Home > Health & Beauty > Wrinkle Cream > Wrinkle Cream

Best Wrinkle Cream

By: Kelly Burgess on March 30, 2017

Editor's note:
Olay and Neutrogena remain the best, most affordable, wrinkle creams. Olay's Regenerist line is packed with anti-aging ingredients, while Neutrogena Healthy Skin Night cream contains retinol to smooth your skin. We also have great recommendations for those with sensitive skin and for men -- and yes, guys, your skin needs love too.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter SPF - None Fragrance - No Skin type - All, best for normal to oily

Best wrinkle serum

Experts and users agree: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum is an excellent choice to renew and revitalize your skin every day. It has a complement of ingredients that result in soft, silky skin and can minimize signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Since it does not contain sunscreen, this serum is best if paired with a moisturizer with sunscreen during the day; but it can stand alone at night. It's appropriate for all skin types. See our full review »

Buy for $20.99
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter SPF - 30 Fragrance - Yes Skin type - All

Wrinkle cream with SPF

With an SPF of 30, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream "may be the only product you need in your morning skincare routine," according to one professional testing organization. Regular users find that it diminishes wrinkles while firming and brightening the complexion. The broad-spectrum formulation provides protection from sun damage, while packing in plenty of anti-aging ingredients. The smooth, light texture makes an excellent base for makeup. Olay's Micro-Sculpting Cream is appropriate for all skin types.

Buy for $22.02
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter SPF - No Fragrance - No Skin type - All

Best retinol cream

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream is a super star when it comes to fighting wrinkles because of its combination of retinol and other powerful anti-aging, antioxidant ingredients. It's a better compound, experts agree, than many anti-wrinkle creams costing much more. Reviewers rave about its effectiveness at reducing the appearance of mild wrinkles and fine lines over time, as well as improving tone and texture. See our full review »

Buy for $11.79
RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream
Runners Up
Specs that Matter SPF - No Fragrance - Yes Skin type - All

Retinol cream for sensitive skin

Skin care experts suggest that everyone use a retinol cream as they begin to notice signs of aging, but not everyone can tolerate the side effects. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream may be the answer. In testing, this retinol cream performed as well as much pricier products, with few reports of irritation. It works well with all skin types, but if your skin is super dry or sensitive, you may want to follow up with a moisturizer.

Buy for $14.11
L'Oreal Paris Men Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter SPF - 15 Fragrance - Yes Skin type - All

Wrinkle cream for men

This may be sold as a moisturizer, but hundreds of younger-looking reviewers assure us that L'Oreal Paris Men Expert Vita Lift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Daily is a powerful wrinkle smoother. They say it goes on light, absorbs well, and does not feel greasy. Many note that they have seen improvements in skin tone, sagging skin, and wrinkles. The inclusion of a 15 SPF sunscreen makes it suitable for daily use, too.

Buy for $8.79

Wrinkle creams can improve the look of your skin in several ways

Their name makes them sound like they're just for seniors to scrub away existing wrinkles (which would be awesome, by the way), but, in fact, wrinkle creams should be a part of everyone's skin care regimen even before you start noticing actual wrinkles. A more appropriate name, and one most manufacturers use, is "anti-aging." These anti-aging products run the gamut from formulations to prevent damage that can make your skin look older, to products that help to reverse some damage you may already have.

When used in conjunction with a top facial cleanser, facial moisturizer and eye cream (which we cover in separate reports), a good wrinkle cream can minimize fine lines and wrinkles, diminish age spots, and brighten your skin for better skin tone and a youthful glow.

Retinol or no retinol, that is the question

Retinol is the scientific term for vitamin A and has been proven to increase the production of skin-plumping collagen, thus increasing the firmness and elasticity of skin and softening the depth and overall appearance of wrinkles over time. Additionally, retinol is an antioxidant that helps to counteract the effects of free radicals, which damage skin cells.

Some skin care and anti-aging experts think that everyone should use a retinol containing product every day, beginning before wrinkles appear and for as long as they want to after that. However, although there's no doubt that retinol is an anti-aging superstar, not everyone can use it. Retinol tends to cause more irritation and reactions in people with sensitive skin. It's also not recommended for use during the day.

There are prescription-strength retinol creams available that are stronger than over-the-counter wrinkle creams, but they tend to cause more irritation, with redness that can last for days. Over the counter creams are gentler, although they can still be irritating. Some reviewers recommend starting out by using creams with retinol every other day to begin with and easing yourself into a daily regimen.

Types of Wrinkle Cream

Wrinkle Creams Without Retinol

Many non-retinol wrinkle creams contain various antioxidants, which can prevent the fine lines and wrinkles associated with aging, without the irritation that many experience with retinol (retinol creams also tend to be pricier, sometimes much pricier). Many of these products contain ingredients that plump the skin, minimize skin damage, and even, in some cases, reverse it. That difference can be subtle -- there is no magic potion that will make your wrinkles disappear overnight, or prevent all wrinkles -- but if you use them consistently you should see an improvement.

Wrinkle Creams With Retinol

As discussed above, retinol is the crème de la crème (or cream, or serum) when it comes to anti-aging, but it can take some trial and error to find the one that works for you. For example, if you really think a retinol cream is right for you but you have sensitive skin, find a retinol formula targeted for sensitive skin (and we have a top recommendation in that category). If you have deeper wrinkles, look for a dropper or pen-type applicator that makes it easier to directly apply the product just where you need it. If you are merely looking to brighten or even out your complexion while minimizing fine lines, look for a lighter, easy to absorb serum or cream.

Wrinkle Creams for Men

Men may not be the main target market for wrinkle creams, or any skin care product for that matter, but it's just as important that they take care of their skin for the same reasons women do -- to look and feel younger and to radiate a healthy glow. All of the products in any of our skin care reports can be used by men as well, although some fragranced products are probably best suited to women. There are only a few expert sources for skin products for men, but we have some recommendations based upon our research and a little bit of common sense.

Don't let a wrinkle cream put a crimp in your budget

Experts agree that price is no indicator of the overall effectiveness of wrinkle creams. In fact, many of the best wrinkle creams can be found at the drugstore -- and we encountered more reviews for these affordable brands than we did for expensive department-store wrinkle creams. Although many of those pricey products feel more luxurious on the skin, experts say the vast majority work no better than budget formulas with the same active ingredients.

Some wrinkle creams can be worn all day, but most are designed to be applied at night. That's because they typically don't contain sunscreen and some of their most powerful ingredients, such as retinol, easily degrade in daylight and can make skin extra sensitive to the sun. Still, there are wrinkle creams that people put on in the morning and wear all day, under makeup or another moisturizer or both. Remember, experts say you should always wear a moisturizer containing sunscreen on your face during the day to protect your skin from the aging properties of the sun and other types of environmental damage -- otherwise, you're negating the effect of the wrinkle cream.

Finding The Best Wrinkle Cream
Our Sources
"The Best Anti-Aging Skin Products"
"BeautyPedia Reviews"
"TotalBeauty Awards 2016: Best Face Products"

There are plenty of resources for wrinkle creams -- and experts and users both tend to be passionate about praising -- or panning -- their favorites. However, anecdotal evidence is no match for objective measures, which is why a recent Good Housekeeping roundup was such a great resource for this update. Consumer testers used the wrinkle creams at home and reported to the lab with their findings. The lab then put the before and after results under the microscope to see if the testers experiences lined up with their perceptions. When both did, that product made our list as well.

As always, Beautypedia.com, run by beauty products expert Paula Begoun to be extremely helpful as well. Begoun and her staff review virtually every beauty product on the market. Hands on testing is not done, but reviews are updated frequently and the ingredients and the manufacturers claims are scrutinized and evaluated based upon the consensus of experts in the beauty field and scientific community. We also consulted the beauty product awards and roundups from sources such as Allure.com and TotalBeauty.com, because they study beauty and they know what works for their customers and readers.

Beauty product retail sites like Ulta.com, MakeupAlley.com and Sephora.com are invaluable in gauging real-world results from these wrinkle creams. Users posting on those sites tend to be very knowledgeable about beauty products, including specific ingredients and how they work, and their input is sharp and focused. Because so many of our top choices are available at drugstores and large retailers, feedback from customers at places like Walgreens.com, Walmart.com and Amazon.com (though see Our Sources for a caveat regarding some wrinkle cream reviews at Amazon.com) often offer a look at how more typical users of some of these products react to their performance and price.

The best wrinkle serums and creams

There are few over-the-counter wrinkle creams that get the kind of praise that Olay Micro-Sculpting Serum (Est. $20 for 1.7 oz.) does. The Olay Regenerist line is well-respected by experts for its effective, beneficial formulas, and the Micro-Sculpting line is no exception. At Good Housekeeping, it earns a Seal of Approval for its ability to hydrate and smooth skin, as well as for its lab-proven anti-aging properties. As with all serums, it's a great base for moisturizers or makeup, and Good Housekeeping's assistant beauty editor agrees, saying it, "Wears well under makeup without pilling or melting off during the day."

Olay Micro-Sculpting Serum gets a perfect 5-star rating from Paula Begoun at BeautyPedia.com, although she spends most of her review pointing out that the manufacturer overstates it's claims -- something that practically every single maker of every single product on earth also does (except for the Snuggie, of course, it really is a blanket with sleeves). Still, she notes, that, like many other Regenerist serums, it has a good amount of cell-communicating ingredients, which stimulate the growth of younger cells to help to minimize the signs of aging, as well as minerals to brighten your skin tone.

Users say Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum makes their skin look and feel hydrated, and, over time, they can see improvements in firmness, smoothness, and overall skin tone. It glides on skin and covers very well without having to use a lot, and is reported as feeling "lightweight and silky." While it's primary purpose is as a night cream, since it lacks SPF, many users say they use it daily, layering it under a moisturizer that contains sunscreen and, often, under makeup as well. It's so light that it does not seem as if it's adding bulk or layers, they say. However, because it is so light, those with very dry skin may need an additional layer of moisturizer even at night. We recommend our Best Reviewed night cream, Olay Age Defying Classic Night Cream (Est. $15 for 2 oz.), which we discuss further in our separate report on facial moisturizers.

Unlike many anti-aging creams, Olay Regenerist does not contain retinol, which is a proven wrinkle-fighter. However, that works in its favor as the omission of retinol, plus its lack of fragrance, make it suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Many users say this is the only product they can use that does not make them break out or cause irritation or allergic reactions.

Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting Serum (Est. $70 for 1.7oz) is another over-the-counter anti-wrinkle serum that gets raves from experts and users, but its much higher price tab keeps it out of our top spot. Begoun calls it, "...a formidable, ultra-silky serum to consider in the battle against signs of aging." It's loaded with ingredients that will repair and improve the look and feel of your skin. Many users say they have used it for years and that they have seen their lines and wrinkles improve, and quite a few say they often get comments on their beautifully smooth skin. Many who have spot-specific wrinkles -- such as crow's feet, nose crinkles or smile lines -- say they've seen a noticeable improvement over time. Even immediately, some say, they notice softer, more hydrated skin, although Begoun says Estee Lauder Perfectionist is not a good choice for dry skin as it's not as emollient as some.

At Good Housekeeping, consumer testers rated Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting Serum as best for minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Testing in the Good Housekeeping lab backs up those anecdotal observations.

Like Olay, Estee Lauder Perfectionist does not contain retinol or fragrance so it's a good choice for sensitive skin. Because it contains no sunscreen, it should not be used as a daily moisturizing lotion unless it's used under an SPF-rated product, such as a daily facial moisturizer. However, many users say they use it day and night, layering it under other products.

Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Night Cream (Est. $30 for 1.6 oz.) is another top finisher in Good Housekeeping's roundup. It was the best performing non-retinol product in the lab, with "impressive scores for firming, moisturizing and improving spots." Consumer testers like it as well, saying the improvement in the appearance of their skin was noticeable to family and friends. Regular users like Boots No7 too, with hundreds of reviewers weighing in at various online retailers to say they see a visible difference in their skin, even when other products did nothing.

So what keeps Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Night Cream out of our top spot? Fragrance, for one thing. While most say the fragrance is pleasant and unobtrusive, others say it was so overwhelming they had to immediately wash it off. This can also be a problem for those with chemical sensitivities, who may experience upper respiratory reactions from even small amounts of fragrance. It's also packaged in a jar instead of a more sanitary pump-style dispenser. Dipping your fingers into a jar lends itself to the risk of contaminating the ingredients. Still, if you wash your hands before applying and have no sensitivities to fragrances, we highly recommend this product -- it's a great performer at a not-too-bad price.

At a fraction of the price of any of the other over-the-counter wrinkle creams in this category, but just as popular with users, Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Creme (Est. $7 for 1.7 oz.) is also praised by Begoun for its "well-documented antioxidants in a light yet creamy base formula." However, she gives it only two stars because of its packaging -- it comes in jar form only -- downsides that we discuss above. However, Eucerin products are perennially popular, and if you store and use this properly, it could be a great budget choice for everyday skin care, especially if your skin is very sensitive or very dry. Eucerin Q10 does not contain sunscreen, so is best used under an SPF containing moisturizer.

Elsewhere In This Report
Recently Updated
Wrinkle Cream buying guide

What every best Wrinkle Cream has:

  • Retinol or other antioxidant compounds.
  • Opaque packaging.
  • Tolerable additives.

Read More »

Learn More »