Amazon Reviewers Say These $27-and-Under Serums Seriously Improved Their Skin

Erin Jahns
·18 mins read

When it comes to the bandwidth of our Amazon shopping carts, the limit (as Cady Heron would say) simply does not exist. From affordable skin-saving elixirs to highly sought-after hair tools to nail-enhancing supplements to lash-extending mascaras, Amazon is our oyster when it comes to beauty shopping. But of course, this can be both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, we love to have options, and with more options comes the increased probability we'll find the perfect product to add to our regimen. But when you're faced with literally thousands of beckoning beauty choices, the process of finding said perfect product can feel daunting and practically impossible. To complicate matters further, shopping for beauty products online—versus in person—is significantly more difficult. I avoid online returns at all costs, and because of that, I heavily rely on ratings and reviews while shopping online retailers like Amazon, especially when it comes to finding specific skincare products, such as the best serum. Of course, everyone has unique skin needs and concerns, but if a product is highly rated among customers of all ages, skin types, and skin tones, I know it's probably a winner.

If you search "serums" on Amazon, you'll be met with—wait for it—161 pages of options. So I went ahead and streamlined the serum-shopping process for you and found 10 of the best, top-rated serums on Amazon that thousands of reviewers have gifted with solid five-star ratings and glowing, detailed reviews to match. Keep scrolling for 10 customer favorites reviewers say truly improved their skin.

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum ($20)

Rating: 4.3/5 stars, 16,282 reviews on Amazon

Serums that combine vitamins C and E in addition to ones loaded with hyaluronic acid represent some of the most in-demand formulations on the market. (Almost every brand carries at least one iteration of each!) Therefore, it's no wonder this antioxidant-rich formulation from TruSkin is one of Amazon's most sought-after and highly rated options. In fact, 68% of reviewers have awarded it with a solid score of five stars.

"The results are unbelievable," explains one satisfied reviewer. "I was a bit skeptical because many of the reviews were from Caucasian women, and I was slightly worried that my skin would not respond as well but I was quite mistaken. With or without makeup, my skin is bright, smooth, and my spots are disappearing."

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum ($17)

Rating: 4.5/5 stars, 763 reviews on Amazon

Retinol-enriched serums are a dime a dozen at every major beauty retailer, but they're especially plentiful on Amazon. That said, the fact that this $17 option from leading drugstore brand CeraVe speaks volumes to its efficacy despite its excitingly low price point. Expertly developed with dermatologists, this best-selling serum specifically targets discoloration and uneven skin texture, especially marks left behind from acne. It received a five-star rating from 76% of Amazon customers.

"I am in my 60s and have combination/acne-prone/large pores/hyperpigmentation skin," notes one Amazon shopper. "I like this product because I do believe it contributes to pore-refining and brightening. I can see the dark spots are definitely getting lighter which makes me so happy. This is a well-priced, positive addition to my anti-aging skincare regime. I can really notice the difference on my neck where there is so much discoloration on the sides. I do think overall that it is helping, and I do not have any burning, itching, or redness which is another a plus."

Tree of Life Anti-Aging Serum 3-Pack

Tree of Life Anti Aging Serum 3-Pack for Face—Vitamin C Serum, Retinol Serum, Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($20)

Rating: 4.5/5 stars, 8863 reviews on Amazon

Nope, that isn't a typo. This top-rated serum isn't just one serum; it's three for the delightedly affordable price of $20. Designed for all skin types, this handy three-pack features a vitamin C serum to aid brightening, a retinol serum to help diminish lines and wrinkles, and a hyaluronic acid serum to boost hydration. The trio has five stars from 76% of Amazon customers.

Here's one reviewer's satisfied consensus: "At 68 years old, I can testify that I am an experienced skincare shopper, and I have purchased many expensive facial skin brands in addition to lesser-known 'all-natural' unknown brands online, and inexpensive drugstore lines. I have never found a skincare brand like Tree of Life.

"Tree of Life serums deliver what they promise. My skin has never looked this beautiful since before I began my menopausal years. My pores are shrinking, and my wrinkles are gently smoothing out. My two daughters who are young moms have begun using Tree of Life products and several of my 'mature' friends have begun using this line as well. I suggest beginning with this three-pack and going from there—you will notice a significant improvement within just a couple of weeks!"

Eva Naturals Skin Clearing Serum Vitamin C+

Eva Naturals Skin Clearing Serum Vitamin C+ ($15)

Rating: 4.4/5 stars, 9556 reviews on Amazon

If you're looking for a superstar face serum loaded with natural ingredients that can cover a multitude of skin goals (aging, dullness, and acne), this option from Eva Naturals might be one of your best bets. In addition to vitamin C, this top-rated bottle also houses retinol, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, MSM, and niacinamide. A whopping 72% of Amazon reviewers gave it five stars.

"I purchased this product in April and have waited this long to write a review because I wanted to give it time to work," one honest reviewer explains. "I'm 38 and suffered from constant, cystic acne. My pores clog easily, and I'm very oily. I am also bi-racial and scar very easily. Since April, I think I've had three pimples (all period-related) that went away very quickly. That's a miracle. I put this product on at night after my shower and make sure it dries well. I'm still good on product, and I probably won't be reordering for another few weeks—I only use a small amount every day. I haven't been more pleased with something I bought on here or ANY store since...well never."

Admire My Skin Ultra-Potent Brightening Serum

Admire My Skin Ultra-Potent Brightening Serum ($23)

Rating: 3.8/5 stars, 10,515 reviews on Amazon

The name of this product isn't kidding—this serum is potent and actively laden with powerful acids to help reduce dark spots and stubborn hyperpigmentation. As many reviews point out, your skin will likely get worse before it gets better, and it's also imperative to moisturize (a lot) and be extra diligent with your SPF application while using this top-rated serum. In addition to other ingredients like salicylic acid, azelaic acid, lactic acid, and vitamin C, it contains the highest concentration of hydroquinone allowed without a prescription. Since the results are dramatic, we recommend talking with a skincare professional before adding it to your routine. After scouring reviews, customers of all skin types and tones seem to have positive results (when they've used the product as directed) and 56% of the 10,515 reviews dubbed it a five-star winner.

This glowing review says it all: "I bought this for a few age spots that had become noticeable after a few too many hours in the sun this summer. One of the age spots was very dark and prominently located directly under my left eye. I bought this in a desperate attempt to diminish the age spot, at the very least. I am amazed at the results. The solution completely removed all of my age spots. FAIR WARNING: Many others have posted this, but it is worth repeating. This solution turns the spots much darker and even creates a sort of scab before flaking and peeling off to reveal healthy skin underneath. I used the solution in the morning and at night, only on the dark spots, and looked like I'd been attacked by a clawed cat for about two weeks. Then the spots finally flaked and peeled off. Would I do it again? Definitely. But do note that it gets worse before it gets better."

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum

CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum ($16)

Rating: 4.4/5 stars, 1006 reviews on Amazon

As you can see, there's some serious demand (and lots of love) for both vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serums on Amazon. This pick serum from CeraVe features both of the aforementioned ingredients, and according to savvy shoppers, it's one of the best options if you're seeking instant gratification where brightening and hydration perks are concerned. Plus, 68% dubbed it worthy of five stars.

Here's one testament from a reviewer who says it really works: "I have sensitive, dry, pale skin. My skin breaks out all the time, and the red marks never seem to fade. I wanted to try a vitamin C serum to see if it would help with redness. Holy moly this stuff works! There's no strong fragrance and the serum absorbs into the skin quickly leaving no residue. I apply a light moisturizer over it before applying makeup in the morning. I have not even finished the entire tube, and I can already tell my skin is softer and I have not had any breakouts. Old red spots are also fading. I know this isn't all in my head either... My boyfriend actually noticed and commented that my skin was looking better totally unprompted. This dude doesn't even notice when I get a haircut, so I consider this a big deal."

Cosmedica Skincare Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Cosmedica Skincare Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($15)

Rating: 4.3/5 stars, 11,134 reviews on Amazon

If you're looking for one of the best pure hyaluronic acid serums on the Amazon market, the overwhelming number of positive reviews point to this bottle as a fantastic option for glowy hydration—70% of the thousands of reviews gave it five stars, and it gets bonus points for being natural and organic. (It's also vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free.)

"I was skeptical about purchasing this serum since I usually stick to specific brands I'm familiar with after lots of trial and error," shares one satisfied reviewer. "I came across this brand just from searching 'Hyaluronic Acid Serum' and began reading the reviews which spoke highly of this product. I purchased it and have been using it for four days now in conjunction with my micro-needling tool. THIS IS THE REAL DEAL! My face is hydrated, plump, and has a glow. I am very happy with this hyaluronic acid serum, and I highly recommend it to anyone who was in their "should I try this or not" stage. Also, I keep mine in the fridge, and I love the way it wakes up the face in the morning."

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum ($18)

Rating: 4.4/5 stars, 8660 reviews on Amazon

Finding the best regimen for your specific skin concerns can be tricky, and not every serum or product is a great fit for all skin types. However, fortified with vitamin C, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, sea buckthorn oil, and plant stem cells, InstaNaturals' top-rated serum is specifically meant to play nicely with every skin type and to address and help treat a wide array of skin concerns. In fact, it has a very similar ingredient profile to holy-grail face serums that are five times the price! It has five stars from 71% of reviewers on Amazon.

"I have had deep acne scars for about 10 years and have tried every product out there trying to at least minimize their appearance," notes one customer. "I have been using this vitamin C serum on my face and in two months, the scars have disappeared completely. I wish I had taken before pictures to really show what a difference it made, but it has been a miracle in my life, and I no longer need a 30-minute skincare routine (scrubbing, exfoliating, lotions, potions, etc.). I have extremely sensitive skin and eczema and have had no issues with this product. So happy!"

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($14)

Rating: 4.6/5 stars, 1570 reviews on Amazon

In addition to offering a surge for moisture (crucial during the upcoming summer months), this popular face serum is also oil-free, noncomedogenic, and beautifully gentle on even the most sensitive skin types. It's designed to lock in hydration in order to help you achieve maximum complexion benefits such as major smoothing and brightening perks. And 77% of Amazon reviewers think it's deserving of an impressive five-star rating. Dermatologists love it too, as stated by the following glowing review:

"My dermatologist suggested I stop paying premium prices for 'high end' skincare products and try Neutrogena instead. He was right—this serum has taken care of my dry skin and has balanced out the oily areas. It's not greasy at all. This serum is a great product."

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum With Konjac Root, Hyaluronic Acid, and Ferulic Acid

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum With Konjac Root, Hyaluronic Acid, and Ferulic Acid ($27)

Rating: 4.5/5stars, 1,429 reviews on Amazon

Mad Hippie is one of our all-time favorite natural and organic skincare brands, and we're not surprised this dupe for SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166) has created such positive pandemonium among Amazon shoppers. The combination of ingredients is pure, good-skin dynamite and boasts the following all-star lineup: vitamin C (to boost collagen production and diminish wrinkles or discoloration), vitamin E (for antioxidant benefits and to prevent expedited signs of aging), ferulic acid (another antioxidant and skin-protecting powerhouse), and hyaluronic acid (to plump, hydrate, and boost glow). Amazon customers love it, and 77% of reviews scored it with a full five-star grade. In fact, this Amazon reviewer calls it "the best serum ever":

"I've spent hundreds of dollars on products to lighten the dark spots on my face from acne scarring. This has been the only product that has not only lightened the dark spots but hasn't made me break out more! This is like liquid gold for me. I recommend this to anyone who has sensitive skin and is looking to get rid of the dark spots. I'm on my second bottle, and I get compliments all the time that my skin looks like it's glowing. Also, for the first time in forever, I leave the house with only a tinted CC cream on my face and feel confident that my skin looks good! I will be a customer for life!"

12 More Beauty Products Editors Always Shop from Amazon

IS Clinical Cleansing Complex ($44)

"Whenever I’m dealing with a breakout, I turn to this cleanser from IS Clinical to clear up my skin," notes managing editor Kristen Nichols. Associate beauty editor Courtney Higgs and I area also obsessed with this cleanser.

Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gel ($20)

"I originally ordered this shower gel because it’s designed for sensitive skin, but now I’m addicted to it because of the incredible scent and how clear and hydrated it leaves my skin," Nichols adds.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60 ($36)

For a boost of SPF protection, Nichols favors this cult-loved French formula: "I swear by this French sunscreen brand. The formula really melts into skin like the name promises."

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush ($49)

"I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this best-selling blow-dryer brush, and I would absolutely recommend to my natural queens who heat-style their hair," notes Higgs. (Psst: See her and other WWW staffers' full reviews here.)

NxN Acne Edit Cleanser ($14)

The first, and one of the most important, steps in giving yourself an at-home facial is to thoroughly cleanse your skin," senior beauty editor of branded content Caitie Schlisserman explains. "I rotate between cleansers, but this has been my most recent pick. It works so well for acne-prone skin and helps heal and prevent breakouts without stripping your skin of all its moisture. It’s made with organic green tea, which helps reduce redness; salicylic acid to suck all the dirt and grime from your pores; and blue-green algae, which acts as a natural retinol."

Maple Flora Blackhead Remover Vacuum ($26)

"Full disclosure, when I used this for the first time, I gave myself a massive bruise on my chin that resembled a hickey," Schlisserman says. "It then occurred to me that I should probably test the various suction tips and levels on my hand before going to town on my face. Once you get the hang of it, though, it’s really easy to use. It’s almost like going to the dermatologist for microdermabrasion, just without the hefty price tag. A lot of the images in the reviews make it look like a ton of gunk is going to come out when you use it, but that hasn’t been the case for me. It’s just a good way to exfoliate and get a brighter-looking complexion."

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($13)

"I’ve never used such an affordable face mask that does such a good job of deep-cleaning my pores," Schlisserman shares. "It’s unique because it comes in powder form, and you need to mix it with equal parts apple cider vinegar (or water, but I always do the vinegar), stir well, and apply a thin layer to your face. Leave it on for no more than 20 minutes, and wash it off with lukewarm water. I swear you’ll notice a huge difference in your skin, especially if you start using it routinely. I do want to mention that you’ll feel your skin tighten and tingle when you have it on, and your skin might be red afterward, but it usually goes away after 30 minutes."

Ambi Skincare Fade Cream ($9)

"I'm a skin picker and have a few dark spots that I've been trying to lighten, says Schlisserman. "Hydroquinone is an effective lightening agent that’s great for reducing the appearance of acne marks, and this one contains the highest concentration of it allowed in an OTC product. I like to dab some of the cream onto specific areas I'm trying to lighten versus slathering it all over my face. It's a great, cheap option!"

Malibu C Blondes Wellness Hair Remedy ($44)

As someone who's always trying to keep her blonde hair pristinely, well, blonde, I always have these handy treatments in my Amazon cart. The formula is an excellent dark-horse hair treatment that clarifies strands to nix brassiness and residue. It should honestly be more famous than Olaplex.

Koh Gen Do Spa Cleansing Water Cloth Pack ($17)

These spa-like cloths are practically currency within the celeb and makeup artist sets and make taking your makeup off way less of a chore. I have about 20 packs stored under my sink at all times!

Tinkle Eyebrow Razor Pack of 6 ($4)

Quite a few WWW staffers swear by these handy face shavers, and Higgs, especially, is always reminding me that I need to add them to my next Amazon haul. (She says they're the absolute best for nixing any unwanted peach fuzz.)

Davines The Spotlight Circle ($10)

"I'm not too proud to admit that single-use hair treatments may feel a little excessive in the packaging department, but they sure do make for excellent portion control," notes Higgs. "Especially for those with thick and textured hair types, an individual portion like this is great for ensuring that you don't accidentally use half a jar of a *very* expensive treatment all at once. Keep these on deck for those instances where you want to treat yourself to a luxe deep conditioning."

Up next: People Don't Believe My Mom Is 71—Here Are 8 Anti-Aging Serums She Uses

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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