The 13 Best Tightening Creams for the Face and Body 2022 – Harper’s BAZAAR

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When it comes to identifying signs of aging, the loss of collagen and elastin happens slowly and steadily—until one day you notice your skin isn’t as firm as it was before.

Collagen is one of the main components of the skin, and according to Hadley King, a cosmetic and medical dermatologist, it “provides strength and volume giving skin its structure.” She notes that it’s “essential for keeping skin robust and youthful,” and as collagen production decreases, our skin loses its firmness. Along with getting older, another major culprit for loss of collagen in the skin is sun exposure. “Overall loss of collagen in the skin is due to two factors: increased breakdown of collagen and inhibition of collagen production,” she says. “Both are stimulated by UV exposure.”

To combat collagen depletion, there are in-office treatments like Sofwave, which uses “high-intensity, low-divergence, multiple ultrasound beam technology,” or radiofrequency coupled with microneedling. But there are also face moisturizers and body creams on the market that can help firm skin when getting a professional treatment isn’t an option.

According to King, the plus side of using creams is that they can be great for regular maintenance and are typically less expensive than an in-office procedure. However, don’t expect an overnight difference, as results will take longer to see. She suggests looking for options with retinoids (or alternatives like bakuchiol) and anti-aging peptides, which stimulate collagen production, niacinamide to improve skin texture, as well as ingredients like humectants to hydrate, emollients for skin barrier support, and occlusives to lock in all that moisture for a plumper look.

Here, we’ve rounded up 13 creams that tout skin-tightening results for every part of your body.


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Best for Barrier Repair

PÜR MINERALS

Get a Lift Firming Facial Cream Moisturizer

Best for Mature Skin

SkinCeuticals

Triple Lipid Restore 242

Best Fragrance-Free Body Lotion

Nécessaire

The Body Lotion

Best for Neck and Chest

Cosmedix

Illuminate & Lift

Best for A.M. and P.M. Use

RéVive

Supérieur Body Renewal Firming Cream

Best for Legs

Sol de Janeiro

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

Best Drugstore Pick

Pond’s

Rejuveness Advanced Hydrating Night Cream

Best for Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Olay

Regenerist Cream

Now 21% off

Best Body Cream for Mature Skin

Crepe Erase

Advanced Body Repair Treatment

Best for Arms and Legs

StriVectin

Tighten & Lift Crepe Control Tightening Body Cream

Best for Uneven Tone

Augustinus Bader

The Body Cream

Best for Neck and Chest with SPF

Perricone MD

Cold Plasma Plus+ Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25

Best for Stomach

Maelys Cosmetics

B-Flat Belly Firming Cream

Frequently Asked Questions

Do skin-tightening creams really work?

Yes, but there’s a caveat. “They need to be used regularly. Prevention and maintenance are key,” King says. And again, don’t expect results overnight.

What are some ways you can make your skin tighter?

“Sun-smart behavior, including sun protection, on an everyday basis, in-office treatments that stimulate collagen, and topical products that stimulate collagen and/or decrease loss of collagen,” King says. “I also recommend an anti-inflammatory diet. This means a diet high in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy grains, and low in sugar and other refined carbohydrates and processed foods.”

Why? It all comes down to sugar. “Excess sugar molecules bond to collagen and elastin through a process named glycation, which ultimately causes the collagen and elastin fibers to lose their strength and flexibility,” the derm says.

How long does it take to notice results from creams?

Prepare to wait at least a month to notice results.

How long do results typically last?

Topical products must be used continuously for ongoing results, otherwise the effects will be short-lived.

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