If a child ever asks what it feels like to touch a cloud, the only thing you have to do is stick their fingers in a tub of CeraVe's Moisturizing Cream. Beyond providing a fun learning experience, the pillowy cream is an essential to have on hand; the reliable formula hydrates any and all forms of dry skin, and that brand trust comes in handy when we're talking retinol serums, since the wrong one can mean weeks of discomfort. But leave it to a household mainstay to perfect a serum that not only quickly smoothes out wrinkles, but comes in under the $20 mark on Amazon.
CeraVe's Resurfacing Retinol Serum relies on the brand's namesake moisturizing ceramides to soothe skin, while retinol, niacinamide, and licorice root extract tackle signs of aging, scars, large pores, and post-acne marks with a vengeance. The $17 serum's racked up over 12,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, where a shopper writes that at 63, the "perfect retinol product" has revealed a "gorgeous, even, brighter, GLOWING, wrinkle-free complexion." Another shopper, 22, uses the serum preventively and can "totally tell a difference" with redness and pore size.
Others write that the over-the-counter serum is potent enough to take on previously unmoveable challenges. "I'm 43, and have a very defined 'What the actual hell?' wrinkle by my eyebrow—truly, that annoyed eyebrow has the most muscle definition anywhere on my body," one relatable person explains. They noticed a "marked improvement" on the wrinkle within a week of using CeraVe's retinol, but what most impressed them was the effect on "deep, puckery, purple," 26-year-old stretch marks. "Using this cream on them has made such a difference, I'm kicking myself for not getting before and after pictures. The stretch marks are still there, but they are so much lighter and the skin texture is so improved."
To buy: $17; amazon.com.
This isn't one of those products that makes you wait months for results, either. One 58-year-old shopper says they saw a difference the first day, their forehead wrinkles "reduced significantly" and their skin overall softer and smoother. Another goes so far as to name it "liquid gold" thanks to the serum's knack for "diffusing" wrinkles and making redness, acne, and uneven tone and texture disappear. In a matter of weeks, a different person battling cystic acne and severe redness says 65 percent of their redness evaporated.
Get it on Amazon for $17 and join the flocks of shoppers wondering how they ever lived without it.