Treating fine lines and wrinkles doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the cosmetic surgeon.
Regularly using anti-aging products, such as night creams or eye creams, can make a real difference in how your skin looks and feels, and there are many excellent ones out there that don’t require a prescription (or cost a fortune).
“There are two categories of products out there:
ones that actually treat and prevent wrinkles, and others that just minimize their appearance,” says Pennsylvania-based board-certified dermatologist Erum Ilyas, M.D.
The first category of products contain legit anti-aging ingredients (think: retinol), while the second involve ingredients that excessively hydrate or temporarily swell the skin to make wrinkles seem less noticeable—but once you stop using them, your skin goes back to its regularly scheduled programming.
Factor in sensitivities: If your skin is easily irritated, consider looking for anti-aging creams that contain bakuchiol instead of retinol. “It actually has the same effect as retinol topically, but it’s less irritating because it’s also an anti-inflammatory agent,” says Dr. Ilyas. Other potential irritants to avoid include fragrances, artificial dyes, and even coconut oil or cocoa butter, which can clog pores and cause breakouts.
Look for prime packaging: Ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, and peptides can become unstable and degrade when exposed to air or light, so any products that contain them should be packaged in dark opaque tubes, preferably with air-tight pumps, says Lela Lankerani, D.O., board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas.
But sifting through all of the anti-aging products to find the one that’s best for you can be overwhelming. Here, the creams and serums experts recommend most.