Fashion & beauty

9 Best Anti-Aging Wrinkle Creams That Actually Work

No matter how old you are, dermatologists agree that it’s never too early (or too late) to start taking care of your skin. Whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s or beyond, sticking to a regular skincare routine that includes a good wrinkle cream can make all the difference.

“While seeing a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles is the main benefits of anti-aging topicals, many of these products are multi-purpose and also help to moisturize and hydrate skin, target dark spots or help with other concerns,” says Kathleen S. Viscusi, M.D., dermatologist and co-founder of Dermatology and Surgery Specialists of North Atlanta in Marietta, Georgia. In addition, “anti-aging creams are usually packed with antioxidants and brightening agents that help decrease skin inflammation,” adds Naana Boakye, M.D., a dermatologist in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

But there are so many creams and moisturizers out there (that promise so many things), it can be tricky to know where to start. That’s why the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts are here to cut through the clutter.

Our top picks:

GH Beauty Lab scientists are constantly testing the latest anti-aging skincare products, including day creams, night creamseye creamsneck creams and more to find the best on the market. They utilize both technical instruments that measure changes in wrinkles, dark spots, firmness and skin moisturization over time as well as consumer tester feedback on factors like ease of use, cosmetic properties and look and feel of skin after a set time period. Lab pros then quantify both sets of data to identify the top performers.

You can read more about how we scientifically evaluate wrinkle creams in our lab and consumer tests — plus everything you need to know to shop for the best anti-aging creams and skincare products — at the end of this guide. Looking for more of the best anti-aging products? Check out our guides to the best anti-aging serums and face moisturizers for your money.

Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
1
BEST OVERALL ANTI-AGING CREAM

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

CREDIT: OLAY

PROS
  • Highly moisturizing
  • mooths skin’s texture
  • owerful anti-aging actives
  • Great value
CONS

Get the ultimate moisture boost with Olay’s best-selling cream that outperformed 10 competitors — even a prestige $440 one! — in the GH Beauty Lab’s clinical studies. Packed with powerhouse anti-agers including niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, Lab measurements with the Corneometer device found the Good Housekeeping Seal star increased hydration by 50% on average over 24 hours and improved skin texture by 10% in four weeks.

Key ingredients Niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides
Best for Dry, combination, sensitive skin
Size 1.7 oz.
Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF 30
2
BEST VALUE ANTI-AGING CREAM

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF 30

Now 35% Off

CREDIT: NEUTROGENA

PROS
  • Bargain price
  • Effectively firms and hydrates skin
  • Evens skin tone and reduces lines
  • Contains SPF
CONS

This top dermatologist pick from Neutrogena aced the GH Beauty Lab’s anti-aging day cream test. Lab tests found that it firmed, moisturized, evened tone and smoothed fine lines over time. The GH Beauty Award winner also quenches dry skin and protects against the sun’s rays with SPF 30. Consumers liked that this face cream absorbed quickly, didn’t irritate (even with retinol) and had minimal scent. “Hands down, the best wrinkle cream I’ve tried!” a tester raved.

Key ingredients Retinol, vitamin C, sunscreen
Best for All skin types except sensitive
Size 1 oz.

Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30

3
BEST ANTI-AGING DAY CREAM

Roc Skincare Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30

Now 37% Off

CREDIT: ROC

PROS
  • Fades dark spots
  • Softens, firms and smooths lines
  • Contains SPF
CONS

Great for everyday wear, Roc’s moisturizer with SPF was a GH Beauty Lab anti-aging day cream test winner, absorbing quickly and not leaving a greasy feeling on skin. In Lab digital imaging with the Visia Complexion Analyzer, the formula reduced visible dark spots by 4.5% and improved skin’s texture by 11% in four weeks. Consumer testers gave it top marks for softening, firming and reducing wrinkles. “It made my skin feel plump, smooth and glowing,” one reported.

Key ingredients Vitamin C, sunscreen
Best for All skin types
Size 1.7 oz.
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Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Facial Cream

4
BEST ANTI-AGING NIGHT CREAM

Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Facial Cream

CREDIT: OLAY

PROS
  • Firms and softens skin
  • Minimizes wrinkles
  • Brightens skin’s tone
CONS

A skin-smoothing retinol cream treatment and night moisturizer in one, Olay was a winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s anti-aging night cream test thanks to its noticeable brightening, softening, firming and wrinkle-reducing effects at a bargain price. The GH Seal star raised skin’s firmness by 27% over four weeks of use per the Lab’s Cutometer machine, which measures skin laxity. It also scored at the top for reducing wrinkles via digital imaging with the Visia Complexion Analyzer. An impressive 100% of testers agreed it made skin feel softer and they also ranked it best at brightening. “It’s working to brighten my complexion and firm skin,” a user noted. Another said: “It seemed to work as well as my prescription retinoid.”

READ THE FULL REVIEW: We Put Olay’s Regenerist Retinol24 Line to the Test

Key ingredients Retinol, niacinamide, peptides
Best for All skin types
Size 1.7 oz.

Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Eye Cream

5
BEST ANTI-AGING EYE CREAM FOR WRINKLES

Roc Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Eye Cream

Now 37% Off

CREDIT: ROC

PROS
  • Measurably firms and reduces eye lines
  • Depuffs and brightens dark circles
  • Great value
CONS

RoC’s cream was a winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s anti-aging eye treatments test for tackling every eye-area issue — at a price way below the average. Lab measurements found it increased firmness by 19% and hydration by 20%, reduced wrinkles by 10%, plus brightened dark circles and depuffed undereye bags. “Within a few days of usage the issues around my eyes (puffiness, dark circles and fine lines) were diminished,” a tester confirmed.

Key ingredients Vitamins C and E, glycerin
Best for All skin types
Size 0.5 oz.
SkinActive Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
6
BEST VALUE ANTI-AGING EYE CREAM

Garnier SkinActive Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream

CREDIT: GARNIER

PROS
  • Affordably-priced
  • Measurably firms and hydrates skin
CONS
  • May take longer to reduce wrinkles

A top performer in the GH Beauty Lab’s anti-aging eye cream test, Garnier’s bargain eye cream packs potent firming and softening benefits in a small package. In Lab calculations, it increased skin’s firmness by 32% and hydration by 31%. It was also highly-rated among testers, who gave it points for having a pleasant scent. “There was definitely a noticeable difference,” a tester commented.

Key ingredients Caffeine, retinol, peptides
Best for All skin types
Size 0.5 oz.
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Triple Firming Neck Cream

7
BEST ANTI-AGING NECK CREAM

NeoStrata Triple Firming Neck Cream

Now 15% Off

CREDIT: NEOSTRATA

PROS
  • Reduces neck lines
  • Softens skin
CONS

Tackle stubborn neck area lines with NeoStrata’s amino acid-infused cream, a winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s anti-aging neck treatments test that earned the highest marks for reducing wrinkles. It was best at minimizing the look of testers’ neck lines and wrinkles over 12 weeks in standardized digital imaging. The formula also scored high among testers for making skin feel hydrated. “My neck and chest looked smoother,” one reported.

Key ingredients Plant stem cells, amino acids, vitamin E
Best for All skin types
Size 2.8 oz.
Age Reverse Night Lift
8
BEST ANTI-AGING NIGHT CREAM FOR WRINKLES

Exuviance Age Reverse Night Lift

CREDIT: EXUVIANCE

PROS
  • Measurably reduces wrinkles
  • Increases skin’s firmness
CONS
  • May be irritating to some

A top performer in the GH Beauty Lab’s anti-aging night cream test, Exuviance’s light, gel-like lotion was top at reducing lines, thanks to a potent smoothing trio of glycolic acid, retinol and peptides. Lab digital imaging with the Visia Complexion Analyzer found that the formula minimized the look of wrinkles by an impressive 10%. In calculations with the Cutometer machine, which gauges skin laxity, it raised firmness 31% after four weeks. “My skin was smoother and more even, with fewer fine lines in time,” a tester noted.

Key ingredients Glycolic acid, retinol, peptides
Best for All skin types except sensitive
Size 1.75 oz.
Absolue Revitalizing Eye Cream
9
BEST ANTI-AGING EYE CREAM

Lancôme Absolue Revitalizing Eye Cream

CREDIT: LANCOME

PROS
  • Increases skin’s firmness
  • Very hydrating
CONS
  • Pricey

A worth-it splurge, Lancôme’s luxurious cream with rose extracts, plant oils and vitamins C, E and B5 won the top spot in the GH Beauty Lab’s test of anti-aging eye treatments for firming and hydrating the eye area. The formula boosted skin firmness by 29% in four weeks and increased hydration by 41%. “I could see a real difference in my undereye area,” a tester remarked. “My eyes look brighter.” Another said: “It was effective in making my skin softer and reducing crow’s feet.”

Key ingredients Vitamins C and E, botanical oils and extracts
Best for All skin types
Size 0.7 oz.
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How we test anti-aging creams and products

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The GH Beauty Lab has decades of history testing anti-aging skincare products, from face moisturizers to retinol eye creams and more. Beauty Lab scientists first label-mask the products, which are then distributed to testers around the country, who use them as part of their skincare routine for a set time period. The consumer testers report their feedback on product performance, benefits on the look and feel of skin, and ease of use, including application, texture, scent and irritation.

good housekeeping institute beauty lab anti aging creams and products testing with the corneometer deviceMIKE GARTEN

Products are also evaluated in the Lab using instruments like the Corneometer device, which measures skin moisture levels, the Cutometer machine (pictured here), which gauges skin firmness, and the Visia Complexion Analyzer, which tracks changes in skin including wrinkles, texture, pigmentation and pores. The data from these tests are then methodically tallied to arrive at the winning best anti-aging skincare creams and formulas.

What to look for when shopping for the best anti-aging creams

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GH Beauty Lab and dermatologist experts recommend seeking out the following key types of anti-aging skincare ingredients in cream formulas for the face, eyes and neck:

✔️ Retinol: “A derivative of vitamin A, it’s proven to slow down and sometimes reverse age-related changes that occur over time within skin,” says Libby Rhee, M.D., Dermatology Advisor for Ro Derm and Founder of Liora Dermatology & Aesthetics in New York City. “It works by increasing skin cell turnover, thereby increasing collagen production, as well as reducing the breakdown of collagen.” They improve skin texture, smooth wrinkles, firm and even skin tone for a more radiant complexion.
✔️ Peptides: “A great anti-aging ingredient, they are small chains of amino acids that act as building blocks for proteins such as collagen, which we lose as we age,” Dr. Viscusi says. They help reduce lines and wrinkles and increase skin firmness over time.
✔️ Antioxidants: Including vitamins C and E, resveratrol and niacinamide (vitamin B3), these help prevent “oxidative stress from sources such as sun exposure, smoking, pollution and poor nutrition that can play a major role in premature skin aging,” Dr. Rhee explains. Vitamin C and niacinamide also help even skin tone and brighten, among other anti-aging benefits.
✔️ Moisturizers: “Moisturizing ingredients should be in everyone’s toolkit,” Dr. Boakye says. Actives like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin help replenish skin hydration that can decline with age.
✔️ Sunscreen: “It’s estimated that 80% of the skin changes we attribute to chronological aging, like wrinkles and dark spots, are due to the cumulative effects of day-to-day sun exposure,” Dr. Rhee says. “In that sense, they are largely preventable with the daily and consistent use of broad spectrum sunscreen.” Apply a face sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, recommends GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek: “Sunscreen is the best anti-aging defense, no matter what other anti-aging products you apply.”

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Do anti-aging creams actually work?

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GH Beauty Lab testing has found that some anti-aging creams and products (like the top-tested formulas on our list) do work and provide visible results. “In our tests, we are able to see measurable improvements in skin’s firmness and hydration and a decrease lines, wrinkles and dark spots,” Wnek says. But consistency is key: It takes at least four weeks of daily application to start seeing benefits from skincare treatments like creams and up to twelve for maximum results.

What’s the best way to use an anti-aging cream?

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First, the GH Beauty Lab recommends closely following the directions on the product’s packaging, as some formulas are created to be applied twice per day, while others are meant to be used once. For best results, “always apply products on a clean, dry face,” Dr. Rhee advises. And to avoid irritation, “start off slowly,” Dr. Boakye says, applying a small amount of a treatment once per week and increasing the frequency two to three times per week.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

dog

Danusia Wnek, a chemist in the Good Housekeeping Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab, develops and oversees the testing of skincare product categories including anti-aging moisturizers, night creams, eye creams and more, utilizing both lab instrumentation and consumer feedback to recommend the best products on the market.

April Franzino, the beauty director at Good Housekeeping, has over 15 years of experience researching, writing and editing skincare-related content, utilizing the expertise of the Institute’s Beauty Lab scientists and top industry professionals such as dermatologists and aestheticians. She is an expert in all face and body skincare product categories, including cleanserstoners, serums, moisturizers, night creams, sunscreens, exfoliatorsmasks, eye creams, professional treatments and more.

Nicole Saporita is a former member of the Good Housekeeping editorial team that spent years working with the GH Beauty Lab to interpret and report on product testing.

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