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Top 10 Best Skin Tightening Creams to Tone and Tighten

Best Skin Tightening Creams
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Updated March 28, 2024

Aging gracefully has never been easier thanks to the wide range of quality skin care products available. While skin can naturally sag and shift with age, a skin tightening cream may offer a temporary, non-invasive option that’s available over-the-counter.

Not only can you find products for your delicate face, neck, and chest area, but many formulations work all over your body, revealing a more youthful appearance wherever you need. I consulted with a top skincare expert to find out what I should look for when making my selections for the best skin tightening creams.

“When looking for products that target ‘skin tightening’ what you’re looking for are products that help compact your stratum corneum or products boosting collagen production in the skin,” explains Charlotte Palermino, Co-Founder and CEO of Dieux skin products and a licensed esthetician. “Keeping skin hydrated and moisturized can also give the appearance of plumping, which helps.”

What should I look for in a skin-tightening cream?

Key ingredients

Look for key ingredients known for their skin tightening properties, such as peptides, retinol, hyaluronic acid, collagen, and antioxidants like vitamin C and E. Peptides can stimulate collagen production, while retinol promotes cell turnover and collagen synthesis. Hyaluronic acid helps to hydrate and plump the skin, which may help improve your skin’s appearance and firmness. Antioxidants protect the skin from environmental damage and support collagen production.

Formulation

Consider the formulation and texture of the cream and make sure it’s suitable for your skin type and preferences. Lightweight formulas can work well for oily or combination skin, while richer textures may be more beneficial for dry or mature skin. If you have acne-prone skin then you may want to use non-comedogenic options. Fragrance-free options are best if your skin is easily irritated.

Clinical studies and reviews

You can research the product's effectiveness by looking at both clinical studies and customer reviews. Clinical studies can provide scientific evidence of the product's effectiveness in skin tightening, while customer reviews can tell you how the product performs in the real world. This feedback can be especially helpful if it’s from someone with similar skin concerns as yours.

Palermino adds that “the best formulas would be those that do clinical studies to show how they help with collagen and/or plumping. The stratum corneum is where skincare is technically supposed to live but there is research that peptides and cosmetic retinoids can have an impact on collagen.”

Additional benefits

Consider whether the cream offers additional benefits beyond skin tightening, such as hydration, wrinkle reduction, or sun protection. Many skin tightening creams can help combat other signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone, possibly adding more value to the product along with greater benefits.

Keep in mind if you’re concerned about your skin’s elasticity, then you may need more than a cream to see results. “Before jumping into how to tighten skin, understanding why skin looks lax is important. Skin laxity is when your stratum corneum becomes less compact (the structure degrades) and when your dermis begins to lose collagen,” according to Palermino. She goes on to explain no lotion can combat this type of loss.

“The end result is skin that feels and looks less firm. This is caused by genetics, sun damage and habits like smoking and drinking. If you’re concerned about the elasticity of your skin I recommend you find a sunscreen you love and re-apply regularly as preventing damage to your skin is easier than reversing damage,” Palermino further explains. If you’re in the market for a new SPF product, check out our guides to the best mineral sunscreens and the best tinted sunscreens.

Our top skin tightening creams picks

Best budget skin tightening cream for the face and neck: L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Face & Neck Cream

L'Oreal Paris' Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Face & Neck Cream is formulated with Pro-Retinol A and Stimuplex, which targets wrinkles and loss of firmness (ideal for aging skin) and without breaking the bank. Users of this product swear by its rich, non-greasy texture that absorbs quickly, leaving the skin feeling hydrated while visibly improving skin tightness. And with its face and neck application it can be a staple in your skincare routine.

Specifications:

  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Key ingredients: Pro-retinol A and Stimuplex for cell turnover
  • Price on publish: $12.49

What we like:

  • Budget friendly
  • Non-greasy, thicker texture
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Can use for both morning and evening application
  • Dermatologist tested

What we don’t like:

  • Might be too heavy for those with oily skin

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly skin tightening cream for your face with plenty of moisturizing ingredients, then this one is a tried and true option.

Best budget skin tightening cream for the face and neck
L Oreal Paris Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle and Firming Face Moisturizer 1.7 oz

L Oreal Paris Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle and Firming Face Moisturizer 1.7 oz

Best budget skin tightening cream for the body: NIVEA Skin Firming and Toning Body Gel-Cream

If there’s one theme you’ll notice among skin tightening creams for the body it’s the high price tag. The NIVEA Skin Firming and Toning Body Gel-Cream offers a more budget-friendly option though, for application to your thighs, stomach, and buttocks. With its gel-like, non-greasy formula, it touts results within two weeks if you use it regularly.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.7 ounces
  • Key ingredients: Q-10, L-Carnitine
  • Price on publish: $17.80

What we like:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Non-greasy, cooling formula
  • Light fragrance
  • Dermatologist tested

What we don’t like:

  • Can take days or weeks to see any visible results

The bottom line:

If you like the idea of using a cooling, non-greasy gel for the stubborn areas of your body, then this gel-cream may offer a solution without costing an entire paycheck.

Best budget skin tightening cream for the body
NIVEA Skin Firming and Toning Body Gel-Cream with Q10 6.7 Oz Tube

NIVEA Skin Firming and Toning Body Gel-Cream with Q10 6.7 Oz Tube

Best skin tightening cream for eye area: Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream

The eye area needs its own attention and ingredients approved for use near the delicate area. Shiseido's Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream is specifically designed to target wrinkles and loss of firmness around the eyes, making it a top pick for best tightening cream. Its rich, velvety texture melts in, providing instant hydration while temporarily reducing the appearance of crow's feet.

As a side note, if you want to get the most out of your eye cream, consider adding a skin care tool like the Forever Eye Mask by Dieux. These reusable and washable eye masks are used in conjunction with your favorite eye product so your skin can absorb the eye treatment even more.

Specifications:

  • Size: 15 ml
  • Key ingredients: Peptides, squalane, vitamin E, Ginseng Extract
  • Price on publish: $65

What we like:

  • Specifically targets tightening around the delicate eye area
  • Works on multiple concerns, including wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness
  • Rich, luxurious cream texture
  • Dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested

What we don’t like:

  • Price

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a treatment specifically targeting tightening around the eyes and you want a luxurious feel, then spoil your eyes with this anti-aging eye cream.

Best skin tightening cream for eye area
Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream

Best skin tightening cream for the body: SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

Not only does the SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Bum Bum Cream feature a long list of natural key ingredients such as Guarana extract, Cupuacu butter, Acai oil, and Brazil nut oil, it’s cruelty-free, paraben-free, vegan-friendly, sustainably sourced product. In other words, you can feel good about lathering this rich, velvety cream all over your body while smelling equally delicious. While it may take time to see results, I can personally attest to how moisturizing and fast-absorbing it is.

Specifications:

  • Size: 25 ml, 75 ml, 240 ml
  • Key ingredients: Guarana extract, Cupuacu butter, Acai oil, Brazil nut oil
  • Price on publish: $48 for 240 ml

What we like:

  • Non-greasy and quick-absorbing
  • Strong fragrance notes of caramel, pistachio, and vanilla
  • A little goes a long way

What we don’t like:

  • No known clinical studies proving efficacy
  • Price

The bottom line:

This bum-bum cream is all the rage right now and it’s easy to see why thanks to its lightweight texture, delicious scent, and promises of skin tightening for the body.

Best skin tightening cream for the body
SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

Best skin tightening cream for the neck: StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS

You’ll never forget your neck when you have a product like StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS at your fingertips. It targets the delicate neck area and is enriched with a blend of peptides and hyaluronic acid to address loose skin and wrinkles. You’ll love it for its rich texture, which provides intense hydration while visibly smoothing and tightening the neck and décolleté (the low neckline area).

Specifications:

  • Size: 0.25 ounces, 1.7 ounces, 3.4 ounces
  • Key ingredients: Alpha-3 peptide, Spilanthol, Bearberry & Clary Sage extracts
  • Price on publish: $99 for 1.7 ounces

What we like:

  • Specifically targets the neck area with rich hydration
  • Strong consumer data highlighting the results
  • Targets the deep wrinkles in neck area and décolleté

What we don’t like:

  • Price

The bottom line:

If you have deep wrinkles on your neck and lower neck, Strivectin’s TL Advanced Tightening product targets this area in a way no face cream can.

Best skin tightening cream for the neck
StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS | Neck Care, Size 1.7 oz

StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS | Neck Care, Size 1.7 oz

Best skin tightening cream with retinol: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream

Retinol is a popular form of Vitamin A available over-the-counter, often used for its antiaging and acne-clearing properties. Murad's Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream offers strong retinol power combined with Swertia flower extract to target wrinkles and loss of firmness while promoting skin renewal on your face, neck, and chest. It has a luxurious texture which your skin will drink up and reviews rave about how effective it is with prolonged use at night. If you prefer a lighter product with retinol, shop our list of the best anti-aging serums.

Specifications:

  • Size: 0.5 ounces, 1.7 ounces
  • Key ingredients: Retinol, niacinamide, dipeptide
  • Price on publish: $89 for 1.7 ounces

What we like:

  • Retinal targets loss of firmness on the face and neck
  • Ideal for dry skin, but can be used by all skin types
  • Clinical data backing up results
  • No animal-derived ingredients

What we don’t like:

  • Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss retinol products with their doctor prior to using them.
  • A more expensive option

The bottom line:

Retinol is one of the most popular ingredients in the skincare market and this night cream combines retinol’s effectiveness with a luxurious anti-aging cream.

Best skin tightening cream with retinol
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream

Best skin tightening cream for aging: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

Elemis' Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is a cult-favorite moisturizer enriched with Padina pavonica (brown algae which supports hydration), and Ginkgo biloba to improve skin firmness and elasticity. Its velvety texture melts into the skin, providing intense hydration and a dewy glow while visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making it a luxurious choice for those seeking a youthful, radiant complexion with skin tightening properties. To further the effect, consider adding one of the best foundations for mature skin to your makeup routine.

Specifications:

  • Size: 15 ml, 30 ml, 50 ml, 100 ml
  • Key ingredients: Mimosa, rose, Padina pavonica, Ginkgo biloba
  • Price on publish: $138 for 50 ml

What we like:

  • Has clinical trial data backing up results
  • Can use on face, neck, décolleté area
  • Lightweight gel-cream application

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy hydration can clog pores for some
  • Pricier option

The bottom line:

If you’re targeting anti-aging results on your face and neck area without the use of retinol, this popular gel-cream may be the answer.

Best skin tightening cream for aging
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream For All Skin Types, 30ml

ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream For All Skin Types, 30ml

Best skin tightening cream for fine lines and wrinkles: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Olay's Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream is a hydrating powerhouse infused with a peptide complex that works to improve skin elasticity and firmness. It has a lightweight formula that plumps up the skin while targeting fine lines and wrinkles and promotes cell turnover for a “fresh” appearance.

Specifications:

  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Key ingredients: Niacinamide (vitamin B3), hyaluronic acid, amino peptides
  • Price on publish: $27.49

What we like:

  • Comes in both a scented and fragrance-free option
  • Uses clinical studies to support claims
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Dermatologist tested

What we don’t like:

  • Must use a separate SPF if you use this product in the morning

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for targeting fine lines and wrinkles, plus improved skin elasticity, then Olay’s Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream may work wonders for your skin.

Best skin tightening cream for fine lines and wrinkles
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream | Anti-Aging Moisturizer | OLAY.com

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream | Anti-Aging Moisturizer | OLAY.com

Best clinically tested skin tightening cream: Dermstore Revision Skincare® BodiFirm

Dermstore’s Revision Skincare® BodiFirm skin tightening cream offers a wide range of data points showing clear results with improving skin elasticity, crepiness, and restoring skin’s hydration. You can use this skin tightening cream all over, including the more delicate neck area. While it offers numerous benefits, it uses its proprietary blend of ingredients specifically targeting collagen production.

Specifications:

  • Size: 3.8 ounces, 8 ounces
  • Key ingredients: Exclusive blend of peptides, prebiotics, and antioxidants, caffeine, glucosamine
  • Price on publish: $158 for 3.8 ounces

What we like:

  • Strong clinical data showing skin tightening results
  • For use all over
  • A little amount goes a long way

What we don’t like:

  • Price

The bottom line:

If you’re serious about purchasing a skin tightening body cream with clear signs of elasticity improvement, then it doesn’t get much better than the Revision Skincare® BodiFirm.

Best clinically tested skin tightening cream
Revision Skincare® BodiFirm 8 oz.

Revision Skincare® BodiFirm 8 oz.

Best gentle skin tightening cream: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Firming Body Lotion

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Firming Body Lotion proves you don’t have to spend a small fortune to receive a hydrating, nourishing body product designed to tighten in all the right places. Full of vitamin E, cocoa butter, elastin, and collagen, there’s a reason why this bottle ends up in the hands of so many postpartum women or those who’ve experienced weight loss. This gentle formula promises to help with skin elasticity with its ultra-hydrating formula.

Specifications:

  • Size: 13.5 ounces
  • Key ingredients: Cocoa butter, vitamin E, elastin, Q10, collagen
  • Price on publish: $12.99

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Hydration lasts 48 hours
  • No animal testing
  • Dermatologist tested

What we don’t like:

  • Strong fragrance

The bottom line:

Palmer’s skin firming lotion is an affordable, widely available product offering deep hydration, which can help improve skin’s elasticity.

Best gentle skin tightening cream
Palmer s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Firming Body Lotion for Toning and Tightening 13.5 fl. oz.

Palmer s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Firming Body Lotion for Toning and Tightening 13.5 fl. oz.

How we selected the best skin tightening creams

I selected the best skin tightening creams after consulting with skincare expert Charlotte Palermino, Co-Founder and CEO of Dieux skin products, and a licensed esthetician. I also reviewed dozens of products for both the face and body based on research, customer reviews, and availability of supporting clinical studies.

Are skin-tightening creams safe?

When using a skin tightening product, one of the biggest concerns is irritation, especially if you’re prone to irritation from certain ingredients. You can try a patch-test approach first, where you only apply a small amount to a small area and observe any redness, itchiness, or other symptoms. If you have any questions about using a particular product though, the best course of action is consulting with your dermatologist first and asking about any potential reactions or safety concerns.

How can I lift my face naturally?

If you’re trying to lift your skin naturally, you can try using facial exercises for a temporary impact. One study published in JAMA Dermatology concluded that “a 30-minute daily or alternate-day facial exercise program sustained over 20 weeks may modestly improve the facial appearance of selected middle-aged women.” In addition to facial exercises, you may benefit from a Gua Sha facial tool, which is often made of rose quartz, that you glide across your skin for temporary lifting. Or, for a more intensive treatment, consider using an LED face mask that stimulates collagen production.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do skin tightening creams actually work?

Yes and no. You’ll find plenty of face, body, and eye creams promising spectacular results, but it likely will only produce subtle or temporary results (if any at all) as a result of good moisturizing. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), a good moisturizer can plump up your skin, making fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable. The AADA advises if you want to continue seeing any benefit then you need to apply the product every day.

Is there a cream that will tighten loose skin?

No cream can penetrate the skin deep enough to lift sagging skin, according to the AADA (you need medical procedures for lifting skin). However, with continuous use every day you can plump up with the skin with a good moisturizer, which can offer temporary results for loose skin.

What vitamins keep skin tight?

You may want to consider an oral supplement such as collagen, which some evidence suggests can help with skin elasticity. One vitamin associated with healthier skin and possible skin tightening is vitamin C. Another is retinol—a form of vitamin A—which can help with skin elasticity.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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