A dermatologist even called it “filler in a bottle”.
If you’re on the quest to turn back the hands of time, this buzzy new launch from Murad may be just the miracle you’ve been looking for.
After seeing the 32-year-old brand’s Targeted Wrinkle Corrector all over TikTok, editors decided to dive a little deeper and reach out to experts about the latest line-smoothing miracle worker that, according to an official release from the brand, promises to erase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles “instantly” — and they didn’t mince words.
“I would call this filler in a bottle,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sheila Farhang tells PEOPLE. “It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, which is what most filler products are made of, and when you apply this to the skin, it creates an anti-aging benefit by its ability to pull in water and plump fine lines.”
“This product is also formulated with peptides, which are proteins that contribute to the elasticity, or the ‘bounce back’ of the skin,” she says.
Buy It! Murad Targeted Wrinkle Corrector, $78; murad.com
Seconds Cassandra Bankson, skincare expert and medical aesthetician, “This is one of the best over-the-counter products you can get when it comes to combating fine lines and wrinkles. I see many clients who aren’t ready or interested in Botox or fillers, but are still looking to combat forehead wrinkles and fine lines. Skin care won’t give you the same results as injectables, [but] this one packs a punch.”
It does so thanks in part to plant-derived squalane, “which is phenomenal for skin barrier support and moisturization, so your skin is going to look noticeably better with each use,” Bankson adds.
We then turned to the pages (and pages) of rave Murad reviews praising the powerful peptide-meets-hyaluronic treatment.
One satisfied shopper said they saw “a noticeable difference right away,” while another reviewer said, “It worked so well for me [that] I immediately bought another tube in case it sold out. I am an older woman with significant frown lines, and those lines were immediately minimized after I applied the serum.”
Here’s how to use it: Tap a small amount of the cream on clean, dry skin (don’t rub) and watch it fill your wrinkles immediately — even stubborn, deep-set lines — flooding the vacant space with hydration and leaving behind smooth, plump, younger-looking skin. It’s ideal for anyone with glabella lines (more commonly referred to as “elevens”) around the forehead, as well as those with concerns around the eyes and lips.
Shop this anti-aging secret weapon at Murad for $78 and put your best face forward.
“Squalane — which is the vegan version of squalene — has wonderful hydrating properties and maintains our skin’s own moisture barrier,” triple board-certified dermatologist and Terasana Clinical‘s Skintellectual Dr. Mamina Turegano shares with InStyle. “Our skin naturally produces squalene (with an “e”), but production decreases as we age.“
Fortunately, squalane (with an “a”) absorbs well into the skin and helps to replenish lipids with no side effects. Plus, it’s non-comedogenic and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and microbiome-nourishing properties, according to Dr. Turegano.
What Are the Main Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid?
Ever been out all day in the summer, on a blazing hot day, then come back home and thanked God you stored a few water bottles in the fridge the night before so you can feel alive again? Think of hyaluronic acid as that same type of water storage — but for your skin.
“Hyaluronic acid is important for moisturizing and maintaining elasticity in the skin,” explains Dr. Turegano. “Our skin also naturally has hyaluronic acid. It serves as a humectant, meaning that it pulls in water or moisture in skin cells, which allows the skin to feel more hydrated and ‘plump.’ This not only gives your skin moisture and glow, but it can also diminish fine lines in the skin.”
Why Should I Pair These Two Ingredients Together?
Simple: the two work together as a team to help draw in moisture, then lock it in.
“While hyaluronic acid pulls in water to hydrate the cells, the squalane serves more to build the moisture barrier and keep the hydration in the skin, as opposed to evaporating,” Dr. Turegano shares. “I recommend using a hyaluronic acid serum, then layering the squalane on top of that.”
What Type of Skin Ailments Can Hyaluronic Acid and Squalane Relieve?
Pretty much anything that has to do with, or stems from, dryness. Dr. Turegano adds that squalane itself can help to soothe sunburns, treat acne (because of its anti-inflammatory properties), and can even be used for dry cuticles and nails. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, can help with wound healing.
Both ingredients can also be used to hydrate dry hair.
Which Skin Types Are These Ingredients Most Beneficial For?
Any and everyone who can get their hands on them, pretty much.
“Even acne-prone, oily, or sensitive skin would benefit from squalane and hyaluronic acid,” the derm shares, adding that it’s also helpful for anti-aging. “There are serums that make higher concentrations of hyaluronic acid that would be more helpful with advancing age to help replenish the natural hyaluronic acid that we naturally lose with age and to help diminish the appearance of fine.”
Is There a Catch?
Nope! It’s really not too good to be true — unless you’re just not a fan of oils in the case of squalane. But luckily, you’ll still have options.
“There are still plenty of creams, lotions, or gel-based moisturizers that incorporate squalene into the product,” says Dr. Turegano. “But not all squalane is also created equal. I would look for squalane derived from sugar cane — as opposed to olives or sharks — since it is more consistent in quality and is more sustainable. With hyaluronic acid, I do recommend adding a separate occlusive moisturizer layer over the hyaluronic acid product, which allows it to keep the moisture in place. This is more important for those with dry skin.”
Another plus? Both of these ingredients are non-irritating, even if you have sensitive skin.
Considering the sheer amount of celebrity product lines in existence, it’s easy to be wary of believing any are worth the hype. After all, how involved can a superstar juggling myriad projects be? Especially someone as busy as Jennifer Lopez. Yet according to fans, her skincare line’s newest exfoliant is just as hard-working as the star herself.
The proof is in its popularity: The That Overnight Hustler AHA + BHA Resurfacer sold out after launching last month, the brand tells InStyle, and promptly racked up a 3,500-person waitlist on JLo Beauty’s website. While it’s still MIA there, Sephora has it in stock — and per people who’ve tried the overnight treatment, no product has made their skin look smoother, clearer, or more even.
As one person on the cusp of 50 said, it’s their favorite nighttime addition for addressing “fine lines, sagging skin, and uneven tone.” The combination of plumping hyaluronic acid and line-softening lactic and glycolic acid leaves wrinkles less visible after a couple applications, a different person agreed, writing that they’re “amazed at the difference” it made in just a few nights.
The formula gets a moisturizing bump from glycerin, jojoba, and grapeseed oil, and antioxidants enter the mix via blueberry, sugarcane, and orange extract. On top of those, willow bark extract clears pores, and bromelain adds a last exfoliating angle — so it’s no wonder Sephora reviewers see much smoother skin and a J.Lo-worthy glow. “This has absolutely changed my skin,” one user wrote of the “relaxed, fresh” skin they saw upon waking.
Those with chronically dull skin were also satisfied by the amped-up brightness it delivered, like one customer who noted that it softened their fine lines as a bonus. Dark spots lighten too, a logical consequence of the Resurfacer’s acid squad — but as multiple people addressed, the “liquid gold” somehow still feels gentle.
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, right now my soul is looking tired, lined, puffy, and a little distressed. Along with genetics, it seems like everything can affect that sensitive under-eye area in some way. Too little sleep, stress, wine (oops), or excess time spent in front of a screen can all contribute to your under-eyes looking a bit worse for wear. Selfie-worthy eye treatments can help when you’re feeling like a lost cause, but what about eye creams? To answer our burning questions–like, “Do they even work?”–ELLE turned to dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal, for insight.
WHY IS EYE CREAM SO POPULAR?
“Eye creams have become popular in the past two years because our eyes are the only things people see due to masking,” says Dr. Lal. “I have had a five-fold increase in people asking for eyelid rejuvenation treatments and eye creams.“
DO EYE CREAMS WORK?
“I believe eye cream is necessary in a skincare routine because the eye sockets and eye skin change dramatically as we age,” says Dr. Lal. “The issue with eye creams is people think they work quickly when in reality the creams should be used for at least 12 weeks before making any judgment about their effectiveness. I make patients take selfies at baseline and after 12 weeks of daily use to compare.” If after 12 weeks you’re still not seeing a huge improvement, you might prefer to opt for an in-office treatment. “Eye rejuvenation includes procedures such as platelet-rich plasma to improve crepey skin, tear trough filler for hollow under-eyes, vascular laser treatment for darkness from blood vessels, or ablative resurfacing for overall skin laxity.”
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE GOOD TO LOOK FOR IN AN EYE CREAM?
“Most people want to get rid of dark circles and crepey skin,” says Dr. Lal. “I love eye products that have arnica in them, which helps with darkness and pigmentation from fragile under-eye blood vessels. I also love products that have peptides that stimulate collagen production. One of my favorite peptides in argireline, because it tightens the skin similar to how Botox works.”
WHAT INGREDIENTS SHOULD YOU AVOID IN AN EYE CREAM?
“I avoid eye creams that have a lot of fragrance because eyelid skin is very thin—one of the thinnest parts of our body—and this can lead to irritation, which can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation,” says Dr. Lal.
Sleepless nights might be the cause of your under-eye crinkling. If so, this product taps retinol to combat those lines. Over time, your eye area will start looking brighter, with more even skin tone, and fewer crow’s feet.
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
Our eyes go through a lot, which is why they need a little bit of extra protection and nourishment. with a combination of moisture building and sealing hyaluronic acid and ceramides, this eye cream forms a barrier that will help minimize the effect of stress and reduce and prevent puffiness.
Naturium Multi-Peptide Eye Cream
With the help of argireline and squalane, Naturium’s treatment visibly tightens the skin around your eyes, while also delivering plenty of hydration and nourishment. You’ll look so refreshed and awake that people will think you actually sleep eight hours every night.
Clarins Total Eye Lift Eye Cream
No need to book that appointment with your friendly plastic surgeon. This eye cream works double-time to eliminate signs of aging like crow’s feet and other fine lines. Plus, it works fast. In just one application, you’ll notice a definitive difference in your eye’s contour.
Strivectin Advanced Retinol Eye Cream
Odds are you’re already aware of using retinol on your face, but this product uses the ingredient to specifically target many of the same skin concerns around your eyes more gently. In addition to reducing fine lines, the cream also plumps and hydrates for a firmer appearance.
Shani Darden Intensive Eye Renewal Cream
Using peptides, ceramides, squalane, and niacinamide, this product works to reduce dark circles. Plus, it also fights against puffiness and imparts crucial hydration to the under-eyes.
Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream
The trick to looking younger, for longer? Intense hydration. This eye cream uses squalane and soothing marine algae to make the under-eyes look smooth and radiant by diminishing dark circles and puffiness. Over time, the treatment can also help fade fine lines.
Ole Henricksen Banana Bright Eye Crème
The skin under our eyes can start looking dull when they’re not properly cared for, emphasizing dark circles and puffiness. This brightening cream uses collagen and vitamin C to help your eyes look younger, brighter, and more contoured.
Clinique All About Eyes Rich
Nothing says “I haven’t slept” more than puffy under-eyes. This cream helps reverse that look to well-rested—even if you spent the night drinking wine instead of sleeping. Plus, it’s also a great primer for under-eye concealer to prevent creasing while covering dark circles.
Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Brightening Eye Cream
As the name suggests, peptides and vitamin C in this eye cream promise to brighten and firm the under-eyes, alleviating dark circles and hyperpigmentation. For people with sensitive skin, the formula is also fragrance-free.
ELF Holy Hydration! Illuminating Eye Cream
If your under-eyes desperately need some soothing hydration, this eye cream brings all that and more. Using hyaluronic acid, peptides, shea butter, and green tea extract, eyes will feel completely rejuvenated like a day at the spa.
Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Cream
You need coffee to look like a functioning adult in the morning, but why leave your eyes out of the fun? This eye cream uses caffeine, shea butter, and natural extracts to brighten and de-puff your sleepy under-eyes.
When it comes to skincare heavy hitters, retinol is often the first and last thing out of savvy shoppers’ mouths. In a world where marketing lingo runs rampant and the majority of products are hit or miss, it’s reassuring to know that retinol, at least, has reversed signs of aging for decades. From there, the decision comes to which over-the-counter retinol cream is best, and French brand Avène’s found the sweet spot.
As a successor to the brand’s beloved RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream, Avène one-upped itself with the RetrinAL Advanced Wrinkle Corrector. The former excels as an anti-aging moisturizer that smoothes skin with added vitamin E and peptides, while the latter is a targeted treatment you dab anywhere you’d like skin to look significantly more plump and firm.
According to dozens of elated reviews, abracadabra, the Corrector grants that wish. Two weeks sees fine lines start to disappear, shoppers’ “deep nasolabial folds” receding in a “face altering” feat. “I saw results right away! I used this on certain parts of my face and put another retinol on the other parts to test its effectiveness, and by far this blew my other retinol out of the water,” a reviewer writes of the Corrector’s effects.
Others say the formula’s diminished deep wrinkles around their mouth and forehead so much they’re now looking for other places to put the cream, an accomplishment if we’ve ever heard one. Even 54-year-olds with “deep lines between [their] eyebrows” say a couple nights of the treatment has made an enormous difference — so, to get the science behind exactly how the Corrector puts other treatments to shame, InStyle asked Sheila Farhang, board-certified dermatologist and YouTube creator, for her thoughts on the ingredients.
“Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives, and are considered one of the ‘gold standard’ ingredients for anti-aging,” Farhang says. “They increase cell turnover, thereby increasing collagen stimulation to help with fine lines and discoloration. Retinoids also ‘de-plug’ clogged pores, which is why it’s commonly used for acne as well.” Speaking to the Avène formula specifically, she notes that it uses retinaldehyde, which is the most potent over-the-counter retinoid — so if you’ve tried other retinol creams and haven’t seen a big difference, it would be your best next step.
The stronger the retinoid, the higher the risk for redness, flaking, and irritation, so Farhang says you should always take it slow if it’s your first dance with the ingredient. Thankfully, Avène anticipated the potential sensitivity and added hyaluronic acid and thermal spring water, which she notes calm skin for “a win-win situation.”
Fellow dermatologist and YouTube creator Dr. Alexis Stephens agrees with Farhang, writing that the addition of algae-derived collactintm also helps skin look younger and more radiant. “The beauty of this formulation is that the powerful retinaldehyde is alongside Avene’s thermal spring water, which is clinically proven to smooth, soften and calm the skin,” Stephens says of the safe-for-sensitive-skin treatment. “I recommend this product so often, I carry it at my private practice for my patients.”
All of the above makes for a trauma-free experience, even for 49-year-old shoppers with “hyper-sensitive” skin. “Almost EVERYTHING gives me a bad reaction and/or breaks me out. Two and a half weeks in, and [I’m] seeing reduced neck wrinkles and pores shrunk to almost unnoticeable. I’m impressed.” As the French would say, voilà; in American English, whoomp!