Dubbed as one of the ‘holy grails’ in the skincare world, serums have created a buzz for having tons of useful and active ingredients that can penetrate deeply into our skin. But aside from combatting our usual skin woes, some serums are specially made to fight the signs of skin aging. With these wonder products called anti-aging serums, we can simply bid goodbye to all the dreadful signs of skin aging.
Below, we put together a comprehensive buying guide to serve as a cheat sheet that can help you choose the best anti-aging serum there is, with some comments and tips from dermatologist Dr. Maria Elinor Grace "Meg" Sison. We also made a list of our favorite products! Continue scrolling to start reading.
Maria Elinor Grace "Meg" Sison, MD, MPM, FPDS, is a board-certified dermatologist who practices in the Philippines and sees both medical and cosmetic dermatological cases on the skin, hair, and nails.
There are a handful of things that improve with age, but unfortunately, our skin is not one of them. Signs like wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and saggy skin start to appear as we grow older. And that’s where anti-aging serums enter the conversation.
Anti-aging serums are highly concentrated formulations that are designed to target different signs of aging. But you might be actually wondering how those little bottles of gel-like liquid could do such a thing.
These skincare wonders are loaded with antioxidants responsible for regenerating skin cells to the surface and improving collagen production. With those functions, it eventually delays skin aging by keeping wrinkles at bay, improving radiance, firmness, and texture of the skin.
Serums are highly concentrated formulations meant to be applied in smaller amounts on the skin (few drops on the whole face). They can either be water or oil-based. Anti-aging serums can help prevent our skin from aging especially if they contain retinoids, vitamin C, or peptides that stimulate collagen production.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C, green tea, ferulic acid & resveratrol can also fight free radicals from UV rays and pollution. Antioxidants also enhance the effects of sunscreen if they are used together.
Like other skin care products, anti-aging serums vary from one another, and with all the available options, it could get overwhelming sometimes. Here are the things you would want to consider before you add-to-cart that certain product.
There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to skincare since - everyone’s skin is different. Certain anti-aging serums could contain an ingredient that will not work with an underlying skin condition that you have. Thus, it’s best to pick the one made for your skin type.
Retinol is known as the gold standard of anti-aging products, but it is also good for reducing breakouts. On the other hand, salicylic acid is one ingredient that you would often see on different anti-acne products for its good ability to unclog pores.
With the right anti-aging serum, there’s no need to worry about your acne-prone skin type, as you can hit two birds with one stone, or more like tackle two different skin issues with one right serum.
Retinols in serums can help unclog pores which can lead to improvement of acne. With continued use, they can also improve fine lines and wrinkles and minimize the appearance of our pores.
Salicylic acid is great for oily and acne-prone skin. It can also unclog pores and minimize their appearance. It's best to start with the lowest concentration to avoid irritation because serums containing these ingredients tend to be more potent.
Hyaluronic acid is a great water-attracting substance, so having this on your serum would pull water from the innermost part of your skin to supply it to the surface, leaving you with a dewy and fresh finish. You can easily remember it as a quencher for your ‘dehydrated’ skin.
Vitamin E is also a good antioxidant that could help keep your skin conditioned and prevent further dryness. These anti-aging serum could also be useful to lock in the skin’s moisture that is usually stripped off when in a dry or hot area like the Philippines.
For those with dry skin, you can look for serums with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid functions as a humectant that draws in moisture from the environment and makes our skin supple and moist. Make sure to apply the serum on slightly damp skin to lock in the moisture.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in our skin that would otherwise contribute to aging. It also functions as an emollient by filling in the spaces between skin cells to make our skin appear smoother.
Green tea, in general, is another effective hydrating substance, but it not just moisturizes but also nourishes your skin. If you want to give your skin some more radiance and brightness, this kind of serum might do the job for you.
Green tea contains compounds (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG) that function as antioxidants that neutralize free radicals from the UV rays and pollution. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that lead to a reduction of skin redness and irritation.
An anti-aging serum can be applied twice daily, during the day and then as a part of your nighttime skincare routine. However, using a thick serum in the day could leave your face feeling sticky and uncomfortable. Serums with a thicker consistency are best used at night to hydrate your skin as you sleep.
A lightweight serum can also be a good primer under your makeup. It can smoothen the skin’s imperfections and allow the foundation to glide and stick well to your skin. The best thing? You do not have to worry about your foundation looking cakey and even achieve that glowing and dewy finish.
Lightweight serums that are water-based can be used during the day since they can be spread and absorbed easily. These will not leave your skin feeling sticky and can be layered under sunscreen and light makeup.
We know that religiously committing to a skincare routine can cost you some money. Serums to are known to be high-quality skincare formulations, so expect that it’s not going to be that cheap too.
On top of that, skincare gurus say that serums should be applied twice daily and must also be put on your entire face and neck for best results. This means that it’s almost a daily necessity; hence, you've got to make sure that the anti-aging serum you’re eyeing fits your budget for frequent use.
There are now plenty of affordable serums available depending on your budget and skin concern. Make sure to buy only from reputable sellers (whether online or in physical stores). Consult a board-certified dermatologist for guidance in choosing the right serum for you.
Cruelty-free skincare products are generally milder and cleaner, which means they are a lot safer for your precious skin.
These products were not in any way tested on animals, which also implies that if you opt for these, the serum that you will put on your face is most likely free from harmful chemicals like parabens, sulfates, or synthetic fragrances.
If you opt for cruelty-free brands, make sure to consult your dermatologist first to guide you if the serum you'll be using would address your skin concern and if it is safe to be applied on your skin.
Like other skincare products, these anti-aging serums can come in different appearances, shapes, and sizes. Although it might seem that these are just there for aesthetic purposes, it is actually more than that. If you opt or a serum containing vitamin C or retinol, make sure to get one that comes in a darker bottle to improve its shelf-life.
Some products come with a dropper. These droppers are useful for formulas that you usually just dab at your skin using your fingertips. However, this kind of packaging can actually cause your formulation to expire quicker because it does not give much protection from air contamination.
On the other hand, there are also serums that come with airtight pumps. These pumps are very effective for formulas with more sensitive ingredients because they can prevent environmental irritants from contaminating them.
Serums are stored in dark bottles to prevent oxidation from exposure to light. Avoid touching the dropper directly on the skin because it can lead to contamination. Airtight pumps are great to keep the product from getting exposed to light or air. You can also control the amount of product to be dispensed from the pump.
While keeping our comprehensive guide in mind, we have rounded up our top choices for the best anti-aging serums available online!
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Notable Ingredients||Water (Aqua), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate-20 (Vitamin C-20), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract|
|Skin Type||Dry, Dull, Acne-prone, Signs of Aging|
|Notable Ingredients||Matrixyl 3000, Matrixyl Synthe'6 Peptide Complexes, Hyaluronic Acid, Water, Glycerin, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate|
|Skin Type||All Skin Types|
|Notable Ingredients||Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, & Vitamin E, Green Tea, Vitamin C|
|Skin Type||Sensitive,Combination,Oily,Normal,Signs of Aging|
|Notable Ingredients||RH-Oligopeptide- 1, RH-Polypeptide- 1, Butylene Glycol, Vaccinium Angustifolium Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin, Guaiazulene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine|
|Skin Type||All Skin Types|
|Notable Ingredients||Enriched with Yuzu Lemon & 30X* Vitamin C *vs. Light Complete SPF40|
|Skin Type||All Skin Types|
|Notable Ingredients||Water, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-32, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide|
|Skin Type||Normal,Combination,Signs of Aging|
|Notable Ingredients||he Green Tea Extract (75.9%), Propanediol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Ethanol, Glycerin, Betaine, The Green Tea Seed Oil (208mg), Prickly Pear Extract, Orchid Extract, Tangerine Peel Extract, Camellia Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Orange Extract, Tangerine Extract|
|Skin Type||All Skin Types|
|Notable Ingredients||Water, Retinol, 1.3-Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone,1,2-Hexanediol, Glycerin, Diethoxydiglycol, Ppg-26-Buteth-26|
|Skin Type||All Skin Types|
|Notable Ingredients||Contains Centella Asiatica Extract and Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)|
|Notable Ingredients||Retinol-C Complex,0X Skin Renewal Actives, and Prebiotic Complex|
SOME BY MI
Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Buffet Peptide Serum
Professional Anti-Aging and Brightening Vitamin C Serum
Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop
Light Complete Vitamin C Serum
Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Youth Serum
Green Tea Seed Serum
Retinol Lifting Serum
AHA・BHA・PHA 30 Days Miracle Serum
Pond's Age Miracle Youthful Glow Double Action Serum
Plant-Based Formula That's Also a Good Pimple Remedy
A Gentle Serum for Any Skin Type
Organic Option For a Youthful Looking Skin
Restore Skin Elasticity With This Collagen-Replenishing Serum
Eliminate Age Spots With Vitamin C
Super Lightweight Skin Renewal Booster
Quench Your Dehydrated Skin
Diminish the Appearance of Early Wrinkles
Say Goodbye to Dull Skin the Hypoallergenic Way
“Miracle” Serum to Bring Back Your Youthful Glow
|Price Starts at||₱599||₱739||₱275||₱1,570||₱499||₱1,259||₱790||₱139||₱630||₱649|
|Notable Ingredients||Water (Aqua), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate-20 (Vitamin C-20), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract||Matrixyl 3000, Matrixyl Synthe'6 Peptide Complexes, Hyaluronic Acid, Water, Glycerin, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate||Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, & Vitamin E, Green Tea, Vitamin C||RH-Oligopeptide- 1, RH-Polypeptide- 1, Butylene Glycol, Vaccinium Angustifolium Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin, Guaiazulene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine||Enriched with Yuzu Lemon & 30X* Vitamin C *vs. Light Complete SPF40||Water, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-32, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Hydroxide||he Green Tea Extract (75.9%), Propanediol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Ethanol, Glycerin, Betaine, The Green Tea Seed Oil (208mg), Prickly Pear Extract, Orchid Extract, Tangerine Peel Extract, Camellia Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Orange Extract, Tangerine Extract||Water, Retinol, 1.3-Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone,1,2-Hexanediol, Glycerin, Diethoxydiglycol, Ppg-26-Buteth-26||Contains Centella Asiatica Extract and Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree)||Retinol-C Complex,0X Skin Renewal Actives, and Prebiotic Complex|
|Skin Type||Dry, Dull, Acne-prone, Signs of Aging||All Skin Types||Sensitive,Combination,Oily,Normal,Signs of Aging||All Skin Types||All Skin Types||Normal,Combination,Signs of Aging||All Skin Types||All Skin Types||Acne-prone||Normal|
You may have the right anti-aging serum for you, but are you using it right? Here are some tips you should keep in mind to get the best out of your anti-aging serum.
Serums are considered as the amplifiers of your skincare routine. Hence, there is a proper spot or place on your routine to incorporate your serum. According to most experts, serums should be applied twice daily.
It should come after cleansing and exfoliating your skin, but you have to make sure that it comes before your moisturizer to get the most benefits out of it. The moisturizer should follow quickly after the serum, while the skin is still damp so that it can lock in the nourishment and hydration from your serum.
Do not forget to finish off your daytime skincare routine with some sunscreen. This practice is said to be the best way to prevent skin aging. If you skip sunscreen, all your other skincare products will all be for naught since the sun's harsh rays can reverse the positive effects done by other products.
Serums can be used once or twice a day. Retinol serums are best used at night since exposure to sunlight makes them less effective.
It is also important to pay attention to where you place your serums. For serums infused with Vitamin C, make sure that they are kept away from direct sunlight, or else they will oxidize fast. Products with a shorter shelter life can benefit from the cool temperature that your fridge can provide.
Meanwhile, you should never attempt to put your oil-based serums in your fridge because oil-based products like this can turn cloudy when placed in extremely cold or hot spots. It would be best to keep them in a well ventilated and dry place.
Serums in dark bottles should be kept in a cool, dry place because exposure to air and light would cause the product to oxidize more quickly. Make sure also that the cap is tightly closed when the product is not in use.
Skincare is a series of trials and errors to find the product that will work and produce the best effects on your skin. To be more informed, Dr. Meg answers the most asked questions on the web in the section below!
Retinol serums are best applied at night because UV rays can degrade retinol during day time and make them less effective. Serums containing vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, hyaluronic acid can be applied either during the day or at night.
Long-term use (at least 6 months) is recommended to see improvement in fine lines and wrinkles when you use anti-aging serums. In addition, the use of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is highly recommended to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays (photoaging, sunburn, and skin cancer).
Anti-aging serums can be started as early as their mid-20s to reap their benefits. Consult a board-certified dermatologist for individualized treatment of signs of aging like wrinkles as additional in-office procedures may be needed.
Now that you have found out about these must-have anti-aging serums, why not revamp your overall skincare routine for younger and healthier skin? We've listed down below some of the best skincare products that you can pair along with your new anti-aging serum!
So that is our list of the best anti-aging serums that you can get on your next virtual shopping! As we age, it’s not just maturity that does come along; the wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy skin that we all dread come along too.
It might be impossible to turn back the hands of the clock, but we always have full control of what we put into our skin, so choose the best anti-aging serum to achieve that healthy, youthful, and glowing skin. We hope you found your new holy grail pick from our product recommendations!
Author: Rica Anne D. Victoriano
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