Worrying about wrinkles and lines already? Smart of you to start taking care of your skin before it’s too late. After all, that’s the whole point of preventative skincare. Here to ease the process, we have an amazing list of the best anti-aging creams for your 20s. It’ll help you find the right one to add to your anti-aging skincare routine.
Lucky for you, your primary focus in your 20s is protection and prevention. Because your wrinkles are active wrinkles and they’re not yet permanent. This is common knowledge. So there’s no need to obsess over reducing wrinkles that haven’t even formed yet.
Before going through the list though, you need to know a couple of things. Anti-aging creams to use in your 20s come in 2 basic forms. The first one is sun protection. This means that you can use moisturizers that contain SPF to protect your skin.
As the sun is the most effective factor in aging your skin, these creams use SPF as their main anti-aging element. And it makes a lot of sense!
The second type is the one that has certain active ingredients. These ingredients are proven to have anti-aging benefits like firming and tightening the skin. These can be certain antioxidants, vitamins, peptides, and retinol.
And we have all of them! No matter which path you choose, read on to find the best anti-aging cream suitable for your skin type and/or skin issue.
The Best Anti-Aging Creams For 20s
Below are the best anti-aging creams for people in their twenties.
You don’t need potentially irritating active ingredients to anti-age in your 20s. So if you’re not ready to commit to those, consider this one. This cute little magic box contains signal peptides. Signal peptides are incredibly helpful in penetrating the skin, stimulating collagen growth, and protecting existing collagen. Plus, the fragrance-free anti-aging cream has plant-derived growth factors that help renew and revive the skin.
Additionally, it’s enriched with folic acid to address dehydration. And it has marula oil, which is packed with fatty acids to replenish the skin and support the skin barrier. The whole product is designed to revive, nourish, and protect the skin. It improves your skin tone and firms it up with potent anti-agers, making it one of the best anti-aging creams for your 20s.
Ingredients: Peptides, growth factors, amino acids
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, silicone-free, award-winning.
Great For: Preventative skincare.
Nobody enjoys layering a ton of products on the face in their 20s. Combining your moisturizer, your sunscreen, and your anti-aging cream is as practical as it gets. This all-in-one hard-working moisturizer packs everything you need. It’s made with vitamin B3 (niacinamide), which brightens the skin and helps repair the damaged skin barrier.
It also has retinyl retinoate, a gentler version of retinol. It speeds up skin turnover but works slower than retinol. That’s why it’s a non-irritating alternative if you’re still on the fence about using retinol. Plus, the cream contains antioxidant-rich turmeric extract to increase radiance and reverse sun damage.
Ingredients: Retinol ester, niacinamide, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, SPF 15
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free.
This one is a nourishing cream made to replenish and nourish oily and dehydrated skin. If you’re also suffering from oily skin in your 20s, you can hit 2 birds with 1 stone with this one. The oil-free moisturizer plumps up the skin with hyaluronic acid. And it infuses the skin with watermelon extract, which is super rich in antioxidants and minerals.
If you’re in your early 20s, this lightweight cream can be a great addition to your skincare to keep excess oil under control while providing the skin with a daily dose of antioxidants.
Ingredients: Watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, licorice extract.
Good To Know: Oil-free, non-comedogenic, contains fragrance, vegan, cruelty-free.
This one is a targeted anti-aging cream formulated with gentle exfoliants. It’s made with two polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), namely lactobionic acid and gluconolactone. Unlike alpha and beta-hydroxy acids, PHAs are incredibly gentle on the skin. They don’t irritate or cause redness. And they work as humectants as well. They plump up the skin and fill in wrinkles by boosting hydration.
The cream gently resurfaces the skin, increases hydration, and reduces the look of fine lines and hyperpigmentation. If your skin is too sensitive to mainstream exfoliants, this could be a great start to increase skin turnover and reveal healthier and smoother skin. The anti-aging cream is perfect for your 20s to delay the appearance of fine lines while keeping the skin moisturized.
Ingredients: 12% polyhydroxy acids.
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, suitable for sensitive skin.
This drugstore moisturizer combats dehydration, aging, dullness, and pigmentation. Because it contains one of the most effective antioxidants to fight wrinkles and dull complexion; vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant has incredible benefits for your skin. It reverses and prevents UV-induced free radical damage like rough skin and fine lines.
It evens out the skin tone by fading dark spots and brightening up the complexion. The non-comedogenic cream has hyaluronic acid to boost hydration. That way, it plumps up the skin and reduces the visibility of wrinkles. The anti-aging cream is perfect for your 20s to tackle dehydration and tired-looking skin as well as hyperpigmentation.
Ingredients: Ascorbic acid, Centella Asiatica, hyaluronic acid.
Good To Know: Contains fragrance, oil-free, dermatologist-tested.
And speaking of vitamin C, this is another one that combines vitamin C with signal peptides to increase collagen production. And it has green tea, which is one of the most powerful plant-derived antioxidants to erase and prevent signs of aging.
In addition, the cream contains licorice extract as well as niacinamide to double the skin-brightening effects. If you’re concerned about hyperpigmentation, layer this one under your sunscreen to reduce dark spots and prevent the formation of new ones.
Ingredients: Gentle and stable vitamin C derivative, peptides, niacinamide, ceramides.
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free, contains fragrance.
Armed with SPF 50, this one is an intense moisturizer you should consider in your 20s. It has hyaluronic acid to hydrate and squalane to lock moisture in. Additionally, it has anti-aging peptides to stimulate collagen production.
It also has amazing antioxidants like vitamin E, green tea, and algae extract to increase the skin’s resilience against oxidative stress. Sun protection and nourishing botanicals are the perfect coverage for your face to avoid wrinkle formation and dark spots.
Ingredients: Chemical SPF 50, peptides, antioxidants.
Good To Know: Contains essential oils, cruelty-free, vegan, rated 4.5/5 on Sephora.
This is an affordable drugstore anti-aging cream for your 20s. It’s suitable for all skin types and it’s oil-free. It has your basic daily sun protection too! Besides green tea, it has the powerful antioxidants vitamins C and E to guard the skin against free radical damage.
Moreover, the moisturizer contains vitamin B3, aka niacinamide, for its amazing skin-restoring abilities to prevent moisture loss. The budget-friendly cream is lightweight and also contains retinyl propionate, aka vitamin A, to boost healthy collagen formation.
Ingredients: Chemical SPF 15, vitamins A, B3, B5, E.
Good To Know: Oil-free, fragrance-free.
This is a potent anti-aging cream perfect for your mid and late 20s. It has signal peptides for collagen and elastin growth. And it has an impressive antioxidant to target signs of aging; resveratrol. Besides its ability to neutralize free radicals, resveratrol also brightens the skin, reduces dark spots, and improves skin texture.
Grape-derived antioxidants form a layer of free radical protection on the skin to prevent the formation of wrinkles and crow’s feet. Additionally, it has hyaluronic acid to boost hydration and a comfortable emollient texture to lock moisture in. It prevents dehydration and softens the skin, keeping it plump and bouncy.
Ingredients: Resveratrol, hyaluronic acid.
Good To Know: 97% natural ingredients, contains fragrance but smells amazing.
Okay, if you have to use retinol, start with the one that actually works. Retinol is majorly anti-aging and you should definitely consider it if you want to be preventative or if you’re already in your late 20s. This one is an effective anti-aging cream that retexturizes the skin with the help of retinol.
It speeds up cell turnover and renews the skin from inside out, making it smoother, softer, brighter, and healthier. Besides wrinkles, retinol also helps with acne and scarring. The cream utilizes squalane and ceramides to prevent dryness, which can happen when you’re using retinol. Additionally, antioxidants from green tea and licorice treat and prevent free radical damage.
Remember to give your skin some time to adjust to retinol. Use this one every other day to build tolerance and see how your skin reacts to it. If you’re new to retinol, learn how to use it to avoid irritation.
Ingredients: 0.01% retinol, green tea, licorice root, peptides, ceramides.
Good To Know: Fragrance-free.
And lastly, Estee Lauder has this antioxidant-rich moisturizer. And whether you’re in your early, mid, or late 20s, we recommend this as the best anti-aging cream for your 20s because we think it’ll satisfy the majority. First of all, the cream comes in different formulas: one for dry skin and one for normal/combination skin. The former has a rich base made with shea butter while the latter has a gel-like base. So you can choose the product depending on your skin type.
Both creams contain chemical SPF, which is great if you tend to forget to wear sunscreen. Both creams contain vitamins C and E, and plant-derived antioxidants. So you get nice sun protection as well as potent antioxidants to fend off wrinkles without using potential irritants. And both of them contain humectants like hyaluronic acid, squalane, and glycerin, making the cream an amazing moisturizer no matter your skin type.
Ingredients: Chemical SPF 15, vitamins C, E, caffeine, hyaluronic acid.
Good To Know: Editor’s choice. Available for all skin types. Contains-fragrance.
So these are some of the best anti-aging creams for people in their 20s. If you don’t like our choice, know that Drunk Elephant’s formula is just as rich in ingredients to get you covered on the anti-aging aspect. Also, a more budget-friendly option is Olay’s Total Effects because it has several antioxidants plus sun protection. If you’re not sure what to look for in your creams, or how to go by creating an anti-aging routine, keep reading.
Do you need an anti-aging cream in your 20s?
There is no authority out there to answer this. So this is mostly about your personal preference. As we’ve established, your 20s are all about prevention and protection. So if you want to cover your bases and do what you can to delay the appearance of wrinkles, you can absolutely utilize daily anti-aging creams, serums, and night creams.
What’s the best anti-aging product?
The best anti-aging product is sunscreen. Sun is the ultimate enemy of your skin. You’re doing most of the job even if you only use SPF and nothing else.
What to look for in an anti-aging cream for 20s?
This has a lot to do with what kind of a skincare routine you’re following. For example, SPF is still the best anti-aging product no matter your age. Regularly using sunscreen to protect your skin is the ultimate anti-aging routine. On the flip side, there are anti-aging ingredients with years of science behind them. The two most important ones are retinoids like retinol and antioxidants like vitamin C.
But these ingredients require a certain level of knowledge because they can be irritating for the skin and you need to properly incorporate them into your routine. If you’re too lazy for all of this, look for a daily anti-aging cream made with simple, non-irritating antioxidants. And use your SPF daily. If you can commit, look for retinol and exfoliants in your anti-aging creams.
At what age to start using retinol?
Retinol is a powerful anti-aging ingredient that’s effective in diminishing wrinkles and preventing new ones. It may be too much of a commitment for your early 20s. But your mid-20s are perfect for establishing a skincare routine that has 1 retinol product in it.
How can you prevent wrinkles in your late 20s?
It’s still not too late to prevent wrinkle formation. Establish an anti-aging skincare routine. See a dermatologist and learn your skin type. This will help you better understand which active ingredients are best suited for your skin. Also, follow these tips to prevent wrinkles in your 20s.
Read Next: The Best Retinol Products to Use in Your 20s