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If you want to up the ante on your skin care routine, adding a serum to your regimen is an absolute must. No other product can deliver the same high concentration of active ingredients that literally get under your skin. Just ask any dermatologist and they will back us up! There is a serum out there for everyone, no matter what your skin type or concern is. Is your skin always parched? Are you trying to fade dark spots? Fight wrinkles? Brighten up a dull complexion? There’s a serum out there for you—you just need to find one with the right active ingredients.
The best part is you no longer need to shop the prestige market to find serums that target your needs. Now drugstores offer potent formulas with star ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and ferulic acid. These are the top drugstore serums for your skin type that will leave you with enough money left over for lunch.
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 that it is more effective than many of its prestige competitors.
Best Budget: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
The Ordinary captured the hearts and wallets of legions of fans with its quality skincare at steal prices. Their Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 feels much more expensive than it actually is, thanks to its smoothing and plumping powers. It also contains vitamin B5 to bring even more moisture into the skin. And animal lovers will rejoice over the fact that it’s vegan.
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 look and 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 skin and absorbs quickly, plus it’s fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin.
Best for Plumping: L’Oréal Paris 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 skin, except for a glow. It is specifically geared to moisturize while filling out fine lines and wrinkles.
Best 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 our complexion, 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 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.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular drugstore serums on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different drugstore serums overall, screened options from 18 different brands and manufacturers, read over 35 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 7 of the drugstore serums themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.