The best firming creams for your skin can help you achieve a soft, smooth, and supple skin. Find out which ones are the most effective and which ones are the most popular.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Firming Creams

Firming creams are available in two main types: those that target the skin and those that target the underlying tissue. The following sections will outline the features of each.


There are a few different types of firming creamstypically used for cosmetic purposes. One is a moisturizer with built-in elasticity, while the other contains protein fibers that expand when wet to create a firmer texture.

  • Aging is inevitable; however, the signs of aging can be minimized by using products like firming creamsthats work to reverse the visible signs of wrinkling and reduce the number and size of facial pores.
  • Wrinkles form as a result of a loss of moisture and collagen in the dermis (the layer of tissue that extends into the surface of the skin). Replenishing lost moisture and collagen is what firming creams do to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Pores develop as a result of blockages in the pores that lead to excess oil and sweat buildup within the skin. Using a product like firming cream helps remove these blockages so the pores dont become clogged and cause acne or other problems.
  • Acne occurs when bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells, and other debris build up in the pores. Using a product like firming cream helps get rid of this buildup.


Firming creams come in several forms: gels, liquids, sprays, and full-in cream formulas. Each type has its own benefits, listed below:

  • Gel-based: A gel firming cream is applied to the face as a thin film, which then absorbs into the skin. This type of product tends to be more easily absorbed than liquid or spray-on formulations, allowing the user to apply more of the product and cover more area of skin at once.
  • Liquid: Liquid firming creams typically contain alcohol and are applied to the skin as a thin, watery solution. These products require less effort to apply than gels, but they also require more from the user to allow the liquid to soak into the skin before drying and tightening.
  • Spray: Spray-on firming creams eliminate the need to rub the product in, but they require an appropriate spray container to ensure even application. Like liquids, spray-ons dry quickly, requiring the user to follow up with a good skincare routine.
  • Full-in cream: Full-in cream firming creams are thick, rich, and highly concentrated. They require the user to apply directly to the skin and allow the product to air dry before washing off with soap and water. While they take longer to apply and remove compared to gels and sprays, full-in creams provide better long-term results.

Active Ingredients

The active ingredients in firming creams vary widely depending on the product type. For example, gels may contain citric acid, malic acid, lactic acid, or other acids to exfoliate the top layer of the skin, while others may contain synthetic polymers to increase the viscosity and density of the gel or thicken the formula to create a gel-like consistency.

Proteins such as collagen and elastin are often found in firming creams to increase the products structural integrity and enhance its ability to hold moisture. Proteins also encourage the development of new skin cells and support wound healing.

Mineral oils such as argan, sesame, or sunflower oil are sometimes added to firming creams to lubricate the skin and reduce friction.


Some people find the smell of certain essential oils distracting, but it doesnt appear to interfere with the efficacy of the products. Users who have sensitive noses should check ingredient lists to avoid exposure to these allergens.

Many firming creams use floral or herbal scents, such as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptusto freshen the air and leave a pleasant scent behind. If a particular scent is important, look for products specifically labeled as being fragrance-free.

Dry Time

Firming creams tend to dry very slowly. Liquids and sprays dry faster than gels because they immediately absorb and disperse throughout the skin, whereas gels dissolve more slowly to produce a tighter bond with the skin. Products like gels require more TLC from the user to fully cleanse the skin.

The slow drying time associated with most gels makes them ideal for use after a shower or while relaxing. However, if users must rush to apply the product before going out or to work, sprays and liquids offer greater convenience.


Firmness is primarily a function of the consistency of the gel. Gelato-like textures are preferred because they’re smooth and spread evenly, leaving little residue behind. Gelatos also tend to be thicker, richer, and more durable than other gel textures.

Liquids and sprays tend to have thinner, waterier textures that evaporate quickly. These products leave behind minimal residue and require the most frequent cleaning to prevent buildup.

While not always desirable, some thinning is expected when transitioning from a liquid to a spray or a gel. However, the amount of thinning can be reduced by using a product like firming creamthat provides a gel-like texture from the start.