamins in pill form, try the 15 best anti-aging supplements worth buying.
Obagi Professional-C Serum
Looking for another vitamin’s wrinkle-fighting power? Vitamin C also packs an age-defying punch. The 10 percent version tends to be a crowd favorite, says Dr. Downie, helping to brighten the skin and battle age-related discoloration.
Empelle Night Cream
During menopause, estrogen levels drop, which can leave skin frustratingly dry. “This is a line dedicated to estrogen-deficient skin,” says Dr. Downie. Empelle uses an innovative ingredient called MEP that’s specially designed for the post-menopause crowd, combatting dryness while restoring collagen to fight wrinkles.
SkinMedica Total Defense and Repair Sunscreen
You might not think of sunscreen among anti-aging creams, but Dr. Downie says it’s the most important wrinkle fighter. “If you’re not putting on sunscreen but you’re putting on all these anti-aging products, nothing is going to work as well,” she says. SkinMedica Total Defense and Repair is one of her favorites because it doesn’t block pores, and it works with all skin types. To go above and beyond creams, read on for the 14 anti-aging treatments doctors actually use.
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