17 Face Serums That Do the Most But Don't Cost More Than $40

Face serums are beloved because they're so lightweight but pack a big punch when it comes to skincare benefits. They serve a wide variety of skin needs. Do you have totally dehydrated, flaky skin? There's a serum for that. Or what if you want something that has a little bit of exfoliating action to get rid of dead skin cells and dirt? There's one for that, too. And what about something with anti-aging benefits? Oh, there's definitely an option for you.

So yeah, face serums can do so much and are a great skincare product, but there's a downside to them—they can get pretty pricey. I definitely splurge every few months on my favorite vitamin C serum that just so happens to cost $166, but to me, it's totally worth it because my skin always looks brighter and healthier when I use it. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate an affordable drugstore buy as well.


(Image credit: @mexicanbutjapanese)

In fact, some of my favorite face serums are drugstore buys. They work just as hard as the expensive ones, but I don't feel guilty stocking up on them. It's a win-win situation here, right? Take a look at some of the best drugstore serums that I love plus other highly rated ones from readers and editors.

1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum

2. L'Oréal Revitalift 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

3. CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

4. TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

5. La Roche-Posay Glycolic B5 Serum Dark Spot Corrector

6. Vichy Minéral 89 Prebiotic Recovery & Defense Concentrate


(Image credit: @aysha.sow)

7. RoC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Vitamin C Serum

8. Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum

9. Burt's Bees Intensive Firming Serum

10. No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum

11. Versed Just Breathe Clarifying Serum

12. Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum


(Image credit: @samantheah)

13. Cetaphil Deep Hydration 48 Hour Activation Serum

14. La Roche-Posay Vitamin C Serum

15. CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

16. L'Oréal Revitalift Night Serum With Pure Retinol

17. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Face Serum

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019.

In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot).

She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.