9 Affordable Skin-Care Serums That Work Wonders

Looking to streamline your skin-care routine? Getting your complexion to be radiant shouldn’t require a 10-step product regimen. Enter some nifty serums. These powerhouse products contain potent ingredients that actively work to smooth skin, reduce wrinkles, shrink pores and give you the gorgeous glow you love. Of course, many top-notch serums can set you back quite a bit, so you’ll want to choose the right option for your needs and your budget. Fortunately, we can help! We’ve rounded up the best face serums that work wonders for way less. 

Best Serums for $10 or Less

e.l.f. Glow-Up Primer Serum ($10)

Apply a few drops of this super-light formula before doing your makeup. With hyaluronic acid and goji, it provides ultimate hydration and a luminous glow while acting as a nourishing prep-and-prime layer. Yes, it’ll help your foundation look and feel fresh for longer.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Concentrated Serum ($9.40)

Just a wee bit will do the trick. If you have discoloration or other blemishes, try this not-so-ordinary formula with alpha arbutin. The active ingredients work to halt melanin formation and minimize skin imperfections through short- and long-term use.

SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Serum ($10.99)

If your face is feeling the effects of a long, rough winter, we suggest a little tropical vacation in the form of SheaMoisture coconut oil serum. It soaks into the skin and leaves you looking glowy and radiant. What’s more, the hyaluronic acid will give your complexion a little extra oomph.

Best Serums for $30 or Less

Olay Regenerist Collagen Peptide 24 Serum ($28.99)

This serum will hydrate your face for a full day, with no need to reapply—it keeps doing the hard work for you. Made with skin-plumping collagen and vitamin B3, it actively lifts and tightens.

Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum ($28.50)

Formulated with 15% pure vitamin C, this serum can significantly brighten dull skin and fight the effects of aging after just two weeks of use. A few days in, you’ll already notice the difference!

Shani Darden Retinol Reform ($30)

If you’ve heard that retinol is a magic ingredient but you’re worried your delicate skin will look red or irritated after use, try this gentle but effective serum. It will give you the wrinkle-reducing effect you’re looking for, but it won’t dry you out. Plus, lactic acid will brighten and smooth uneven skin. Go with the small bottle to test it out.


Best Options for $50 or Less

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Antiaging Pore-Minimizer Face Serum ($44.99)

Want to smooth out your face? This serum, formulated with glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid, works to tighten skin and shrink pores. Use it to look like you’re walking around with a permanent Instagram filter. (That hooked you, didn’t it?)

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum ($48)

This sensitive formula will not only quench parched skin, but also revitalize your complexion, even your tone and smooth out texture imperfections. Great for all skin types, it’s a one-step multipurpose skin-care solution for those who don’t want to load up on products and unnecessary ingredients.

Tula Calming Vitamin B Serum ($48)

If your skin is taking the brunt of your stress, try three drops of this vitamin B serum to calm your complexion. With soothing ingredients such as ginger, aloe and cucumber, plus probiotic extracts, it works to improve your delicate skin barrier so you’re less prone to blemishes, breakouts and redness.

A gorgeous and glowing new you is right around the corner with the help of just one new beauty product. Yes, you can stay beautiful and on budget. Don’t forget to shop with Rakuten to earn Cash Back on all your serums and skin-care essentials. Look good and save more—it’s a win-win.

Lauren is a digital editor, freelance writer, and Instagram aficionado with a feisty five-year-old boy and a sassy two-year-old diva at home. With a passion for family, travel, style, and alliteration, she spends her days chasing children, chugging coffee, and daydreaming about sleep. As a veteran lifestyle editor and media mom, Lauren loves to find ways to make the aspirational attainable for all the overwhelmed parents out there—because we really need to stick together! Lauren lives with her husband and kiddos in the suburbs of New York City.

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