The best wrinkle creams that actually work, according to dermatologists

The best wrinkle creams that actually work, according to dermatologists

You can be in your 20s and dolloping on SPF daily. Or, you can be in your 50s and want to know how to mitigate the appearance of fine lines. The common link? The desire to focus on anti-aging — and it begins with a skincare regimen that works for you.

“In addition to moisturizing, wrinkle creams are meant to target specific signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity,” Lauren Penzi, MD, board-certified dermatologist at MCDS Dermatology on Long Island, told the New York Post. “They contain specific ingredients that stimulate collagen production, improve skin texture or reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

While supplementary ingredients vary to add to the creaminess or bounciness of a moisturizer, there are a few key ingredients to scope out when wanting to relinquish wrinkles.

Retinol is the gold standard ingredient in wrinkles creams, addressing skin texture and tone, fine lines and wrinkles, and to enhance collagen production for overall skin improvement,” Howard Sobel, MD, clinical attending dermatologic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital, told The Post. “Hyaluronic acid helps to plump the skin, locking in moisture and strengthening the skin barrier for younger-looking skin. Niacinamide, vitamin C and bakuchiol increase skin-brightening, bringing more radiance to skin, too.”

Ahead, we outlined the best wrinkle creams — all approved by our team of board-certified dermatologists. Plus, check out our in-depth FAQ section for more anti-aging tips and what to know.


“The Dr. Brandt Needles No More Wrinkle Smoothing Cream is an injectable-inspired skincare solution designed to target and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines,” Penzi highlights, recommending the product as a splurge worth making. “It’s formulated to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, provide hydration and improve the overall texture of your skin.”

Moreover, its key ingredients include lactic and glycolic acid and neuropeptides, among others.


An FAQ on Wrinkle Creams

Ahead, our team of board-certified dermatologists best explain what to look for in a quality wrinkle cream, how to use them and more.

What ingredients should I look for in a wrinkle cream?

“The most common ingredient for wrinkle creams is topical retinoids, which tend to exfoliate the skin and also stimulate collagen over time,” Keniya Kobets, MD, director, cosmetic dermatology, and assistant professor, dermatology at Montefiore-Einstein, told the New York Post. “Vitamin C and its derivatives have also been proven to stimulate collagen and elastin in the skin. Other ingredients like copper peptides also can be used for anti-aging.”

More, hydrating ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid tend to increase hydration the skin and make the skin appear more plump — and, most importantly, help improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Be sure to note that topical retinoids and some vitamin C derivatives can be irritating and should be using caution with sensitive skin and dry skin, per Dr. Kobetts.

Oh, and we didn’t forget about superstar ingredient, retinol. “Retinols help to increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” Penzi says. “It’s not ideal for those with dry or sensitive skin, as these can be drying and irritating with initial use, especially depending on strength or formula.

Editor’s note: Based on our testing, start with a small concentration of retinol, ideally 1%.

“Skin sensitivity is a major factor that determines which ingredients you incorporate into your anti-aging routine,” Turner adds. “If you have very sensitive skin, look for products with low concentrations of these actives when starting to add them into your regimen; you may want at first to avoid retinol altogether starting with other actives or consider starting a retinol alone and build up your skin’s tolerance.”

How to apply wrinkle cream step by step, per dermatologists

After cleansing and applying your skin serum of choice, apply wrinkle cream to the forehead, cheekbones and chin using circular movements in a lifting motion, according to Sobel. “Additional cream can be added to the neck and décolleté in an upward sweeping motion,” he adds.

According to Saedi, a moisturizer or wrinkle cream should be the last step of your skincare routine. “It will seal in the benefits of any serums or ingredients you applied before it,” she adds. “The total amount you use should be about the size of a quarter.”

How often should I apply wrinkle cream?

“For best results, wrinkle cream should be applied at least once daily yet may be used twice daily pending the active ingredients and their concentrations,” Turner advises. “Look for a product that also contains sunscreen for morning use.”

Penzi echoes the same sentiment. “Ideally, wrinkle creams should be applied once daily, but because they often contain powerful active ingredients, it’s possible that daily can be too strong or irritating; about four times per week may be more realistic, especially for those with dry, sensitive skin.”