Are Anti-Aging Creams a Waste of Money or Are They Worth Investing In?

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When handing over your hard-earned dollars for a pricey anti-aging cream, it’s easy to wonder whether your money is actually being well-spent. Do anti-aging creams really work, or are they just a clever marketing gimmick?

Unfortunately, in some cases, the latter is all they really are; cheap (and sometimes harmful) ingredients packaged in a sleek and stylish container in an attempt to justify a high price tag. However, in other cases, anti-aging creams are brimming with ingredients that have several hundred clinical studies backing up their efficacy, making that product more than capable of transforming your complexion.

How do you know if the anti-aging creams you’re using are a waste of money? Read on – we’re about to explain how to pick the most effective anti-aging products out there, along with a few tips on how you can save some money when it comes to your skincare routine.

The Difference Between Anti-Aging and Wrinkle Cream Products: Do Wrinkle Creams Work or are Anti-Aging Creams Better?

Aging usually means wrinkles, so surely an anti-aging cream and a wrinkle cream are one and the same?

serums and creams

Yes and no. Wrinkle creams are designed to tackle just that – wrinkles. Whereas anti-aging creams also target other signs of aging, including dark spots, roughness, and dullness.

Whether or not wrinkle creams, as well as anti-aging creams, work all depends on the ingredients within them. If you pick a wrinkle cream with ingredients that have been proven to smooth, tighten, and firm the skin, then it should work well at giving your face a wrinkle-free finish. Likewise, go with an anti-aging cream infused with compounds that brighten, resurface, and hydrate the skin, and you should see good results.

Is Expensive Skincare Worth It? High-End Skin Care vs Drugstore Formulas: Does Your Skin Really Need the Most Expensive Skin Care Products?

Most of the classic anti-aging ingredients out there, from retinol to peptides, are relatively inexpensive. You’ll find them featured in both high-end and drugstore formulas, both of which often have very similar ingredient lists. In these cases, you’d probably experience the same results if you went with the cheaper product.

beauty product tester

However, some high-end brands use cutting-edge, patented ingredients that you won’t find elsewhere. Backed by science and several years of expensive research, many of these ingredients are able to offer up unique anti-aging benefits that other products can’t compete with, making them well worth the extra investment.

When it comes to slowing down, and even reversing, the skin aging process, some products are much more effective than others, making them worth spending more on. Let’s take a look at where you should splurge, and where you can save, in your skincare routine:

Facial Cleansers & Face Wash Products

charcoal mask on lady

Cleansers don’t remain on the skin for very long, so spending the big bucks on a cleanser infused with expensive ingredients isn’t worth it. Those ingredients simply won’t have much time to work their magic, so go with an inexpensive cleanser and put your savings towards a product that your skin is able to fully absorb instead.

Serums and Acne Treatments

serum bottles

Serums and acne treatments contain high concentrations of powerful active ingredients, making expensive formulas worthwhile. With these products, a little usually goes a long way, meaning that even a pricier bottle could end up being surprisingly cost-effective if it lasts you a while.

Lotions & Moisturizers

woman applying cream

Anti-aging creams and lotions that contain proven, high-quality ingredients are worth spending a little more on. Look for classic compounds, such as peptides, vitamins, and ceramides – don’t be tempted by trendy ingredients that don’t have the science behind them.


Q: Do anti-aging creams actually work?

Some anti-aging creams work well and some don’t – the secret to finding out if the cream you’re thinking of buying actually works is by researching the ingredients that it contains.

Q: Does anti-aging cream even work?

Yes, many anti-aging creams work really well.

Q: Which anti-aging creams actually work?

Browse our product reviews to learn more about which anti-aging creams do (and don’t) actually work.

Q: Are skincare products a waste?

Some skincare products are a waste of money whereas others have been proven to work very effectively.

Q: Do dermatologists recommend Clarisonic, or are there better Clarisonic alternatives?

Yes, many dermatologists recommend Clarisonic, but there are also several lower-priced products that are very similar.

Q: Is Elemis worth the money?

Yes, Elemis products contain high-quality ingredients that make them worth the money.

skin care concepts

Q: Does IT Cosmetics really work and is their Skin Armour Anti-Wrinkle cream good?

Yes, IT Cosmetics products really work, and their Skin Armour Anti-Wrinkle cream has very good reviews.

Q: What’s a good over the counter wrinkle cream that really works?

The LifeCell All-in-One Skin-Tightening Treatment is a powerful over-the-counter wrinkle cream that really works.

Q: Do moisturizers prevent wrinkles?

Yes, using a moisturizer will help to keep your skin hydrated and nourished. In turn, this can prevent wrinkles.

Q: Has the Derma Scoop skin cream been proven to work?

There don’t seem to be many clinical studies or positive reviews in relation to the Derma Scoop skin cream.

Q: Is buying makeup from Wish safe?

So many people have had bad experiences with purchasing fake, and sometimes dangerous, makeup and skincare products from Wish. Ideally, buy those products from more reputable retailers instead.

Q: What’s the average amount of money spent on beauty products per year?

The average woman spends around $3756 on beauty products each year.

Q: What is the consumer report best anti-aging cream?

The Olay Regenerist anti-aging creams often come out on top in consumer reports.

Conclusion: Does Skin Care Really Work When It Comes to Reversing Aging or Should You Forgo an Anti-Aging Cream to Save Money & Help Stop Beauty Waste?

So, are anti-aging creams worth buying or are you simply contributing to the increasing problem of beauty waste with each new product you purchase? 

The answer is simple – just like with pretty much every other product out there, you’ll find both the good and the bad. With anti-aging skincare, the best way to decipher whether or not a product is worth spending money on is by taking a close look at its ingredient list – if it contains tried-and-tested anti-aging ingredients in a high enough concentration, then it’s likely to be a winner.

Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.