Facebook Pixel Code
BestReview's Logo
Best For Your Buck Product
Best bang for the buck
One Life Vest
Check Price
Best Of The Best Product
Best of the best
Check Price
BestReview's Logo
Bottom Line
How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 88 Models Considered
  • 16 Hours Spent
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 97 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Anti-Aging Creams

    No matter how well you care for your skin, it’s going to change as you get older. Wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and sagging skin can all crop up over time due to repeated facial expressions, exposure to the sun, and other environmental factors.

    Unfortunately, there isn’t any fountain of youth out there that can restore your skin to the condition it was in when you were in your 20s – but the right anti-aging cream can definitely help.

    A good anti-aging cream can help your skin look smoother, brighter, and firmer, restoring that coveted youthful glow. Not all anti-aging formulas deliver on their promises, though.

    That’s why it’s so important to know which ingredients to look for and which type of formula works best for your skin type.

    The only way to see real results from an anti-aging cream is to use it consistently. Make sure to establish a routine for using the cream, and apply it regularly.

    At BestReviews, we never accept products from manufacturers, so you can trust that our recommendations are completely unbiased.

    We conducted in-depth research that allows us to pass along the info you need to choose the best anti-aging cream for your needs.

    If you’re ready to buy an anti-aging cream, check out the matrix above for our top recommendations.

    For general information on anti-aging creams, continue reading this shopping guide.


    It’s normal for your skin to tingle slightly when you apply anti-aging creams that contain retinol.

    Who Should Use Anti-Aging Cream?

    In most cases, the visible signs of aging begin to appear when a person is in her 30s. For maximum benefit, you should begin using an anti-aging cream at this time (or even earlier), and you should continue to use it as you age.

    The sooner you start using anti-aging products, the better results you’re likely to see. For this reason, some people begin using anti-aging cream in their 20s.

    Keep in mind, however, that anti-aging creams tend to be very moisturizing. If you still have oily or acne-prone skin, it’s important to choose a lighter formula to prevent breakouts.


    If you have sensitive skin, dry your face completely and wait about two minutes before applying your anti-aging cream to avoid a reaction.

    Staff  | BestReviews

    Which Anti-Aging Cream Formula is Right for You?

    Anti-aging creams typically come in one of three formulas: serum, moisturizer, or night cream. Keep in mind that you can use more than one type of anti-aging cream in your skin care routine. In fact, you may want to use different products with different active ingredients so you get the most anti-aging benefits possible.


    Anti-Aging Serums

    • Serums tend to be the thinnest, most lightweight anti-aging cream formulas.

    • They typically don’t contain heavy moisturizing ingredients, so they absorb easily into the skin.

    • They’re the best option for oily or acne-prone skin.

    If you’re applying anti-aging cream around your eyes, use your ring finger to tap it in. The ring finger is the weakest finger, so it won’t pull on the delicate skin under the eyes as much.


    Anti-Aging Moisturizers

    • Moisturizers have a thicker, heavier consistency.

    • They contain moisturizing ingredients in addition to anti-aging ingredients, so it may take a couple of minutes for them to absorb fully into the skin.

    • They often contain SPF to protect your skin from sun during the day.

    • They work best for normal, combination, or dry skin.


    For daytime anti-aging cream with SPF, apply a marble-sized amount. Be careful to avoid your eyes, as the sunscreen ingredients can easily irritate them.

    Staff  | BestReviews

    Anti-Aging Night Creams

    • Night creams are the thickest, heaviest anti-aging cream formulas.

    • They contain intense moisturizing ingredients in addition to anti-aging ingredients, so it takes several minutes for the cream to absorb fully into the skin.

    • They often contain ingredients that can make the skin sensitive to the sun because the products are designed to be used at night.

    • They work best for normal, combination, and dry skin, as well as individuals who have more obvious signs of aging.


    Nighttime anti-aging creams are usually more potent than daytime formulas, so you don’t need to apply too much. Use a pea-size amount for your entire face.

    Which Active Ingredients Are Best For Your Skin Issues?

    As you consider your options, look for the following additives in the ingredients list.

    • Retinol: Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that helps speed cell turnover. It can help target fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, dark spots, and overall dullness. It’s usually considered the most potent anti-aging ingredient, but it can be very irritating.

    • Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can help prevent and repair sun damage. It helps boost collagen production to reduce wrinkles and firm the skin, and it can lighten skin discolorations.

    • Hydroxy Acids: Hydroxy acids include alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids and work as exfoliants. These acids remove the top layers of dead skin and stimulate new skin growth for a smoother and brighter complexion.

    • Peptides: Peptides are amino acids that can help heal the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

    • Coenzyme Q10: This coenzyme can help protect the skin from sun damage and works especially well for fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

    • Tea Extracts: These are another set of potent antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea is the most common type of tea extract found in anti-aging products. It can help stimulate collagen production.

    • Niacinamide: A powerful antioxidant that’s a derivative of vitamin B3, niacinamide prevents the skin from losing water and can help boost its elasticity.

    • Grape Seed Extract: An antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, grape seed extract can help heal the skin and fight wrinkles.


    It’s best to use anti-aging creams that contain retinol at night because retinol breaks down in the sun and can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

    Anti-aging creams contain a variety of active ingredients that target a range of skin concerns. It’s important to choose a product that addresses your particular issues. The following list suggests which types of ingredients are right for various beauty problems.

    Fine Lines and Wrinkles

    • Retinol

    • Hydroxy acids

    • Vitamin C

    • Peptides

    • Tea extracts

    • Grape seed extract

    Dark Spots

    • Vitamin C

    • Hydroxy acids

    Sagging Skin

    • Retinol

    • Peptides

    • Tea extracts

    • Niacinamide


    • Retinol

    • Hydroxy acids

    • Vitamin C


    • Niacinamide

    Rough Texture

    • Retinol

    • Hydroxy acids

    Fine Lines Around the Eyes

    • Coenzyme Q10

    Many of the active ingredients used in anti-aging creams, such as retinol and vitamin C, are fairly potent and can irritate the skin. If your skin is sensitive, start by using the cream only a couple of times a week. This will give your skin time to get used to the ingredients so you can eventually increase frequency.


    Which Type of Anti-Aging Cream Packaging Should You Choose?


    Squeeze Tubes and Pumps

    Most anti-aging creams come in a squeeze tube or pump-style packaging. That keeps air from getting into the product and degrading the active ingredients, but it doesn’t always allow you to remove the most precise amounts of the cream.


    Tub-Style Containers

    Some anti-aging creams come in tub-style containers, so you have to scoop out the product with your fingers. You control how much cream you take out, but the product comes into contact with the air, which can degrade the active ingredients. You can also transmit germs to the jar when you stick your fingers inside it.


    Opaque Packaging

    Many anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol and vitamin C, are not only sensitive to the air but to light as well. That’s why it’s important to choose opaque packaging, such as plastic or dark glass.


    When you’re using anti-aging cream during the day, always wait for the cream to absorb fully before applying any makeup.

    Staff  | BestReviews

    How Much Should I Pay for Anti-Aging Cream?

    Anti-aging creams vary in price based on their ingredients and container size, but you can typically expect to spend between $8 and $150.

    • For a budget-friendly anti-aging cream with less-potent active ingredients, you’ll usually pay between $8 and $18.

    • For a mid-range anti-aging cream with more potent active ingredients, you’ll usually pay between $20 and $45.

    • For a luxury anti-aging cream with high-quality active ingredients, you’ll usually pay between $50 and $150.


    Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent and repair sun damage. It can also lighten skin discolorations and help boost collagen production to reduce wrinkles and firm the skin.


    • Anti-aging creams may contain some fairly potent active ingredients, such as retinol. Do an allergy test before using any cream by applying a small dab on the inside of your elbow or wrist. Wait 24 to 48 hours. If there’s no reaction, you can apply the cream to your face.

    • The only way to see real results from an anti-aging cream is to use it consistently. Establish a routine for using the cream, and apply it regularly.

    • When you’re applying anti-aging cream, don’t forget your neck and decolletage. These areas can show signs of aging just as easily as your face.

    • It’s a good idea to apply moisturizing anti-aging cream to damp skin. That will help lock in the moisture for more intense hydration.

    • When you’re using anti-aging cream during the day, wait for the cream to absorb fully before applying makeup.

    • To get the best results from an anti-aging cream, always use it in conjunction with sunscreen. The SPF will help prevent future signs of aging.

    Protecting your skin from sun exposure is the most effective anti-aging treatment. In addition to using sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat if you’re going to be spending time outdoors.


    Q. When should I start using an anti-aging cream?

    A. Many dermatologists recommend using anti-aging cream as early as your 20s to help curtail the signs of aging. However, anti-aging products are typically designed for drier skin, so if your skin is still fairly oily, opt for a lighter formula, such as a serum.

    Q. Do any of the ingredients in anti-aging cream cause irritation or other side effects?

    A. Some anti-aging creams contain extremely potent ingredients that may irritate sensitive skin or cause certain side effects. For example, retinol can cause dryness, redness, and flaking when you first start using it. For this reason, it’s best to start slow and only use the product a few times a week in the beginning. As your skin adjusts to the ingredients, the irritation will subside, and you can increase the usage.

    Q. What about anti-aging cream with fragrance? Should I use it or avoid it?

    A. Some anti-aging creams are scented with artificial fragrance to make them more appealing. However, if you have sensitive skin, the fragrance could irritate it. Opt for a fragrance-free formula to ensure that it works with your skin.

    Q. How long does it take to see results from anti-aging cream?

    A. It depends on the product and what skin concerns you have, but in most cases, you should start to see some results from your cream within four to eight weeks. The effects are usually fairly subtle, so you may wish to take “before” and “after” photos to help you spot the differences.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
    • Melissa
      Senior Editor

    Support Us

    At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.

    Help support our research and testing by making a contribution.