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Elemis pro-collagen marine cream SPF 30
Best: Day cream with spf
This award-winning anti-ageing cream is now available in an SPF 30 version. The lightweight formula feels deliciously cool on application making skin feel immediately perkier and firmer to the touch. Its subtle, fresh fragrance adds to the pleasure making it feel a treat to use. Marine algae and plant actives packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids deliver a powerful hit of hydration and improve elasticity. We really did see an immediate improvement to the appearance of fine lines on our skin.
Estée Lauder revitalizing supreme+ global anti-aging cell power creme
Best: For improving texture
Smooth, non-sticky and easy to apply, we found that this rich cream absorbed quickly and left skin feeling nourished. Even hours after application, our skin still felt beautifully soft. The formula centres around moringa plant extract which contains calcium, potassium, vitamin C, amino acids and omega 3 and is described by Estée Lauder as “one of the most powerful anti-ageing ingredients we’ve ever discovered”. We felt that the tone and texture of our skin improved after use.
Venn vitamin B activated all-in-one concentrate
Best: For mature skin
Although named a concentrate rather than a cream, we felt this Korean wonder product deserved inclusion because it fits perfectly into the day cream slot of a skincare routine. In fact, the brand claims this one product can replace your toner, serum, moisturiser and face oil (which may justify the hefty price tag for some). With seven B vitamins including niacinamide, a slew of minerals and amino acids, we loved the perky effect this had on our mature skin. It felt firmer and looked more radiant. The only downside is the restrictive price tag.
L’Oréal Paris revitalift laser renew advanced anti-ageing care SPF 20
Best: Anti-ageing cream for men
We like the idea of being laser renewed without actual lasers and while this cream doesn’t quite live up to this huge claim, it does a good job of perking up tired and dull skin. Key ingredients include beta-lipohydroxy acid (LHA), a gentle exfoliator which sweeps away dead cells, and L’Oréal’s patented active ingredient Pro-Xylane, a molecule that boosts collagen production to make skin appear plumper. Rated by us for its easily absorbed, soothingly thick texture, it definitely improved the moisture levels of our skin leaving it softer, firmer and fresher looking.
Olay Regenerist collagen peptide 24
Best: For oily or combination skin
The latest addition to the Regenerist family, this version contains Olay’s highest concentration of collagen peptide (a collagen fragment that is small enough to be absorbed into the skin) to boost elasticity, together with vitamin B3+ for cell turnover and glycerin for hydration. The lightweight cream is formulated to keep skin moisturised for 24 hours. We found fine forehead lines to be less noticeable after a week’s use and overall skin felt tighter and therefore lifted. We would recommend it for those with oily or combination skin as we found it had a slightly drying effect.
Balance Me intensive wrinkle repair cream
Best: For even skintone
This cream contains a super fine grade of hyaluronic acid, a hero hydrating ingredient, to allow for deeper penetration along with collagen-boosting spilanthes acmella and blackberry leaf. The addition of rosehip works to even out skintone, pigmentation and scarring. We found this fragrant, rich cream a sensory delight to use. It glides over the skin and you only need a little to feel the nourishing benefits. It made skin look smoother and plumper and softened fine lines. Definitely a great choice for winter when your skin craves a richer, thicker moisturiser (and no hint of greasiness).
Drunk Elephant lala retro whipped cream
Best: For dry skin
We came for the name and stayed for the intense hydration that this rich cream provides. Dubbed a “rescue cream”, it strengthens the skin’s barrier with six African oils and a plant ceramide complex while antioxidants and omega acids work to protect the skin from the effects of environmental stress. Its whipped formulation feels light and airy even though it acts like a much richer cream on the skin. It made our skin feel nourished and improved the appearance of a damaged patch of skin within a few days. The airtight packaging keeps the product in optimum condition: you simply press the top to release a single dose.
Ameliorate replenishing facial cream
Best: For sensitive skin
This is a gentle choice for dry, sensitive skin that doesn’t scrimp on results. The hero ingredient of this UK dermatological brand is the “LaH6 skin hydration complex”, a blend of six active moisturisers. Omega oils and hyaluronic acid also feature. As well as boosting moisture levels, this cream reduces redness, soothes sensitivity and evens skintone to brighten and bring a glow to delicate complexions. It sinks in beautifully without feeling heavy and smooths fine lines with its deep hydration. Our sensitive-skinned tester raves about it.
Espa tri-active lift and firm moisturiser
Best: For underneath make-up
The Tri-Active range from Espa is aimed at more mature skin. Intensely hydrating, it includes organic oat sugars to smooth and soften and the fragrance of petitgrain, bergamot and lavender to calm. The texture is somewhere between a serum and a cream: light and cool to apply. We felt it had a slightly tacky feel on the skin initially, although this provided a good base for make-up and it did sink in fully after a while. The heavy, frosted glass jar and spa-like scent gave a sense of occasion to the morning routine and left our skin feeling smooth and definitely firmer.
Monat be gentle nourishing moisturiser
Best: Hydrating day cream
A good option for those with sensitive skin, this cream has a luxuriously smooth feel but in a light formulation. Feeling more like a lotion than a cream, it feels cool and soothing when applied and our tester certainly found it lived up to its “gentle” name. With hyaluronic acid and plant stem cells, it delivers a good dose of hydration and its lightweight texture provides a good base for make-up.
Do anti-ageing products really work?
You can’t reverse ageing, but certain skincare ingredients can improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dullness, and texture.
The gold standard anti-ageing ingredient in skincare is SPF and should be used daily. Regular use will help limit damage from UV radiation, but also play an important role in protecting against fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, pigmentation and uneven skintone.
The best thing you can do to reduce the appearance of ageing with your skincare routine is to take care of it as early as possible, with preventative steps such as applying SPF daily and always removing make-up before you go to bed.
Ingredients to look for in anti-ageing day creams
Antioxidants – Vitamin C and niacinamide are powerhouse ingredients worth a spot in your morning routine as they protect against environmental aggressors, pigmentation and blemishes.
Ceramides - You’ll find ceramides in plentiful supply in cleansers, serums and moisturisers and while they naturally occur in your skin, they gradually decline as we age. They protect your skin against environmental aggressors and prevent water loss, so are a great ingredient to look out for in your topical skincare products as they’ll leave skin feeling supple and hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid – This is one of the most commonly used ingredients in moisturisers as it's a humectant that attracts and retains moisture on the skin, giving a plumping effect.
Retinol – Derived from vitamin A, retinol is one of the most potent anti-ageing ingredients, thanks to its clinically proven results at improving fine lines and wrinkles in as little as twelve weeks. It can also fade acne scars and increase collagen production. It’s available over the counter in moisturisers and serums, in varying strengths, ranging from 0.01 per cent to two percent.
Squalane – This is an unfussy, oil-based moisturising agent that works well for mature, dry and dehydrated skin types to reduce water loss and strengthen the skin barrier by sealing in moisture.
Does your skin type affect which anti-aging cream you should use?
In short, yes. Anti-ageing is a common skin concern, but you should also take into account your skin type when looking for a new moisturiser.
Anything too oily or thick may exasperate oil production, so if you want to avoid a shiny T-zone, opt for oil-free, non-comedogenic products that are lightweight and won’t clog pores.
Equally, if you have dry skin, you’ll need something nourishing to improve skin texture and suppleness that will hydrate while tackling fine lines and wrinkles.
The verdict: Anti-ageing day creams
For no-nonsense moisturising and glow at a great price point, we love Willowberry. We also rate Ark Skincare highly for its targeted care of more mature skin and, if your budget allows, Venn delivers great results.
Tackle pigmentation and boost collagen levels with the best vitamin C skincare products
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12 best anti-ageing day creams that help reduce wrinkles
We looked for softened lines, paler age spots, reduced redness and a fresher, more youthful radiance and glow