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Serums are highly concentrated products that drive active ingredients deep down into your skin. A serum should be added to your routine post-cleanse to tackle your skin concerns, be it pigmentation, dryness or lines; it's the real workhorse that can make a difference. As serums are so light in texture, you can even cocktail or layer various serums and forgo your moisturizer altogether.
Now, because these products are seriously potent, they typically cost more than your usual moisturizer, but thankfully, drugstore brands offer some great affordable and mid-priced serums that won't bankrupt you and are proven to work.
Keep scrolling to find the drugstore serum that will give your complexion some love.
Best Overall: No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum
This serum caused a craze when it was introduced in the UK a decade ago. After a BBC documentary aired and revealed that independent researchers found it to be the only skincare product on the market that truly had proven anti-aging benefits, it sold out instantly in stores and even had to be rationed.
The study clinically proved that this budget serum is capable of reducing fine lines and wrinkles, preventing future signs of aging, and making skin look younger overall. The scientists agreed that it was so potent, deeming it equally as effective as many of its prestige competitors.
Best with Vitamin C: Art Naturals Enhanced Vitamin C Serum
The virtues of vitamin C serums have been extolled by practically every derm out there. Not only does the powerhouse ingredient brighten the complexion, but it also boosts the skin’s collagen production, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles in the process and preventing new ones from forming. Art Naturals’ Enhanced Vitamin C Serum also contains ferulic acid, an antioxidant that prevents free radical damage, as well as hyaluronic acid for hydration and plumping.
Best with Hyaluronic Acid: L’Oréal Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Looking for instant results? Then L’Oréal Paris’ Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum is the one for you. In only one day—really—this speedy serum delivers more supple skin, and in a week it will be much plumper, too. You can thank the 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid in the highly concentrated formula for that. The gel serum absorbs quickly, ensuring that nothing is left behind on the skin, except for a glow. It is specifically geared to moisturize while filling out fine lines and wrinkles. Best of all, those results won't set you back a pretty penny.
Best Anti-Aging: Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum
Turn back the clock with Olay’s Regenerist Regenerating Serum. It tackles all the signs of aging by firming, fighting fine lines, and plumping. As soon as you slather it onto your skin for the very first time, you’ll feel younger with instantly smoother skin.
After four weeks of regular use, its perks are even more noticeable, as skin looks firmer and fine lines and wrinkles are minimized. You can thank its amino-peptide complex for that since it delivers hydrating ingredients 10 layers deep into the skin’s surface. The serum sinks right into the skin and absorbs quickly, plus it’s fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin.
Best for Dry Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum
Fun fact: Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. That translates to it being one of the best hydrators out there, plus it can strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier to lock in hydration and boost texture. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Serum is packed with hyaluronic acid, making it a savior for thirsty skin. It will leave your skin moisturized and glowing all day.
Best Natural: Burt's Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum
Burt's Bees proves once again that natural ingredients can be just as potent as their synthetic peers with their Renewal Intensive Firming Serum, which is clinically proven to improve texture, reduce the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles and boost firmness. White hibiscus and apple deliver hydration to plump up lines and tighten. They’re also responsible for the delicious fruity scent of the 98.9% natural formula.