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Knock Out Your Fine Lines With One Easy Stroke

Skip the intensive treatments and use these easy dermatologist-approved creams and formulas.

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woman smiling with eye cream under her eyes
Arthur Belebeau/Trunk Archive
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I’m not ready to shell out for Botox just yet, but my face is starting to show those oh-so-common fine lines — reminding me that I’m not as young as I feel.

Fortunately (or unfortunately?) I’m not alone, says Rina Allawh, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in the Philadelphia suburbs. “One of the most common concerns that many of my patients have is tackling fine lines and wrinkles,” she says. “Aside from injectable options, there are various topicals that help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As I always say to my patients, it’s all about the ingredients.” 

Here are a few to try.

Get a quick morning pick-me-up

The delicate eye area needs highly specialized care due to the very thin nature of the skin under and around the eyes, says Tina Alster, M.D., a Washington D.C.-based celebrity dermatologist. “This is generally the first area to show the signs of aging with corner wrinkles,” she says. 

Try these

  • The A Method Brighten Eyes by Tina Alster 

Alster created this lightweight product that contains a low concentration of microencapsulated all-trans retinol. It’s gentle enough for the delicate skin in this area, and it softens lines and wrinkles. This also has a blend of unique antioxidants — including rosemary, green tea and ellagic acid — to help protect your skin from environmental aggression. $64 at

  • Intensive Eye Balm 

This balm contains hyaluronic acid, chamomile and cucumber extracts to hydrate, and circadian repair proteins will slow down collagen loss around your eye area. It should improve your texture and reduce the lines around your eyes. $78 at

Wash your face with key ingredients

Yes, creams are essential. But the ingredients in your face wash are key to treat the fine lines and facial rejuvenation over the long term, Allawh says. Look for formulas containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), which are classes of exfoliant ingredients implemented in skin-care products for the treatment of acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles and facial rejuvenation, Allawh says. Pro tip: Make sure to use sunscreen if you’re using these products, as these acids may increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunburns.

Try these 

  • Beekman Milk Wash Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser

This is an AHA and BHA goat-milk wash that cleanses and exfoliates without being abrasive. The deep cleanser will leave your skin brighter, smoother and totally moisturized so you’ll look fresh and full. Starts at $10 at

  • SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

The AHA and BHA will remove dead skin cells, revealing a smoother complexion, while the lavender extract will tone and soothe. This is gentle enough to use daily. $47 at

Make sure your moisturizer contains retinoids

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that can increase collagen, which is the protein that makes up your skin’s supportive structure, says Jenna Queller, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in South Florida. “This protein can lessen the look of fine lines and wrinkles,” she says. “They also increase the number of cells that make collagen — called fibroblasts — in our skin, keeping it plump and firm.”

Try these

  • AlphaRet Overnight Cream

This cream contains retinol and alpha hydroxy acid, which is why Suzanne Friedler, M.D., board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC, recommends it to her patients. It should take just four weeks to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. $125 at

  • A-Passioni Retinol Cream

This cream has 1 percent vegan retinol to restore your face’s natural bounce and resilience, as well as vitamin F and some lovely fruit oils to replenish lipids and moisture. It’s essentially one creamy reboot. $74 at

  • SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5

The concentrated formula contains pure 0.5 percent retinol to target fine lines. Apply it around your eyes and anywhere else you have lines or wrinkles. It will also diminish dark circles. $76 at