Best Anti-Aging Face Moisturizers

Best Dermatologist Recommended Antiaging Face Moisturizers

There is no best antiaging moisturizer for all skin types, which means there is no best wrinkle cream on the market. The key is to find the anti-wrinkle cream that is right for your unique skin.  Our dermatologists are here to help.

Antiaging face moisturizers come in many forms and should be chosen to match your Baumann Skin Type®. Dermatologists recommend antiaging moisturizers as an important part of any skincare routine — but how to know which moisturizer is best for your skin type? 

This guide to the best antiaging moisturizers will help you choose a face moisturizer to treat wrinkles- however- there is a lot to learn to understand antiaging cosmeceutical ingredients.  There is an easier way than learning all the science!  Take the skin type quiz and then we can give you better moisturizer advice. If you do not take the quiz- our disclaimer is that the below is general advice and is not as good as the advice that we can give you based on your Baumann Skin Type. If you are a science nerd like us and want to learn more about the science of antiaging ingredients in moisturizers, click here or to learn more about the science of moisturizers click here. 

There are two important points that our dermatologists consider when recommending an antiaging face moisturizer in a custom skincare routine:

  • Is this the best antiaging moisturizer for the skin type and lifestyle habits?
  • What step in the skincare routine is the antiaging moisturizer and is it am or pm?

(We will not discuss these 2 points because they are discussed in other sections which you can find by following the above links.)

Guide to Antiaging Moisturizers

Assuming you know your skin type (and are correct), this is a guide to our dermatologists’  favorite moisturizers. Each section will link to more information. This guide will only discuss the best antiaging face moisturizers, to learn more about antiaging skincare routines click here.

Face moisturizers should be chosen carefully because moisturizers play an important role in how the other products in the skincare routine work. For example, moisturizers can affect how well other skincare products for acne, rosacea, melasma, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions will work. The wrong moisturizer can negate the effects of expensive antiaging serums or skin lightening creams.  So educate yourself and choose wisely or take the skin type quiz and we will do the work for you.

Best Antiaging Face Moisturizers

There are many antiaging cream ingredients that target skin aging and even more causes of aging skin. How do you know when to begin using anti-aging skincare? It depends upon your Baumann Skin Type and your lifestyle habits. To choose the best antiaging face cream, consider your lifestyle habits that can contribute to skin aging. The skin type quiz will ask you about these.  The more skin aging habits you have, the higher your need for antiaging skincare is, and the earlier you should start using an antiaging face cream.

Before we give you a list of dermatologist-recommended antiaging face moisturizers, it is important for you to understand that THE BEST ANTIAGING CREAM IS A DAILY SUNSCREEN. Now that we have that out of the way- the best scientifically proven antiaging ingredients are retinoids. 1, 2, 3, 4Retinol is an example of a retinoid. We advise that everyone try to use a retinoid for antiaging. The key is which retinoid, how many retinoids, how often, and which products to combine the retinoid with?  All of these factors affect the efficacy and tolerability of retinoids. Please take the skin type questionnaire so that the antiaging skin care routine instructions we give you will help you choose the correct retinoid for your skin type.  Here are some of the best antiaging retinol products.

1. Antiaging Face Cream With Retinol

Retinol is in the Retinoid family of antiaging ingredients. There are many strengths of retinol antiaging creams.  You should start with the lowest strength retinol and slowly move your way up. Retinol clears pores, helps decrease pimple formation and smooths fine lines.  It can take 6 months – 12 months to see results with retinol. The goal is to slowly increase the strength until you are using a high-strength retinol every night under your moisturizer. 

These are the best retinol creams for beginners. Note that most retinol is formulated as a very light serum. Dry skin types will need to use a barrier repair moisturizer in combination with these retinol serums. 

  1. Essopi Retinol Treatment Serum 2X- This is not really a face moisturizer as much as it is a renew cream. In fact, dry types need to use this in a skin care routine for antiaging along with a barrier repair moisturizer. 
  2. Medature Encapsulated Retinol Serum- slowly releases retinol during the night to help prevent skin irritation. A moisturizer can be layered with this serum in dry skin types.
  3. La Roche Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1%- This was a prescription acne medication that recently became available without a prescription. It is less irritating than other prescription retinoids. Although adapalene is not approved to treat aging skin, it is a retinoid so it will have the same effects as other retinoids.
  4. Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3- Skinceuticals has several strengths of high-quality retinol serums.  Start with the lowest strength and work your way up slowly.

2. Antiaging Moisturizers With Vitamin C, (Ascorbic Acid)

This category is empty because vitamin C does not work well in creams, so we do not have any favorite Vitamin C moisturizing creams for antiaging. The most moisturizing of the Vitamin C serums is Skinceuticals C E Ferulic.  The best antiaging vitamin C products are serums which are discussed elsewhere.  See Vitamin C serums for antiaging.

Best Antiaging Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

The best moisturizer for sensitive skin depends upon the type of sensitive skin that you have.  There are 4 types of sensitive skin. If your skin cannot tolerate retinol, see the retinoid alternative skincare products discussed above. 

These are our dermatologist recommended antiaging moisturizers for sensitive skin. They are listed by what type of sensitive skin you have. If you have hypersensitive skin- we suggest you click here for more information.

1. Antiaging Cream for Acne-Prone Skin

Antiaging Face Cream for Wrinkles, Acne and Oily Skin

Skin that has acne and wrinkles at the same time is easy to treat if the skin is oily.  Retinoids address both of these issues, so choose a retinoid to treat your wrinkles and acne. Look for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients in skincare products. These antiaging skincare recommendations are for normal, combination and oily skin types. If you have dry skin- skip this section and keep reading.

  1. Essopi Triple Antioxidant Serum- This light non-comedogenic serum moisturizer for acne-prone skin has several soothing antioxidants that also function as anti-inflammatory ingredients. Green tea, caffeine and resveratrol all help protect skin from aging free radicals while soothing the skin. Extremely dry skin types with acne should choose a different moisturizer.
  2. Neocutis Hyalis+ Intensive Hydrating Serum- This luxurious non-comedogenic moisturizer has hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin without clogging pores.

Antiaging Face Cream for Wrinkles, Acne and Dry Skin

Treating wrinkles in patients with dry skin and acne is difficult because these acne-prone skin types need retinoids but often cannot tolerate them.  We recommend seeing a dermatologist for prescription acne medications that do not dry the skin. If you want to treat acne and wrinkles at home and you have dry skin, our advice is the same advice for extremely dry skin that we discuss below.  Acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, salicylic acid and Accutane (isotretinoin) dry the skin. If you have acne and are not sure if you have dry skin or oily skin- take the skin type quiz to guide you on the best antiaging and acne skincare for your skin type. Our dermatologist-recommended noncomedogenic moisturizers for dry, acne-prone skin are below.  Combine these with a retinoid under the guidance of your doctor.  Retinoids treat both acne and aging so it is worth the effort to find a retinoid that you can tolerate.  Using one of these soothing moisturizers will help:

  1.  Zerafite Soothing and Calming Moisturizer- This heavy and soothing skin barrier cream has non-comedogenic argan oil and the fatty acid called stearic acid to soothe the skin in addition to the barrier repair technology known as MLE technology. These barrier repair ingredients help the skin hold onto water and tolerate retinoids while soothing and calming the skin.  Using a calming cream like this can help your sensitive skin tolerate retinoids and acne treatments.
  2. Essopi Triple Antioxidant Cream- This light, non-comedogenic moisturizer for acne-prone skin has antiaging ingredients that are antioxidants, such as resveratrol, caffeine and green tea.  These antioxidant ingredients help negate free radicals and decrease skin inflammation caused by acne. This is the best noncomedogenic antioxidant moisturizer for dry, acne-prone skin when you want a light face cream.

2. Antiaging Cream for Sensitive Skin With Rosacea

Rosacea is a form of sensitive skin. Many antiaging creams will irritate rosacea-prone skin.  For example, many rosacea skin types cannot tolerate hydroxy acids and retinol.  To learn more about rosacea creams that soothe rosacea-prone skin, click here. When treating wrinkles in rosacea-prone skin, the first step is to reduce inflammation using anti-inflammatory ingredients. We recommend using these soothing ingredients for about 4 weeks before beginning a retinoid. In the meantime, choose an antiaging face cream that does not have a retinoid.

3. Antiaging Face Cream Without Retinol

Sensitive skin types may not be able to tolerate retinol, and some people are afraid to use retinoids because of many myths about the dangers of retinol creams. If you cannot use a retinoid, here are some suggestions for retinol-free antiaging face creams:

  1.  Defenage 24/7 Barrier Balance Cream- This antiaging cream is on the expensive side because the Defenage company has an exclusive patent on topical defensins. Defensins are naturally occurring molecules that bind the LGR6+ stem cell in the hair follicle and trigger the skin to generate a new epidermis.  You will see results quickly with this product. It is usually not irritating unless you have an allergy to niacinamide. Our recommendation is to use this when you want to see results fast, but results are short-lived. Try and add an antiaging cream to your antiaging skin care routine that increases collagen production.
  2. Sente Dermal Repair Cream- This antiaging cream is a light moisturizer that should be used in combination with other antiaging products. This face cream for mature skin has heparan sulfate which hydrates skin, smooths lines and increases the efficacy of other antiaging products. Dry skin types will want to use this with a barrier repair moisturizer because this does not repair the skin barrier.

Best Antiaging Moisturizer for Extremely Dry, Mature Skin

Antiaging skincare for dry, sensitive skin should include a barrier repair moisturizer. At this time there are no antiaging barrier repair moisturizers. Your best bet is to go with a soothing barrier repair moisturizer and use a separate antiaging face cream.  If you use the correct cleanser and soothing barrier repair moisturizer, you should be able to tolerate using a retinoid.  Learn more about barrier repair moisturizers here.

Best Antiaging Moisturizers for Combination Skin

Although there is no such thing as combination skin in the Baumann Skin Typing System, people who think they have combination skin are usually not extremely dry.  Take the quiz to know your exact skin type, but here is some general advice on antiaging face creams for combination skin types.  Combination skin types can often tolerate hydroxy acids.  However, we usually recommend hydroxy acids in cleansers rather than in face creams. Remember not to over-exfoliate, which can happen if you use too many different antiaging products at once.

  1. Skinceuticals Renew Overnight Dry- This hydroxy acid- containing antiaging face cream can be used to smooth fine lines.  It should not be started at the same time as retinol because that can lead to over-exfoliation.
  2. Glycolix Elite Glycolic acid face cream- This comes in 10%, 15% and 20% strengths.  Start with the lowest strength and work your way up.

Best Antiaging Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizers

Most of the hyaluronic acid antiaging skincare products are serums, not moisturizers. These hyaluronic acid serums hold water on the surface of the skin and make the skin feel temporarily hydrated.  This plumps up the skin and erases fine lines due to dehydration. Hyaluronic acid serums are not the best moisturizers, and they do not have a permanent effect on wrinkles but they are popular because they temporarily remove wrinkles from the face quickly (At least the small fine lines due to dehydration). Most people can see an improvement in wrinkles in minutes after use.  These hyaluronic acid serums are good moisturizers for oily skin, but for dry skin types, they need to be combined with a barrier repair moisturizer.  For a complete discussion on hyaluronic acid, serums click here.

  1. ClarityRx Feel Better Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Cream- This antiaging cream is for dry and sensitive skin types because it contains soothing jojoba oil as well as hyaluronic acid.
  2. Sente Dermal Repair Cream- This antiaging face cream for mature skin helps other antiaging products work better. It is very gentle and hydrating. This anti-aging serum does not contain hyaluronic acid but instead contains heparan sulfate.  Both are glycosaminoglycans that bind water to the skin’s surface, which is why we included it here. This is a very light cream, so dry skin types will need to combine it with a barrier repair moisturizer.
  3. Skinmedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator- This hyaluronic acid antiaging serum acts as a humectant to hold moisture on the skin, plumping fine wrinkles. This is often used by aestheticians after a facial, dermaplaning, microneedling, or chemical peel.  It is expensive to use every day and there are cheaper options.

These are our thoughts on the best antiaging moisturizers. The best choice for you depends upon what barriers to skin health you have besides skin aging. The biggest mistakes we see are people using the wrong antiaging products for their skin type, using antiaging skin care products in the wrong skincare routine order, using too many antiaging skincare products or using products that are a waste of money because they do not work.  Before you buy any antiaging moisturizers, make sure the skincare products are worth the price. Antiaging moisturizers must be used in the correct step in the skincare routine and must be used with other products that increase their efficacy.  It is very common to see patients who are using the wrong products together which are canceling each other out. Your best bet is to take the skin type quiz and get a dermatologist-recommended skincare routine.

Resources

1 Kafi Reza, et al. “Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin With Vitamin A (Retinol)” Arch Dermatol 143 (2007): 606-612.

2 Baumann L. Retinoids in Baumann’s Cosmetic Dermatology, 3rd ed. McGraw Hill 2021 (in press)

3 Riahi, Ryan R., et al. “Topical Retinoids: Therapeutic Mechanisms in the Treatment of Photodamaged Skin” Am J Clin Dermatol (2016): 1-12.

4 Weiss, Jonathan S., “Topical Tretinoin Improves Photoaged Skin A Double-blind Vehicle-Controlled Study” JAMA 259.4 (2014): 527-533.

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