Retinoids are one of the most well-documented wrinkle fighters around, reversing the signs of aging in study after study (after study). A class of chemicals derived from vitamin A, retinoids work in two ways: First, they help your skin slough off old cells and make new ones — a process our bodies are good at when young, but which slows down as we age. Second, they spur collagen production, improving elasticity and filling in lines — another natural process that tends to slow down with age.
"First of all... What sort of magic is in this container? I have been using the Olay Regenerist night cream for about a year, and I just decided to try this product out. In one week wrinkles are clearing up. Especially in the area of my forehead. I live in a country that is very hot and humid and pores can get clogged easily. This works perfectly. " —De Bajan Girl
Smoking reduces the oxygen flow to our skin cells, dumps a huge number of chemicals in our body and strips the good nutrients like vitamin C. It causes our blood vessels to narrow – known as vasoconstriction – which limits the oxygen flowing to our skin cells as well as other areas of the body. This means that cell processes cannot complete efficiently, resulting in your skin being less healthy and less resilient. It will be more prone to fine lines and wrinkles that form in areas you use for regular expressions – such as smile lines and lines spreading from your lips as you purse them around a cigarette.
Due to the lack of statistically significant clinical trials proving the effectiveness of topical retinoids as “anti-wrinkle” creams, I recommend applying sunscreen daily to reverse signs of photo-aging and to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. I would avoid using “anti-wrinkle” creams until more definitive scientific evidence proves that the benefits outweigh the risks. In the meantime, think of all the thousands of dollars you will save on not having to buy anti-wrinkle creams.
If noticing some fine lines sent you straight into a frenzy of Googling anti-aging solutions, you're in the right place. These picks include preventative solutions (like retinol-powered all-stars), formulas for fast results (thanks to elasticity-boosting ingredients), and even some all-natural products that'll help prevent and smooth the appearance of wrinkles.
Testers rated Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum best for minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Said one, "I had a very deep wrinkle between my eyes, and it's really starting to go away." Lab tests didn't show stellar wrinkle reduction with any of the serums, but the Estée Lauder proved itself a top-notch skin smoother. Echoed a panelist, "My face feels smoother, and my skin tone looks brighter. I have been wearing less blush!" If you want to spend smarter, go for the large size of our winners (the 3.3-oz. Lancôme, $150; the 3.4-oz. Estée Lauder, $160) and you'll slash the price per ounce by $44 and $18, respectively.