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9 Best anti-wrinkle creams of 2024: tried and tested for mature skin

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FACE cream is the most efficient and inexpensive way of keeping your skin looking good and warding off lines.

The best anti-wrinkle creams contain a blend of ingredients designed to moisturise, protect and enhance your skin, with active ingredients that deliver a plethora of benefits.

Until somebody discovers the fountain of youth, treatments and topical products are the most popular methods of keeping our skin looking good; treatments are expensive and out of reach for many of us, so we rely on creams, serums and masques to hold the years at bay and delay the signs of ageing.

While we can’t turn back time, we can choose products that plump and hydrate the skin, such as hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture, while ingredients that stimulate collagen production, such as vitamin C, niacinamide or retinol, can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Plant oils including olive, rosehip, coconut, marula and jojoba nourish and soften, and let’s not forget peptides – amino acids – that improve elasticity, support collagen production and firm the skin.

The sun is one of the biggest causes of skin damage and premature skin ageing, whether that’s dry patches, sunburn or hyperpigmentation (age spots) so protecting your face is vital. Go for an anti-wrinkle cream that contains an SPF, or apply a separate sunscreen on top of your moisturiser, no matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 60, using sunscreen will reduce fine lines in the future and help prevent skin cancer.

Generally speaking, you want to use lighter moisturiser in the morning and richer creams and masques at night. Retinol is best used before bed as it can make your skin more photosensitive (another good reason to remember the SPF), while some experts recommend using vitamin C in the morning because of its antioxidant effects, protecting against environmental and sun damage.

If you’re a little lost as to the best wrinkle cream to choose, we’ve tested a selection so read on for our tried and tested roundup of the best anti-wrinkle creams available in the UK right now.

Best anti-wrinkle cream at a glance:

Emma Hardie Midas Touch Revitalising Cream

Emma Hardie Midas Touch Revitalising Cream

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Emma Hardie Midas Touch Revitalising CreamCredit: Sephora

Emma Hardie Midas Touch Revitalising Cream, £50 £39.33

Pros: Deeply hydrating, antioxidant protection

Cons: Potentially harsh on sensitive skin

Considered a leading pioneer in skin rejuvenation, Emma Hardie is one of the most accomplished holistic facialists in the UK, so you know what you are putting on your face is total perfection.

A British skincare brand, this cream is vegan and uses powerful ingredients harvested from the natural world. Rich in hyaluronic acid which is designed to soothe, hydrate and plump the skin, it works a treat.

When I first used it, I was conscious the powerful blend of marine and botanical extracts may be too heavy for my sensitive skin. On the contrary, I found it extremely soothing. This is thanks to the combination of natural oils of moringa, evening primrose and rosehip, which work together to nourish, moisturise and soothe the skin, while Vitamin E protects it from toxins and pollution.

Considering its mid-price range, the cream feels luxurious and as it says on the box, definitely has the Midas touch.

Pot size: 50ml, SPF: None, Key ingredients: Sunflower seed oil, glycerin, avocado extract.

M&S Formula Sleep and Replenish Light Sleep Cream

M&S Formula Sleep & Replenish

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M&S Formula Sleep & ReplenishCredit: M&S

Formula Sleep and Replenish Light Sleep Cream, £22.50

Pros: Budget-friendly, sinks in overnight

Cons: Not as impactful as some of the other creams on this list

In my experience, M&S never disappoints. Whether it’s fashion or food, the retailer is a winner in my eyes – and it’s the same when it comes to beauty.

Marks & Spencer’s signature skincare range Formula is a safe, results-driven and budget-friendly collection that doesn’t fail to deliver. This cream is one of my favourites, as it really helps refresh lacklustre skin, which is particularly beneficial if you are a bad sleeper like me.

The lightweight formula contains key ingredients of Olea vitae, a cell-reviving plant-based oil, and matrixyl 3000, a peptide blend that works to smooth wrinkles and improve tone and elasticity. It also has the bonus of the powerful antioxidant niacinamide, which is known for its strong anti-ageing properties.

It has a smooth texture that is more on the heavy side than some other face creams but does not leave any residue or a greasy feel.

It absorbs easily and after the first use, you can feel the properties working on dehydrated skin. Mine is often quite tight and straight away this made it feel smoother, recharged and moisturised.
Perhaps not necessarily a hard hitter in reducing wrinkles and lines, but a deeply moisturising face cream that certainly gives me a healthy glow.

Pot size: 50ml, SPF: None, Key ingredients: Olea vitae, matrixyl 3000, niacinamide.


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Dr Irena Eris Lumissima Brightening and Anti-Aging Day Cream

Dr Irena Eris Lumissima Brightening Cream

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Dr Irena Eris Lumissima Brightening CreamCredit: Dr Irena Eris

Dr Irena Eris Lumissima Brightening and Anti-Aging Day Cream, £59.06

Pros: Brightening formula, SPF protection, sits well under make-up

Cons: Takes about three months to see results

This brand, created by Polish pharmacist and businesswoman Dr Irena Eris, specialises in providing the ultimate care for ageing skin, so it’s no surprise this day cream is a best seller.

Pigmentation is a huge factor when it comes to skin losing its glow, and it is something often overlooked. The condition, which shows itself as brown patches on the face, is particularly common for those who spend a lot of time in the sun.

The reason I love this cream so much is because it is one of the few on the market formulated for skin with pigmentation. It contains a pigment-block complex that helps eliminate any existing pigmentation spots and gently lightens the skin. At the same time, it prevents further hyperpigmentation.

The results take time, I estimate about three months, after which I noticed my dark spots had faded and I didn’t have any new patches. My skin also generally looked more refreshed and glowing.

The cream is a perfect make-up base. Featuring plenty of big-hitting ingredients like niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 touted as a must-have ingredient for uneven skin tone, wrinkles and fine lines, this is a dream cream.

Pot size: 50ml, SPF: 20, Key ingredient: Niacinimide.

Oskia Day Cream

Oskia Nutri-Active Day Cream

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Oskia Nutri-Active Day Cream

Oskia Nutri-Active Day Cream, £72

Pros: Leaves the skin with a distinct glow, antioxidant packed formula

Cons: Potentially too lightweight for extra dry skin 

British premium skincare brand Oskia utilises the magical properties of the healing mineral, MSM, which is traditionally used to repair damaged joint cartilage. Such is the popularity of the brand, the range can be found in many of the leading luxury hotels and spas, where an Oskia facial is the ultimate treat.

What I love about this day cream is that it is so lightweight, that the formula absorbs into the skin immediately and leaves a shimmery glow. It is deeply hydrating so if you have any sore or cracked skin, acne or dry patches, you can feel the Oskia nutrients going to work as they soothe irritated areas. 

The powerful blend of milk peptides, omegas 3 and 6 and vitamins A and E offer enhanced hydration and restore elasticity to the skin. This means, that if used regularly over time, it can have a serious lifting effect. 

To finish off, the cream is scented with Oskia’s signature rose lychee natural fragrance, making it perfect for summer.

Pot size: 40ml, SPF: None, Key ingredients: Shea butter, rosehip oil, vitamin E.

Inika Organic Phytofuse Renew Day Cream

Inika Organic Phytofuse Renew Maca Cream

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Inika Organic Phytofuse Renew Maca CreamCredit: Inika Organic

Inika Organic Phytofuse Renew Maca Root Day Cream 50ml, £45

Pros: Sustainable jar, soothing ingredients

Cons: Shorter shelf life than other day creams

First up, you may wonder what phytofuse means in the world of skincare. And once you do, you will realise why this cream features in our top buys. Far from being another marketing gimmick, it’s a potent antioxidant with clinically proven skin soothing, hydrating and anti-ageing properties.

By creating a highly effective shield to help protect against pollution and environmental stresses on the skin, I feel like I’m helping keep my skin clean during my smoggy daily commute.

The Australian brand creates 100% natural products that are completely free of synthetics.

Full of nourishing botanical ingredients, everything about this cream has a clean feeling to it. Peruvian maca root extract works its magic by helping nourish and firm the skin, helping to stimulate collagen production. Rose of Jericho extract helps improve skin hydration levels all day by reducing water loss. And keeping with its eco-friendly credentials, the cream is housed in a sustainable glass jar.

Pot size: 50ml, SPF: None, Key ingredient: Maca root.

Comfort Zone Sublime Skin Cream

Comfort Zone Sublime Skin Cream

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Comfort Zone Sublime Skin CreamCredit: Sephora

Comfort Zone Sublime Skin Cream, £91.50

Pros: Plumping formula, deeply hydrating

Cons: High price point

There is quite a lot to like about this product and first impressions have the wow factor. Even though the packaging is simple, it has a real retro look about it that ticks the aesthetically pleasing box.

Secondly, with the words hyaluronic acid on the box, you know this cream contains the superhero ingredient that works brilliantly on ageing skin by hydrating and re-plumping tired-looking complexions.

With the addition of peony and palmitoyl glycine, the face cream melts effortlessly into the skin, leaving it instantly feeling revitalised and revived.

Free from silicones, parabens, mineral oils, artificial colours and animal derivatives, this cream smells so divine – and left a very slight hint of peony smell on our hands from where we had rubbed it in, which was lovely.

Pot size: 60ml, SPF: None, Key ingredients: Achillea millefolium, shea butter, squalane.

Elemental Herbology Facial Soufflé Ultra-Rich Cream

Elemental Herbology Facial Souffle Cream

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Elemental Herbology Facial Souffle CreamCredit: Elemental Herbology

Elemental Herbology Facial Soufflé Ultra-Rich Cream, £55 £40.84

Pros: Deeply hydrating, reduces dullness

Cons: May be too thick for oily skin

Unlike the other products mentioned, this decadent cream has quite a thick texture and works like a skin drink, in that my face lapped it up. So although it’s a heavier cream than the others I tested, it melts into the skin easily, without any oiliness.

As someone with very dry skin, I think this is best suited to when skin is sunburned or suffering from dry patches. Other skin types may not benefit as much as I think the soufflé texture is so thick it really needs to be saved for when your face needs some TLC.

Although the natural skincare cream claims to reduce lines and wrinkles, I can’t vouch for seeing much evidence on my face. However, what it does do, and it does this well, is intensively moisturise the skin and therefore reduce any dullness. My complexion definitely appeared a lot brighter and plumper after use.

And I love the smell it leaves on the skin. Nothing overpowering but a mixture of the rose damask and argan oil leaves a very faint fruity fragrance.

Pot size: 50ml, SPF: None, Key ingredients: Rose Damask, aquarich, argan oil.

Bioderma Photoderm SPOT-AGE SPF 50+ Antioxidant Sunscreen

Bioderma Photoderm SPF50

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Bioderma Photoderm SPF50

Bioderma Photoderm SPOT-AGE SPF 50+ Antioxidant, £20 £16

Pros: Affordable, SPF protection, antioxidant protection, not sticky

Cons: Can’t be worn at night as it contains SPF

This is a multi-tasking face cream that comes in at such an affordable price, it has to get a mention. As one of the leading dermatological brands, you know you are in very safe hands with Bioderma.

This is not just a face cream, it is also a sun cream that is enriched with Vitamin C and E to brighten skin, while the high SPF50+ protection helps prevent the appearance of new dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Unlike the sticky feeling you often get when using sun cream, this leaves no residue on the skin and sinks in beautifully.

My face is the perfect base for this product as years of burning in the sun have left me with sun spots and dark patches. This works well as it protects my skin from UV rays at the same time as going to work on the damage already caused by sun exposure.

What’s more, it sits very lightly on the skin so can be used as a make-up base, without the need for a primer.

Tube size: 40ml, SPF: 50, Key ingredients: Vitamins C and E

La Prairie White Caviar Extraordinaire

La Prairie White Caviar Extraordinaire

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La Prairie White Caviar Extraordinaire

La Prairie White Caviar Extraordinaire, £685

Pros: Immediate results, luminous glow, plumping

Cons: Very expensive

When it comes to luxury skincare, La Prairie is as lavish as it gets. A prestige product may not be worth the money, which is why I was careful to add this one in as it is so pricey. However, if one product is worth its weight in gold, it’s this one. 

It is like a pot of utter joy – from the packaging to the way it looks out on the beauty cabinet, to the joy of using it and the way it makes your skin feel. 

La Prairie is a Swiss skincare brand that dates back to 1931, pairing science with luxury and creating products that work. As indicated, the main ingredient of this cream is white caviar, which is as delicious to put on the face as it sounds.

You apply a tiny amount twice a day and the minute it touches your face it feels as though you are covering it in luxury. Skin immediately feels soft and nourished, with any signs of dirt or grime on the face wiped away, leaving a luminous glow. 

I found this such a treat to use I looked forward to my skincare routine, something I normally tend to rush through.

The cream leaves no residue and leaves my skin feeling velvety soft. As for targeting skin ageing issues, this is the face cream I would swear by for providing instant results. Within a few days of use, I noticed the dark spots on my cheeks had visibly decreased. They have not vanished, but do seem to have faded in colour slightly. 

It also made my skin feel supple and bouncy, which made me think the plumping collagen must be working. The white caviar is meant to work by providing a luminous look to the skin and it does so, meaning dull areas are given an instant pick-me-up.

This really is a delightful cream on so many levels. 

Pot size: 60ml, SPF: None, Key ingredients: White caviar, salicylic acid, squalane. 

Where can I buy anti-wrinkle cream in the UK?

Anti-wrinkle creams are widely available on the high street and online from a variety of retailers. Department stores, such as John Lewis and chains, including M&S, Boots and Superdrug, all stock skincare, including own-name products.

Online, specialist beauty retailers such as Look Fantastic, Cult Beauty, Sephora and Beauty Bay are all excellent for sourcing skincare, while general retailers like Amazon also stock a huge selection.

If you’re interested in a particular brand then check out its website, especially as you may find introductory gifts or special offers not available elsewhere.

Supermarkets are another great source of skincare, especially low to medium-price products, and they’re so easy to pick up alongside your weekly groceries.

We found the products reviewed in our feature at:

How can a cream reduce the appearance of fine lines?

Specialist ingredients in anti-ageing creams can reduce the appearance of fine lines. Take hyaluronic acid for example, it works by holding moisture in the skin, hydrating it and creating a plumping effect.

Others work with your body to support its natural processes, so retinol and vitamin C both stimulate collagen production – collagen levels decrease as we age and especially after menopause, causing skin to sag and wrinkles to form. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant so protects your skin from environmental damage and to a certain extent from sun damage, so it increases the beneficial effects of sunscreen.

Peptides (amino acids that form protein) help with collagen and elastin production so skin is firmer, has better tone and elasticity, with the result that fine lines and wrinkles are less noticeable and even reduced.

How much do anti-ageing creams cost in the UK?

The price of anti-ageing creams in the UK varies widely between brands as you can see from our roundup – the cheapest product we tested cost £20 while the most expensive was an eye-watering £685!

As far as big-name goes, you’ll find anti-wrinkle creams at all price levels. Brands such as Clinique, Clarins and Estee Lauder cost more than high-street favourites Olay, L’Oreal and Garnier, while designer names such as Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent sit at the top when it comes to price. Then there are the more niche or cult brands that also command a high price tag, including By Terry, Charlotte Tilbury and Medik8, but equally boutique, brands can be affordable – think The Ordinary, Q&A and Hello Sunday.

Just to add another element to the mix, some stores produce their own skincare which sits in the low to mid-range price bracket. Boots for example offers a budget line, as well as its higher priced No7 brand, while Primark and Aldi regularly sell low-cost skincare products that are dupes for designer favourites.

What is the best anti-wrinkle cream?

While we have an obvious soft spot for La Prairie, we think all the options on this list are worthy contenders for the best anti-wrinkle cream crown.

To figure out which anti-wrinkle cream works best for you, you need to figure out your skin type and make a note of any concerns, for example, dryness, lines, hyperpigmentation or uneven texture.

When you know this information, you’ll be better equipped to find a cream with a formulation suited to your needs, one that agrees with your skin and importantly, a product you like using.

Is anti-wrinkle cream bad for young skin?

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

In most cases, it’s fine to start using an anti-wrinkle cream when you’re young, and doing so could prevent lines from forming in the first place and prevent premature skin ageing.

Moisturisers containing retinol may cause breakouts or sting on application at first, no matter how old you are. The approach here is to start with a low level of retinol and/ or use it just a couple of times per week, gradually building up your use.

Do anti-wrinkle creams work?

Anti-wrinkle creams contain ingredients that are designed to combat some of the effects of ageing, such as a dull and dry complexion.

Different creams contain different active ingredients in different proportions and concentrations, which can affect how well they work.

Choosing an anti-wrinkle cream formulated for your skin concerns is the best way of ensuring results – and remember, any changes in the look of your skin could take several months to show.

Overall, your skin will benefit from a good anti-wrinkle cream, but exactly how much can vary and that’s worth bearing in mind before you splash out on really expensive products.

How do anti-wrinkle creams work?

Anti-wrinkle creams contain different active ingredients that are designed to improve the appearance of your skin.

Different creams have different formulas that are targeted at different skin types, which means how they work will vary slightly.

A key ingredient for most anti-wrinkle creams is retinol, which is made from vitamin A. It helps to boost collagen production in your skin, which can in turn help your skin regain some of its natural elasticity.

Some products also contain hyaluronic acid, which helps to improve the natural moisture retention of your skin, helping it to look plumper and fresher.

When should you start using anti-wrinkle cream?

The advice on this varies depending on which expert you consult – some recommend using products as early as your 20s but many people agree that your 30s are a good time.

As anti-wrinkle creams can take a while to take effect, using products early can slow down the effects of ageing before they become visible.

As you age, you’ll have to start using different products and even add in extra products such as anti-ageing serums, as the needs of your skin will change over time.

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