11 Anti-Aging Serums That Do Wonders for Your Skin — for Under $25

Aging: we can’t stop it, but we most certainly can affect it. When it comes to skin care, how we take care of our skin now will show up on our faces in the future. Prevention is key. But let’s face it, many of us don’t use more than just sunscreen and moisturizer when we’re young. As environmental and lifestyle factors take their toll on skin, pretty soon we realize that our current beauty routine just doesn’t cut it anymore.

To give skin a boost (or erase past mistakes), the first place to start is with a serum. Actually, make it an anti-aging serum. Serums are applied after cleansing (and toning) and before your moisturizer, so even though it’s an extra step in your routine, it takes just seconds and can have a profound effect on the overall feel and appearance of your skin. So, how does a serum compare to a moisturizing cream?

The difference between your usual moisturizer and an anti-aging serum is that serums are more concentrated and generally have smaller molecules than face creams, which means that not only are the ingredients super potent, they are also absorbed more easily and penetrate into skin’s deeper layers. This makes them ideal for targeting specific problems, whether you’re battling fine lines, hyperpigmentation, redness, dry patches or uneven/dull skin tone.

If you’re in the market for an anti-aging serum, be it for prevention or targeting an existing issue, it’s important that you pick the right one for you. Here are some of the ingredients you should keep an eye out for in order to reap all the benefits from your serum and actually see the positive changes in your skin. Ingredients like glycolic acid exfoliate, retinoids accelerate cellular renewal and Vitamin C fights free radical damage. While effects of these ingredients are proven, the results are often superficial, so in addition to these, you should also look for some ingredients that work on the deeper layers of the skin.

Peptides are amino acids that carry out important biological actions. When it comes to anti-aging products, peptides are the ingredient that can help smooth out existing wrinkles, restore firmness and boost collagen production.

Stem cells are one of the most popular new anti-aging ingredients in skin care. The most common stem cells are designed to stimulate collagen production, which decreases drastically by the time we’re 30 years old. Botanical stem cells (stem cells bioengineered in plants) are what you want in your anti-aging serum.

Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body. It’s what keeps skin plump and dewy, but just like collagen, its levels fall as we age. When applied to the surface of the skin, hyaluronic acid attracts and retains water, which makes it the ultimate moisturizer.

Retinol is derived from Vitamin A and is one of the most popular anti-aging ingredients in cosmetic products. Here’s why: it causes skin cells to turn over more rapidly, so it improves skin texture and fine lines. Retinol also shrinks pores and prevents blackheads.

Antioxidants help prevent free radical damage. Vitamin C is a popular antioxidant found in anti-aging serums. It also gently brightens the skin.

Glycolic acid is often used in anti-aging serums and most commonly for exfoliation and cell turnover promotion.

Now that you know what to look for in the best anti-aging serum for you, click through the slideshow above to discover some of the top-rated products under $25.

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