Everyone ages. Some people feel that embracing age with grace and elegance means avoiding anti-aging products of any kind, but you might find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering how to look younger. Feeling like you’re aging before your time can be overwhelming. With so many skincare products on the market that all claim to turn back the hands of time, trying to find a helpful product can feel futile.
Many anti-aging skincare products are designed for women, but the stigma around men taking care of their skin is fading faster than your wrinkles will. The market for men’s skincare increases by almost 10% every year and, in 2021, comprised 45.6% of the entire skincare market.
We pored over this booming market to find the top seven anti-aging creams for men. In this guide, you’ll find facts, statistics, and comparisons to help you decide what will work best for your skin.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a list of our top picks below.
- Best overall: Brickell Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream
- Best budget pick: Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter
- Most lavish: Hims Custom Anti-Aging Cream
- Best for dry skin: Kiehl’s Age Defender
- Best for combination skin: Blu Atlas Face Moisturizer
- Best for oily skin: Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter
- Best for sensitive skin: Jack Black Nighttime BAK-up
- Men’s anti-aging cream: top considerations
- How our top recommendations compare
- What is anti-aging cream?
- Why do I need anti-aging skin cream?
- How anti-aging cream works
- Anti-aging cream ingredients
- Is anti-aging cream a good option for you?
- Jack Black
- Blu Atlas
- Men’s anti-aging cream FAQ
- Why you should trust us
Winner: Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter
Having expensive skincare products doesn’t mean that you’re getting better results. Rather than focusing on just the cost of each anti-aging cream, we looked at its true value: will you receive good results for what you’re paying? The cheapest option isn’t a good value if it’s not going to work, and just because something’s expensive and works doesn’t mean you need to rush out and buy it. Of course, analyzing value gets complicated with skincare products because what works well for you isn’t always what works well for others.
Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 has the best value on our list. This cream works double-duty as both a moisturizer and broad-spectrum sunscreen (which protects against UVA and UVB rays). Its oil-free formula is light, allowing men of all skin types to use it, and it contains retinol, an active retinoid made from vitamin A proven to neutralize free radicals deep in your skin. And with a price tag of only $17.49 for 1.4fl oz, this anti-aging cream packs a punch without hurting your wallet or skin in the process.
Winner: Brickell Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream
When it comes to what you put on the largest organ in your body, quality is a top priority. Having a lot of natural ingredients is great but doesn’t mean much if an anti-aging cream leaves wrinkles untouched (or worse). The best anti-aging creams should be able to balance gentle, natural ingredients that are good for your skin with potent active ingredients that work. When we investigate the formulas of our top products, we look at where the ingredients come from, their scientific merit (if any), and third-party testing for exceptional safety and quality assurance.
Brickell went above and beyond with their Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream For Men. The product includes a wide range of healthy ingredients, with actives like hyaluronic acid, that are all 100% natural and 81% organic. Plus, Brickell never tests their skincare products on animals, making their formula as good for the environment as it is for your skin. The cream can separate when it’s been left out in the heat, leaving oil on top. This happens because there are no artificial binding ingredients that might affect how their actives interact with your face. (If this happens to you, you can put the jar in the fridge for a few hours to cool it down. It should be good as new after.)
Winner: Hims Custom Anti-Aging Cream
Nothing is more frustrating than spending as much money as you would on a nice dinner date for a skincare product and not getting any results. When we evaluated each of these anti-aging creams, we did a deep dive to find proof of effectiveness, either through scientific research, customer feedback, or our testing. All products we recommend offer significant results, but they take at least two weeks to begin seeing results (which is faster than average for skincare products).
Compared to its competitors, Hims Custom Anti-Aging Cream is expensive, but for a good reason: this prescription-strength cream is customized exclusively for you. It comes in three strengths, focusing on its three powerful active ingredients. To get this prescription, you fill out a questionnaire about your skin health and lifestyle to help your doctor decide precisely what you need. And while it may be a little harsh for sensitive skin, Hims Custom Anti-Aging Cream will give you serious results fast.
Winner: Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter
There’s a reason that “skincare routine” is a common way to describe caring for our faces — it’s notoriously complicated. Few products do more than one thing to support healthy skin. We analyzed each top product to find out everything it can do. Can you use it as a moisturizing sunscreen? Can you apply it at any time of day, or are there specific rules you’ll need to follow? Can it soothe irritated skin or deflate puffy under-eyes? A versatile product serves equally well in more than one arena.
Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter has many different uses. This anti-aging cream is an oil-free moisturizer, a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and a wrinkle eliminator with retinol. It can be used at any time of the day (though it works best in the morning because of its UV-blocking properties) and is nourishing and light enough to work on any skin type. If you’re looking for a one-stop shop, Neutrogena Men’s Age Fighter is your best bet.
|Cost||Size||Value (per ounce)||Active ingredients||SPF?||Day or night use?||Skin types||Treats|
|Brickell||$40.00||2.0oz (60mL)||$20.00||DMAE, MSM, hyaluronic acid||Night||All||Fine lines, wrinkle prevention, firming, hydration|
|Neutrogena||$17.49||1.4oz (about 40mL)||$12.49||Retinol, UV filters||
|Day||All||Fine lines, hydration, sun protection|
|Hims||$45/month||0.34oz (10mL)||$132.35||Tretinoin, azelaic acid, and niacinamide||Night||All||Fine lines, dark spots, sun damage|
|Kiehl’s||$30.00 / $39.00||1.69fl oz (50mL) / 2.5fl oz (75mL)||$17.75 / $15.60||Salicylic acid, caffeine||Day and night||Dry, combination||Fine lines, lifting and firming, exfoliation|
|Jack Black||$55.00||1.7fl oz (50mL)||$32.35||Night||Dry, combination||Fine lines, hydration|
|Blu Atlas||$30.00||2.0oz (50mL)||$15.00||Day and night||All||Fine lines, hydration|
|Bulldog||$11.49||3.3fl oz (about 100mL)||$3.48||Day and night||All||Fine lines, hydration|
Anti-aging creams are skincare products designed to make your skin appear more youthful. They provide hydration to the skin through a viscous cream applied once or twice a day. The cream soaks into your skin, so you don’t need to wash it off. Some people prefer using skincare creams at night because they take a while to absorb, while others use them first thing in the morning for a refreshed feeling all day. The timing of your application depends on the kind of anti-aging cream you use and how your skin responds to it.
Anti-aging creams don’t work immediately. If you use them regularly over time (most recommend use for at least four weeks), you can expect to see things like:
- Wrinkle and fine line erasure
- Plumper, more hydrated skin that makes you “glow”
- Lighter discoloration or dark spots
Skincare products are considered “cosmetic” by the FDA, which means that they don’t regulate skincare products as strictly as they regulate prescription medication. Cosmetics don’t need to have proven research before going on the market, so there’s no guarantee that any product will work, even if it looks perfect on paper. Our top picks have scientifically backed formulas that suggest they’ll work well, even if a third party didn’t test them directly.
Aging is a natural, normal process that happens to us all. However, just because aging is natural doesn’t mean that everyone feels comfortable with its pace of progression. Some people — men included — dislike the feeling of aging skin. Skin age manifests in several different ways:
- Drier skin, including flaky, itchy patches
- Dark spots from sun damage or natural pigmentation
- Less elastic skin that hangs or sags
- Thinning skin that looks more translucent
- More fragile skin, prone to cuts, bumps, and bruises
- Longer healing times on said cuts, bumps, and bruises
- Fine lines and wrinkles
Whether you dislike the reminder that you’re getting older, feel you’re aging beyond your biological age, or simply want to look younger, these anti-aging creams can help you feel young again (or still!). They can also help to reverse sun damage and protect you from future UV rays, thicken your skin to help it heal faster, and tighten loose collagen networks.
To understand how anti-aging creams work, you must first understand what happens to your skin as you age.
As the largest organ in your body, your skin is relatively sensitive to change over time. It helps to protect your internal organs from the environment, taking on UV rays any time you go out in the sun. It also keeps your fluids and electrolytes in balance; your skin is one of the first places you’ll see a difference if you’re dehydrated.
Skin is made up of three layers:
- Epidermis (outermost layer), which contains pigment and immunoprotective cells
- Dermis (middle layer), which contains nerve endings, sweat glands, and hair follicles
- Hypodermic (inner layer), also known as subcutaneous tissue, contains fat, connective tissue, and blood vessels
Each layer also contains a cross-hatched network of collagen structures and elastin fibers to give it strength and flexibility.
Internal aging factors
Skin aging comes from internal (natural) and external (environmental) factors.
Your dermis has an extracellular collagen matrix, where collagen fibers and elastic fibers intertwine to create a structure for your epidermis to grow on. Hyaluronic acid is stored in this matrix, keeping your skin hydrated.
As you age, your body makes less of these fibers. They begin to clump together, weakening the structure and decreasing the amount of hyaluronic acid in your skin. This lack of support and moisture allows for a loss of elasticity (where your skin may sag or become looser) and the formation of wrinkles (where skin sinks into non-supported areas). Likewise, we lose fat from the subcutaneous layer as we get older. That means there’s even less to hold your skin in place.
External aging factors
Oxidative stress is the biggest outside influence on how fast your skin ages. When your body breaks down food or is exposed to UV light (among other things), sometimes the atoms involved end up with an unpaired electron. This turns them into free radicals, which damage DNA inside cells and, eventually, cause what we know as skin aging. While we don’t know a ton about how free radicals work, we know that antioxidants can safely donate an electron to pair with a free radical, essentially neutralizing it.
So, what does this mean for your skin? When you go out in the sun, smoke a cigarette, or are exposed to environmental toxins and pollutants like diesel, you take on oxidative stress. These exposures add up over time, leading to internal breakdowns at faster rates. Combine that with our cells’ ability to repair themselves diminishing over time, and you end up with aging skin.
What anti-aging creams do
Avoiding premature skin aging requires taking extra steps to care for your skin, including avoiding sun damage. Regular use of sunscreen and UV blockers, which some anti-aging creams include, is one of the most proactive ways to prevent premature skin aging.
Anti-aging creams work primarily to restore youthful skin’s properties. A good anti-aging cream includes:
- A moisturizer (particularly hyaluronic acid)
- A way of providing structural support (through chemical exfoliation or collagen boosting)
They may also include an exfoliant since skin can’t shed dead cells as effectively as we get older. Essentially, it gives your skin its inherent properties back, keeping your skin from aging prematurely and reversing some of the signs of age.
The best ingredients for you vary depending on what your skin needs. There is some overlap with ingredient functions (a hydrating ingredient may also minimize the appearance of fine lines, for example). But we’ve sorted these ingredients by their primary mechanism of action.
Hyaluronic acid is found in all of our epidermal skin cells. It’s the central hydrating element in our skin and is unique because it provides moisture and retains water, keeping our skin hydrated for long periods. When our skin ages, it dries out, so topically applying hyaluronic acid makes it more hydrated at that moment and increases its long-term water content. It can also increase how much collagen your skin makes and thicken your epidermal tissue, fortifying your skin across the board.
Ceramides are the main fatty acid found in your skin cells, making up between 30 and 40% of all materials in your epidermis. It helps to retain moisture and provides a physical barrier against germs, so having sufficient amounts of ceramides is critical to maintaining good skin health. Over time, your ceramide levels drop off, so topically reintroducing more ceramides will help replenish your ability to hold moisture, which staves off physical signs of aging like fine lines.
There are two kinds of ingredients that help promote cell growth and regeneration. One type exfoliates (removes dead skin cells to reveal new ones), and another helps stabilize and moderate healthy cell growth by removing free radicals.
While you won’t see any physical exfoliators like microbeads in anti-aging creams, you might find a chemical exfoliator. Three of the most common chemical exfoliants are retinol, AHAs, and BHAs
Made from vitamin A, this retinoid is a chemical exfoliant that essentially melts dead skin cells away. Aging skin is less likely to naturally exfoliate, leaving dead skin cells on your epidermis and creating duller skin. Retinol exfoliates, brightening your skin from deep within your dermis. It also encourages cell turnover by stimulating those new cells, which can also soften wrinkles.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
AHAs are a group of chemical exfoliants that work to remove dead skin cells and make way for new, fresh cells on your epidermis. The difference between an AHA and a retinoid (like retinol) is that AHAs draw new moisture into the skin, helping to keep it hydrated on the epidermis’s surface. However, using AHAs regularly can make your skin more vulnerable to UV damage. Three common AHAs include lactic acid, glycolic acid, and citric acid.
Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
BHAs are the sister compound of AHAs. They are oil-soluble acids that work to clear your pores, chemically exfoliating your skin similarly to AHAs. The difference between BHAs and AHAs is that BHAs don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as AHAs. (Retinoids go deepest, then AHAs, then BHAs.) So if you have particularly oily skin, a BHA like salicylic acid can help to give a more gentle chemical exfoliation and clear your skin more effectively.
Since oxidative damage is the most significant external factor in aging skin, antioxidants are vital to prevent skin damage over time. There are dozens of antioxidants you might find in an ingredients list, but four of the most common are CoQ10, caffeine, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 is an antioxidant that helps your body maintain healthy cell growth. Over time, the amount of CoQ10 that your body naturally makes wanes. Some studies have found that orally taking CoQ10 helps smooth wrinkles and fine lines as much as applying it directly to your skin. Whether you swallow CoQ10 or use it as an ingredient in your skincare routine, potent antioxidants like CoQ10 have a solid scientific rapport in anti-aging skincare.
Your morning cup of coffee could be doing as much for your skin as it does for your energy levels. Coffee has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but recent studies have found mixed results in pure caffeine’s impact on skin aging. Some say that it can diminish the amount of new collagen your body makes, which speeds up the aging process; others say its antioxidant properties can help to jumpstart cell turnover. Most recent studies point toward caffeine increasing skin elasticity and improving the quality of your skin barrier, meaning it’s more likely to be good for your skin than not.
As one of the most powerful antioxidants, vitamin C is a prevalent ingredient in anti-aging skincare products. It acts as a “free radical scavenger” that protects your cells from damage caused by free radicals, the largest environmental impact on skin aging. Specifically, vitamin C works to lighten dark spots (particularly vitamin C made from citrus, which also has citric acid) and defends against cellular damage, prolonging cell lifespans. Women with high vitamin C intakes have a significantly lower likelihood of wrinkles and dry skin associated with aging. Topically, it often works best when paired with vitamin E.
Vitamin E is a fat-based vitamin with several antioxidant properties. While your body naturally makes vitamin E and releases it through your sebum, meaning it naturally exists in higher quantities in your skin, sebum production decreases over time. Several studies have shown that topical vitamin E application helps fight free radicals, reduces inflammation and redness, and absorbs energy from UV light, preventing sun damage. It works best when paired with vitamin C for a powerful antioxidant punch.
Broad-spectrum UV protection
UV damage is another serious external factor that causes premature skin aging. A good anti-aging cream for daytime use will include SPF, which protects you from some UV rays. (The higher SPF, the fewer UV rays get through your skin; SPF 15 sunscreen blocks about 93% of UV rays.) There are dozens of ingredients you might find that have UV protective features. Some of the more common ones include avobenzone, oxybenzone, and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).
Green tea is a star health product for a good reason. It has antioxidant and anti-fungal properties, but its most impressive role in anti-aging skincare is that it may help protect your skin from UV-induced non-melanoma skin cancer. Whether you drink the tea or put it on your face, green tea is thought to protect your body from inflammation by preventing damage to your DNA. UV damage compounds as you age, so green tea is an excellent preventative ingredient to have on hand.
This form of vitamin B3 helps your skin build keratin, a protein that props up the lipid barrier on the outermost part of your epidermis. It also supports NAD+ creation for cellular energy. Niacinamide has proven to decrease aging-related hyperpigmentation in clinical trials, though the exact mechanisms are still unknown. Since your lipid barrier is mostly made of ceramides, niacinamide works best when you use them in combination.
There aren’t many situations where adding an anti-aging cream would be harmful. Most of the time, the only barriers are cost and your skin’s natural oils. Since anti-aging creams all have a heavy moisturizing element, they can sometimes oversaturate your skin, leading to oil buildup that causes acne. If you have oily skin, we recommend looking for an anti-aging cream with a light moisturizer like hyaluronic acid and staying away from heavier bases like jojoba oil.
If you have dark spots that you’re concerned about, reach out to a dermatologist before trying an anti-aging cream to get rid of them. A dermatologist can give you more information on what they are, where they likely came from, and how to treat them. Dark spots aren’t always from aging; they can be manifestations of skin cancer, which can result from spending time in the sun without protection. Rough pink patches called actinic keratosis are associated with aging and can be soothed with anti-aging creams. But sometimes they mutate into skin cancer. If you see any new and unusual skin changes, it’s always best to check first with a professional.
Fine lines, wrinkles, and thinning, saggy skin are the features that an anti-aging cream can help with the most. While the products won’t make your face look like you’ve been professionally airbrushed, they can provide the hydration and support your skin needs.
- Thick cream thoroughly hydrates
- Balance of natural and active ingredients
- 100% natural and 81% certified organic ingredients
- Free sample kit of eight anti-aging best-sellers (just pay shipping)
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Subscribe and save 15% off any order
- Get 15% off your first order when you sign up for their newsletter
- Results take at least two weeks to appear
- May be too thick for those with oily skin
- Cream may separate if left in the heat too long
Brickell isn’t messing around when it comes to men’s facial care. They offer nineteen different anti-aging skincare products and bundles, from a Repairing Night Serum to a glycolic acid peel to a three-bottle Complete Defense Anti Aging Routine. Their Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream For Men is a particularly potent cream moisturizer that promises to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eyes).
This heavy cream should only be applied at night, as it’s thick and takes a while to fully absorb into your skin. It has an interesting mix of ingredients, including:
- Aloe leaf juice, which is full of vitamins C and E
- Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), an acetylcholine precursor and anti-inflammatory agent
- Green tea
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a plant compound that allows for more sulfur absorption
- Vitamin E
- Hyaluronic acid
MSM isn’t an ingredient you typically see in topical skin products. Most studies on its effectiveness rely on oral administration. Since it’s known to help the body create and process sulfur, and sulfur is a vital component of building collagen links, it makes sense that putting it on your face does as much good as eating it.
Brickell’s products come scented or unscented. The Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream uses peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass for a sharp and clean smell.
Price and shipping
One 2oz jar of this cream costs $40 for a one-time purchase, or you can subscribe and save 15% ($34). This subscription program is flexible in how often you get new jars. While Brickell suggests that one jar should last you two months, you can get a replacement through the subscription program at the following times.
- 30 days
- 45 days
- 60 days
- 90 days
- 120 days
If you aren’t sure if you can commit to a full-sized jar of Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream for Men, you can order one of their free starter kits in either a scented or unscented formula. You can only purchase one trial set per household, so be prepared to share with your brothers, sons, husband, or other men in your life. Shipping ($6.95) still applies, so it’s not entirely free. However, if you combine a free trial purchase with at least $50 of other Brickell merchandise, you can skip that cost. The trial kit includes:
- Daily Essential Face Moisturizer
- Purifying Charcoal Face Wash
- Clarifying Gel Face Wash
- Renewing Face Scrub
- Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream
- Restoring Eye Cream
- Daily Strengthening Shampoo
- Invigorating Mint Body Wash
All orders are shipped within 24 hours. Brickell has a surprisingly robust return policy if you aren’t happy with your purchase. You can return anything within 30 days of the purchase date as long as the product is at least half full. This means that if you try the Revitalizing Anti-Aging Cream and find in a week that it’s too greasy or makes your skin break out, you can return it with no questions asked.
Best for oily skin and Runner-up overall
- Contains broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect from sun damage
- Oil-free formula won’t oversaturate oily skin
- Available in several big box stores
- Fragrance-free for sensitive skin
- 15% off your first order when you sign up for their newsletter
- Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, even with UV blockers
- Often out of stock on Neutrogena’s website
- May cause mild tingling or redness
- Contains parabens
Neutrogena Men has a long history of creating high-quality, low-cost men’s skincare products. There’s a reason that their website advertises that they’re the “#1 men’s skincare brand.” Their Age Fighter Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is no exception. This anti-aging moisturizer has several properties that make it one of the best. Simultaneously, it is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UV damage and a moisturizer with retinol for efficient wrinkle removal.
Some studies suggest retinol and other retinoids make your skin more sensitive to UV damage. However, results in different studies aren’t conclusive; others indicate that retinol is degraded by UV rays, dropping the efficacy of this cream’s anti-aging properties. Either way, this moisturizer is safe to use during the day, but keep some sunscreen on hand if you spend a lot of time outside.
This anti-aging cream has a more chemical-heavy formula than some other favorites. Some notable ingredients include:
- UV blockers (avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Parabens (methylparaben and propylparaben)
Parabens aren’t always bad, as they were developed and work well as antifungal and antimicrobial preservatives, but they can become endocrine disruptors in large quantities. Methylparaben and propylparaben are two of the weaker and less-harmful parabens, accumulating in most people’s bodies without harm (so far).
Neutrogena uses strict third-party testing when making their products and frequently revisits formulas to keep them up to date with the latest science.
You can buy one 1.4fl oz tube for $17.49, which is a steal considering its strength. Neutrogena doesn’t offer any subscription programs, but you can purchase their products from major stores like Walmart, Target, and Kroger-owned supermarkets.
- Powerful all-in-one product
- Customizable for your exact skin type and needs
- Contains three heavy-hitting active ingredients
- Pump mechanism ensures you’ll always dispense the right dose
- Might be covered by insurance
- $10/month for first two months
- Cost isn’t transparent
- Requires a prescription and consultation with a doctor
- Causes increased sensitivity to the sun
- Will need to gradually work into your nightly routine
- May irritate sensitive skin
- Cannot be used if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
Hims is a giant company that supports men’s health in dozens of areas. From mental health to ED treatment, Hims has your back. They’ve expanded into skincare, and they are one of the only providers that offer a custom-made anti-aging cream for men. This cream is made of three prescription-strength active ingredients:
- Tretinoin (retinoic acid)
- Azelaic acid (a topical antimicrobial and anti-inflammation compound)
The Custom Anti-Aging Face Cream is available in three different strengths, which is picked for you by the doctor based on your skincare needs. The jar itself is different from other creams. It has a lid on top that you push down to dispense the right amount of cream to use on your face every time.
It’s important to mention that, even when precisely dosed, tretinoin can cause heightened sensitivity to UV rays (which is a little antithetical if you’re trying to protect your skin from damage). Hims is aware of this and recommends not applying it immediately before sun exposure and wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen. Within a few weeks of starting your custom anti-aging cream, your skin should feel less sensitive and be more stable in sunlight.
To get your prescription, you need to attend a free virtual telehealth appointment. Take a survey that asks about:
- Which state you live in
- Your birthday
- Skin type (very dry, often dry, combination, often oily, very oily)
- Your gender and sex assigned at birth
- If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant
- If you are currently or have ever used a retinol or retinoid product
- If you’ve been diagnosed with rosacea, perioral dermatitis, or facial eczema
- If you have any allergies or medication reactions (and if so, to what)
- If you’re currently taking any medications, herbal medicines, or supplements (and what)
- Any recent surgeries or hospitalizations
- If you have any medical conditions
It takes about 24 hours for a doctor to get back to you with your prescription, and if approved, your order will arrive within a week.
At the end of the survey, you are offered a deal to bundle Goodnight Wrinkle Cream moisturizer into your order for an introductory price of $5/month, meaning you’ll pay $15/month for the first two months if you want both products. After those first two months, the price skyrockets to $69/month ($45/month for the custom anti-aging cream and $24/month for Goodnight Wrinkle Cream moisturizer).
Custom Anti-Aging Face Cream comes in two different sizes depending on how often you want deliveries:
- 10mL (one month)
- 20mL (two months)
You can order it month-to-month or purchase a six-month or annual prescription, which is automatically refilled every two months with a 20mL container. These prescriptions are pre-paid, meaning you’ll pay for a full three or six jars upfront.
Our testing team had to do some digging to find this pricing information, as it isn’t available until after you’ve been approved for a prescription. Hims doesn’t make it obvious how much you’ll have to pay for your custom anti-aging cream. This may be because Hims can work with your insurance but historically have been hesitant to do so. You can read our full review of Hims to learn more.
Best for dry skin
- Specifically formulated for men’s skin
- All-in-one model makes skincare easy
- Two different size options
- Light menthol smell
- Subscribe and save 10%
- Flexible return policy
- Heavy moisturizer can feel greasy
- May not provide full anti-aging results on its own
Kiehl’s offers a range of twelve different anti-aging products for men. Chief among these is their Age Defender Cream Moisturizer, designed to firm and lift aging skin, erasing wrinkles while providing deep hydration.
This cream uses caffeine and capryloyl salicylic acid as active ingredients. Capryloyl salicylic acid is an oil-soluble BHA created to penetrate the skin more slowly than standard salicylic acid (therefore making it more gentle for all skin types). Linseed extract also plays a major role, with some studies suggesting it can help improve the body’s rate of skin repair. All ingredients are sustainably sourced as well.
You can apply Age Defender Cream Moisturizer in the morning or at night, but it is a relatively heavy cream made with cocoa seed butter that can leave combination or oily skin feeling greasy with regular application. We recommend using this product at night if you’re worried about the sheen so that it has enough time to absorb fully into your skin. While the Age Defender Cream Moisturizer is great at re-hydrating severely dehydrated skin, many people need to use all of Kiehl’s anti-aging moisturizers (including their Age Defender Eye Repair Cream and Age Defender Serum) to get the results they want.
The jars come in two different sizes: a 1.69fl oz jar and a 2.5fl oz jar. You can purchase these individually or join Kiehl’s auto replenish subscription service, which saves you 10% off all purchases and automatically gives you free shipping.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how much a jar costs and a comparison point on its value per ounce.
|One-time cost per jar (value)||Auto replenish cost per jar (value)|
|1.69fl oz jar||$30.00 ($17.75/oz)||$27.00 ($15.98/oz)|
|2.5fl oz jar||$39.00 ($15.60/oz)||$36.10 ($14.44/oz)|
If you know you like the cream, it’s a significantly better value to purchase it in the larger size (even when buying a subscription to the smaller size). However, Kiehl’s is often sold out of the larger jar, so you may need to watch their website to see when they restock.
Best for sensitive skin
- Long-lasting hydration
- Non-irritating retinol alternative
- Exceptional customer support
- Subscribe and save for 5% off, free shipping, deluxe samples, and a gift with your third box
- Free shipping on orders over $35
- Takes at least four weeks to begin seeing results
- Bottle-pump design wastes a significant amount of product
- May feel sticky or tacky after application while it absorbs
Unaffiliated with the actor, Jack Black provides skincare designed for the modern man. Out of 13 “age-defying” products and bundle sets, one stood out to our testers. The Nighttime BAK-up Retinol Alternative is known to be effective for men who work in the elements and for a good reason. It’s made with several natural ingredients, including:
- Bakuchiol, a retinol alternative with clinically proven anti-aging properties
- Cannabis sativa seed oil to prevent moisture loss
- Ginger root extract
Nighttime BAK-up Retinol Alternative offers the strength of a retinol product without the potential for irritation that is extremely common when starting to use retinol in your daily routine. This cream is more sticky than some of its alternatives, so it’s best used at night.
The container is a unique shape: a tube with a dispenser-style pump at the end. Getting all of the product out of the pump can be challenging, so if you think you’re running low fast, you can cut open the bottle to reach the remainder of the product.
Jack Black’s customer service is exceptional, providing fast, responsive help whenever needed. They’ll recommend different products to you if you’re debating or curious about whether Nighttime BAK-up Retinol Alternative is actually the best option for your skin.
One 1.7fl oz tube of Nighttime BAK-up Retinol Alternative costs $55, or $52.25 with a subscription.
You can subscribe to Jack Black’s auto-replenishment service, which sends a new bottle at 5% off with free shipping. While this is a relatively small discount compared to their competitors, Jack Black does their best to make it worth your while. They also send a gift with your third refill and deluxe samples with every box so that you can try other Jack Black products free of charge.
One tube of Nighttime BAK-up Retinol Alternative should last about two months, so they recommend shipping a new box every other month, but you can change that to get a new package every 1-6 months.
Best for combination skin
- Unique, research-backed natural sources of anti-aging skincare ingredients
- 100% vegan
- Works well to hydrate all skin types without clogging pores
- Accepts returned products
- Free shipping on orders over $75
- Subscribe and save 20% on purchases
- No options to change frequency of subscription
- Natural ingredients might not work as quickly as things like retinol
- You pay for shipping on returns
Blu Atlas believes that skincare doesn’t have to come at the cost of the environment. Their skincare products are unisex (giving some leeway if the women in your life start stealing your anti-aging cream). The products are also made with 100% natural, 100% vegan ingredients. Blue Atlas does careful research to ensure that all ingredients are good for your skin and won’t leave it feeling dry or overly greasy. It may take up to four weeks to see results, but our testers were surprisingly pleased with what they found.
Mango butter, the core of this anti-aging cream, is an alternative to heavy cream bases like cocoa butter or jojoba oil. Mango butter is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores) and lightweight, making it a hydrating alternative for people with oily skin. It’s a great source of vitamins C and E (though their claim of it protecting you from blue light is a bit of a stretch). As a bonus, some research suggests mango butter has properties that can help heal wounds faster, a major plus in anti-aging creams.
One 2fl oz jar costs $30 for a one-time purchase. If you know you like it, you can also join their Subscribe & Save program, which saves you a whopping 20% on every package (making the price of this jar drop to $24). This subscription ships you a new Face Moisturizer every 30 days, and there’s no way to alter how often you get it (but you can skip a shipment without penalty). Since this is a relatively large jar, you might need to skip subscription boxes more often than with other companies. That’s a good problem to have.
Blu Atlas has a relatively forgiving return policy if you aren’t happy with your order. Just reach out to their customer service, and they’ll let you know where you’ll need to ship your jar. However, know that you’re on the hook for paying for shipping, and it isn’t always clear if you can open the jar and try it before returning it.
Best for combination skin
- Non-greasy formula means you can use it any time of day
- High moisture content
- Large bottle at a low cost
- All-natural ingredients
- Widely available in retail stores
- Anti-aging formula is weak
- Short shelf life
- Strong smell
Bulldog Age Defense Moisturizer is a gentle moisturizer that’s great for sensitive skin but still contains essential anti-aging ingredients like vitamin E. Other ingredients help to soothe inflammation, which can exaggerate signs of aging.
Rosemary is thought to protect skin cells from UVA radiation, the kind not blocked by non-broad-spectrum sunscreen. Echinacea might improve the rate of wound healing, but there aren’t a ton of studies that confirm this idea. Echinacea also has a short window of time where it’s considered shelf-stable (about seven months when combined with vitamin E), meaning you’ll have to go through the entire 3.3fl oz bottle by then if you want all of the ingredients to remain active.
Our testers found the smell of this cream a little off-putting, as echinacea has a strong “medicinal” scent. But if you’re looking for a gentle, all-natural formula at a low cost, this is your best bet.
This anti-aging cream is significantly less expensive than the other anti-aging creams on our list at $11.49 and comes in the largest bottle (3.3fl oz or 100mL). Shipping is free for everyone in the contiguous United States, meaning customers in Alaska and Hawaii have to pay a few dollars more. Bulldog doesn’t offer any subscription plans, but you can purchase their Age Defense Moisturizer in select retail stores.
- CVS Pharmacy
What’s the difference between an “active ingredient” and other ingredients?
An active ingredient is an ingredient that’s responsible for the product’s desired effects. Medications, skincare products, supplements, and other health products have active ingredients. Often, active ingredients are chemical compounds like AHAs or retinol but can include things like caffeine. Natural compounds like mango butter, jojoba oil, or aloe vera aren’t considered active ingredients despite having beneficial properties because they weren’t explicitly created for healing or preventing problems.
Not every anti-aging cream has active ingredients — three of our top eight don’t — and not including active ingredients doesn’t mean that a product won’t work for you.
Why do men need a different anti-aging cream than women?
Technically, they don’t. Everyone’s skin is made of the same materials, so anti-aging skincare products designed to be unisex will work on everyone. However, androgens (hormones like testosterone) make the dermal layer about 25% thicker. A thicker dermal layer means deeper wrinkles can happen. Testosterone also stimulates collagen production, leading to tougher, firmer skin. Of course, there’s also the fact that men sweat more, create more sebum (oil), and often have more facial hair. These different needs mean that men see the best results from anti-aging creams with a lighter texture but still provide moisture and are less likely to need collagen supplementation.
What can I do to prevent skin aging?
To a certain extent, skin aging is inevitable. Anti-aging skincare products won’t stop you from getting older, nor will they make you look younger overnight. Your skin will still lose about 1% of its collagen every year after you turn 21.
The biggest difference you can make to prevent premature skin aging is to protect yourself from UV rays. This means wearing sunscreen regularly and reapplying it every two hours outside. A moisturizer with SPF can save you an extra step in your skincare routine, but some men find it convenient to have a separate sunscreen they can spray or slather on while at work, hiking, or enjoying time outside with loved ones.
When should I start using anti-aging creams?
There’s no right or wrong time to start using anti-aging creams. You can start using them in your teenage years, but they might not do as much good for you compared to starting them later in life. Anti-aging creams can provide rich hydration, which is always good, but they don’t work exceptionally well as preventatives. However, once you start noticing the first signs of fine lines, thinning skin, or dark spots in your 20s or 30s, you can incorporate an anti-aging cream into your routine to help support your skin.
Why use a cream over a serum or mask?
Cream-based moisturizers are one of the most common options for facial care. You’re more likely to find a broader range of options with different formulations to help your skin. Anti-aging creams are also versatile with application (at night, in the morning, or whenever you remember) and provide long-term results.
Serums also provide long-term results but are often slightly more expensive and aren’t a great option for people with oily skin. And face masks are a fun self-care tool but don’t provide as much long-term care for your skin.
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