The Best Anti-Aging Creams, According To A Dermatologist

Your skin will love these nourishing face creams and moisturizers, from drugstore staples to products from Sephora and Dermstore.
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The term “anti-aging” can invoke a visceral response. It’s a loaded term with sexist implications, and yet, it’s the standard descriptor for beauty products formulated for mature skin. It’s unfortunate, given that these products often contain ingredients that can keep skin healthy long-term, which should be everyone’s priority. Aging is a privilege, and we are all about using high-quality ingredients that nourish the skin and repair past damage to leave it supple, bright and beautiful. That’s how you age gracefully.

So here, the term anti-aging is a catchall phrase for beauty and skin care products that have active ingredients that not only target visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, but also support skin’s long-term health. We tapped Dr. Y. Claire Chang, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology, to give us a rundown on anti-aging ingredients and specifically, the best anti-aging creams for all skin types. As usual, her guidance does not disappoint!

Chang finds that most anti-aging ingredients can be classified into a few broad categories, including preventative ingredients, reparative ingredients and regenerative ingredients.

  • Preventative ingredients focus on avoiding photoaging before it happens, and include sunscreens to block or reduce skin exposure to UV radiation.

  • Reparative ingredients protect and repair the skin from existing damage and include reactive oxidative species like antioxidants.

  • Regenerative ingredients help boost skin renewal and collagen production. These include retinoids, peptides and alpha-hydroxy acids.

However, it’s important to note that these categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, retinoids can be considered both preventative and regenerative. Look for products that include these anti-aging ingredients, which can target multiple different signs of skin aging, including fine lines, skin dryness and dull complexion, brown spots and uneven complexion:

Chang explained to HuffPost how each of the above ingredients work: Vitamins C, B3 (niacinamide) and E are strong antioxidants that have been shown to repair the skin from free radical damage as well as brighten the skin, improve the complexion and stimulate collagen production. Green tea has been shown to reduce UV-induced damage to the skin. Retinoids have been shown to stimulate the production of collagen and elastic fibers to reduce fine lines and improve pigmentation. Ceramides help replenish the skin’s natural lipids and maintain skin hydration.

Chang recommends starting anti-aging creams and treatments in your late 20s and early 30s, when skin starts losing collagen. It’s never too early to start with good sun protection and avoiding smoking, both of which accelerate skin aging.

Keep reading for Chang’s picks for the best anti-aging creams available at a range of price points. They’ll help your skin feel nourished, protected, healthy and vibrant.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Olay Regenerist micro-scultping cream
Olay's micro-sculpting cream is formulated with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and peptide fragments to hydrate, brighten and revitalize the skin. It's ideal for anyone who wants to strengthen their skin's moisture barrier.
SkinMedica TNS ceramide treatment cream
SkinMedica's nourishing cream contains essential ceramides to repair the skin and maintain moisture alongside peptides that reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It's a very healing cream for those with dry skin looking to upgrade their skin care routine with powerful actives without going the prescription route.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair regenerating cream
Suitable for both day and night, this Neutrogena cream uses retinol to address wrinkles and hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated. It's ideal for anyone new to anti-aging or with dry, crepe-y skin.
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni retinol cream
Perfect for nighttime use, Drunk Elephant's cream is formulated with retinol and peptides to boost collagen production and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, as well as skin-nourishing ceramides and fatty acids. It's certified "green" at Sephora, a retailer designation for brands that are committed to formulating products without ingredients that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment.
Roc Retinol Correction deep wrinkle night cream
A classic drugstore staple, Roc's hydrating cream with glycerin works during the night when skin may be most receptive. It combines retinol and glycolic acid to resurface dull, dry skin and enhance collagen production to improve texture.
Olay Regenerist night recovery cream
Olay Regenerist has been a staple in many a beauty cabinet with good reason. Niacinamide and amino peptides drench the skin with hydration, brightening and improving texture so you can wake up with plump, glowing skin.

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