While there is obviously no real way to turn back time when it comes to our skin, keeping our complexions looking plump, glowy and healthy doesn’t necessarily have to mean cosmetic procedures and in-depth dermatologist appointments. No matter how old you are, using the right anti-ageing creams regularly can make a visible difference to our skin elasticity, plumpness and reducing the appearance of fine lines.
And if you don’t think creams are for you just yet? You might want to think again—the earlier you start taking care of your skin, the better. This can mean anything from drinking enough water and eating the right foods to (most importantly) staying out of the sun, but luckily for us in this day and age, we also have a plethora of products to choose from to help us out along the way.
Whether you’re an anti-ageing skincare pro or considering starting to use products for the first time, it can be a totally overwhelming experience trying to find the best cream for you. That’s why we’ve done the hard work and rounded up the 10 best ever anti-ageing creams that we’ve not only tried and tested but heard the experts raving about countless times. And the best thing? You won’t have to spend a month’s wages on them.
Before we start, however, let’s simplify things with a few key tips and important things to know. When shopping around for legit anti-ageing creams there are some essential ingredients to look out for. Retinol (or vitamin A) speeds up cell turnover, boosts collagen production and is the ultimate anti-ageing ingredient. It can be harsh on the skin to start with, though, so only use every few days to begin with and always use SPF with it, as it can make your skin more sensitive to rays.
Antioxidants like vitamins C and E help fight free radicals—molecules that can do damage to your skin cells. Peptides help repair skin damage. Glycolic acid is an AHA that increases cell turnover to reveal smoother skin. Ceramides and other hydrators like hyaluronic acid and shea butter all lock in moisture and form a protective layer for your skin. And of course, SPF, which is the number one preventative anti-ageing ingredient.
Any one of these ingredients will aid anti-ageing, but the more you can find in one product, the better. It’s also important to know your skin. If you know it has an oily nature, don’t overdo it with rich creams, stick to lighter lotions, but if you struggle with drier skin, it’s the moisture-rich products to pick.
This lightweight, award-winning cream is a great all-rounder. It’s gentle so it will suit most complexions but it’s also highly effective in smoothing, firming and hydrating fine and deeper wrinkles. Somewhere in between a gel and a creamy texture, this goes on so smoothly and won’t leave skin greasy.
You can’t really argue with the price of this hero product, and you’re more than likely to see it every time you read about the best anti-wrinkle creams. This has had rave reviews since its launch. The winning combination of hyaluronic acid, amino-peptides and niacinamide (vitamin B3) is great for moisturising, plumping and refreshing surface cells all helping to smooth fine lines.
It’s no surprise that FaceGym, the masterminds behind the cult facial workout treatment, have created a face cream that delivers seriously impressive firming and toning effects—with a clinical trial to back it up. The deeply hydrating formula recharges the skin with a regenerating blend of collagen and hyaluronic acid alongside a concentrated hit of fresh-water pyrenean microalgae to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while restoring plumpness and glow.
Okay, this cult cream is extremely expensive, but you do get a lot of bang for your buck. Augustinus Bader is one of the best anti-ageing brands on the market and this cream in particular works wonders. Plus, it has a huge celeb following if you’re into that. It’s powdered by Bader’s patented Trigger Factor Complex (TFC8) which stimulates your skin’s natural renewal process to reduce the signs of ageing, slow down the loss of elasticity and boost radiance. From reduced scarring to fewer fine lines, it’s basically great skin in a bottle.
As we mentioned, retinol is the absolute gold-standard in anti-ageing skincare. This cream’s magic is based around its renewing and brightening power, paired with intensely moisturising properties that help strengthen the skin’s natural barrier allowing it to feel less irritated by the strength of the retinol. Add in the antioxidant-rich ferulic acid and the brand’s own complex to brighten and reduce dark spots and you have a cream that brightens, tightens and ultimately makes skin look younger.
We’re big fans of this cult Sunday Riley cream. Vitamin C is a highly effective ingredient in any anti-aging day cream. The antioxidant will fight signs of aging such as damage from free radicals and reduce fine lines. This cream also calms redness, providing natural beta hydroxy acid to brighten appearance all day.
As powerful and effective as retinol is, it can be a difficult product to use on sensitive skin, no matter how slowly you try and build it up into your daily routine. Bakuchiol is a plant-based alternative that has the same results but is less intense on the skin and so perfect for those on the more sensitive side. Similar to retinol the ingredient helps to boost skin-cell turnover revealing glowy new layers beneath. This cream also nourishes with edelweiss stem cell and is gentle enough for use every night.
Another great overall cream but with the added bonus of higher than average daily SPF. Neutrogena’s dermatologist-approved product is not only great value, but it’s also highly effective. Still including retinol in its ingredients but in a slightly milder form, it will help bring new cells to the forefront as well as encouraging collagen growth. Start using this every few days to begin with and build up to daily use to avoid any irritation.
This best-selling and reasonably priced night cream also works with retinol to prevent signs of ageing. Added hydration ease any irritation but don’t worry—it’s also oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts.
This lightweight cream is great for protecting skin early on from signs of ageing. Resveratrol fights free radicals as well as stopping their formation, increasing and maintaining visible firmness in the skin. With added peptides, nourishing oils, elastin and hyaluronic acid, this is a truly multitasking cream with innovative technology meaning it works its way into the skin throughout the day.
Containing two of the most potent anti-ageing ingredients—retinol and vitamin C—this much-loved night cream is a great option if you’re looking to refine skin texture, even tone and generally brighten your complexion. It’s pretty strong so it’s best to do a patch test first but with regular use your skin will be left undoubtedly brighter and more smooth.
Before makeup artist royalty Charlotte Tilbury released her own line, she used to mix this very concoction of collagen-boosting creams herself for use on all her celebrity clients including Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez. Luckily for you and me, she bottled this great everyday cream, with hyaluronic acid, vitamins E and C, rosehip and camelia oil and aloe vera, leaving us all with plump and glowy skin.
This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated.