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Serums contain concentrated active ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid or vitamin C. Some can reduce wrinkles, brown spots, and dryness, their makers say, and many of these anti-aging serums are available online. Some are vegan, allergy-tested, or suitable for sensitive skin.

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Skin serums are oil- or water-based liquids. A serum usually comes in a small bottle with a dropper, and a person spreads a few drops over their skin.

Harvard Medical School recommends using a serum to reduce skin concerns related to aging rather than a moisturizer or cream. This is because serums are highly concentrated and absorb more quickly into the skin.

Learn more about anti-aging moisturizers and creams.

A person using a serum typically applies it after cleansing and drying their skin, but before using a moisturizer.

It is important to keep in mind that no skin care product can fully prevent or reverse the visible signs of aging. Fine lines, wrinkles, and skin color changes are natural changes that everyone experiences.

When choosing an anti-aging serum, a person might consider:

  • Skin type: To prevent irritation, a person should find a product that suits their skin type. People with acne-prone skin, for example, should opt for a “noncomedogenic” serum, which does not clog pores.
  • Reviews: Reading about customers’ experiences can help a person make the best choice for them.
  • Ingredients: Anyone who is unfamiliar with an ingredient in a serum can learn about it on the Skin Deep database provided by the Environmental Working Group.

Some common ingredients in anti-aging serums include:

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

  • Size: 1 ounce (oz)
  • Skin types: Dry, oily, normal, and combination
  • Price: $98

This product contains kojic acid, niacinamide, and tranexamic acid. These may reduce skin discoloration for all skin tones.

SkinCeuticals recommends this for people who want to treat dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Eminence Firm Skin Acai Booster-Serum

  • Size: 1 oz
  • Skin type: Normal to dry
  • Price: $56

One of the main ingredients in this serum is botanical hyaluronic acid. This comes from marshmallow plant extract.

Eminence says that this product smooths and plumps the skin by reducing dehydration and the appearance of wrinkle depth.

The company does not test its products on animals.

The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%

  • Size: 1 oz
  • Skin type: Normal, dry, combination, and oily
  • Price: $7.90

This lightweight serum contains argireline peptide complex.

The Ordinary says that the serum can help improve the appearance of dynamic folds, such as those around the eyes and in the forehead area.

The product is vegan and free from gluten, nuts, alcohol, silicone, and oil.

Skin Authority Hyperpigmentation Treatment

  • Size: 1.7 oz
  • Skin type: Normal
  • Price: $65

This product contains 2% hydroquinone.

Skin Authority says that this product reduces the appearance of age spots, dark spots, and scarring to promote a clear, bright, even complexion.

The company warns against using this product during pregnancy or nursing, however.

Learn more about treating hyperpigmentation here.

True Botanicals Chebula Active Immunity Serum

  • Size: 1 oz
  • Skin types: All
  • Price: $90

The main ingredient is chebula, a fruit that has antioxidant properties and plays a role in Ayurvedic medicine.

True Botanicals says that this serum helps maintain hydration and protects the skin from UV light and pollution. It may also smooth roughness, minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and improve the skin’s firmness.

It is hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, and safe for people who are pregnant.

Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum

  • Size: 1.35 oz
  • Skin types: Dry, oily, normal, and combination
  • Price: $39

This serum contains peach extract, niacinamide, and peptides. These ingredients may help encourage collagen production and skin brightness.

Peach & Lily says that this serum targets redness, an uneven skin texture, oiliness, and wrinkles.

The product is vegan and gluten-free, and the company does not support animal testing.

PCA Skin Rejuvenating Serum

  • Size: 1 oz
  • Skin types: All
  • Price: $96

PCA Skin says that this product contains epidermal growth factor to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The formula also includes bisabolol to calm the skin. This ingredient comes from chamomile.

A person can apply this serum in the morning and evening.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

  • Size: 1 oz
  • Skin types: All
  • Price: $16.99

This serum contains encapsulated retinol, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid.

CeraVe says that this serum can help smooth wrinkles, maintain the skin’s natural barrier, and calm inflammation.

The product is noncomedogenic and will not dry the skin

Learn about retinol creams here.

Drunk Elephant Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum

  • Size: 1 oz
  • Skin type: Dry, oily, normal, and combination
  • Price: $82

Drunk Elephant says that this improves the appearance of fine lines, sun damage, and enlarged pores.

It contains green tea seed oil, which protects the skin from sun damage, and virgin marula oil, which has antioxidant properties.

This serum is vegan and free from essential oils, silicones, and fragrances.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

  • Size: 1 oz
  • Skin types: All
  • Price: $21.99

This serum’s main ingredient is vitamin C. It also contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin B5.

CeraVe says that this serum protects against environmental damage and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It may also even a person’s skin tone.

This product is allergy-tested and paraben-free.

Learn about other vitamin C serums here.

First, cleanse the face. Anyone using a toner should apply it next. While the skin is still damp, apply the anti-aging serum, then use a moisturizer. This helps the serum penetrate the skin.

Learn more about the stages of a skin care routine.

Many manufacturers say that a person can use an anti-aging serum in the morning or evening. But anyone using a serum that contains a retinol or retinoid should do so in the evening only. People using vitamin C products that help protect against damage from the sun and free radicals tend to do so in the morning.

After moisturizing, during the day, a person should use a mineral sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays, both of which can cause skin cancer.

Learn about the best sunscreen for different skin types here.

Serums that contain acids, such as vitamin C and retinol, may cause irritation. Before using the serum as directed, a person should test a small amount on their inner arm and wait 24 hours to check for a reaction, such as irritation or a color change. If this occurs, do not use the product.

When introducing a new product into a skin care routine, it can help to use a small amount every other day, and gradually build up to regular use. This allows the skin to adjust to the ingredients and reduces the risk of adverse reactions.

Companies that make anti-aging serums say that they help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots, and crow’s feet. However, no product can fully prevent or reverse the natural signs of aging.

It is important to check a product’s features and ingredients before making a purchase. Anyone who uses a serum should do so after cleansing and before moisturizing their skin.