The best things in life are free—but those of us who weren’t born with perfect skin might disagree. Call us vain, but in our opinion, good skin ranks right up there with happiness, love, and being a member of the Swift Squad. Only thing is, naturally radiant skin doesn’t come easy for most—and it definitely isn’t free. We know our way around a kitchen and can mash a chickpea face mask like no one’s business, but there’s something to be said about targeted, concentrated, luxurious skin products that really deliver. Like, makes-wrinkles-disappear-in-one-sweep deliver. These types of products tend to range on the pricier side, given the quality of the ingredients, but that doesn’t mean products from your local drugstore can’t yield similar results. With our tumultuous relationship with our bank accounts in mind, we reached out to several top dermatologists and asked them to share their all-time-favorite drugstore serum. Because derms know best, after all. Keep scrolling for the best drugstore serums!
“This is my favorite drugstore serum because it’s lightweight (which is the point and benefit of a serum!) and has one of the greatest proven ingredients for anti-aging: retinol. Serum allows for better absorption of the ingredients, and with time, your skin should show signs of increased collagen while minimizing signs of aging, such as uneven pigmentation and fine lines." — Dr. Rachel Nazarian, dermatologist, Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC
“This serum is my favorite drugstore version because it’s multiaction—it smoothes, repairs, and controls wrinkles.” — Dr. Marina Peredo, dermatologist, Skinfluence in NYC
“I like this serum because it’s lightweight and leaves your skin feeling smooth at night. Plus, it’s great to use under makeup as a primer during the day.” — Dr. Sandra Kopp, dermatologist, Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC
“Not all retinols are created equal. Even if you turn over the box and read identical ingredients, the quality, stability, and delivery of those ingredients through the skin may be very different. Choosing a product that has advanced formulation technology and proven clinical efficacy means the difference between buying something that will improve your wrinkles and a fancy moisturizer.” — Dr. Josh Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research, Mount Sinai Hospital
"It's not technically a serum, but I am constantly recommending this cream. It is the only thing over the counter in my opinion that helps with dark marks and evening skin tone. It also contains a sunscreen to keep those marks from reappearing." — Dr. Scott Dunbar, Schweiger Dermatology Group
“This anti-aging serum with retinol (a form of wrinkle-fighting vitamin A), magnesium, zinc, and copper (minerals that aid in skin renewal), stimulates collagen production to reduce fine line and wrinkles. It is a cloudy serum with a sweet scent and silky feel that is ideal for use under makeup." — Dr. Karen Hammerman, dermatologist, Schweiger Dermatology Group
Have you tried any of these drugstore serums? Tell us your favorites below!