the best skincare products for wrinkles and fine lines

What are the best products for fine lines and wrinkles? Like, what really works?

It’s a minefield out there. From retinol to peptides and papaya enzymes, everything promises to rid you of those wrinkles and turn the clock back 10 years.

How do you make sense of it all and chose products that can get the job done – for real? Fret not, I’ve got your back.

Here are the best skincare products for fine lines and wrinkles (and why they make the cut):

peter thomas roth retinol infusion pm night serum 01

Best For Reducing Wrinkles: Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream ($74.00)

Vitamin A is the only thing proven to reduce wrinkles – not just their appearance. It comes in many forms, some so harsh they’re available by prescription only (Tretinoin and Retin-A).

In OTC serums, you’re more likely to find retinol. It’s a gentler form of Vitamin A that fights wrinkles in three ways: it destroys free radicals before they can give you wrinkles, boosts collagen production to firm skin, and speeds up cellular turnover (ie. the skin’s natural exfoliating process) to smooth out wrinkles.

Retinol works – slowly. It takes up to 2 months for it to start boosting collagen production. Needless to say, the higher the concentration, the better the results you get.

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream contains a whopping 1% retinol. I know 1% doesn’t sound like much, but for retinol it’s huge. So huge, if you start with it straight away, you’ll turn your skin into a flaky red mess.

The trick is to start with the smallest concentration of retinol you can find (even 0.01% works!) a couple of nights a week and build up both dose and frequency gradually until your skin can tolerate A-Passioni.

It’s totally worth it. Retinol aside, this anti-aging cream is loaded with natural oils and niacinamide to moisturise skin and strengthen its protective barrier, and antioxidants to keep new wrinkles at bay.

Available at: Cult Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK

Dupes/Alternatives:

Related: Which Retinol Strength Is Right For You?

best vitamin C serum: drunk elephant c-firma day serum

Best For Wrinkle Prevention #1: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($166.00)

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is one of the very few products I’m willing to sell a kidney for. It was the first serum to feature one of the most powerful antioxidant combinations out there: Vitamin C + Vitamin E + Ferulic Acid.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant on steroids: it fights free radicals, boosts collagen production and brightens the skintone. Pair it with BFF Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid and its antiaging powers double.

Plus, this combo also boosts the sun protection of your sunscreen, helping you to prevent sun damage and all the havoc it wreaks on your skin.

The only catch? Vitamin C has a short shelf life. This stuff goes bad quickly so don’t buy it if you don’t plan to use it straight away.

Available at: Blue Mercury,Dermstore and Skinstore

Dupes:

Related: What Outrageously Expensive Products Are Worth The Splurge?

niod survival 30 review

Best For Wrinkle Prevention #2: Niod Survival 30 (£25.00)

I can’t stress this enough: NOTHING in this list will work if you skip sunscreen. UV rays are to blame for up to 90% of premature aging. You’re sabotaging your routine if you don’t slather sunscreen on every morning.

I’m partial to zinc oxide sunscreens. This white mineral protects, on its own, from the entire UV range. Plus, it’s so gentle, even babies can use it!

The catch? It’s thick, hard to spread and leaves a white cast behind. I don’t know how Deciem did it, but their Niod Survival 30 avoids all this crap.

The tinted texture is so lightweight, it dries out quickly without making you look like Caspar The Ghost. It’s comfortable to wear and works well under makeup.

The best part? This sunscreen is loaded with antioxidants, including Superoxide Dismutase. Hard to find in skincare products, Superoxide Dismutase destroys Hydroxyl Radical, the worst, most damaging, type of free radical ever.

Available at: Beauty BayCult BeautyFeel Unique and Net-A-Porter

Dupes/Alternatives:

Related: 3 Reasons Why Mineral Sunscreen Is Better For Sensitive Skin

niod copper amino isolate serum 2 1 review

Best For Firming Skin: Niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1 (£38.00)

I’m VERY sceptical when it comes to peptides. They promise to firm skin, reduce wrinkles and do all kinds of cool things for your skin. Problem is, most of the studies supporting their effectiveness come from the manufacturer. Take them with a pinch of salt!

But there’s a growing body of evidence showing that copper peptides at least may be the real deal. Copper-Tripeptide-1, for example:

Let’s be clear: if you’re still young, copper peptides won’t do much for you. Your skin is still functioning as it should and producing most of the collagen it needs.

Once you reach the big 4-0, adding copper peptides to your skincare routine makes sense. The most effective copper peptide serum I’ve found so far is Niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1.

In my experience, this works better than The Ordinary dupe below, so if you can afford to splurge a bit more, do it. The serum keeps your skin in a constant state of repair, reduces inflammation and helps firm skin.

Available at: Cult Beauty and Net-A-Porter

Dupes/Alternatives:

Related: Are Copper Peptides Better Than Retinoids?

paula's choice 10% niacinamide booster 01

Best For Sensitive Skin: Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster ($44.00)

I believe everyone should use niacinamide. But if your skin’s so sensitive, it can’t tolerate harsher antiaging superstars like retinol and vitamin C, it’s an absolute must.

This form of Vitamin B3 is gentle, work well with every other ingredient (yes, even Vitamin C!) and does EVERYTHING:

I like to get my fix from Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster because it’s loaded with antioxidants that help you prevent new wrinkles from forming. Plus, you can use it alone or mix it with your fave serums and moisturisers.

Available at:  DermstoreLook FantasticNordstrom and Paula’s Choice

Dupes/Alternatives:

  • CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($15.49): available at DermstoreUlta and Walmart
  • EltaMD AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer ($34.00): available at Dermstore and Walmart
  • Nia24 Skin Strengthening Complex ($93.00): available at Dermstore

Related: Can You Use Niacinamide + Vitamin C Together?

What do you think are the best skincare products for wrinkles and fine lines? Share your fave picks in the comments below.