Though we can’t deny our affection for an exquisite, luxe beauty product, we do love the thrill of discovering a budget-friendly gem that’s chock-full of active ingredients and works like a charm, too (mostly for our wallet’s sake). With that in mind, we polled Team Byrdie and asked our savvy editors to share their favorite anti-aging serums that don’t cost a fortune. Give us any serum that promises to tone, tighten, and lift, and we’ll slather it on our faces immediately—thus, we consider ourselves quite discerning as to which ones actually do what they promise (and don’t cost an arm and leg in the process).
From a black pine serum to a brightening potion, keep scrolling for our hand-selected curation of the best serums under $75!
Shamanuti Essential Serum ($42)
This L.A.-based indie skincare brand is made with the belief that natural ingredients can have strong healing powers. The paraben- and preservative-free serum is an editor favorite because of its gentle blend of firming DMAE, brightening alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C ester, alpha-hydroxy acids, and more.
Clarins Mission Perfection Serum ($72)
News flash: Wrinkles aren’t the only thing giving away your age. Dark spots, discoloration, and uneven skin tone can all make you look way older than you are, which is why we reach for Clarins’s new Mission Perfection Serum to even it all out. Acerola extract brightens dark spots and redness without altering your natural skin tone. The result? Smoother, more luminous skin.
LJH Tea Tree 90 Essence ($45)
This K-beauty gem is formulated with tea-tree extract to kick breakouts and oiliness to the curb… in the gentlest way possible. Soothing and hydrating trehalose and sea buckthorn extract ensure the serum-essence is never irritating, and the paraben-, silicone-, alcohol-, and mineral oil–free formulation is perfect for even the most sensitive of skin.
Caudalie Polyphenol Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum ($62)
This anti-wrinkle serum is oil free and feels as light as a feather—but packs a potent antioxidant punch. Grape-seed polyphenols and vitamin C ester fight free radicals and pollution and keep them from aging your skin prematurely, while hyaluronic acid and olive squalane give a plumping effect when applied.
Skin Inc. Vitamin C Serum Rebalance ($45)
Our oily-skinned editor loves this brightening, sebum-balancing serum from Skin Inc. The small yet powerful serum combines vitamins C, B6, and E in the brand’s patented encapsulation technology (read: no ingredient oxidizing), sinking in immediately and gentle enough for sensitive skin. You can use it alone or combine it with any of the other serums in Skin Inc.’s customizable serum line for optimal results.
Korres Black Pine Firming, Lifting & Antiwrinkle Serum ($74)
We could wax poetic about the powers of this potent serum—oh wait, we have. In short, this pungently sweet serum is a powerhouse of anti-aging ingredients like the brand’s patented black pine serum, hexapeptide 11 (the first natural polypeptide), and a slew of other natural yet effective radiance-boosting ingredients. We saw noticeably tighter and firmer skin after just one use—for real.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector ($50)
Our editor says this much-loved serum is “super lightweight” and feels extremely smooth when applying—almost like a primer. In clinical trials, the serum showed a 58% improvement in dark spots after 12 weeks—which explains why our editor swears her skin looks brighter and more even after using it.
Sonya Dakar Organic Omega Booster ($52)
This nourishing and hydrating serum is filled with omega-3s, -6s, and -9s—all the glow-giving, plumping, and firming ingredients your skin needs. Our editor, who has oily and combination skin, uses this formulation at night (there is another one for dry and sensitive skin) when her skin is acting out and swears by its power to improve redness, dry patches, and irritation by morning.
What’s your favorite serum under $75? Tell us below!