14 best anti-aging moisturizers, according to skincare experts
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"Time marches on and sooner or later, you realize it is marchin' across your face."

Dolly Parton's character Truvy sure knew what she was talking about in 1989 film Steel Magnolias, and anyone ever concerned with aging (aka most people over age 30) can relate to the sentiment of waking up one day and realizing gravity has chosen to no longer be on your side. While wrinkles, age spots, other charming characteristics of growing older are nothing shameful, most of us want to take a certain amount of care to prevent the worst of them from popping up prematurely and thus can find some use in decent skincare that will aid that cause.

To find some of the best options, we put out a call to dermatologists and estheticians asking for their opinions on which products available are ready to help you wage war on any unwanted skin issues plaguing your face. Many ingredients appear in several places, especially the ever-popular retinol and hyaluronic acid, but the price points, concentrations, problems, and brands vary widely. Read on to find out how you can slow the steady march of time.

Don't forget to check out our list of the best serums out there as well so you can start building your best comprehensive skincare routine.

You can trust our independent roundups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

This featherweight hydrating cream is ideal for oily skin types who want a little hit of moisture but can’t handle anything heavy. Its name is no lie, as it truly feels like dipping your fingers directly into the wind-whipped swirls of a peaceful cloud, and it melts into the skin like pure water without leaving any residue or oil behind. 30% hyaluronic acid continues drawing atmospheric moisture into the skin throughout the day, while ceramides and healthy dose of antioxidants give a healthy boost to skin’s appearance. Dryer-skinned types can layer under a heavier, oil-based moisturizer to really lock in the hydration if needed.

RELATED: Check out this other Peter Thomas Roth product we love, an anti-aging cleanser

Peter Thomas Roth

Eye Contour Lifting Cream

Eyes are one of the first place fine lines tend to congregate, so applying a rich, concentrated moisturizer regularly even before you think you need to can help prevent the thin-skinned aging process that can make some of us look older than our years. Dr. Harold Lancer–a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and is affiliated with Cedars- Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles and UCLA Medical Center–is one of the world's most sought-after dermatologists, so naturally his skincare line contains the Cadillac-level cream that acts as a :triple-action eye treatment and hydrator that targets multiple eye area concerns for a brighter, more youthful appearance," he says. One of the secret ingredients is diamond powder, meant to boost luminosity on contact so you won't even need to wait to see a difference.

Lancer Cosmetics

Intensive Night Treatment

Another from Dr. Lancer's premium line, the Intensive Night Treatment promises to not only plump and hydrate, but repair the skin's ability to balance itself. "This luxurious anti-aging cream is formulated with skin beneficial hydrating agents including Hylaplex and marula oil which provide a moisture barrier," the company claims, "helping skin retain healthy hydration for a smoother, plumper appearance and renewed radiance." During sleep, the body is working hard to repair itself meaning high-end ingredients like those found here are best used at night for the maximized results.

Lancer Cosmetics

Jordan Samuel Skin The Performance Cream

This cream may lack in all the bells and whistles of some others listed here, but its name says it all: it performs. Whether used as a basic moisturizer on its own or layered with other products, this is a staple for all skin types. Read our full profile of Jordan Samuel Skin here for more information. 

Jordan Samuel Skin

Charlotte’s Magic Cream

We love this moisturizer as an opulent way to brighten and smooth any skin in an instant. Read the full review here to learn all about it. 

Charlotte Tilbury

EltaMD Barrier Renew Complex

Dr. Sapna Palep, one of New York’s leading board-certified dermatologists and founder of Spring Street Dermatology chimed in with a more reasonably affordable product, the EltaMD Barrier Renew Complex, as one useful for both day and night. "I like EltaMD barrier renew complex as a moisturizer morning and night," she told us. "It has a blend of ceramides and lipids to quickly hydrate the skin without clogging it! This seems to be the biggest challenge for most. It provides immediate hydration which improves fine lines and wrinkles too." This blend would be great for someone who battles acne-prone skin and dehydration, and its day and night usefulness streamlines any skincare routine whether you're paring down at home or trying to travel light.


TNS Essential Serum

Dr. Omar Ibrahimi is a Harvard-trained dermatologist and fellowship trained Mohs and laser surgeon who advocates for the total health and beauty of the skin, which should start in the 20s and 30s. HIs go-to formula for treating all manner of aging issues from texture and tone to fine lines and wrinkles is TNS-Essential Serum by Skin Medica (who also make Botox!). Special ingredients include the "TNS recovery complex," a physiologically balanced, naturally secreted and stabilized growth factor, as well as brightening and hydrating agents that purport to fill in and firm up the face to protect against premature aging. While the price tag is a heavy one, CSI is accounting for the current economic downturn by offering 30% off AND free shipping, which Dr. Ibrahimi's "never seen before."


JAS Anti-Aging Retinol Cream

Our next cream suggestion comes from Dr. Bruce Robinson, MD, a board certified adult and pediatric dermatologist in private practice who is also a clinical professor of Dermatology at Lenox Hill Hospital. From his Just Amazing Skincare line is the highly effective Anti-Aging Retinol Cream, meant to "designed to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and to restore firmness and elasticity to the skin" while using key ingredients like hyalauronic acid to hydrate the skin rather than dry it out like so many retinols do, or in more elegant terminology: "It has a very hydrating base which prevents dryness while still allowing for the potency of a retinol to achieve the anti-aging results."


Ambra Lift Elixir

Elina Fedotova is a cosmetic chemist celebrity esthetician who formulated her own professional organic skincare line that promises to be "always 100% transdermal, organic, fresh, hand-made, and cruelty free," including the Ambra Lift Elixir which won the magazine Dermascope's Aestheticians' Choice Awards in 2019 for being the best anti-aging moisturizer of the year. Special ingredients including anti-oxidants, hylauronic acid, and Baltic Amber (known for encouraging cell renewal and containing antiseptic properties) which come together to help lift, firm, and calm the skin–"like a facelift in a bottle," Fedotova claims.

Elina Organics

Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore

From Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, board certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Cornell comes this recommendation, of which she explains: "This moisturizer a great option to help restore moisture and strengthen the natural skin barrier, which we know weakens as we age, leading to dryness of the skin. Specifically this moisturizer contains a patented ratio of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids which are well-known components of the skin barrier. By restoring these fatty molecules, the barrier is not only improved, but the skin appears more hydrated and smooth." Another bonus is if you're using a retinoid product, all of which tend to dry the skin out, this will help skin stay moisturized while doing so.


The Ordinary "Buffet"

Good news for anyone who can't shell out for the more expensive products listed here: the Ordinary is a low-cost brand of effective products that Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose MD, FAAD, a board certified New York dermatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor at NY Presbyterian Hospital – Weill Cornell Medical Center, cannot recommend enough. "For at-home topical treatments," Dr. Murphy-Rose says, "this serum contains several top of the line anti-aging ingredients to target fine lines and wrinkles, improve complexion, enhance texture, boost hydration and increase elasticity. The ingredients are generally well-tolerated and less irritating than retinol (another potent anti-aging topical ingredient) and therefore may be used for all skin types." It's also vegan and cruelty-free, like The Ordinary's other great products that eschew fancy branding and packaging for great ingredients and accesibility for consumers at all income levels.

The Ordinary

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum

Dr. Murphy-Rose also made sure to include some favorite vitamin-C products, namely the Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum: "This serum is my current favorite and the one I use every morning. It feels light on the skin unlike many serums and is not sticky or tacky. I often recommend it to my sensitive skin and acne-prone patients because it tends to be lighter and less comedogenic than other vitamin C products." Potent antioxidants and a solar-resistant bottle that protects the longevity and efficacy of the ingredients also make this product a must-have, but the doctor warns, "Be careful where you purchase from because there have been reports of dupes sold."

Drunk Elephant

Belli Skincare Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator

Belli Skincare launched in 2002 with the purpose of helping set a higher standard for skincare safety for the benefit of those with child, and Dr. Nava Greenfield (dermatology advisor to the company) has been on board since discovering the line when she was pregnant with her fourth child and "fell in love with their combination of quality, comfort, range and uniqueness of products, as well as their safety and affordability." She told us about two of her favorite products including this first choice, the Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator, which she explains was, "created for pregnant and nursing moms who are unable to use some of the heavier-hitting anti-aging ingredients during this time in their lives. It contains antioxidants and grape seed oil to protect and hydrate the skin while leaving a gorgeous glow. It’s very lightweight, which makes it perfect for layering under SPF, which is a necessity during pregnancy."

Belli Skincare

AlphaRet Overnight Cream

Dr. Greenfield's second choice is not for expectant moms, but is a boon for skincare fanatics nonetheless. As she tells us, "SkinBetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream combines a retinoid with lactic acid to greatly improve the tone and texture of the skin plus it fights fine lines and wrinkles. It contains built in moisturizers to make it a super gentle retinoid that’s well-tolerated by many skin types." Retinoids are a longstanding beloved step in many advised skincare routines, but make sure to avoid them if you are, as Dr. Greenfield warns, "pregnant, trying to get pregnant or nursing."

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