An older woman using serum.

Do Anti-Aging Serums Work? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

We hate to admit it, but aging is a fact of life. But do anti-aging serums work to slow down the clock?
Updated: June 19, 2023
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Do anti-aging serums work?  That is the ultimate question, isn’t it?  Aging is a fact of life (unfortunately…) but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to slow down the visual aspect of it. We all display the visual signs of aging at different times in different ways, some of us even look for anti-aging solutions in our 20s!  This is where anti-aging serums come into play, but how effective are they really?

We all want the best for our skin, but with a plethora of products available on the market, it’s sometimes hard to know which direction to go in.

Let’s have a deeper look.

What is anti-aging serum?

Anti-aging serums, not to be confused with skin lotions or creams, are specialized products that are designed to slow down and reduce the visual signs of aging such as wrinkles, lines, and cracks.

They are lighter products than creams, for example, as they contain no heavy oils and much less water. However, don’t let this give the impression they are less effective, as their active ingredients and molecules are better placed to penetrate the skin at more precise levels in order to tackle the areas that need attention faster.

Do anti-aging serums work?

Anti-aging serums contain a collection of powerful active ingredients that work extremely well in their respective roles.

First of all, research has shown that nutrients play a big role in keeping the body looking youthful, and it’s no different when it comes to skin. Thankfully, serums are rich in essential nutrients that can keep the skin looking younger for longer.

These include a host of antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which help to preserve collagen by reducing the level of free radicals in the skin. Vitamins such as vitamins C, B3, and E, are able to dig down deep into the skin to provide their natural goodness. Together they have an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulate the production of collagen.

Furthermore, the inclusion of cell regulators such as retinol (vitamin A) and peptides, ensures that the vital collagen in our skin is extensively supported. Retinol in particular is a prime active ingredient in serums that works very well in tackling free radicals and smoothing over wrinkles and lines.

The benefits of anti-aging serum

There are a ton of amazing benefits that anti-aging serums provide. When used correctly and regularly, improvements in the skin will soon become hard to ignore, and the process of managing more mature skin becomes a breeze. Here are a few of the biggest advantages.

The biggest plus of anti-aging serums is they actually do what they claim to do. There’s no smoke and mirrors when it comes down to their intended purpose. Thanks to their potent active ingredients, especially tried and tested ones like retinol, the serum works quickly to tackle the visual signs of aging in a non-intrusive way. Lines, wrinkles, and age spots will, over time, begin to fade. Of course, the aging process itself will sadly still march on, nobody can stop that (yet) but at least the person looking back at us in the mirror won’t resemble an older stranger.

Next, anti-aging serums are widely available to consumers in many commercial outlets. They require no prescription from a doctor and are ready to be bought over the counter. This may seem like an obvious point, but accessibility really is an underrated aspect of anti-aging skincare. This is available to us all, and we should be thankful for it.

Finally, the nutritious formula of anti-aging serums provides an overall health boost to the skin that extends beyond just fighting lines and wrinkles. The collection of natural vitamins will rejuvenate and nourish the skin and keep it in working order, especially when it comes to the production of collagen, which is essential in reducing free radicals.

What are the disadvantages of anti-aging serums?

Like with all things in life, nothing is perfect. Anti-aging serums work great for a lot of people, but some, unfortunately, may experience certain side effects. It wouldn’t be ethical for us to ignore these possibilities, so here’s what you need to know.

The ingredients found in anti-aging products are powerful and potent. Retinol (Vitamin A) for example is one of the most impactful ingredients used throughout the entirety of the skincare industry. Some people can experience irritation, redness, inflammation, and even rashes as a result of having a negative reaction to retinol. While the majority of side effects are uncomfortable, they are mild and should clear up on their own. If you have a more severe reaction, you should consult a doctor or medical professional immediately.

When is the best time to use an anti-aging serum?

The answer to this question really depends on you and your specific lifestyle and current skin condition. Generally speaking, there’s no need to slather yourself in anti-aging serum if you are a young person. Sure, we all get lines on our faces, but obsessing over every little thing isn’t a healthy way to approach this. If you’re getting a little older (and hopefully wiser), incorporating a well-regarded serum into your regular skincare routine is a smart move. It sounds obvious, but there’s no real urgency in using serum unless noticeable lines and wrinkles are beginning to appear.

Some people can’t decide whether to apply their daily skin routine before or after showering.  Read our helpful guide for this particular dilemma by clicking here.

What’s the difference between anti-aging serum and face cream?

Simple. Anti-aging serum is designed to reduce the visual signs of aging, while general face cream is used to moisturize the skin for everyday purposes. Serums are also very light products that sit softly on the skin, while creams are heavier, richer, and contain much more liquid elements. Additionally, serums work very quickly due to their potent active ingredients, whereas creams usually work at a slower pace and require more time from the user to use effectively. Both types of products are great, but they have very different uses.

How long does it take to get results with anti-aging serum?

Everyone is different and we all react to products in our own ways. However, generally speaking, you should be able to see tangible results after about 12 weeks of regular usage of anti-aging serum. Just remember to find a reputable brand first.

Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Anti-Aging Serums

Want to get the most out of your anti-aging serum? We’ve got you covered!

  • Consistency: This is the key. Turn your anti-aging serum application into a daily habit. Consistent skincare is the secret to unlocking that youthful glow.
  • Balanced Diet: Your skin needs nourishment, too! Feeding your body with a diet rich in antioxidants can fuel your skin from within. Incorporating fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your meals can boost the effectiveness of your serum.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is crucial for keeping your skin hydrated and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. So, fill up that water bottle and keep it by your side!
  • Sun Protection: Sunshine is lovely, but excessive sun exposure can speed up the aging process. Make sure to apply sunscreen regularly. It shields your skin from harmful UV rays and assists your serum in doing its job.
  • Adequate Sleep: Beauty sleep isn’t just a saying. Your skin rejuvenates and repairs itself while you’re snoozing. That’s when your serum gets a chance to really soak in and perform its magic. So, ensure you’re catching enough zzz’s every night!
  • Proper Application: Remember, anti-aging serums are potent. A little goes a long way! Usually, a pea-sized amount is enough to cover your whole face. Avoid the temptation to use more, thinking it’ll speed up results. Trust the process!

Final word

While the world will probably continue to ask the question of do anti-aging serums work, we absolutely love the stunning results anti-aging serums can provide. Getting older is a natural part of life, but thanks to these amazing products, they can do wonders in softening the appearance of lines and wrinkles, giving us the confidence to go about our days.

We’d recommend doing your own research into individual brands and products in order to find what’s best for you. Though we can say with some confidence that once you dive in, you won’t regret it. Good luck!


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This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.