The Best Anti-Aging Serums of 2021 - The Dermatology Review

The Best Anti-Aging Serums of 2021



Every item in your skincare routine has an important role to play, but if you had to zero in one of the most important when it comes to anti-aging, it would be a serum. Why? Serums are the super heroes of any skin care routine. They’re highly concentrated and penetrate deeply, which means they deliver a high dose of key anti-aging ingredients to the skin. Here’s a closer look.

Related: Best Face Serums

What is A Serum?

A serum is a lightweight skincare product with a thin, watery consistency. Although they are not moisturizers, they can add extra moisture to the skin although they do not take the place of a moisturizing cream. Most serums are water-based but a few are oil based. Since the texture of a serum is thin and lightweight, it absorbs easily into the skin, making it an ideal delivery system for hard working ingredients. Most serums are multi-taskers, addressing more than one skin issue whether its wrinkles, dark spots, acne or oiliness. Because serums can address a multitude of issues, they are ideal for any type of skin and any age, whether you are in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.

Related: Best Retinol Serum

What To Look for in an Anti-Aging Serum

The best anti-aging serums contain a cocktail of wrinkle fighting ingredients, including moisturizing hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water; retinols (a vitamin A derivative which helps encourage cell turnover, revealing fresher looking skin); antioxidants (which help fight against free radical damage) and peptides which help support skin structure. Look for ingredients like vitamin C, which help to brighten the face and minimize the look of dark spots as well as ferulic acid, which is often paired with vitamin C.

Related: Best Hyaluronic Acid Serums and Best Vitamin C Serums

How to Apply A Serum

All serums (including ones aimed at wrinkles) should be applied after cleansing but before applying a cream or moisturizer. Serums should also be applied in a very specific way. They should not be rubbed into the face like a cream. Instead, dispense a dropper of serum into the palm of the hand and press or pat the liquid into the face. Give it some time to absorb before applying the next product. Some serums can be applied twice a day, but depending on your skin and what conditions you are trying to address, you may want to incorporate two serums into your routine; one for day and one for night.

Related: Best Niacinamide Serums

What Are The Best Anti-Aging Serums?

The best anti aging face serum is Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum. Followed by Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate.

Related: Best Skincare Products

Here are our top picks.



1 Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum

Apply this serum daily to keep skin hydrated and protected from free radical damage. The Repair Serum by Carrot & Stick helps lift, tighten and firm the look of skin thanks to seven plant-based neuropeptides while synthesized growth factors help keep skin looking its radiant best.

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2 Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate

This anti-wrinkle serum is packed with powerhouse ingredients to help skin look healthy, vibrant and younger. Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate is formulated with ProBioBalance and powerful peptide complex, along with moisturizing shea butter and the antioxidants green tea and vitamins C and E. These skin loving ingredients work together to help promote radiance, elasticity, firmness, skin tone and smoothness. The serum is rich but absorbs quickly into the skin, and helps soften the look of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.

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3 Formulyst Pro-Collagen Serum

Formulyst’s Pro-Collagen Serum is formulated for aging skin and contains a potent mix of peptides and proteins. Gently pat a few drops of this hydrating serum on the face to help to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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4 Advanced Dermatology Super Youth Serum

Advanced Dermatology’s Super Youth Serum does a little bit of everything, and only a few drops of this anti-wrinkle serum are needed. It tackles fine lines and gives the skin a nice big dose of powerful antioxidants. The Super Youth Serum is a lightweight, free radical fighter that helps keep skin nourished and hydrated while plumping, firming and repairing skin. Skin is left flawless, luminous and super soft.

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5 Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

This anti-aging serum debuted around 30 years ago and has earned its cult favorite status, racking up more than 150 industry awards. Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is a true multi-tasker. It hydrates the skin thanks to hyaluronic acid and kola night extract, and a cocktail of antioxidants help keep wrinkles at bay.

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6 Lancôme Advanced Génifique Anti-Aging Face Serum

Lancome’s super charged serum is packed with ingredients to keep skin hydrated and increase cell turnover, and is designed for older skin. One of its key ingredients is bifida ferment lysate, a bacteria that is similar to a probiotic for the skin and helps boost the skin’s moisture barrier. Hyaluronic acid also adds moisture to the skin while a dose of vitamin C helps it look brighter. There’s no need to worry about whether you’re applying the right amount; the dropper is self-loading.

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7 Formulyst Anti-Aging Concentrate

This super serum is packed with powerhouse ingredients to help faces look healthy and younger looking. Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate is formulated with ProBioBalance and powerful Peptide Complex, along with moisturizing shea butter, and the antioxidants green tea and vitamins C and E. Together this skin loving ingredients help promote radiance, elasticity, firmness, skin tone and smoothness. The serum is rich but absorbs quickly into the skin, and helps soften the look of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.

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8 Advanced Dermatology Anti Wrinkle Firming Night Treatment

Apply the Anti Wrinkle Firming Night Treatment before you go to bed and wake up to better looking skin. This clinically fortified anti-aging treatment targets damage caused by daily stressors while boosting cell renewal to reduce the appearance of deep creases and skin imperfections – all while you sleep. Supercharged with the plant stem cell extract PhytoCellTec and three of the most clinically effective peptides, wrinkles and discoloration are visibly reduced. Skin is smoother, more luminous and noticeably younger.

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9 The Ordinary Buffet

According to The Ordinary, the name of this formula was inspired by some brands referring to their expensive products offering combinations of technologies as a “buffet”, distastefully comparing such products to buffets that offer various kinds of food in one sitting. The Ordinary Buffet formula combines a comprehensive array of studied technologies to target multiple signs of aging at once.

The key ingredients — or “technologies” as the brand calls them — in The Ordinary Buffet include Matrixyl 3000, Matrixyl synthe’6, SYN-AKE, Argirelox, and a probiotic complex. All of these technologies are formulated in a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. The key ingredients in this serum should work together to target multiple signs of aging while also improving skin hydration.

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10 Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Serum

If you’re looking for a serum that instantly reduces signs of aging like lines and wrinkles, then Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Serum may be for you. This serum is designed to instantly reduce the appearance of under eye bags and wrinkles for several hours. This serum is able to provide these results thanks to two ingredients: sodium silicate and magnesium aluminum silicate.

Sodium silicate, also known as “liquid glass”, creates a film that contracts the skin as it dries, creating a temporary lift to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Magnesium aluminum silicate supports sodium silicate by increasing its wrinkle-filling and plumping action. The benefits of this product are purely temporary, and as soon as the product is washed off the effect is gone.

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11 Maelove Glow Maker

The most popular Maelove skin care product is Glow Maker, an antioxidant serum that is said to give you hydrated and brightened skin all day long. This serum contains a potent 15% L-ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C), along with vitamin E and ferulic acid. Plus, there’s hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration and a proprietary botanical blend for extra nourishment and easy makeup application.

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12 BeautyCounter Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum

One of the most popular BeautyCounter products is an anti-aging serum called Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum. It is said to visibly increase skin firmness and elasticity, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A few of the key ingredients in this serum include squalane, bakuchiol, and a blend of peptides.

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13 SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

TNS Essential Serum is an anti-aging facial serum created by SkinMedica, a scientifically based skin care brand that was founded in 1999. Interestingly, SkinMedica created the first topical Growth Factors solution back in 2001, pioneering the creation of the entire category. TNS Essential Serum combines the renowned growth factor formula, TNS Recovery Complex, in one chamber and APS Corrective Complex in the other. The key benefits of TNS Essential Serum include a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as enhanced skin texture and tone.

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14 La Mer The Concentrate

Every La Mer product contains its signature Miracle Broth, a fermented mix of seaweed. This pricey serum delivers moisture thanks to sesame seed oil and eucalyptus oil and helps to calm redness and irritation and soften the look of fine lines. It can be used twice a day.

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15 Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

Shiseido’s Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is a lightweight serum housed in a bright pink bottle that’s suitable for all skin types. The formula combines Japanese botanicals such as gingko, shiso, thyme, and lotus germ along with the antioxidant reishi mushroom. Ingredients like iris root extract and Bulgarian rose water help keep the skin nourished and soft

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16 Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum

This anti-aging serum is designed to help brighten the appearance of the skin and minimize the look of dark spots and discoloration. It’s powered by vitamin C ester, a fat soluble form of vitamin C. The serum also contains the antioxidant ferulic acid and vitamin E to help protyect the skin.

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17 Obagi Professional-C Serum 20

Obagi Professional-C Serum contains 20% vitamin C, to help brighten the face and give it an extra glow, while also working to fade dark spots. Thirsty skin will be soothed by the lightweight super moisturizing hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It’s suitable for all skin types.

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18 Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate contains a blend of essential oils and botanical extracts, including lavender oil, evening primrose oil and squalene, which is derived from olives. Apply two to three drops of this anti-wrinkle serum at night and massage gently into the skin, and wake up to softer, smoother skin.

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19 Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Serum

Olay’s newest product line is Regenerist Retinol, which is a collection of retinol infused products. The Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum does two things. It hydrates the skin while delivering a dose of wrinkle fighting retinol, to help soften the look of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. The formula is fragrance and dye free.

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20 Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Serum

Drugstore favorite Olay’s Regenerist Micro Sculpting Serum has a light scent and sinks into the skin, where it is quickly absorbed. Apply once a day to brighten and smooth out skin tone. Active ingredients include hyaluronic acid for added hydration; antioxidant tea extract; and niacinamide, which helps brighten skin.

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21 Clarins Double Serum

Double Serum is Clarins #1 best selling anti-aging serum that is said to visibly firm, smooth, and boost radiance in just seven days. This serum comes in a dual-chamber that is claimed to house the perfect ratio of water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients, similar to the skin’s hydrolipidic film. Once dispensed, the two concentrates combine together into one serum that is said to easily absorb into the skin and effectively target all visible signs of skin aging. Honestly, we doubt that dispensing the ingredients separately really matters for the skin. Rather, what truly matters is the ingredients in this serum.

Unfortunately, the majority of the Clarins Double Serum formula consists of synthetic emollients, glycerin, wild teasel extract, and parfum/fragrance. The brand claims that the 21 plant extracts — such as turmeric, beautyberry, goji berry, horse chestnut, and others — are the key ingredients in Clarins Double Serum. However, all of these “key” ingredients are used in very low concentrations (less than 1%). We know this by looking at the ingredient list. All of these ingredients are listed after the preservative phenoxyethanol, which cannot be used in concentrations more than 1%.

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Al-Niami, F & Chiang, N 2017. ‘Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications’, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, vol. 10, is. 7, pp. 14-17.
Murray, J, Burch, J, Streilein, R, Iannacchione, M, Hall, R & Pinnell, S 2008. ‘A topical antioxidant solution containing vitamins C and E stabilized by ferulic acid provided protection for human skin against damage caused by ultraviolet radiation’ Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 59, is. 3, pp. 418-425.
Vollono, L., Falconi, M., Gaziano, R., Iacovelli, F., Dika, E., Terracciano, C., Bianchi, L., & Campione, E. (2019). Potential of Curcumin in Skin Disorders. Nutrients, 11(9), 2169.

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