When it comes to anti-aging skincare, the best place you can invest a couple of extra dollars is a top notch serum. Thinner than a traditional moisturizer, serums are formulated to penetrate deeper into the skin barrier, and thusly, have the most advanced technology to allow for that. Our point: if you really want to see results, put a serum to the test.
Depending on your anti-aging concern, whether it is lifting and tightening, dryness and dullness, or skin that is in dire need of a brightening boost, there is surely a delightful—and effective— emulsion out there for you. See below for the 17 best anti-aging serums with cult followings—and the reasons why!
Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas is the woman behind some of Hollywood's most flawless skin—the likes of Naomi Watts, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Alba—so it's no wonder that people are obsessed with her Daily Serum. (Her clients call it "green juice for the face.") The formula contains hyaluronic acid and natural ingredients including green tea and chlorophyll, which help with anti-aging and puffiness.
This collagen-boosting, Vitamin C serum has earned rave reviews from skincare addicts for its ability to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, while giving the skin a lit-from-within glow. It's perfect for those with commitment issues: try out the mini .5oz size before going all in on the larger, pricier bottle.
Because of its super hydrating consistency—the product is almost like an oil-moisturizer-serum hybrid—women with dry skin absolutely swear by it.
Like most Tata Harper products, this collagen-boosting serum is a serious multitasker that addresses multiple signs of aging with every application. Boasting a highly concentrated and rejuvenating ingredient list that includes hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and natural neuropeptides, skin will look plump and hydrated, while also receiving some serious longterm smoothing and softening benefits.
This powerful plant-derived serum from Biossance is ideal for those looking for an alternative to retinol, or for anyone with sensitive skin. The lightweight formula is packed with squalane, hyaluronic acid, and bakuchiol, which reduces lines and wrinkles while increasing collagen production and elasticity. Plus, the serum has niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, to help restore dull skin.
If your main concern is hyper-pigmentation, then Zelens Z Luminous Brightening Serum might be just the trick for you. Not only is this luxurious emulsion blended with a hydrolized pearl powder that contains 16 amino acids, proteins and polysaccharides that boost moisture levels and refine the skin's texture, but it's also complete with silanols that stimulate collagen production and vitamin B3, which reduces the appearance of of any discoloration to even your skintone. It's the skincare equivalent of a triple play.
Consider this classic a two-for-one. Yes, it boasts some serious hydrating capabilities thanks to fragmented hyaluronic acid, but the formulation also includes Rhamnose, a naturally-derived plant sugar, that works to tighten skin and smooth wrinkles and lines within 10 days of use. You'll be kissing dryness and dullness goodbye in no time at all.
A cult-classic oil serum with over 22 botanical ingredients (including dandelion to tighten and evening primrose to balance and tone) that work together stimulate cell turnover, boost elasticity and brighten the skin, as well as oxygenate and reverse free radical damage. Skin will be calm, balanced, protected and renewed with every use. Oh, and it smells heavenly.
Clinique's Custom-Repair Serum is marketed as a one-size-fits-all product—which is to say, it's suitable for all ages, skin types, and ethnicities. The consistency is extremely light-weight, so it's a great option for those who feel weird about layering a serum underneath their moisturizer and makeup.
This anti-aging serum from The INKEY List has powerful antioxidants that protect the skin, along with peptides to improve elasticity. Hydration is key in this formula thanks to squalane, which helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The INKEY List makes products without sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.
Intended to be used before bedtime, this bestselling product has amassed a cult following over the years. Perhaps that's thanks to its intoxicating lavender scent, or the fact that it helps improve firmness and elasticity over time.
If anyone has mastered the art of aging gracefully, it's Cindy Crawford. The model's skincare line, Meaningful Beauty, does not mess around with its anti-aging products, and their youth activating melon serum proves it. The technologically advance formula with melon leaf stem cells, sea daffodil extract, and other plant extracts that work together to increase firmness and elasticity while protecting skin and evening out skin tone.
If you're freaked out by products with fancy chemicals that you can't pronounce, then you'll want to get your hands on this serum, which has consistently been one of Origins' top sellers since it was released in 2011. It's formulated with 20 anti-aging plant extracts from around the world that help plump the skin and promise to create a less wrinkled appearance.
The sheer popularity of Pestle & Mortar speaks for itself: the serum sells out on a regular basis, and once had a waiting list of 35,000 people as it re-stocked. With superpower ingredients like hyaluronic acid and panthenol, this formula hydrates and plumps skin while diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. And, it's fragrance-free for sensitive skin.
Ask anyone who works at La Prairie for the one product everyone at the company uses religiously, and they'll likely say "the booster." (I know, because I recently posed this exact question.) The brand's Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster promises results in just 2 weeks of use, which is a claim I can personally vouch for—after using the serum nightly for a couple weeks, my smile lines have dramatically faded. It's an expensive habit, sure, but a little goes a long way.
Beauty editors, beauty bloggers, and pretty much anyone tangentially involved in the beauty industry have been obsessing over this newcomer brand since it launched three years ago. (According to WWD, Drunk Elephant is one of the fastest growing skincare companies Sephora has ever seen.) So, it probably goes without saying that the brand's Glycolic serum is now the darling of the serum world. While some find the AHA Blend to be too intense for sensitive skin, most users appreciate the tingling-so-you-know-it-works sensation you have after using it.
In the world of reasonably-priced drugstore serums, this one reigns supreme. (I've honestly never seen a serum with as many Amazon reviews.) Dermatologists often recommend it as an anti-aging secret weapon, especially for those looking to reverse sun damage and smooth out their skin.
If you're looking to hydrate and firm your skin at once, this serum by Tatcha will do the trick. With hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and a HADASEI-3 bioactive complex that keeps skin firm, this serum from the cult-favorite skincare brand will no doubt impress with its anti-aging results,
No anti-aging routine is complete without a retinol night serum. Boost your skin sloughing and rewind the hands on the clock. Simple as that.
The UK-based beauty brand's serum first caused a frenzy 10 years ago after a BBC documentary featuring independent researchers concluded it was the only product on the market that could legitimately prove anti-aging effects. Plus, expert derms declared that the inexpensive product was as effective—if not more—than it's pricier counterparts.