Can a drugstore serum really be effective? According to these derms, yes. These nine under-$30 serums get the ultimate stamp of skin-care approval without breaking the bank.
Vero Beach, FL dermatologist Divya Haryani, MD counts La Roche Posay’s Hylu B5 Serum as a great drugstore buy. “It’s a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum, and [the addition of] vitamin B5 helps to replenish moisture in the skin. Additionally, it’s oil free, which makes it a great buy for acne-prone skin as well.”
“CeraVe’s vitamin c serum is a great option for someone on a budget,” says New York dermatologist Robert Finney, MD. “[You] get the powerful antioxidant vitamin C that can help protect against sun damage, dark marks and fine lines, and it also contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to improve the skin barrier.”
Bay Harbor Islands, FL, dermatologist Melissa Chesler Lazarus, MD says she is “obsessed” with The Ordinary line by Deciem. “They have some really great products at an incredible price point. The Amino Acid + B5 Serum is under $7 and hydrates better than many higher price brands.”
“Neutrogena hydroboost is a great hylauronic acid that is affordable and great for all skin types,” says Washington D.C. dermatologist Sarika Snell, MD. “HydroBoost would be my option,” agrees Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias. “Patients love it and it is very cost effective,” he adds. New Orleans dermatologist Mary Lupo, MD gives the budget-friendly hydrator her stamp of approval, too.
“I like the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum, which has retinol and hyaluronic acid,” says East Greenwich, RI dermatologist Caroline Chang, MD. “This mild retinol is easy to tolerate and the HA helps to hydrate.”
Maelove Hydrator B5 Gel ($28)
“I recommend Maelove’s The Hydrator Serum,” says Portsmouth, NH dermatologist Brienne Cressey, MD. While not available in drugstores—find it online!—Dr. Cressey says, “it has hyaluronic acid, B5 and resveratrol. It’s very hydrating and has antioxidants—great for all skin types.”
The CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is only $17 and quite impressive. It has niacinamide and ceramide to hydrate irritated skin and has become my recommendation to teens starting Retin-A for the first time,” says South Bay, CA dermatologist Divya Shokeen, MD.
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