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12 Best Face Moisturizers for Aging Skin

anti-aging face moisturizers
Blu Atlas

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Aging skin can creep up and get the best of you. One day your skin is taught, radiant, and has little to no signs of aging. Your skin looks smooth and is evenly toned and glowing. Suddenly, you see it all: fine lines, sagging skin, and areas of discoloration. It’s a surprising realization the first time you notice the subtle signs of aging.

You may wonder how you can stop skin aging or if anything can be done to help your skin look younger. The good news is that there are ways to help your skin look better as you age.

As with all aspects of our bodies, time takes a toll on our skin. As the largest organ, the skin may show signs of aging before anything else. That’s due to two factors — genetics and sun exposure. Genetics is a major factor in our skin. Pigmentation, skin issues, texture, and how much skin retains its elasticity can be traced to genetics. How your skin looks and reacts to ingredients, sun exposure, and aging partially depend on your parents’ skin.

While genetics cannot be changed, exposure to the harmful rays of the sun can be modified. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays, the two types of ultraviolet rays that cause damage to the skin at a cellular level, is the primary cause of aging after genetics. Sun exposure affects the skin’s collagen production and causes damage to elastin fibers, leading to fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and discoloration.

Next to genetics and sun exposure, to a smaller degree are lifestyle factors such as nutrition, exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Environmental factors like living in a dry climate and pollution can also be a factor. It goes without saying that the better you take care of your body, the better your skin will look.

Exercise helps the skin receive vital blood flow to keep it nourished and healthy as the circulatory system pumps blood throughout the body. Nutritious foods like vegetables rich in antioxidants can help cells manage stress and free radicals. Of course, smoking and alcohol consumption are two factors that are not only harmful to the body but have negative effects on the skin.

Moisturize and Stay Strong

How does moisturizing your skin help with the signs of aging? Hydrated, moisturized skin is better able to protect itself from environmental damage. Many people think dry skin is harmless, but when skin isn’t properly moisturized and nourished, it’s more prone to developing skin conditions like atopic dermatitis — an itchy, red, inflamed skin area. Moreover, dry skin shows fine lines and wrinkles more prominently than hydrated skin.

Aging affects the skin in multiple ways. First, skin becomes thinner as you age. The older you get, the less collagen and elastin skin produces. Collagen and elastin are the main components of skin that give it a healthy, plump, youthful look. Moisturizing regularly can help the skin maintain its collagen and slow down the process of losing elastin, or the connective fibers within the skin that allow it to stretch and give it flexibility.

In addition to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, another aspect of aging skin is sagging. At a certain age, everyone notices the skin around their jawline slumping. This is a normal part of aging known as jowling, and it happens to everyone.

Connective tissue in the mid-face area loses elasticity and begins to cause fat and tissue to collect around the jawline. While there is technically no way to prevent this — other than plastic surgery — keeping facial skin moisturized and hydrated can help the skin keep its tone and stay firm.

Anti-Aging Ingredients that Slow Down Time

Not all ingredients in moisturizers and skin care products combat signs of aging. Specific ingredients — like vitamin C, peptides, and retinol — address aging factors by helping improve skin tone, plump and hydrate skin so wrinkles are less noticeable, and tighten and firm the skin.

Antioxidants, like vitamin C, green tea extract, seaweed, and vitamin E are some of the best sources of skin care anti-aging. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can damage cells. Antioxidants combat this damage by stopping these damaging molecules and preventing the harm they can do to healthy skin cells.

This type of skin damage is known as oxidative stress, and it’s the same type of damage you can see from leaving slices of an apple on the counter. The brown discoloration and wrinkling that happens to the apple when it’s exposed to the air is the same type of aging that can happen to your skin when exposed to stress.

Since free radicals can break down the skin’s protective barrier and cause wrinkling, dark spots, and loose saggy skin, regular use of antioxidants in skin care protects the skin and can improve skin texture and appearance.

While it’s impossible to completely avoid free radicals because they come from the air, sunlight, and what we eat and drink, antioxidants keep them from causing more damage. It’s all about protecting and nourishing the skin for the best possible anti-aging outcome.

Now that you know more about how skin ages and what can be done to prevent aging signs, let’s look at the 12 best face moisturizers for aging skin.

1. Blu Atlas Face Moisturizer

Blu Atlas face moisturizer
Blu Atlas

Blu Atlas understands that antioxidants help skin look its best and fight the many environmental factors that lead to skin aging. That’s why they loaded their creamy, ultra-hydrating face moisturizer with several different high-powered antioxidants.

Starting strong on the ingredients list is Laminaria Algae, a type of seaweed that is rich in amino acids. Amino acids heal and repair damaged skin and bring vital nutrients to help the skin barrier stay strong.

Mango seed butter has essential fatty acids and amino acids that help nourish and hydrate the skin. And the cherry on top of the ingredients list for this Blu Atlas moisturizer is ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin C — which helps brighten the skin and boost collagen production.

Blu Atlas is committed to clean skincare, and most of its ingredients are made from natural origins, such as plants, fruits, and minerals. Blu Atlas is also vegan and cruelty-free and does not use artificial fragrances in its products. Its products are also phthalate-, paraben-, and sulfate-free.

Reviewers online praise this moisturizing cream for its rich texture and the powerful hydration it brings to their skin, making it feel softer and look better while empowering it to fight signs of aging.

2. Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

Elemis cream
Blu Atlas

For hydrating, soothing, and firming, this facial moisturizer by Elemis contains marine and plant actives that cover all the anti-aging bases. It contains green microalgae, brown algae, and botanical extracts that help skin stay nourished and hydrated.

Reviewers praise the hydration and radiance that comes with Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. They also enjoy its delicate fragrance and ability to help skin look and feel younger after just a few weeks of regular use.

Rose extract, ginkgo biloba, vitamin E, and shea butter give this moisturizer hydrating properties and antioxidant power. Products by Elemis contain naturally-sourced ingredients and have no parabens, petroleum, or synthetic additives. They are also a cruelty-free company.

3. Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Intense Wrinkle Cream

Dr. Dennis Gross cream
Blu Atlas

The ingredients in Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Intense Wrinkle Cream target the visible signs of aging and also works on a cellular level. If fine lines, deep wrinkles, and dry skin are the issues you face, this moisturizer is a good option to consider.

The retinol in this moisturizer helps smooth lines and wrinkles by increasing cell production. It also contains rambutan peel extract, which strengthens the skin and helps it lock in moisture. Ferulic acid is an antioxidant that helps skin defend itself against free radicals and counteracts the potentially irritating effects of retinol.

The texture of this moisturizer is smooth and silky, and it doesn’t leave a greasy residue on the skin after application. Because of its retinol component, it is recommended to use this moisturizer with an SPF during the day to protect new skin cells from the UV damage of the sun. Reviewers who say they have sensitive skin comment that this doesn’t irritate their skin.

4. Skinfix Barrier + Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

Skinfix barrier cream
Blu Atlas

Containing Japonicus root — known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory healing properties — the formula for SkinFix helps nourish and strengthen the skin. It also contains seaweed to enrich skin with peptides and enhance its radiance.

SkinFix Barrier + Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream has a moisturizing base of squalane, which helps it work as a hydrating moisturizer but does not irritate the skin. As a barrier cream, it’s designed to seal and protect this skin from outside contaminants like dry air and pollution. It also contains hyaluronic acid for extra skin-strengthening properties and cell renewal.

Online reviewers say their skin’s moisture does increase when using this moisturizer regularly. They also give it positive ratings for its fragrance-free, vegan formula.

5. Il Makiage Power Renew Cream

Il Makiage cream
Blu Atlas

This anti-aging face moisturizer by Il Makiage is one of the best face moisturizers for aging skin because it helps skin look softer, plumper, and more radiant. This moisturizer has several anti-aging ingredients that create a more even skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and help skin look hydrated and dewy.

One of the key ingredients is orchid stem cells, which enhance communication between skin stem cells and connective tissue in the skin. The result is a rejuvenating effect that lifts and firms the skin.

It also contains red algae, an antioxidant that helps the skin fight free radicals that cause skin damage. This moisturizer contains niacinamide- an anti-inflammatory agent to improve the skin’s barrier function and hydration.

Il Makiage Power Renew Cream is fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin. Reviewers say they love this rich moisturizer and its long-lasting hydration. They say it supercharges their skin and gives it a youthful, dewy glow.

6. Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Daily Face Moisturizer 

Olay moisturizer
Blu Atlas

Olay Total Effects moisturizer has a proprietary blend of vitamins called VitaNiacin to help skin stay strong and maintain a youthful appearance. It absorbs quickly into the skin and infuses healthy moisture into its layers.

This rich, hydrating moisturizer delivers seven different skincare benefits using the antioxidant power of vitamins B3, B4, E, and C. These vitamins nourish cells and protect the skin from external elements. Other age-defying ingredients include titanium dioxide, a chemical sunscreen that blocks the sun’s UV rays, and moisturizing glycerin. Niacinamide also helps with skin brightening and gives skin a radiant glow.

Reviewers love Olay Total Effects for its effectiveness and say it helps their skin look healthier. It is also free of parabens and phthalates.

7. Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream

Fresh black tea cream
Blu Atlas

More radiance, smoother texture, and firmer skin are the anti-aging goals of Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream. It contains a blend of black tea and rambutan leaf extract, both high-performing antioxidants, as well as ceramides to strengthen the skin’s barrier. Because tea is rich in phytonutrients — which help reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals — this formula targets specific signs of skin aging.

Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream prevents moisture loss and dehydration with squalane. This lightweight moisturizer also has pink porcelain lily to improve skin’s radiance. Black tea, which contains catechins and flavonoids, also helps protect skin from UV sun damage.

Reviewers say Fresh Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream helps their skin stay hydrated and adds softness. They also comment on the light, pleasant fragrance. Fresh products contain no parabens, phthalates, or silicone. It is also alcohol-free.

8. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe cream
Blu Atlas

If skin aging is a concern, but your skin is also sensitive to certain ingredients, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is an excellent choice. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin but delivers the vital hydration and moisture skin needs to look radiant and refreshed.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream contains three types of ceramides — which are molecules that reduce the appearance of wrinkles by strengthening the skin’s barrier. Keeping the skin barrier strong and pliable is important for how the skin looks and for keeping bacteria and irritants out. Ceramides also increase skin hydration and balance the skin’s pH levels.

It also contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin to help the skin retain even more moisture and generate new skin cells. It delivers hydration for up to 24 hours after application. CeraVe does not contain fragrance and won’t clog pores.

CeraVe products have many devoted followers because of the basic ingredients it offers at a relatively low price. Skincare experts and dermatologists also recommend this line of products for people with sensitive skin, as they do not cause irritation.

9. La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream Moisturizer

La Mer cream
Blu Atlas

La Mer is a brand well-known in the luxury skincare world for its moisturizers. For anyone who struggles with dry skin but prefers lighter creams that don’t leave residue or shine after application, the Moisturizing Soft Cream is a great option.

La Mer incorporates its proprietary blend of skin-nourishing ingredients called Miracle Broth into its formula. It’s a blend of sea kelp, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains lime tea, which is a highly concentrated antioxidant. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals and help protect the skin from the environment. Finally, La Mer’s cream contains moisturizing spheres, which are encapsulated layers of moisture within the cream to deliver even more hydration.

La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream has many faithful followers and reviewers online adore its lightweight, non-greasy formula that sinks immediately into the skin. This is an ideal moisturizer for anyone with dry skin, and it addresses the subtle signs of aging by leaving the skin looking healthy and moisturized.

10. Vitabrid C12 Wrinkle Cream

Vitabrid C12 cream
Blu Atlas

Vitabrid C12 harnesses the power of peptides in its advanced moisturizing cream that specifically targets skin texture and elasticity. Their formula is called Secret Code P-151 and it’s designed to reinforce the skin’s natural recovery process and repair deep lines and wrinkles.

Peptides are amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins in the skin. Strengthening the skin with added peptides helps smooth and firm the skin. Vitabrid C12 also contains Vitamin C to help provide antioxidant benefits, promote collagen production and brighten the skin. To add hydration to the skin, it contains shea butter, a natural way to moisturize and soothe skin.

Vitabrid C12 is paraben-, silicone-, phthalate-, sulfate-, and fragrance-free. Online reviewers say this formula helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and adds vital moisture to dry skin. It’s also a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin.

11. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Moisturizer

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair
Blu Atlas

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Moisturizer targets three major signs of skin aging — dry skin, fine lines, and sagging. The addition of both retinol and hyaluronic acid helps firm the skin, increase moisture, and renew the look of aging skin.

The active ingredient in this moisturizer is Retinol SA, which helps increase cell production and increases collagen to help the skin look more taut and radiant. To help brighten the skin and give a more even-looking tone, it contains vitamin C.

This face moisturizer does contain silicone and alcohol, so it may not be the best option for those with sensitive skin or skin that reacts to these products. Online reviewers say it does have a noticeable effect on their skin, mostly with evening skin tone.

12. Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Moisturizer Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Creme

Estee Lauder creme
Blu Atlas

As one of the only moisturizers listed in the best face moisturizers for aging skin with sunscreen, this powerful moisturizer from Estee Lauder actively helps protect skin from damaging UV rays with broad spectrum SPF 15. As the sun is one the biggest contributing factors to skin aging, Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Moisturizer Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Creme is an excellent choice for addressing aging skin concerns.

This moisturizer addresses multiple signs of aging by adding retinol for cell regeneration, cucumber fruit extract for skin soothing and hydration, and narcissus tazetta bulb extract to reduce skin oiliness and improve skin texture.

This formula does contain silicone and a blend of synthetic fragrances, so if a clean formula with no additives is part of your list of must-haves for an anti-aging moisturizer, this might not be your top choice.

Adding Anti-Aging to Your Routine

It’s a given that moisturizing your face is essential to your skincare routine. Once you’ve selected the best anti-aging moisturizer for your skin, you need to apply it regularly to keep your skin supple, hydrated, and youthful-looking. Yet how and when you apply your moisturizer is just as important as the ingredients it contains.

The best time to apply moisturizer is after cleansing your face. When washing, you’ve cleansed away your skin’s natural oils, so moisturizing helps replace the hydration that it has lost. Applying moisturizer when the skin is still slightly damp is also a good idea. This is when your pores are open and ready to absorb your moisturizer’s key ingredients.

The proper amount is key regarding how much moisturizer to apply. Using too little moisturizer won’t give your skin enough hydration and too much can clog your pores. You should apply between a pea or a dime-sized amount of moisturizer, depending on the type you use, label directions, and recommended use.

Apply moisturizer to your fingertips and gently sweep across your face, covering your cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. Some moisturizers are thicker and denser, so they may take more time to apply and sink into the skin.

If it’s daytime and your moisturizer does not have SPF, make sure to add a layer of sunscreen before heading outdoors. Even on days when there are clouds and no sunshine is visible, UVA rays can permeate clouds and affect the skin. Sun exposure can cause skin cell damage and raise your risk for skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States.

Lifestyle Changes

Beyond ensuring your skin is hydrated and protected, there are other ways to help reverse or slow down the signs of aging of your skin. While the right skincare products are important, your healthy lifestyle habits can make a difference in how you look and feel.

Reducing stress is a great way to slow down premature aging. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, which is a hormone that can break down collagen and elastin in the skin. This breakdown in collagen leads to sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. Reducing your stress level is good for your skin, entire body and mental health.

Another healthy habit that promotes better skin is getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Lack of sleep can cause the skin tone to look uneven, cause dark circles under the eyes, and give you an overall tired appearance. Lack of sleep has also been shown to raise cortisol levels, trigger inflammation, and break down the proteins that keep skin healthy-looking.

Nutrition and exercise matter, too. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients and antioxidants keeps the skin looking healthy and radiant. Eating berries, spinach, kale, and other leafy greens that are high in antioxidants helps protect against free radical damage.

If you’re prone to acne or similar skin conditions, eating a diet high in sugar or fat can result in your symptoms. Poor water intake is also true for poor hydration. It is essential to make sure the body stays hydrated.

Exercising regularly works wonders for the skin. Exercise promotes better circulation by pumping oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the skin. These nutrients aid the skin’s collagen production, help create new skin cells, and strengthen the skin.

Making changes in your lifestyle can have a positive overall effect on how you look — not to mention how you feel. Slowing down the aging process and keeping skin youthful and glowing means taking care of your body and mind. Your skin will show the results!

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