7 Myths About Anti-Aging Creams You Need to Stop Believing

by Bisma Khan
A women's face with one wrinkled eye

Many people want to delay or prevent the signs of aging, and there are many anti-aging creams available that promise to do so. However, you may be surprised at how much truth there is behind some of the myths about anti-aging creams that you’ve heard over the years, such as the idea that taking collagen can make your skin look younger. Here are seven anti-aging cream myths you need to stop believing if you want to actually see a difference in your appearance.

Myth 1: You can Look Younger Overnight

A commonly-held belief is that if you sleep on your back, drink lots of water, and dab a few anti-aging creams on your face, you can look younger in no time. There’s no reason not to sleep on your back (aside from snoring), but drinking water and using anti-aging creams don’t make you look any younger. What does? Sleep. Vitamin C serum. And facial massage—just for good measure.

There’s no need to spend your money on pricey anti-aging creams, either. There are plenty of lower-cost options that can help improve your skin over time, including mild exfoliants like vitamin C serum and hydrating oils.

That said, if you do use a product with skincare ingredients, make sure it has at least 0.5% retinol or hydroquinone—two FDA-approved topical treatments for wrinkles that have been scientifically proven to work. The best anti-aging cream you can use? Moisturizer with SPF.

And even then, you don’t need an expensive one—no matter what fancy marketing claims say.

Myth 2: Anti-Aging Creams Smooth Wrinkles Instantly

Female hand holding moisturizer in hand, horiztonal

As we age, the skin begins to lose collagen and elastin fibers that lend it flexibility and suppleness. Smoothness is a sign of healthy skin.

The best anti-aging creams contain moisturizers that provide hydration without making your skin feel greasy or oily. Oily or greasy substances can clog pores, which leads to blackheads and other blemishes.

Look for ingredients like jojoba oil or glycerin in your chosen cream—they both offer long-lasting moisture while minimizing grease production. When shopping for an anti-aging cream, there are two things you’ll want to keep in mind: prevention and treatment.

Myth 3: All ingredients in Anti-Aging Creams are Safe and Effective

Natural cosmetic products for the care of skin and hair and herbs , plants ingredietns in Petri Dishes on pastel Trendy Green Basill Color of the Year 2022. Organic, bio cosmetics healthy concept with natural plants. Natural essential oils and organic cosmetics.

We all know that anti-aging creams contain ingredients that act as antioxidants and offer moisturizing benefits. But not all of them are safe. Anti-aging clinics can help you determine which ingredients are right for your skin and will give you optimal results.

It’s also important to see a dermatologist every now and then, especially when making major changes in your lifestyle, such as dieting or quitting smoking.

A professional skin care consultation at an anti-aging clinic can help point out any adverse reactions or side effects before they become a problem.

Myth 4: Retinol is the Best Ingredient for Fighting Aging

Retinol is a synthetic version of Vitamin A. It can be extremely effective at stimulating collagen production, which makes it one of my favorite anti-aging ingredients (particularly when combined with Vitamin C).

However, retinol can also be irritating—even at low doses—so I recommend staying away from products that contain it if you have sensitive skin. Also, you don’t actually need a product that has retinol in it; instead of buying a retinol cream, look for products with related ingredients such as retinyl palmitate or tretinoin instead.

These ingredients stimulate collagen production and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but they’re much less likely to irritate your skin.

Myth 5: Sunblock Causes Skin Damage

human skin after side effect of applying sunblock

Some anti-aging clinics offer sunblock applications as a perk for clients. However, there is no link between sunscreen and skin damage. Sunscreen prevents skin cancer and early aging caused by sun exposure. Look for creams that feature broad-spectrum SPF (15 or higher) and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

It’s best to apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside, according to WebMD—but always reapply after spending time in the water or sweating too much.

Be aware that not all sunscreens are equal; choose ones with ingredients that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide/titanium dioxide is an excellent option if you have sensitive skin.

Myth 6: If a Cream Contains SPF, You Don’t Need Sunblock

Wrong. SPF (sun protection factor) is a measurement of how well a product can shield your skin from UVB rays, which cause sunburn and act as an indirect cause of skin cancer.

SPF 15 blocks UVB rays by 93 percent, and SPF 30 blocks UVB rays by 97 percent. Sunblock, on the other hand, protects against UVA rays and helps prevent premature aging and wrinkles, even if it’s only a low SPF.

If you are going to wear both sunscreen and anti-aging cream in an effort to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, remember that sunscreen should go under your makeup! Also, when choosing products with both types of SPF protection—look for ingredients such as Parsol 1789 or zinc oxide.

Myth 7: High Prices Mean Higher Quality

If you think that a good product is worth paying more for, then you shouldn’t let a higher price dissuade you from buying it. But here’s something to consider: Just because an anti-aging cream costs more doesn’t mean it will give you better results than one that costs less.

It all comes down to quality, not price. Skimping on your anti-aging cream may be just as harmful as spending too much on it; worse yet, if your budget is tight, a cheap moisturizer could do more harm than good in terms of moisture and skin health.


We’ve talked about myths around anti-aging and debunked them. Now it’s time for you to put these myths behind you and embrace your natural beauty! To combat aging, there are several key steps that can help: eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and of course using an effective anti-aging cream or lotion.

By starting these practices early, you can take care of your skin without feeling like you need invasive treatments like cosmetic surgery or a visit to an anti-aging clinic. There’s no reason why our aging process should be anything other than graceful! After all, with all our advances in medicine and technology there has never been a better time to age gracefully and naturally; don’t let myths stand in your way!


Image Credit: Getty Images

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