There are a few things in life that are pretty much guaranteed. The first: Taxes. The second: Life won’t always go as planned. And the third: As long as you live, you’ll age.
Aging is so often treated as a dirty word, but really, it’s a badge of honor: You’ve made it! Still, it’s understandable if you don’t want that accomplishment to be evident all the time (or before you’re ready). That’s why a proper skincare routine is essential. With the right anti-aging products—and of course, healthy skin habits— you can keep your skin looking as youthful as you feel on the inside, even as the years continue creeping on by.
Here, we’ll show you exactly how to do that with a simple yet effective seven-step routine for managing skin wrinkles. You’ll also discover our top recommendations on the best Kiehl’s products to help you keep your skin looking its best. While we can’t teach you how to get rid of wrinkles—no one can—but we can teach you how to take the best care of your aging skin. Read on to learn how to start combating fine lines and wrinkles.
Step 1: Wash Away Dirt and Excess Oil
Before busting out the targeted treatments and wrinkle-reducers, you’ll need to make sure your skin is clean and well-prepped for your routine. We recommend reaching for a mild cleanser suitable for all skin types, like our cult-classic Ultra Facial Cleanser. This creamy face wash, formulated with olive-derived squalane and avocado oil, gently dissolves dirt, oil, and other impurities without stripping the skin’s natural moisture barrier. The pH-balanced formula helps maintain your skin’s moisture balance, and it’s suitable for all skin types.
To use it, wet your skin thoroughly with lukewarm water, and dispense a dime-sized amount of the creamy cleanser onto your fingertips. Work the formula into a light lather and massage it over your face to remove impurities. Then, rinse thoroughly (again, with lukewarm water) to remove any soapy residue. For an extra clean feel, use a clean cotton pad to sweep a gentle toner over your face after cleansing—you can find a few of our favorite toners here.
Step 2: Address Problem Areas With a Targeted Treatment
After cleansing and toning, pat your skin dry with a clean towel (or allow it to air-dry for a few minutes, whichever you prefer). Then, apply Line-Minimizing Targeted Triangle Patch Masks to areas of concern. These unique targeted masks with hyaluronic acid and hexapeptide help firm and plump the skin to reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles. When used consistently, these effective masks are clinically-demonstrated to improve multiple types of facial lines, including forehead wrinkles, nasolabial folds, and crow’s feet.* The triangle-shaped masks adhere comfortably and are safe for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
Apply the moist side of the anti-aging patch masks to problem areas (the cotton outer layer will help prevent the anti-aging formula from evaporating). After 30 minutes, remove the masks and pat any remaining serum into your skin, allowing it to absorb fully before moving on to the rest of your routine. We recommend using these masks around three times per week as part of your regular anti-aging skincare routine.
*Based on expert grading in an eight-week clinical study with three times per week usage (24 applications).
Step 3: Apply an Anti-Aging Serum
Next, address your most pressing concerns with a serum formulated for your skin type and specific needs.
In the morning, we recommend applying Powerful-Strength Vitamin C Serum. This water-free face serum, which contains 12.5% vitamin C, instantly boosts radiance and helps improve skin texture. When used regularly, it helps visibly diminish fine lines and deeper wrinkles, minimize the look of enlarged pores, and help promote a smoother, firmer appearance. The antioxidant-rich formula is dermatologist-tested and can be used daily as part of your regular skincare routine.
At night, swap out your vitamin C serum (or layer it beneath) for a hydrating formula, like Hydro-Plumping Hydrating Serum. This effective serum helps encourage the skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid, a water-binding molecule closely involved with maintaining skin hydration and elasticity. It also helps improve the appearance of dehydration and dullness. Apply a few pumps to just-cleansed skin or layer it over your vitamin C serum to help plump your skin and promote a smoother, more even appearance.
Finally, for men, we recommend Age Defender Power Serum. This men’s anti-aging staple with adenosine and cypress extract helps reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles while visibly firming the skin. It absorbs quickly with a super-lightweight texture to avoid adding heaviness to men’s oilier skin. The effective yet gentle formula is suitable for all men’s skin types and can be used alone or in conjunction with a hydrating serum for a more youthful, resilient appearance.
Step 4: Pat On a Non-Comedogenic Face Oil
In the evening, after allowing your serum to sink in for a few minutes, apply a few drops of a moisturizing face oil to your face and neck. We recommend Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which is formulated with olive-derived squalane and evening primrose oil. This Kiehl’s classic works overnight to help smooth and restore tired-looking skin. When used regularly, it helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and creases and refines skin texture to reveal a more radiant, youthful appearance.
Kiehl’s Tip: If you have a few minutes to spare, give yourself a five-minute facial massage after applying your oil. While a face massage alone won’t plump up your wrinkles, it’s an ultra-relaxing way to wind down for the night and signal to your body that it’s time to rest.
Step 5: Apply Your Favorite Eye Cream
Because the skin around your eyes is so thin, it’s particularly susceptible to stretching, sagging, and wrinkling. In fact, the eyes are one of the first places on your entire body to show the visible signs of aging. To keep your eye area looking smooth and youthful, an anti-aging eye serum or eye cream (or both) is a must.
To combat fine lines around your eyes, we recommend adding Powerful-Strength Dark Circle-Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum into your regular skincare routine. This potent eye serum, which contains antioxidant vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, instantly smooths and hydrates the eye area to refresh the appearance of tired-looking eyes. The fast-absorbing formula is clinically-demonstrated to help diminish the appearance of blue and brown under-eye circles, as well as crow’s feet, fine lines, and puffiness.* It is suitable for all skin types and can be used daily to promote fresher, brighter-looking eyes.
*Clinical grading of the full panel tested in an eight-week study.
For extra hydration (and extra anti-aging benefits), we recommend layering a thicker eye cream on top of your eye serum. Try Powerful Wrinkle-Reducing Eye Cream, which contains energizing caffeine and calcium PCA. The effective formula helps boost skin’s elasticity to diminish the appearance of under-eye wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. It also helps reduce puffiness and refines aging skin for a smoother-looking eye area. Use your ring finger to dab it on along your brow bone, around the sides of your eyes, and beneath your eyes morning and night for optimal results.
Step 6: Lock In Hydration With an Anti-Aging Moisturizer
When you think “skincare for wrinkles,” wrinkle cream is probably the first product that comes to mind. There’s a good reason for that: An effective wrinkle cream can help improve the appearance of existing wrinkles and help prevent new ones from forming. The key is choosing a moisturizer suited to your skin’s unique needs (and using it correctly).
For mature skin, we have several options. The first: Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Face and Neck Cream. This potent, multi-action moisturizer is formulated with phytomimetic vitamin A and hydrating hyaluronic acid. It’s clinically-demonstrated to help improve several visible signs of aging, including fine lines, rough skin texture, and uneven skin tone.* Consistent use helps visibly diminish fine lines and wrinkles on your face and neck and firms your skin for a more lifted appearance. Apply a generous amount to your face and neck in the morning and at night to help reveal younger-looking skin.
*Results based on a 12-week clinical study of 53 panelists in the United States.
If wrinkles are your primary skin concern, try Powerful Wrinkle-Reducing Cream, made with copper PCA and calcium PCA. This rich yet fast-absorbing anti-wrinkle cream helps target fine lines and wrinkles while improving skin’s overall texture. In a clinical test, it was shown to improve skin’s elasticity by 32% and noticeably reduce visible wrinkles over time.* The effective moisturizing formula is suitable for all skin types and can be used morning and night for smoother-looking skin.
*Skin elasticity significantly improved by 32% after 4 weeks. Tested on 50 women aged 35 to 55.
Lastly, for men’s mature skin, we recommend Age Defender Cream Moisturizer. It’s made with caffeine and linseed extract and uniquely formulated to help combat men’s age-related skin concerns, like roughness and deep wrinkles. When used regularly, this men’s must-have also helps strengthen the skin and improve elasticity to help reveal smoother, healthier-looking skin over time. Apply it to your face and neck as the second-to-last step in your men’s skincare routine.
Step 7: Pile On The SPF
The last step in your daily anti-wrinkle skincare routine is also, arguably, the most important: Sunscreen. We know you’ve heard it before (many times, we’d guess). But truly, wearing sunscreen is the most effective way to help prevent wrinkles; a whopping 80% of all facial skin aging is caused by—you guessed it!—sun exposure. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you live, or even if you plan to spend any time outdoors. Sunscreen is non-negotiable.
After allowing your moisturizer to sink into your skin, dispense a generous amount of Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+ into your hands and smooth it over your face, neck, and upper chest. This broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays and helps defend your skin against other aging stressors, like air pollution. It’s suitable for all skin types and absorbs quickly with a weightless, matte finish.