We’re all guilty of coveting a product because of its luxurious label, whether that’s La Mer’s notoriously pricey face cream or Skinceuticals’ editor-approved vitamin C serum. But our fixation on high-end options often leads us to overlook affordable drugstore picks that promise the same skin-changing results at a fraction of the price. But Amazon shoppers are prepared to make us see the error of our ways, starting with CeraVe’s Vitamin C Serum ($16; amazon.com).
The popular anti-aging treatment has more than 3,000 perfect ratings from reviewers that say it’s noticeably hydrated, brightened, and plumped their skin—and the proof is in the formula. Developed with the help of dermatologists, the serum boasts 3 anti-aging powerhouses: vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and skin-repairing ceramides.
The trifecta of ingredients means the serum can effectively help with a range of skin concerns, including removing acne scars, clearing eczema, and plumping wrinkles. But unlike other vitamin C serums, which can be too harsh for sensitive skin, this affordable pick is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and gentle on the skin.
Plus, it contains just 10% of the namesake ingredient, which Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City, previously told Health is an optimal concentration level for getting all its benefits without the irritation. Better yet, it opts for l-ascorbic acid over other derivatives of vitamin C that can be less stable and more irritating.
You won’t find fancy glass bottles or droppers in CeraVe’s packaging, just efficient design elements. The heavy-duty tube, screw-on cap, and squeeze-out construction are all critical to prevent oxidation and deterioration of the formula over time. So while it might not be the sleekest beauty product on your vanity, the travel-friendly tube serves an important purpose.
All things considered, we’re not shocked this affordable product has already snagged a spot on Amazon’s list of best-selling facial serums. But if rankings aren’t enough to convince you to give it a go, the hundreds of written reviews should.
“My skin breaks out all the time and the red marks never seem to fade,” wrote one reviewer. “I wanted to see if it would help with redness. Holy moly this stuff works! There’s no strong fragrance and the serum absorbs into skin quickly. I haven’t even finished the tube and I can already tell my skin is softer, and I haven’t had any breakouts. My boyfriend actually noticed and commented that my skin was looking better—this dude doesn't even notice when I get a haircut.”
Another said: “I am 65 and have tried so many products from expensive to cheap. Nothing has compared to this: I noticed a difference in my skin within a few days. My face has a brighter appearance, my pores are actually smaller, and overall my face looks more youthful.”
And if you needed yet another reason to officially add this serum to your cart—that isn’t a bottle of Moscato, like this wine-drunk shopper—it’s on sale for just $16 right now. The limited-time markdown lets you save more than 25% on the already affordable serum, so you’ll make your wallet almost as happy as your skin.
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