Wrinkles, anti-ageing and smoother skin

First things first: we have wrinkles to show that we’re ageing, living and stepping into each day with plenty of experience behind us.

While we’re advocates for embracing age and its signs, we all know that every person should do what they can to feel the best they possibly can, and for some, this means managing wrinkles and looking into an anti-ageing beauty regime.

There’s no such thing as reversing that clock, but products are available in a pharmacy that can help reduce those fine lines and create a smoother, more youthful-looking appearance.  

The science behind wrinkle creams 

It’s important to know that no miracle cream can erase signs of ageing overnight. The key to achieving successful results from any skin care product is to apply it consistently.

Healthline tells us that high-quality wrinkle creams essentially hydrate and plump the skin, eliminate dryness and reduce the appearance of fine lines. This is done by adding water to the skin, which is held in place by occlusives such as oil and petrolatum. Some creams can contain ingredients such as glycerine, which helps the skin retain moisture by pulling water out of the air.1

In addition to adding moisture, some products, such as those containing retinol, exfoliate the dead skin cells and debris from the skin’s surface layer, providing a brighter and fresher look.1

Ingredients to look out for

The following ingredients, listed by the digital publication Byrdie, are those to keep an eye out for when considering the best anti-wrinkle cream to suggest to customers:2

  • Retinoids. This umbrella term encompasses several more specific ingredients, including OTC retinol and prescription-strength retinoids such as tretinoin. Retinol works to stimulate cell turnover and increase the skin’s natural collagen production. Retinoids are considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of anti-ageing ingredients as they are a vitamin A-derived molecule that helps with collagen remodelling.
  • Vitamin C. This potent antioxidant has proven to work well with sunscreen to protect the skin from UV damage. Vitamin C, which is also known to help increase collagen levels, is available in serum and in creams, so can be worked in with a skincare routine on top of anti-wrinkle creams.
  • Bakuchiol. For something more natural, bakuchiol can be paired with retinol as long as both ingredients are in the same formulation. This is a natural derivative of retinol and stimulates cellular turnover.
  • Ferulic acid. This ingredient is a powerful antioxidant and works by neutralising the free radicals that eat away at existing collagen production. This comes from UV damage, blue light damage, etc.
  • Peptides. According to the experts, peptides help increase protein and send signals to help build collagen. Studies have shown that peptides are fairly effective when it comes to anti-ageing.
  • Hyaluronic acid. One of the biggest buzzwords in skin care in the past few years, hyaluronic acid works wonders for dry skin and can deliver a plumping effect as well as improve skin over time.

Tips for pharmacy assistants 

When helping a customer decide what product is the right fit for them, make sure you cover your bases and ask the following questions:

  • What is the customer’s budget? Any product suggestion should be in line with this.
  • Do they have any allergens?
  • What else is in their skincare routine (if they have one)?
  • Are they willing to commit to applying the cream daily – morning and night?


  1. Healthline, 2023. ‘17 wrinkle creams for smooth skin in 2023’. healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/best-wrinkle-cream
  2. Byrdie, 2023. ‘The 9 best anti-aging ingredients, according to dermatologists’. byrdie.com/anti-aging-ingredients-biology

This feature was originally published in the August issue of RPA magazine.