Age-defying skincare: the best products for wrinkles

What ingredients to look for in wrinkle creams and other “anti-aging” products

Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team
Apr 10, 2019 · 5 min read

Closeup of a woman's face. Her hands are resting on the back of her neck and she is looking into the camera.
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

It seems like there’s no end to the anti-aging creams and other products out there that promise skin-rejuvenating results, but there are only so many ingredients that can actually deliver on those results! If you’re looking for how to get rid of wrinkles and fine lines, fade age spots, and reverse sun damage, there are 3 essential ingredients that can really do the trick. To save you the headache of deciphering ingredients lists, we’ve rounded up some of the best anti-aging creams and serums that don’t clog pores.

But first, we’d like to say that we prefer not to call it “anti-aging.” We prefer age-defying.

Why we’re anti-“anti-aging”

The beauty and skincare industries like to throw words like “anti-aging” around, but we’d rather not be so “anti-” about the natural, beautiful process of aging! Aging skin doesn’t have to be synonymous with damaged, wrinkled skin. The most important thing you can do to prevent wrinkles, spots, and other skin damage is to wear sunscreen every day, of course! Here are our favorite face sunscreens for every skin type.

When we talk about signs of aging in the skin like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, etc., what that really means is damage to the skin from too much sun exposure, smoking, and various other factors that can contribute to your skin’s health and longevity over time. Age-defying skincare is all about preventing and/or repairing damage that is bound to happen over the course of our lives as much as possible.

Your skin is unique, just like you, and we at Curology believe your skin’s unique quirks are evidence of the life you’ve lived. So, while we’re happy to give you the best dermatologist-approved advice on how to get your skin healthier and looking its best, don’t forget that self-care (including self-love!) is an essential part of aging gracefully.

The best anti-aging ingredients

Topical retinoids are considered the gold standard of skincare ingredients for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that are also a great help against acne! You need a prescription for this powerful ingredient, which you can get in your custom Curology formula, as well as in pharmacies as generic and branded prescription medications. It’s the next best thing after sunscreen for age-defying skincare to protect and repair your skin.

Curology box by tennis net "Sooo good to see your face"

You can get retinol, a weaker vitamin A derivative, in skincare products without a prescription.

Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil works overnight to boost the look and feel of skin plumpness. The trans-retinoic acid ester complex reduces the appearance of pores and wrinkles, while visibly improving the appearance of fine lines, uneven texture, and redness.

Best under eye cream with retinoids for eye wrinkles

  1. Your custom Curology formula! Yep, you can use it around your eyes, too, just ease into it, since this area is particularly sensitive (and be careful not to get any in there — ouch), and the more powerful ingredients (yes, packing a bigger punch than over-the-counter retinol) available with a prescription from our dermatology providers will be more effective for your eye wrinkles (we don’t love the term crow’s feet but, y’know, those too).

  2. KATE SOMERVILLE Retinol Firming Eye Cream helps firm and brighten the eye area using the combined forces of a few different forms of retinol. Start low and go slow while the delicate skin around your eyes adjusts to the active ingredients — try using every other night or two to begin with.

  3. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream works well for a drugstore product. It contains retinol, the vitamin A derivative that’s available without a prescription, so it’s not as potent as retinoids like you can get with Curology, but it’s better than nothing!

  4. Two more key age-defying ingredients are topical vitamin C and niacinamide cream.

Vitamin C U later, wrinkles

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that stimulates collagen production to repair fine lines and wrinkles. It can help prevent sun damage, too, so it’s great to apply a vitamin C serum in the morning (before your sunscreen) as well as at night.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Day SerumThis popular and potent serum is loaded with antioxidants, fruit enzymes, and nutrients, and it’s got a sweet citrusy scent, too.

Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super BoosterThis vitamin C skin treatment fortifies your skin against ultraviolet damage, stimulates collagen production to repair fine lines and wrinkles, and prevents sun spots or age spots by inhibiting melanin from forming.

Obagi Professional-C Serum 20%Designed to penetrate deep into your skin, this vitamin C serum provides effective antioxidant protection from UV damage as it brightens away hyperpigmentation and encourages the growth of collagen and elastin fibers.

Niacinamide? More like nice-inamide

Niacinamide is an antioxidant that’s effective for anti-aging as well as acne, as it helps improve the skin’s protective barrier, decrease unwanted pigmentation (i.e., age spots or sun spots), reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce redness or blotchiness for a more even skin tone. Niacinamide is one of the ingredients available in your custom formula when you join Curology! You can find it in over-the-counter skincare products, too.

SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 visibly revitalizes and renews the skin with 5% niacinamide, peptides, and glycerin, which help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while firming the skin.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen moisturizes throughout the day and helps restore the skin’s protective barrier at the same time.

Paula’s Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster tightens pores, evens skin tone, and may reduce appearance of wrinkles.

Custom superbottle for breakouts | Free Trial button

Best of all: a custom mix of age-defying ingredients

Nothing beats the age-defying power of your custom Curology formula. Over-the-counter wrinkle creams can get expensive quick, but with a Curology subscription, you get all the powerful active ingredients your skin needs — without even having to leave the house (or put on pants). Sign up for a free trial at to get a leg up on your age-defying skincare journey.

Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Popular Articles

Ask Curology: How do I get rid of hormonal acne?Acne Face Mapping: What Your Skin is Trying to Tell YouHow To Determine Your Skin Type
Unlock Your Free Offer
30-day trial. Just cover $4.95 in shipping + handling
Get StartedWhy CurologyGuidesOur StoryCommunity
SupportBlogReviewsCareersContact Us
Follow @curology
Vegan and Cruelty Free Stamp, est. 2014
Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy
Do Not Sell My Information
All Rights Reserved © 2022 Curology