25 Top-Rated Skin-Care Products to Treat Signs of Aging
Forget the year on your birth certificate; many factors can dramatically change how your skin looks and feels. Even if you haven't noticed any signs yet — like dark spots or fine lines — and consider yourself too young to pick up something labeled "antiaging," the truth is that it's never too early to start with preemptive measures. "Antiaging in beauty refers to ingredients such as retinol, peptides, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, which help fight signs of sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, and crepey skin," Arizona-based board-certified dermatologist Karan Lal, DO, says. "We start losing collagen in our 20s and start accumulating sun damage in our teens," which means the earlier you start using antiaging products, the better.
If you're going to add just one antiaging skin-care product to your regimen, make it daily sunscreen, which Lal considers a nonnegotiable in preventing sun damage that causes fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Of course, there are plenty more products where that came from, too, from retinol serums that exfoliate to reveal new, smooth skin cells to moisturizers packed with peptides that firm your skin. Ahead, we've rounded up our 25 favorite antiaging skin-care products tackle signs of skin aging, from dryness and dullness to fine lines and wrinkles.
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment ($14) is a game-changer not just for breakouts but also for wrinkles. Adapalene (a type of retinoid) is the active ingredient, and it helps your skin churn out fresh collagen and, thus, subtly smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It's "the most potent over-the-counter retinoid," Lal says, and it can be incorporated into your morning or evening routine. A bonus? Our beauty editor loves it. Check out her review of the Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment.
Editor Quote: "The gel has helped brighten and even out my complexion to the point that you can hardly tell I ever experienced those hormonal breakouts to begin with." — Jessica Harrington, beauty editor
Naturium Vitamin C Super Serum Plus Retinol
The Naturium Vitamin C Super Serum Plus Retinol ($25) is another one of Lal's drugstore favorites. It contains retinol to help speed up cell turnover, hyaluronic acid to instantly plump lines, and vitamin C to combat sun damage (just don't forget SPF).
Paula's Choice C5 Super Boost Vitamin C Moisturizer
Paula's Choice C5 Super Boost Vitamin C Moisturizer ($45) brightens dark spots and counteracts sun damage with vitamin C while simultaneously firming thanks to peptides. The brand also has the C5 Super Boost Vitamin C Eye Cream ($39) for dark circles and puffiness.
Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ Zinc Oxide
UV exposure can account for up to 80 percent of visible aging, so layering on a good facial sunscreen like the Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ Zinc Oxide ($57) every day is a nonnegotiable for skin health. We love this one because it has an ultra-lightweight consistency that's really easy to blend in (plus no white cast!), broad-spectrum protection, and vitamin E for an antioxidant boost.
EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40
If you prefer a tinted formula, consider the EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 ($35), an oil-free, nongreasy formula that boasts five-star ratings across the board. It protects against UVA and UVB rays while making your skin look radiant. What's more, it contains hyaluronic acid to give your dull, dry skin a moisture boost.
Shani Darden Retinol Reform Treatment Serum
There's a reason why so many celebrities are obsessed with the Shani Darden Retinol Reform Treatment Serum ($30–$88): it really works, fast. The star ingredient is encapsulated retinol, which is gentler than traditional retinol, as this stays on the skin's surface longer and is released a little at a time. Teamed with AHAs for exfoliation and Pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract for antioxidants that help reduce visible signs of aging and defend against pollution, this product is a triple threat.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
Once you get used to the unique smell of SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($169), you'll understand why it has so many five-star ratings: it's an antiaging superhero. It contains pure vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid, an antioxidant trio that protect against environmental damage while reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and firming and brightening your complexion.
Tracie Martyn Firming Serum
The Tracie Martyn Firming Serum ($198) was born for your entire face, undereye area, neck, and décolletage. The eponymous brand founder and celebrity facialist recommends applying it after cleansing to reap the results of its antioxidant and hyaluronic-acid-rich formula that targets wrinkles and fine lines.
Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser
You wouldn't slather an actual green juice on your face, but the ingredients in the Youth to the People Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser ($12–$64) feature a lot of the same nutrients. In this case, things like kale and spinach treat skin to vitamins and fatty acids while cleansing, and there's an added boost of antioxidant-rich green tea to fight visible signs of aging, too.
Peter Thomas Roth Vital-E Microbiome Age Defense Cream
Aging doesn't just come from getting older — things like pollution, climate change, and even the blue light from your computer screen can stress out skin and cause the same side effects. The top-rated Peter Thomas Roth Vital-E Microbiome Age Defense Cream ($75) fights all those things with vitamin E, which strengthens your skin's barrier and helps prevent wrinkles from forming, too.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel For Sensitive Skin
Whether you're already a fan of professional peels or simply peel curious, these at-home, two-step packs have earned thousands of loves from other Sephora shoppers. Just like the standard and extra-strength sets, this Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel For Sensitive Skin ($17–$88) uses exfoliating acids to smooth skin and refine pores, but there's also soothing colloidal oatmeal and Centella asiatica to suit more sensitive types.
The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum
The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum ($11) is a good introduction to this highly potent ingredient because it's released slowly, so there's less chance of irritation in this formula. As a result, it not only tackles the appearance of fine lines while you're sleeping, but it can help with uneven skin tone, too.
Alpyn Beauty Wild Nettle and Niacinamide Firming Serum
Not only does the Alpyn Beauty Wild Nettle and Niacinamide Firming Serum ($58) feature a plant-based retinol alternative to tighten skin, but there's also niacinamide (and vitamin C–rich nettle extract) to brighten it, too. Choose this silky cream for a plumper, smoother complexion whether you apply it morning or night — or both.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops
Not all aging has to do with actual age. The Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops ($150) tackle signs of digital aging (from blue light) and atmospheric aging (from pollution and other environmental aggressors) with marine and cocoa-seed extracts for existing problems, plus shield skin in the future.
Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturizer
The top-rated Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturizer ($21–$52) works to address early signs of aging (or, in some cases, help prevent them) with the potent, radiance-boosting lotus plant. There's also star fruit–leaf extract and hyaluronic acid to plump skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask
Tackle the signs of aging around your eyes in particular with the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask ($42), featuring vitamin-packed avocado and revitalizing coffeeberry to brighten and depuff the area. Especially noteworthy is its encapsulated retinol, touched on earlier.
Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb
For a daytime option, the lightweight Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb ($48) uses tiger grass to boost skin elasticity, so there's a smooth canvas for makeup. The lightweight cooling cream also packs a burst of long-lasting hydration that helps anyone who struggles with dryness, especially in dreary winter weather.
Herbivore Phoenix Rosehip Anti-Aging Face Oil
Pick up the Herbivore Phoenix Rosehip Anti-Aging Face Oil ($16–$88) for thirsty, rough skin, since it's packed with a range of rich botanical oils — and no fillers. Just a few drops go a long way in conditioning and hydrating skin as fatty acids and other nutrients help fight the signs of aging.
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment
The Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment ($85–$122) exfoliates to reveal a fresher, younger-looking complexion underneath and also plumps in fine lines for smoother skin overall. The product — which earned 230,000 loves on Sephora's site — also includes licorice and lemongrass to brighten dark spots and prickly pear to soothe redness.
Drunk Elephant A-Gloei Retinol Oil
While this brand's retinol cream is always a bestseller, the new Drunk Elephant A-Gloei Retinol Oil ($40-$72) is definitely worth a try as a baby step to something stronger. It also protects against free radicals and UV exposure but, as a bonus, adds soothing marula oil and ceramides for bouncy, well-moisturized skin.
Dr. Brandt Skin-Care Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator
The aluminum oxide crystals in the Dr. Brandt Skin-Care Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator ($79) help gently remove dead cells aided by lactic acid, which softens skin in the process. Your complexion looks smoother and brighter as plant extracts like aloe vera and chamomile refresh at the same time.
Sulwhasoo Anti-Aging First Care Activating Serum
Putting this Sulwhasoo Anti-Aging First Care Activating Serum ($25–$89) on right after you wash your face helps all your subsequent moisturizers and serums sink in even easier and work even better. It also helps nourish and visibly firm your skin all on its own using plant extracts and herbs.
Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen
There's more than just vegan collagen packed in this Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen ($25–$115) serum. While that ingredient helps skin get — and stay — supple, there's also alguronic acid to visibly reduce lines and wrinkles, plus microalgae oil to moisturize.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate Moisturizing Face Oil
Easily introduce a preventative antiaging product like this Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate Moisturizing Face Oil ($29–$129) by adding it to your evening routine. It's packed with evening primrose and lavender essential oils to calm skin, boost radiance, and improve elasticity while you sleep.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex Serum
The collagen-boosting Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex Serum ($18–$215) helps skin feel — and stay — smoother, radiant, and more hydrated for up to 72 hours. It also aids the natural repair process by offering antioxidant protection against environmental stressors that may throw things off track.