When it comes to skincare results, I can admittedly be something of a Veruca Salt—you know, "I want it now!" Sure, I fundamentally understand why slathering my skin in too much retinol will produce disastrous results, and why a dozen sheet masks in a row have diminishing returns. But just between friends, I have to admit that slogging through weeks with a new product just to see a tiny bit of progress can be disheartening. My favorite sorts of skincare products are those that have a now-and-later effect—some immediate results with promises of a more long-term effect with continued use. They're few and far between, but I hang on tight when I find one.
A solid place to start? Murad's Targeted Wrinkle Corrector ($78), a concentrated, peptide-pumped serum that near-instantly reduces the appearance of fine lines and depuffs undereye bags—while simultaneously strengthening skin against future wrinkles. It's like a retirement pension and a daily stipend—a little something now, with an even bigger reward further down the line.
Thanks to its max-efficiency formula, Murad's Targeted Wrinkle Corrector is made for early mornings. Harnessing a trio of star ingredients—acetyl hexapeptide-8, bioavailable hyaluronic acid, and plant-derived squalane—the corrector instantly creates an impressively smooth skin finish while adding hydration and boosting elasticity for further wrinkle prevention. The packaging itself is equally strategic, featuring a tubular, pen-shaped design with a depuffing metal tip.
According to Kristen Robinson, Murad Senior Director of New Product Development, the decision to develop the corrector was as much intuitive as it was intentional. "At Murad, we’re always looking to bring our consumers something they’re missing or looking for," Robinson explains to Byrdie. In the early days of 2020, Robinson says the Murad team identified one such need: a way to address fine lines and wrinkles without the needle—or, more aptly, a dermatologist's office. "We wanted to create a product that was easy to use, didn’t contain actives (such as retinol) so that it could be paired with really any skincare routine, gave instant and over time results, and kept the skin hydrated and nourished," she explained.
Most of the Targeted Wrinkle Corrector's draw can be found in its three main ingredients. Together, they temporarily fill existing lines while maximizing hydration—a key way to slow the formation of future, deeper wrinkles, says Dr. Howard Murad himself. Dr. Murad explains that there are two types of wrinkles: static wrinkles (caused by harder-to-control things like genetics, hormones, and stress), and dynamic wrinkles (caused by motion and creasing). Dynamic wrinkles are far easier to reverse and, as such, as they are the Corrector's main target. Bioavailable (or highly absorptive) hyaluronic acid pump hydration straight into those lines so they plump, fill out, and smooth the skin on contact.
Meanwhile, Dr. Murad says, "elasticity-boosting hexapeptide helps skin bounce back from lines triggered by facial expressions, plus plant-derived squalane prevents moisture loss to help skin resist future wrinkles." That added hydration makes the skin more elastic and therefore softens the impact of those muscle-induced creases—though that's just a bit further down the line.
How To Use It
An all-too-rare type of skincare product I horde? The multifunctional sort that isn't too directionally demanding. Complicated nighttime skincare routines can sometimes feel like a summoning spell ("take a moon-bathed lily and slice it into eighths before caressing cheeks with amethyst crystal" and "pat into skin" are the same level of complicated in my book). So, it's nice to have something useful that doesn't require anything beyond clean, dry skin. Apply the serum morning and evening to maximize the long-term benefits. The beauty of this Corrector is the immediate results are on-demand. "If needed, use your ring finger to gently tap the product into the wrinkle (don't rub in!) and let it dry," Robinson instructs.
The Corrector doubles as a highly effective undereye primer, too, filling out a smooth, hydrated canvas for notoriously fickle concealers and powders. The plumping lasting effects vary and depend on everyone's individual skin, but there are some universals: According to clinical studies conducted by the brand, all participants saw those immediate results while 88 percent said their facial lines looked smoother overall after a month of continued use.
Robinson mentioned that the Corrector's slim design was created to be flight-friendly, but I'll be honest—I would rather check a bag at the gate than part with this serum at TSA. To me, it's doing triple-duty. First, there's the immediate smoothing effect. I don't really notice it when I'm not wearing makeup because my own lines (the ones that this product could help, anyway) aren't too visible on a bare face. Under makeup, though, it's a game-changer for me.
My under-eyes benefit from Murad's Corrector the most, with my two eyebrow "elevens" coming in a close second. I'm only a few weeks in, so while I can't yet fully speak to the long-term benefits of this product, but I do know that my nasolabial folds in particular feel much more hydrated than they typically do this time of year. The best added bonus of this pen is its soothing metal tip. It's so cold and relaxing that the only way to apply it is slack-jawed.
I can appreciate patience as a virtue, but I'm so glad Murad knows just how effective some immediate gratification can be.
Available December 9 on Murad.com, and online/in-store in retailers including Sephora and Ulta on December 26
Fujimura T, Hotta M. The preliminary study of the relationship between facial movements and wrinkle formation. Skin Res Technol. 2012;18(2):219-224.
Michalak M, Pierzak M, Kręcisz B, Suliga E. Bioactive compounds for skin health: a review. Nutrients. 2021;13(1):203.
Choi JW, Kwon SH, Huh CH, Park KC, Youn SW. The influences of skin visco-elasticity, hydration level and aging on the formation of wrinkles: a comprehensive and objective approach. Skin Res Technol. 2013;19(1):e349-355.