The 13 Best Anti-Aging Serums for 30s, According to an Aesthetician

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It’s never too early (or too late) to jump on the skincare bandwagon. As a longtime proponent of preventative skincare, I seek out powerful active ingredients to target signs of aging before they become noticeable—and serums are the go-to in my preventative arsenal. But in a sea of beauty brands with 100s of serums at this point, the question is: what are the best anti-aging serums for your 30s? Well, we tapped a dermatological nurse to give us a streamlined selection of serums that actually work.

Even though I’ve used prescription retinol and invested in preventative treatments like peels and lasers for years, I was oddly hesitant to jump on the serum bandwagon in my 20s. Somewhere along the way, I became super paranoid about layering on too many active ingredients and potentially causing my skin to break out. Not to mention I was hesitant to add yet another step to my routine. Irrational? Maybe, but it’s only now in my late 30s that I’m finally on board with serums. The trick is finding products that work not only with your skin type and concerns, but also in tandem with your other skincare products. For example, you don’t want to use a vitamin C serum at night if you also use retinol as it can cause irritation. Not for everyone, but it is a common side effect.

Refining and adjusting your skincare routine is all a part of aging gracefully, along with a little trial and error to discover what works best for you. Luckily, we have the wonderful dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician, Natalie Aguilar to help us figure it all out. Keep reading for her insights on serums along with the best anti-aging serums for your 30s.

The benefits of anti-aging serums

There are numerous benefits to using an anti-aging serum. But as we age, fine lines become deeper, skin becomes thinner, laxity is more prevalent, skin tone starts to become uneven, sunspots surface, and skin becomes drier (and sometimes sensitive, too). Aguilar says serums can address these concerns by not only preventing but also correcting them. 

The beauty of serums is they benefit all skin types and target specific skin concerns. Most serums can be used all over the face and neck in order to hydrate, protect, brighten, or firm. Others are used on specific areas to target specific needs like lightening a brown spot, tightening crepey areas (such as the neck), or treating active blemishes. 

Who should use anti-aging serums?

Since skin aging typically starts at age 25, Aguilar notes that it is important to start anti-aging serums, as well as creams, in our 30s. This is when we really begin to notice our skin oftentimes looking tired and less radiant. This is the decade you need to get serious about using serums and moisturizers if you really want to preserve and maintain your youthful healthy skin. 

Serums vs. creams

Serums are the one skincare product that contain the most potent active ingredients to help visibly change and enhance our skin. They also absorb quickly into the skin and can provide various benefits due to their thin consistency, allowing the ingredients to penetrate deeper.

Creams and lotions are designed to hydrate and prevent dehydration by creating a protective barrier. Creams occlude and lock in moisture. Lotions are also intended to hydrate the skin but have a slightly thinner consistency than creams. For clients who prefer a more lightweight feel on their skin as well as clients prone to acne or oiliness, Aguilar recommends using a lotion as opposed to a cream. 

Ingredients to look for in anti-aging serums

  • vitamin C
  • amino acids
  • vitamin B
  • retinoids
  • cell-communicating peptides

Scroll on for the best anti-aging serums for your 30s!

I swear by this award-winning nightly serum, and so do dermatologists and aestheticians. It’s formulated with omega fatty acids, ceramides, and peptides to target aging skin, dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. It’s liquid gold!

Buy it here.

If oil-based serums aren’t for you, then check out this lightweight nourishing serum from Caudalie. It reduces the signs of aging thanks to a powerful antioxidant that works as a natural alternative to retinol, hyaluronic acids, vegan collagen alternatives, and peptides.

Buy it here.

If you’re looking for a natural, gentle, and clean (but still ultra-effective) serum, then check out this beauty. It’s made with bakuchiol (a plant-based retinol alternative), hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide.

Buy it here.

Not all serums have to cost an arm and a leg to be effective. This multi-peptide, lightweight serum is full of nourishing active ingredients that target signs of aging and support long-term skin health. Read our honest review of the best The Ordinary products.

Buy it here.

This lightweight serum is chock-full of eight peptides that refine deep wrinkles, lines, and discoloration along with amino acids that moisturize and antioxidants that calm and soothe skin. It’s one of our favorite Paula’s Choice products.

Buy it here.

Restore skin’s radiance while addressing a range of skin issues including signs of aging with this brightening and balancing serum. Vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, nourishing omegas, and ceramides are infused in this luxurious face oil.

Buy it here.

Brighten up dull skin with this hydrating powerful vitamin C and collagen serum. It’s like taking a vitamin for your skin.

Buy it here.

This is a great way to dip your toes into the serum pool. It’s shockingly effective and gives you a truly vibrant glow but without overly strong active ingredients that may irritate newbie skin.

Buy it here.

This vitamin C serum is stabilized with vitamin E, Ferulic acid, and hyaluronic acid, which helps make it more effective.

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21 plant extracts, including turmeric, work together to target wrinkles and increase skin’s radiance. It hydrates, soothes, visibly tightens pores, and brightens skin.

Buy it here.

Pack on the powerful ingredients with this highly concentrated retinol-infused serum. It’s clinically proven to target fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, breakouts, uneven tone, and environmentally damaged skin. Sounds good to me!

Buy it here.

Use Origins’ most comprehensive anti-aging serum on the face, neck, and chest. It targets 15 signs of visible aging thanks to its powerful plant-based active ingredients.

Buy it here.

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