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10 Best Skin Tightening Creams in 2023

skin tightening creams
Blu Atlas

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When creating an anti-aging routine, most people tend to focus on products that tackle fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and texture issues. They often end up overlooking formulas that address a loss of firmness and elasticity, despite the fact that these issues can lead to dramatic changes in the skin.

As we get older, our natural levels of collagen and elastin decline, which can lead to sagging in the skin. This is why we recommend adding a tightening cream to your routine. This type of product is specifically designed to target sagginess, working to firm the skin and improve elasticity to promote a plump, youthful glow. If you’re looking to create the ultimate anti-aging routine, you’ve come to the right place. We’re breaking down 10 of the best skin tightening creams of 2023, as well as when to use them.

What Exactly Is a Tightening Cream?

As the name implies, tightening creams are made with ingredients that work to lift, firm and tone the skin to promote a younger appearance. They’re designed to counteract the effects aging can have on the skin. Some tightening creams are made specifically for the face; others are created to target sagging on other areas of the body, such as the neck, chest, arms and stomach.

You probably have one big question: Do tightening creams actually work? The short answer is yes – so long as you’re using a high-quality formula made with effective, science-backed ingredients.

While you shouldn’t expect a tightening cream to dramatically lift your skin or take 20 years off your face, top-quality formulas will work to maintain your skin’s integrity and structure while reversing visible signs of aging. Along with sticking to a regular skin-care routine (which should include cleansing, moisturizing, using serums and applying sunscreen daily), a tightening cream can help keep your skin looking youthful, plump and glowing.

Who Should Use a Tightening Cream?

Anyone can use a tightening cream, no matter their age or gender. If you’re looking to target or prevent signs of aging, you can benefit from adding a tightening cream to your routine. It will round out an anti-aging routine to help you maintain firm skin from head to toe.

However, make sure the cream you choose works for your skin type. For example, if you have sensitive skin, a formula with ingredients that may cause irritation (like retinoids or chemical exfoliants) may not be suitable for your skin. If you have oily skin, you will want to find a product that has a gel or lightweight cream texture that won’t feel greasy or heavy.

How Often Do You Need to Use It?

The frequency with which you use a tightening cream will depend on the product you use, so it’s important to refer to the instructions for the most accurate usage directions. However, as a general rule of thumb, most tightening creams should be used on a daily basis (some can be used twice a day). The key thing to remember is that you need to be consistent to see the best results.

Ingredients to Look For in a Tightening Cream

Certain key ingredients are particularly beneficial when it comes to promoting and maintaining firm, youthful skin. Formulas made with retinoids are highly effective. Retinoids stimulate skin-cell turnover, which means they don’t just help with firmness and elasticity; they can also improve skin tone and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

We also suggest seeking out tightening creams powered by vitamin C. This vitamin is a multitasking antioxidant that promotes the production of collagen, a protein that plays an essential role in keeping the skin firm, elastic and youthful. It also brightens the skin for a more radiant glow.

Vitamin C provides antioxidant protection against damaging free radicals, thus maintaining the integrity and strength of existing collagen and elastin in the skin. For this reason, we also recommend looking for formulas made with other antioxidants and antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as vitamin E, CoQ10, resveratrol and green tea extract.

Peptides are incredibly beneficial for those looking to tighten and firm their skin. These ingredients improve elasticity, and can smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Beyond these active ingredients, it’s important to look for creams made with moisturizing and hydrating ingredients that plump the skin with moisture, as this will promote an overall more youthful look. Some of our favorites include squalane, mango seed butter, shea butter, plant oils, glycerin and hyaluronic acid.

The Best Skin Tightening Creams in 2023

Now that we’ve covered some of the key information you need to know about tightening creams, let’s dive into our recommendations. We’ve included both face and body products in our list, so no matter your specific concerns, you’ll be able to find an option that fits your needs.

1. Blu Atlas Face Moisturizer

Blu Atlas moisturizer
Blu Atlas

One of the best skin tightening creams on the market is the Blu Atlas Face Moisturizer. This nature-powered formula, which is suitable for all skin types, is made with effective yet gentle ingredients for plumping and firming the skin. At the same time, it fights other signs of aging for a healthy and youthful complexion. It can be safely used both morning and night to keep your complexion moisturized, glowing and supple.

One of the key active ingredients in this moisturizer is ascorbic acid, which is a potent form of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid works to stimulate collagen production to promote elasticity and firmness, and to soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant defends the skin against the damaging effects of free radicals (which can contribute to sagginess), and at the same time boosts radiance and improves the appearance of uneven skin tone.

In addition to vitamin C, this formula features antioxidant-rich seaweed extract, a natural ingredient that hydrates and brightens for a plumper and more radiant complexion. It’s joined by mango seed butter, which is a natural source of vitamins C and E. This ingredient deeply moisturizes and enhances suppleness as it nourishes and protects the skin against environmental stressors to maintain the skin’s structure. The final key ingredient is moringa seed oil, a hydrating and soothing ingredient rich in vitamins and fatty acids.

What makes this Blu Atlas moisturizer stand out is the clean and natural formula. It is crafted without phthalates, parabens or synthetic fragrances, so you can feel confident using it on your skin. A remarkable 98.5% of the ingredients are derived from natural origins.

2. Fresh Black Tea Corset Cream Firming Moisturizer

Fresh cream
Blu Atlas

This moisturizer from luxury brand Fresh firms and lifts the face and neck as it moisturizes and plumps the skin. The result is tighter, smoother and more elastic skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Eighty-nine percent of participants in a study reported that they noticed an immediate tightening effect after using the formula, and 86% agreed it improved their skin’s firmness and elasticity. After four weeks, 84% noted that it improved the appearance of sagging skin.

The Black Tea Corset Cream Firming Moisturizer is made with the company’s proprietary black tea complex. It features both a ferment and an extract of black tea, as well as blackberry leaf and lychee seed extracts. This complex is loaded with antioxidants that inhibit free radicals to prevent damage. It also works to improve elasticity as it firms and smooths the skin for a younger complexion.

This powerful complex is joined by acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester, a peptide that lifts and adds bounce back to the complexion by enhancing elasticity. At the same time, goji fruit extract works to visibly firm and tighten the skin as it protects it against damaging environmental aggressors. The formula is also infused with vitamin E for an extra antioxidant punch.

This cream has superior moisturizing capabilities. The formula is packed with ingredients like squalane, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, all of which work to hydrate and soften the skin for a supple and smooth complexion that feels as good as it looks.

3. Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Olay Regenerist cream
Blu Atlas

This Olay cream is a particularly good match for those with normal, combination or oily skin looking to firm and sculpt their face. The moisturizer has a lightweight cream texture that absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue.

This dermatologist-tested formula is designed to lift the skin to reduce sagging as it hydrates. At the same time, it enhances barrier health and smooths the look of fine lines and wrinkles. The result is a soft, plump and younger-looking complexion. Bonus: This product is available at many drugstores, and is offered at a more budget-friendly price than many other skin tightening creams on the market.

The Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream is powered by amino peptides, which support collagen production and act as the building blocks for the skin’s cells. They work to firm and smooth the skin for a youthful appearance. These peptides are joined by vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide. This multitasking ingredient supports barrier health and boosts moisture retention, ensuring the skin stays soft and supple. It also supports skin cell turnover and improves uneven skin tone.

Two other key ingredients in this formula are glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which are both humectants. These ingredients draw moisture to the skin and lock it in for maximum hydration. In doing so, they plump the skin and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The formula also features panthenol, which hydrates and supports elasticity.

4. StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Plus

StriVectin cream
Blu Atlas

If crepey skin and sagging around the neck are your primary concerns, consider adding a neck tightening cream to your routine. One of our favorite options on the market is the coveted TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Plus from StriVectin. This potent cream is made to firm and tighten the neck as it addresses crepiness, fine lines, wrinkles and uneven tone. It also supports skin barrier health and reduces the risk of moisture loss to ensure the area stays plump and soft.

This cream is powered by the company’s proprietary lifting complex, which tightens to counteract sagging and improves elasticity in the skin. As it lifts, it softens the appearance of horizontal fine lines and wrinkles. This complex is joined by a patented technology that works to enhance the effects of the active ingredients in the formula, as well as strengthen the barrier for long-term skin health.

In addition to these advanced technologies, the cream is infused with two types of peptides that work in tandem to plump, firm and smooth the skin. Ceramides improve barrier health and support moisture retention, while hyaluronic acid plumps the skin with hydration. Finally, the formula features a brightening complex made with botanically derived ingredients. Together, these ingredients boost vibrancy and target discoloration for a more even skin tone.

While this cream is one of the more expensive options on this list, the results prove that it is worth the splurge. In an expertly graded clinical study, 90% of participants presented tighter and more lifted skin on the neck and décolletage, as well as an improvement in crepiness and wrinkles in the area. Additionally, 92% of participants showed an improvement in skin tone.

5. Dr. Brandt Skincare “Needles No More” Neck Sculpting Cream

Needles No More sculpting cream
Blu Atlas

One of our favorite products specifically made for the neck is the Dr. Brandt Neck Sculpting Cream, which is crafted without fragrances, phthalates or parabens. The cream is designed to sculpt and tighten the neck and jawline while improving firmness, elasticity and hydration and boosting the production of collagen. After two weeks of use, 88% of participants in a study reported that their skin looked smoother, and after four weeks, 100% saw an improvement in elasticity.

This Dr. Brandt Skincare cream is made with a sculpting complex that features spirulina, caffeine, soy isoflavones and guarana extract. These ingredients work in tandem to boost firmness while tightening the area under the chin. This complex is joined by pea extract, a plant-derived protein that instantly tightens the skin for a more youthful, lifted look. It also increases moisture levels in the skin for a softer, smoother complexion.

In addition, the formula features a firming complex made up of hydrating ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, panthenol and glycerin. These ingredients deeply hydrate the skin as they reduce the risk of moisture loss for up to 72 hours. As they plump the skin with moisture, they help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the neck.

This product comes with a rose quartz gua sha tool, which can be used when applying the cream. The tool helps boost circulation to promote a more youthful appearance.

6. Caudalie Vinosculpt Lift & Firm Body Cream

Caudalie cream
Blu Atlas

Now that we’ve discussed some of our top face and neck tightening creams, let’s move on to products made for the body. One of our all-time favorite body firming moisturizers comes from Caudalie. The Vinosculpt Lift & Firm Body Cream does exactly what the name says: It tightens and sculpts sagging areas as it moisturizes and nourishes the skin. After 28 days of using the product, 96% of participants in a clinical study reported noticeably firmer skin, while 91% agreed that their skin was more toned.

This body cream is made with grape-derived polyphenols and iris extract, which work in tandem to tighten, lift and firm the skin. They also provide antioxidant benefits, ensuring the skin is properly protected against the damaging effects of free radicals.

These ingredients are joined by grapeseed oil, a fatty-acid-rich ingredient that deeply moisturizes and softens the skin. Additionally, organic shea butter restores and replenishes the skin’s barrier as it further moisturizes the skin. Ingredients like sunflower seed oil, sodium PCA, glycerin and vitamin E also work to hydrate, nourish, soften and protect the skin.

We love the subtle orange-blossom scent of this cream. And we’re big fans of the clean, nature-powered formula, which is made without parabens or phthalates, and contains 97% natural origin ingredients.

7. Revision Skincare BodiFirm

Revision cream
Blu Atlas

This advanced tightening body cream from Revision Skincare is definitely on the pricey side, but it’s a splurge-worthy product for anyone looking for dramatic results. The clinically proven moisturizer is expertly formulated with powerful ingredients that target sagging and crepey skin, helping to lift, tone, tighten and firm. It also addresses discoloration from sun damage to promote a more even skin tone, and restores the skin’s natural moisture barrier and microbiome for soft, healthy, balanced skin.

Revision Skincare’s BodiFirm is powered by a patent-pending firming technology that combines antioxidants, peptides, prebiotics and botanical extracts. These ingredients work in tandem to protect the skin and promote the natural production of collagen, elastin and dermal-epidermal junction proteins in the skin for a stronger and more youthful appearance. They also nourish the skin and balance its natural microbiome.

This formula features caffeine, which rejuvenates the skin and provides antioxidant benefits to ensure the skin is defended against damaging free radicals. The caffeine works alongside glucosamine, a gentle exfoliant that improves tone and smooths the skin to reduce rough, uneven texture.

In a clinical trial, 97% of participants showed an improvement in the look of crepey skin, while 90% saw an improvement in elasticity. Additionally, 83% of the participants noted visible improvements in photo-damaged skin.

8. Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

Sol de Janeiro cream
Blu Atlas

This cult-favorite all-over tightening cream from Sol de Janeiro has an intoxicating scent that is just as impressive as the formula itself. It features the company’s signature Cheirosa 62 fragrance, with notes of almond, pistachio, jasmine, vanilla, sandalwood and salted caramel. The formula quickly absorbs into the skin to provide weightless nourishment, while the decadent fragrance lingers on the skin throughout the day.

The Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is loaded with deeply moisturizing ingredients, as well as rejuvenating extracts that lift and firm. One of the star ingredients is guaraná extract, which has five times more caffeine than coffee. This extract revives the skin as it promotes microcirculation to tighten and enhance smoothness. The formula also features antioxidant-rich acai oil, which defends the skin against environmental aggressors to maintain its natural vibrancy and structure.

In addition, this cream features cupuaçu butter, which is loaded with fatty acids, polyphenols and phytosterols. This ingredient locks moisture into the skin as it improves elasticity. It is joined by coconut oil, another fatty acid-rich ingredient that nourishes and replenishes moisture levels to soften and condition the skin. Selenium-rich brazil nut oil also helps nourish the skin and support its ability to defend itself against aggressors. The final key ingredient is mica, which adds a subtle shimmer to instantly boost the skin’s radiance.

This cream gets extra points for the clean formula, which is vegan, cruelty-free and made without parabens, phthalates or artificial colors. We love that the company offers refill pods to cut down on plastic waste.

9. Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus Fragile Skin Therapy

Perricone cream
Blu Atlas

This powerful treatment from Perricone MD is designed to give fragile, damaged and aging skin the support it needs. It is infused with highly effective ingredients that strengthen and restore the skin while enhancing firmness and elasticity and improving the look of crepey skin. Clinical results show that 100% of participants saw an improvement in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crepiness after four weeks of using the cream. Ninety-four percent of participants agreed that the cream led to better density and barrier function.

The Cold Plasma Plus Fragile Skin Therapy is powered by retinol, which is the gold standard when it comes to anti-aging skin-care products. It supports the natural skin-cell regeneration process to replenish and restore thin, crepey skin. By doing this, it enhances tone and texture and promotes thicker-looking and stronger skin. The cream is made with a growth factor peptide that improves the look and feel of weak skin. It addresses uneven tone and texture for radiant, smooth and younger-looking skin.

Additionally, this formula is infused with a version of hyaluronic acid that is able to absorb deep into the skin. It works to replenish the skin with moisture to enhance the look of crepey and dry skin. The plumping action also helps lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. What makes this body cream stand out is the company’s proprietary liquid crystal delivery system. This technology enables the active ingredients to quickly penetrate deep into the skin to deliver the best possible results.

This body moisturizer is cruelty-free, and contains no fragrances, phthalates or parabens. We’re big fans of the lightweight cream texture, which absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy or sticky residue.

10. Clarins Body Firming Extra-Firming Cream

Clarins cream
Blu Atlas

Last but certainly not least is the Body Firming Extra-Firming Cream from luxury brand Clarins. This nourishing and deeply moisturizing body cream is designed to revitalize and strengthen the skin to firm, tighten and smooth. Ninety-six percent of the ingredients come from natural origins, making this the ideal choice for anyone looking for a nature-powered tightening body cream.

Researchers in the Clarins laboratories partnered with a leading Swedish institute to study the potential benefits of a duo of plant extracts: petasites and mitracarpus. After analyzing their effects, they decided to use these natural, science-backed ingredients in their formula. Organic petasites extract works to tighten the skin, while organic mitracarpus extract firms. Together, these ingredients counteract the effects of aging on the skin to reduce sagging and crepiness.

In addition to these natural extracts, this formula features organic shea butter, which deeply moisturizes and nourishes the skin. It works alongside organic aloe vera extract, which hydrates as it soothes for a more comfortable complexion. Together, these ingredients deliver 48 hours of hydration, ensuring the skin stays smooth and plump. Finally, kiwi fruit extract revitalizes and tones the skin.

The clinical results are impressive. After 28 days, 99% of participants agreed their skin felt hydrated and nourished, while 96% noted that their skin was more toned. Additionally, 94% said that their skin was firmer. The majority of participants also agreed that the lotion absorbed quickly into the skin without leaving it feeling greasy.

Us Weekly partners with external contributors. All contributor content is reviewed by the Us Weekly editorial staff.

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