Who doesn’t want to be forever young? Though drinking from the fountain of youth isn’t actually an option, we have the next best solution: Men’s skincare products that turn back the clock. Yes, the best anti-aging products for men really can take years off of your face. The trick is knowing which ingredients to look for and finding the best anti-aging products for men that are truly effective at smoothing over wrinkles and getting rid of dark circles.
So how do you find the right anti-aging skincare products? We turned to San Francisco-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Caren Campbell, MD to get the scoop. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the ingredients men in their late 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s should be looking for in skincare products. Keep scrolling to find SPY’s top recommendations for anti-aging products.
Read More: The Best Skincare Routine for Every Age Group
These Are the Anti-Aging Ingredients We Look For
No matter how much time you spend slathering on lotions and potions, it won’t do you any good if you’re skipping the most important step: sunscreen. Rain or shine, it’s a must every single day — no exceptions.
“Sunscreen is the best anti-aging tool in your arsenal,” Dr. Campbell says. “You should be wearing sunscreen on day one. Sunscreen is a must! Mineral sunscreens are best. These are physical blocking sunscreens that work upon application and protect against a broader spectrum of UV rays. Mineral sunscreens should contain zinc and/or titanium, which reflect UV rays off the skin rather than absorbing them like chemical sunscreens.”
A few more anti-aging ingredients are also key for turning back the clock.
“The other components of my holy trinity of anti-aging: antioxidants and a retinoid can be added in your mid-20s,” Dr. Campbell says. “Antioxidants should be applied during the day when we are exposed to UV rays and pollution. They make your sunscreen work better and protect against UV and oxidative damage from pollution that ages the skin by breaking down collagen and elastin (the building blocks of skin).”
Most products that contain antioxidants will say so on the label. If you’re wondering which ones are the most powerful, you can specifically look for vitamins A, C and E, green tea, vitamin B3 aka niacinamide, resveratrol, curcumin and lycopene.
Retinoids are often hailed as a miracle ingredient because they are quite the multitasker. Be sure to add one to your regimen, since they’re one of the best anti-aging products for men. The vitamin A derivative fights fine lines and acne, since it keeps oil production and inflammation under control, as well as helps boost cell turnover to prevent dead skin cells from clogging your pores. A retinoid product can also help minimize the appearance of acne scars.
“Retinol and retinoids help build collagen in the skin,” Dr. Campbell says. “Retinoids should be used at night as most, with the exception of adapalene, are deactivated by UV rays. Peptides also help build collagen in the skin. I recommend this for patients that can’t tolerate retinoids.”
Caffeine can also be effective as a short-term treatment if you want to reduce puffiness and inflammation. While it may not reduce the signs of aging long-term, it can be a great option for reducing the appearance of under-eye bags.
Lastly, there are countless botanicals that skincare companies use for their reported anti-aging properties. These include aloe vera, seaweed extract, green tea, tea tree oil, licorice, witch hazel and chamomile. While these natural ingredients are definitely in the “nice to have” category, if you’re looking for anti-aging products that mean business, you’ll want to look for the ingredients described by Dr. Campbell.
Want To Turn Back the Clock? Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
When it comes to moisturizers, which are another important anti-aging product for men, look for one with hyaluronic acid.
“Hyaluronic acid pulls 1,000 times its weight in water, which is why fillers are mostly made of HA,” Dr. Campbell says. “You can plump areas of volume loss by injecting this sugar that then replaces that lost volume. At age 30 we start to lose a tablespoon of fat off our face. One syringe of filler is one-fifth of a teaspoon. You can apply HA topically and it helps hydrate and minimize the look of very fine lines.”
Another ingredient to keep an eye out for is collagen, which helps strengthen the skin and boosts elasticity and hydration. “Collagen can be consumed in protein powders like Vital Proteins,” Dr. Campbell says. “If you have a diet deficient in protein then this can help, but like any protein that is consumed it is just broken down into amino acids, the building blocks of collagen in the skin.”
If you have oily skin, look for a face wash with glycolic acid to keep shine under control. “AHA/BHAs can also help prevent and treat aging, but limiting use of these sometimes drying ingredients is important to allow patients to tolerate the more effective retinoids, which can also be very drying initially,” Dr. Campbell says.
Shopping for the Best Anti-Aging Products for Men
Here at SPY, our writers and editors have tested a lot of skincare treatments and anti-aging products. Most of them smell really nice and do absolutely nothing for your skin. However, there are also products that actually live up to the promises on the label. In general, you should be looking for trusted brands using ingredients that have a real impact on your skin.
To review, these are the ingredients you should be looking for on the labels of men’s anti-aging products:
- Sunscreen for SPF protection
- Antioxidants (Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E; green tea; niacinamide)
- Retinoids / Retinol
- Moisturizing agents and hyaluronic acid
- Glycolic acid
- Botanicals such as tea extracts, aloe vera, seaweed extract and witch hazel
Check out these top anti-aging products for men and you’ll see what a difference the right ingredients can make.
1. Kiehl’s Age Defender Eye Repair
BEST EYE CREAM
Nothing screams “I’m aging” like baggy eyes or perpetual dark circles. We turn to Kiehl’s Age Defender Eye Repair when our tired eyes are getting the best of us. With just a few uses, this eye repair cream will begin to tighten eye-area skin, firming up bags and crow’s feet, and minimizing the appearance of dark circles.
2. Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunscreen
BEST DRUGSTORE SUNSCREEN
We know sunlight ages skin, but luckily you can still enjoy lounging in the sun without damaging skin by investing in a strong anti-aging sunscreen to block harmful rays. We recommend this highly-rated Age Shield sunscreen from Neutrogena because it’s powerful (SPF 110), lightweight and non-comedogenic. You can use it as a daily blocker, applying roughly every two hours, or whenever you’re outside for an extended period of time.
3. Geologie .05% Retinol Night Cream
BEST NIGHT CREAM
You read Campbell above talking about the power of retinol to help build collagen and firm up skin, especially overnight to avoid the sun. That means the Geologie .05% Retinol Night Cream is exactly what the doctor ordered. With .05% retinol, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, this night cream will work hard while you sleep to moisturize your skin and battle signs of aging, including wrinkles, uneven tone and discoloration spots. Plus, if you love it, Geologie also offers the same night cream with higher concentrations of retinol, the .2% retinol cream and the .3% retinol cream, though only experienced groomers should go for those.
4. GETMr. The Daily Sunscreen + Moisturizer
We recently tested The Daily, a new anti-aging sunscreen for men from GETMr. The Daily is a zinc-oxide daily sunscreen packed with Niacinamide, botanical extracts, mineral sunscreen and antioxidants. The formula also contains naturally moisturizing coconut and almond oil. On top of that, it’s been tested to work well for users prone to acne and sensitive skin.
Dr. Beth G. Goldstein is a skin cancer surgeon and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She’s also the co-founder of GETMr. She told Spy recently that any man looking to protect his skin needs to be using SPF protection every single day. “Damage to the skin from the sun accumulates over a lifetime. Each time the tan or burn fades, the DNA damage remains. This damage results from both UVA and UVB rays, which can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles and brown spots. Up to 90% of signs of aging can be reduced with a daily SPF product.”
5. Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Intense Serum
SPY’s e–commerce editor Joseph Cheatham lives by this Aesop serum. It may be a bit on the pricey side, but it will last you at least three to four months. You need a drop of this in the morning before work and in evening prior to bed. Some of the key ingredients for this product include parsley seed, tocopherol, red algae — which works all skin types including sensitive.
6. Lumin Anti-Fatigue Eye Patch & Dark Circle Defense
BEST EYE TREATMENT
If you’re looking for long-term reduction to puffy eyes or dark circles, then you’ll want to invest in some of the other products on this list. However, if you’re looking for a quick fix after a long week (or a night out on the town), then these anti-fatigue eye patches from Lumin can be a lifesaver. A combination of caffeine and hyaluronic acid restores the delicate skin under your eyes so you look totally refreshed for the day. For even better results, combine this anti-fatigue eye patch with Lumin’s Dark Circle Defense product.
7. Disco Rejuvenating Clay Detox Face Mask for Men
BEST CLAY FACE MASK
Though we’ll always rep one of our longtime favorite clay face masks, the Baxter of California Purify Clay Mask AHA for Men, recently, we’ve been loving the Disco Rejuvenating Clay Detox Face Mask for Men.
Purification is the name of the game with this clay face mask as bentonite clay and charcoal bring all their detoxifying power to bear on your grimy, gunky face. This face mask will cleanse all those impurities while also minimizing inflammation and it will keep acne breakouts at bay.
8. Jaxon Lane Bro Mask
BEST GEL FACE MASK
Though the Jaxon Lane Bro Mask is clearly pandering to men, the brand isn’t wrong to recognize that many men think face masks aren’t for them. The irony is that face masks are an easy solution to rejuvenate skin and fight the signs of aging. This mask is made from hydrogel, so it’s thick, stays in place, won’t rip and delivers the good stuff to your face skin more effectively than paper masks. And that good stuff is pretty good too: hyaluronic acid, collagen, vitamin B3, niacinamide serum and green tea, all of which will help hydrate, firm and tone your skin, even if you have a beard.
9. Caldera + Lab The Good Multi-Functional Face Serum
BEST OVERALL SERUM
We’ve reviewed the Caldera + Lab The Good Multi-Functional Face Serum before. Our conclusion? Let’s just say this outstanding serum — made up of 27 different active botanicals — is dad tested and dad approved. The only downside is you will pay for the privilege. But of all the anti-aging products for men out there, serums might be the only one actually or at least mostly worth the money.
10. L’Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Bright Reveal Facial Cleanser with Glycolic Acid
BEST GLYCOLIC ACID FACE WASH
If you have oily skin, follow Dr. Campbell’s advice and snatch up this new glycolic acid cleanser by L’Oreal Paris. The multitasker brightens, tackles uneven skin tone and smooths fine lines and wrinkles, making it one of the best anti-aging products for men. Designed for daily use morning and evening, the scrub gently removes dead skin cells with micro-pearls and glycolic acid, leaving a more even complexion behind.
L'Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Bright Reveal Facial Cleanser with Glycolic Acid
11. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, Face Cream
SPY’s e-commerce editor Tyler Schoeber swears by this facial cream. Though it’s mostly marketed to women, it can also work wonders for men’s skin. According to Schoeber, “This French lifesaver is a magic trick that works to both moisturize your skin and keep future breakouts in check with the help of its light yet milky texture. Using a pea-sized amount distributed all over your face will replenish dry skin created by your facewash while ensuring that mug stays clean, hydrated and breakout-free at the same time.”
12. Baxter of California Oil-Free Moisturizer
ALSO GREAT MOISTURIZER
Here’s another daily moisturizer we love, courtesy of Baxter of California. This fragrance-free moisturizer is great for guys with sensitive skin or anyone who wants to be proactive about preventing the first signs of aging. If a strong defense really is the best offense, then this is your new secret weapon in the fight against wrinkles and sagging skin. This SPF15 sunscreen contains glycerin to fight dry skin on the face and neck.
13. Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer with SPF 20
BEST MOISTURIZER WITH SUNSCREEN
If you anticipate spending some time in the sun, you’ll want to leave the Rugged & Dapper at home and bring along the Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer with SPF 20. Aside from diet and any work-related exposure, your skin mostly gets damaged from the sun. A moisturizer with SPF can go a long way to protecting your skin from sun damage-related signs of aging.
Jack Black’s lightweight moisturizer contains blue algae extract for inflammation, sea parsley and vitamins A and C to improve skin’s appearance, rosemary for healing and of course SPF 20 to stop UV light from harming your skin.
14. The Ordinary ‘Buffet’
The Ordinary is unique among skincare brands for its straightforward branding and science-driven development process. That’s why we love The Ordinary ‘Buffet’ anti-aging serum. It takes its name from the smorgasbord of high-quality, proven anti-aging ingredients it relies on, including Matrixyl 3000, Matrixyl synthe’6, Argirelox and Relistase peptide complex.
15. Brickell Men’s Anti-Aging Routine
BEST ALL-IN-ONE KIT
If you’re serious about stopping signs of aging, this comprehensive anti-aging routine from Brickell is the way to go. It includes eye balm, a night serum and a high-end anti-aging cream that all work together to make your skin firm, moisturized, and younger-looking. It’s perfect for the busy (or lazy) guy who just wants the best possible routine without any shopping around or testing products.
16. Malin+Goetz Resurfacing Face Serum
ALSO GREAT FACE SERUM
Nothing helps smooth out rough skin like a good face serum. The Malin+Goetz Resurfacing Face Serum has proven results when it comes to smoothing out skin. According to a small user survey about the product by the company, over 80 percent of users said this serum made their skin smoother, clearer and brighter after only 10 days. And that makes sense given the ingredients. Glycolic and lactic acid work to improve skin texture and vitamin C works to brighten, protect and strengthen skin. Niacinamide and phytic acid also help to minimize discoloration and pigmentation, so you’ll be back to that youthful, even-toned appearance in no time.
17. Kiehl’s Age Defender Cream Moisturizer
BEST ANTI-AGING CREAM
You just can’t go wrong with anything from Kiehl’s and that includes the Kiehl’s Age Defender Cream Moisturizer. This anti-aging cream is perfect for newcomers or seasoned pros because it effectively smoothes wrinkles and fine lines, strengthening and firming up your skin. It also offers a little exfoliation to promote new skin growth and keep breakouts at bay.
18. CeraVe Anti Aging Retinol Serum
BEST RETINOL SERUM
Retinol can get a bad rep for causing the “retinol uglies” — that’s when the potentially super drying ingredient causes redness and parched skin to peel but CeraVe is famous for being gentle on skin, just like this Anti-Aging Retinol Serum. It’s formulated with ceramides 1, 3 and 6 II to restore the skin’s natural protective barrier and keep hydration in, preventing that dreaded peeling. The patented time-release technology delivery system keeps the right dose going to maximize benefits.
19. CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
BEST HYALURONIC ACID SERUM
Seeing as hyaluronic acid is an essential ingredient in skin, a hyaluronic acid-forward serum, like the CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum, makes a ton of sense. This lightweight serum will help your skin retain its natural moisture so it’ll appear healthier and smoother overall. Vitamin B5 and three ceramides, also essential in skin, round out the formula, giving your skin the boost it needs.
20. Elemis Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Eye Treatment Duo
BEST EYE CREAM SET
If you’ve got more money to spend on a great eye cream, the Elemis Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Eye Treatment Duo is one of the best. Though it’s not an anti-aging product for men specifically, the morning and night cream combo will still make short work of wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness in no time, leaving you with the younger skin you’re seeking. The Morning Eye Cream works to immediately reduce the above issues and tighten skin for the daytime while the Evening Eye Cream absorbs slowly into the skin overnight to rejuvenate skin around the eyes.
21. Honest Beauty Beauty Sleep Resurfacing Serum
BEST OVERNIGHT PRODUCT
This little guy combines several of Dr. Campbell’s recommendations, making it one of the best anti-aging products for men. It has two types of hyaluronic acid for mega moisture and five AHAs to gently exfoliate. Talk about beauty sleep — just slather it on before you go to bed and you’ll wake up with hydrated, glowing skin.
22. Oars + Alps Natural Wake Up Face Serum
BEST FOR THE MORNING
When putting on product in the morning, the last thing you want is something heavy, goopy and greasy that takes forever to absorb. That’s the exact opposite of the Oars + Alps Natural Wake Up Face Serum. With vitamin C, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid in a lightweight, unscented, non-greasy formula, your raggedy morning skin won’t know what hit it, but it will be grateful.
23. Rugged & Dapper Age & Damage Defense Facial Moisturizer
BEST FACIAL MOISTURIZER
Moisturizing is one of the simplest things you can do to fight the signs of aging. That’s why we recommend the Rugged & Dapper Age & Damage Defense Facial Moisturizer. This moisturizing cream will help repair and soothe dry skin with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, jojoba oil and shea butter. It’s fragrance-free and absorbs quickly without a shine, so you can take care of your skin and get on with your day.
24. Patricks FW1 Anti-Aging Face Wash
BEST OVERALL FACE WASH
The Patricks FW1 Anti-Aging Face Wash is a premium product if we’ve ever tried one. We could walk you through some of the ingredients and science behind it, but we’re going to get right to the point: Your face will feel brand-new after you’re finished with this luxurious, foaming, cell-regenerating face wash. Whatever gunk or skincare issue you’re dealing with, your face will plain feel better and look better with this anti-aging wash. Ours sure did.
25. EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Face Sunscreen Moisturizer
BEST TINTED SUNSCREEN
Elta MD sunscreen is Dr. Campbell’s favorite anti-aging product for men. “Interestingly, men like the tinted option given it doesn’t look white in beard hair,” she says. It checks off all the boxes: The non-greasy formula delivers mineral-based protection against UVA and UVB rays with SPF 40, plus it’s spiked with hyaluronic acid to deliver loads of moisture.
26. Heraux Molecular Anti-Inflammaging Serum
BEST NEW SERUM
What makes Heraux Molecular Anti-Inflammaging Serumtruly unique is the use of a patented molecule, HX-1, which has both anti-inflammation and anti-aging properties, thus making this the first anti-inflamm-aging serum. After speaking with the inventors who discovered the molecule and made the serum, I tested this for a few weeks on my face and my elbows just for kicks. The results after just a few weeks were marvelous. In particular, my forehead, which has been increasingly dry and starting to show signs of wrinkles, felt 1,000 times more supple and my elbows — yes, the patchy dry parts — began to significantly smooth out. Overall, the Heraux Molecular Anti-Inflammaging Serum may be relatively new to the block, but its science-backed molecule will be here to stay we think.
27. Cardon Anti-Aging Skincare Set
BEST ANTI-AGING SET
Cardon is one of the best Korean skincare brands for men and the Cardon Anti-Aging Skincare Set lives up to the hype. With a Purifying Clay Cleanser, SPF + Moisturizer, Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizer and Dark Circle Eye Rescue, there is legit no sign of aging that stands a chance.
28. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1
BEST LIP BALM
It’s easy to forget your lips when it comes to skincare. You might not think of your lips as something that ages, but if not taken care of they can become dry, cracky and lose their softness and suppleness over time. That’s where a good lip balm, like Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, can help. Kiehl’s puts “since 1851” on all of its products to let you know it’s been making great skincare products for well over a century, and Lip Balm #1 is one of the company’s classic products. The balm contains vitamin E, aloe vera and squalane to soothe and moisturize your lips and protect them from free radical damage.
29. True Glow by Conair Sonic Facial Brush
Though it may not be our best overall facial cleansing brush, the True Glow by Conair Sonic Facial Brush is way more affordable and still totally delivers. It’s waterproof, rechargeable and features multiple speed settings to exfoliate your face or gently massage skincare products into your skin.