We began our search for the best wrinkle cream by pulling top-sellers from major retailers like Walgreens, Amazon, and Target, compiling a list of 112 creams, gels, and serums — everything from high end brands like Estee Lauder and Lancome to drugstore staples like Neutrogena and L’Oreal. From here, we reached out to cosmetic chemists and dermatologists: We wanted to find out which ingredients would help skin look youthful, and which weren’t worth the hype.
A great cleanser for acne sufferers, with extremely rare negative reviews. The peppermint included in this product, armed with its tremendous therapeutic properties, tingles your body and clears your mind.
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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.
Melissa, a shy chemistry major at University of California, Davis, has dealt with acne since 5th grade. She’s avoided cameras and makeup for a long time and is eager to overcome her self-consciousness. Photo credit: http://www.michaelmasser.co.uk
Promising Review: “I’ve been using this product for over a year now and I stand by it with everything I have. My skin is super oily and sensitive and dries out very easily. I put this on before I go to bed on any trouble spots and wake up with them 75% to 100% gone.” —ELowder
Australian skincare brand Sukin has only just come onto my radar but I wish I’d found it sooner; so much so that I felt this one deserved double the mention because I’m that impressed with the formulas in the low-cost range. A ‘natural’ (not organic) range, none of the products contain detergents such as SLS, parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils or artificial colours. I love the aloe vera- and rosehip-rich facial moisturiser, a light but soothing lotion that has looked after my skin in this harsh cold weather; while the gentle gel cleanser containing chamomile and avocado oil swiftly removed makeup and left my skin feeling clean and refreshed yet soft rather than squeaky and tight. And all for just £8.10 each? Yes please.
Take a moment out of your day to enjoy a steaming mug of white or green tea, both of which can do wonders for your complexion. In addition to adding a blast of hydration to your skin cells, tea may also assist with antiaging.
What to look for: All of your makeup, from blush to eye shadow, should be non-greasy, non-comedogenic (or non-acnegenic), hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and oil-free. Read the ingredients — the very first one should be water. Mineral-based cosmetics contain added ingredients like silica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, which both absorb oil and hide redness without irritating skin and causing pimples. Another ingredient to look for is dimethicone, which also conceals redness while smoothing out uneven skin.
From essences to sheet masks, Korean beauty products and trends are taking over the American beauty market. Everyone is talking about the 10-step routine that is popular among the skin-centric women of Seoul. But it’s a total exaggeration. The first thing I learned when taking on this experiment: A week on a Korean skin-care regimen does not mean a 10-step process every day.
To help avoid skin irritation with alpha-hydroxy acids, it’s best to start with a product with low concentrations of AHA. Also, give your skin a chance to get used to the product. Start out by applying AHA skin products every other day, gradually working up to a daily application. Don’t use too much; follow the instructions on the package.
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 dry, you may want to follow up with a moisturizer.
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Although it’s extremely rare, it is possible that your acne might get worse because of being sensitive or allergic to some of the ingredients in this product. If this happens, stop using it right away.
Not all serums are applied with the same frequency. “This varies with the ingredients,” Dr. Nazarian says. “I prefer antioxidants in the morning because they give you additional protection from the environment, and most of us don’t use enough sunscreen as is,” Mattioli says. Yet certain ingredients are best when slathered on at night. For example: “Retinols are not sun-stable and will degrade if applied in daytime,” Dr. Nazarian explains. Bottom line: Read the label instructions carefully.
Sure, you could use your makeup remover on a cotton pad at night and call it a day, but that means you’ll most likely end up with black streaks of mascara on your pillowcase the next morning. To truly remove ALL makeup, reach for an oil cleanser. Massage it over your dry face and neck to break up makeup and then add a splash of lukewarm water to emulsify the cleanser. Massage again and then rinse everything off!
What to do if your strapless bridesmaid dress shows off your body art—and you don’t have the attitude to flaunt it like Angelina Jolie? Hide a tattoo with a highly pigmented oil-free foundation like Cover FX Total Coverage cream ($42; sephora.com). After drying the area and hands, use a synthetic brush and short strokes to pat on the foundation. Set the area with a translucent powder, then ensure that it lasts all night (through dancing and photo-ops) with a makeup fixative spray—a favorite of professional clowns like Kryolan Dermacolor Fixier spray ($20; at naimies.com).
Injectable wrinkle fillers can give you a more youthful look for a fraction of what a traditional facelift costs. Most will fill hollows, lines, and wrinkles in less than 30 minutes with results that can last from 4 months to more than a year.
Studies have shown that copper peptide promotes the production of collagen and elastin in your skin. It also acts as an antioxidant and promotes production of glycosaminoglycans (such as hyaluronic acid).
The true worth of a skincare product is found in its pure and effective formula. Just ask celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, heads of Goop and The Honest Company, respectively, who have spoken out against harmful cosmetic chemicals for years. Or look to the number of natural beauty shops cropping up in cities all over the U.S. Even Sephora is getting in on the action, featuring a natural beauty section on its website. It’s 2017, and the people have spoken—we’re concerned about what we’re putting on our skin.
Dr. Dennis Gross Brightening Solution succeeds where virtually every other wrinkle cream fails. In addition to having retinol and AHAs — bringing exfoliating and regenerative power to your daily routine — Dr. Dennis includes sodium hyaluronate. This built-in moisturizer means you won’t have to add in a separate cream to keep your skin hydrated. The icing on the cake? It comes in an opaque bottle and can be applied without dipping your fingers into an open tub. Out of 112 finalists, the only other product that hit every single check box was La Prairie, a $530 wrinkle cream that made Dr. Dennis’ $88 price point seem like a steal.
Oil-Free Moisturizer: Lest you think your skin’s oil production warrants skipping moisturizer, know this: Your skin can actually get oilier when it’s dehydrated, by overcompensating. With this in mind, choose a light, oil-free moisturizer with sodium PCA and glycerin in the ingredient list—they’re humectants that will help your skin retain moisture. Our oily-skinned editor reaches for Intraceuticals’ Hydration Gel ($88) and Be the Skin’s Botanical Moisturizing Soothing Cream ($35).
Why God, why? Is flawless skin just too much to ask for? A late night leads to dark circles in the morning. Got an upcoming party? Oh wait, I spy a zit. Yes yes, we are well aware of the basic CTM technique… Cleanser-Toner-Moisturizer. We try every new face wash, sunscreen, anti-ageing cream that hits the market. If dry skin and dead skin, oily skin and patchy skin weren’t enough – you now have combination skin! And we are ever so willing to try anything under the sun to get beautiful skin. But it is not an overnight miracle.
“One of my best skincare tips is to use a sunscreen containing anti-inflammatory and barrier-repairing ingredients. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection of at least SPF 30 is best. I recommend Epionce Active Shield Lotion SPF 30+ ($20) or Ultra Shield Lotion SPF 50 ($25) every day—even during non-summer months.” — Carl Thornfeldt, MD
Promising Review: “I started using this moisturizer when I took acne medication that dried out my skin. The formula is lightweight and oil-free. I have used this product for several years now and would recommend it for anyone who has troublesome skin!” —Rebecca Rice
One of the greatest things about following a skin-care regimen or routine is that it can actually be a lot of fun, as well as a source of comfort. It’s a time for taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally.
“The biggest side effect of using the wrong moisturizer is developing milia, little hard white bumps on the face in random areas,” Dr. Rutledge Forney of Dermatology Affiliates in Atlanta, Georgia told Southern Living. “This is very common if [you’re] using a body moisturizer on the face but can also happen with moisturizers which are too heavy.”