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.
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)
- 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. EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Face Sunscreen Moisturizer
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.
2. 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.
3. Baxter of California Oil-Free 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.
4. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder
As Dr. Campbell’s go-to collagen supplement, it has loads of other perks. The bioavailable Collagen Peptides Powder is quickly digested and absorbed by the body to maximize its efficacy. With hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, it gives hair, skin, nails, joints, ligaments and tendons a health boost. It can easily be added to hot or cold beverages, including coffee, tea and smoothies, at any time of day.
5. CeraVe Anti Aging 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.
6. Lumin Anti-Fatigue Eye Patch
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 produ
7. 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 both 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.
8. Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
BEST PEPTIDE CREAM
Peptides are another ingredient recommended by Dr. Campbell, and this cream has plenty of them. Drunk Elephant has a cult following for its skincare products among women, but the same products can be used on men’s skin with great success. Along with signal peptides, there’s growth factors, amino acids and pygmy waterlily to visibly improve skin’s tone, texture and firmness. The moisturizer gets to work to turn back time from the very first application, making it one of the best anti-aging products for men.
9. 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.”
10. 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.
11. Luxol Anti-Aging Face Cream for Men
BEST ANTI-AGING CREAM
While there are specialized creams and balms for things like your eyes and lips, sometimes all it takes is one great anti-aging cream. Luxol Anti-Aging Face Cream for Men is that one great cream. Vitamins, antioxidants and peptides work to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, tighten and lift skin and leave your skin softer, smoother, brighter and just generally more youthful.
12. Baxter of California Under Eye Cream for Men
BEST EYE CREAM
Baxter of California makes some of our favorite luxe grooming products for men, from their new deep-clean shampoo to their clay face masks. They also make a mean eye cream for guys waging war against dark circles. An all-around great eye cream will tamp down on puffiness and dark circles as well as erase wrinkles over time. The Baxter of California Under Eye Complex Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream promises to do just that. Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate and firm under-eye skin while caffeine and seaweed extracts go to work on puffiness and discoloration. Use it in the morning or before bed or both if you please. Even if you’ve been having a long few weeks, this cream will help make sure nobody can tell from the state of your eyes.
13. 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.
13. Pure Biology Enhanced Night Cream
BEST NIGHT CREAM
If you’re not keen on dropping over $100 for a great night cream, night creams like this one from Pure Biology slowly hydrate and replenish your skin overnight, leading to a fresh, rejuvenated face in the morning. And if you use it consistently, you’ll quickly notice an overall improvement in your skin’s youthfulness. This one uses powerful ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and argan oil, and works for any skin type.
14. 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.
15. Claritag Advanced Skin Tag Removal Device
BEST FOR SKIN TAGS
As you get older, you’ll likely start to find more skin tags. Fortunately, you don’t need to book a visit with your dermatologist to get rid of skin tags, which you can do easily at home with the right products. That’s why this skin tag freezing device is a must-have for anyone dealing with this unsightly skin condition.
16. 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 2 hours, or whenever you’re outside for an extended period of time.
17. 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.
18. Malin+Goetz Resurfacing Face Serum
BEST 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.
19. Jaxon Lane Bro Mask
BEST 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 a 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 which will help hydrate, firm and tone your skin, even if you have a beard.
20. Liberex Egg Sonic Vibrating Facial Cleansing Brush
As you get older, your skin starts to shed more dead cells that it used to. Help get rid of these dead cells and keep your face clean by integrating a good facial brush into your wash routine, like the electric Liberex Facial Cleansing Brush. These brushes exfoliate dead skin, blackheads and remove other gross stuff from your pores, leaving your mug smoother, lighter and tighter than ever.
21. 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.