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Serums are one of the most effective beauty products. With high concentrations of powerful ingredients, the best serums target everything from acne to dryness to signs of aging. However, these benefits often come at a price. It’s safe to say that serums generally top the most expensive skin care products list. Not interested in taking out a loan to purchase facial serums? We got your back.
But just because you haven’t yet found an effective face serum that doesn’t require you to cut back on your lifestyle doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There are many cheap serums that work just as well as any of these. We enlisted some of them, and the best part is that they all are under $50.
1. Best Exfoliating: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA
Leave it to The Ordinary to create a serum (with a single-digit tag price) that doesn’t sacrifice effectiveness, and you won’t be disappointed. We’re big fans of the brand’s batch of serums, and this one, with its high-strength lactic acid blend, is one of our favorites. Because lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid, this formula exfoliates dry, dull diaper surface skin. You can expect to reveal the new skin underneath.
If you don’t have a vitamin C serum in your beauty stash, it’s time to switch it up with this affordable (and much-loved!) option from TruSkin. It contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, which work together to target signs of aging and enhance the luminosity of the skin. But don’t take our word for it. With thousands of positive reviews to look through, the consensus is that you should stop what you’re doing and add it to your cart.
3. Best With Retinol: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
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Retinol is a powerful ingredient known to help improve the appearance of acne, wrinkles, dullness, unevenness, and more. According to the brand, it’s packed with retinoid activities that are less likely to irritate the skin as it works to reduce the signs of aging visibly.
4. Best With Hyaluronic Acid: Vichy Laboratoires MINÉRAL 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Moisturizer
Do you have dry skin? Boost your skin’s hydration levels with this Vichy serum. Hyaluronic Acid, an ingredient known to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, plays an important role in this serum that can replenish even the driest skin. And well-moisturized skin looks smooth and youthful, so there’s no downside to using this serum, especially when the price is so low. In addition, it absorbs so fast you’ll forget you have anything on your face.
5. Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Mario Badescu Skin Care Anti Acne Serum
Lightweight and fast-absorbing, this serum is made with salicylic acid. Known to fight acne, salicylic acid helps exfoliate and decongest the skin.
6. Best for Wrinkles: RoC Skincare Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Deep Wrinkle Serum
This anti-aging serum uses retinol, a proven multitasking ingredient. The silky formula absorbs quickly and helps firm skin over time, reducing light damage, crow’s feet, and other signs of aging.
7. Best for Dark Spots: Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop
Lighten blemishes and skin tone and prevent hyperpigmentation with this vitamin C serum. From the brand K-Beauty Klairs, this serum is vegan, fragrance-free, contains 5% vitamin C and is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin.
8. Best for Nightime: Honest Beauty Beauty Sleep Resurfacing Serum
Exfoliate your skin overnight and wake up refreshed with this renewing serum from Honest Beauty. A mixture of glycolic, lactic, citric, malic, and tartaric acids exfoliates, while hyaluronic acid naturally provides the hydration and nutrition that your skin needs. In addition, this serum is made with vegan ingredients and promises smooth and glowing skin without irritation.
9. Best Natural: Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum
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Increase skin elasticity and firmness with Burt’s Bees Firming Serum. This formula contains 98.6% natural ingredients, which contains bakuchiol, a gentler alternative to retinol. Your fine lines will get less visible, and skin tone can be evened out with regular use of this serum.
10. Best Under Makeup: Glossier Super Bounce
A product that needs no introduction, Super Bounce is a hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 serum that acts as the perfect base for a dewy makeup look. Whether you wear foundation and heavy makeup or no makeup, it’s a great serum to leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated.