Trusted Reviews and Recommendations

Dermatologists Reviewed 2023's Top 5 Anti-Aging Serums for Mature Skin

Written by Heather Michaels

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Klein MD | Board-certified Dermatologist

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. By clicking on the links we provide, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Changes to the skin, such as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, are completely normal and a natural part of the aging process. They are the survival lines of our lives, and each one holds a story. But let’s be real, accepting the aging process doesn’t have to mean loving all of its signs.

If you’ve been considering going the extra mile by booking that appointment with an aesthetician or saving up for a facelift, boy do we have some good news for you! With the advancement of technology, there are now plenty of clinically tested anti-aging skincare out there that have been scientifically proven to address the signs of aging that might be taking a toll on your confidence. Best part? They won’t put a dent in your budget! Some of these skincare products, especially serums, can deliver dermatologists-level results without the pain, risks, and downtime. 

Finding the right anti-aging serum that’s suitable for your skin can be a process of trial and error, but here’s what you can expect when you ultimately stumble upon your holy grail:

A Quality Anti-Aging Serum Can Reduce The Look Of:

What To Expect from a Quality Anti-aging Serum

Your dry patches will start to fade away, leaving behind a smoother canvas. The fine lines around your eyes and forehead may begin to soften, similar to the effects of visiting an aesthetician.

Here’s where the real transformation happens. Your skin remains consistently hydrated, making wrinkles less noticeable, and giving your skin a healthy and natural glow even without reapplying moisturizer throughout the day. 

The skin’s moisture barrier becomes stronger, wrinkles may reduce by more than 80%, and hyperpigmentation should show signs of fading. When you gaze into the mirror, the results are evident – a complexion that’s not only more radiant, youthful, and even-toned but also with minimized pores.

In the span of three months, the skin is more resilient and better equipped to bounce back from life stressors such as lack of sleep, stress, and poor diet. These positive changes often result in a skin texture that’s noticeably firmer, smoother, and more elastic. Your skin’s underlying structure is better supported, and fine lines are minimized, all without the need for invasive procedures.

In a world filled with skincare products and endless information online, finding the right anti-aging serum can be a nightmare. To help you make an informed purchase, we will reveal what causes wrinkles and the best anti-aging serum ingredients to look for.

What Causes Wrinkles?

Before we dive into our curated list of the best anti-aging serums, let’s first understand the root causes behind aging skin because knowing what causes it helps you sidestep some of the culprits so you can stop the wrinkles and spots from getting out of control. Here are some of the most common reasons for wrinkles to appear:

Aging¹

As we get older, our skin naturally becomes less bouncy and more fragile. It’s never your fault when this happens but over time, the fat underneath the skin and the natural oils it produces start to decrease, making our faces drier and wrinkles more noticeable.

Photoaging (sun damage)²

When we soak up too much sun, it speeds up the breakdown of the skin’s inner support system (those collagen and elastin fibers). This support network resides in the deeper skin layer (the dermis). With less support, our skin loses its firmness and starts to droop and wrinkle earlier than it should.

Stress³

When we’re stressed, our bodies will produce extra cortisol, a hormone that’s not so friendly to our skin. This cortisol rush speeds up DNA damage and makes our skin age faster. It’s like a fast-forward button for aging, showing up as saggy skin, with more wrinkles, and less glow.

Facial Movements⁴

Did you know that the faces we make, like squinting, frowning, and even smiling, can actually lead to wrinkles over time? This happens because these repetitive movements put a strain on the skin, causing it to crease and fold.

Diet⁵

The saying “you are what you eat” rings true when considering the impact of dietary choices on the aging process of the skin. A diet that’s rich in sugars and carbohydrates can leave a lasting mark on your skin’s health. Sugars, in particular, can trigger inflammation, resulting in harmful free radicals. 

Our Picks For The Best Ingredients To Reduce Wrinkles

We conducted months of research to evaluate the best anti-aging serums so that you don’t have to. We considered factors like active ingredients, texture, and their ability to reverse the signs of aging. Following consultations with licensed dermatologists and a thorough review of numerous choices, we have identified a list of key ingredients that emerged as the top contenders.

Top Ingredients to Look For:

While an anti-aging serum incorporating these ingredients can significantly benefit your skin, on the flip side, here’s what you should avoid when it comes to subpar serums:

What to Avoid:

Here’s Our Top Picks…

After evaluating nearly 52 different high-end and drugstore anti-aging serums, along with an extensive examination of over 15,000 user reviews, and chucking away a significant number of ineffective products with either subpar ingredients that led to skin issues like breakouts or allergic reactions, or they had confusing money-back guarantees – our Independent Board of Reviewers is pleased to present the top 5 anti-aging serums that have successfully met our rigorous criteria.

The 5 Best Anti-aging Serums of 2023

#1 Best Overall

Advanced Bee Venom Serum by Peaus

a

OVERALL GRADE

PROS

cons

The Bottom Line

Peaus Advanced Bee Venom Serum has truly exceeded our expectations, given its affordable price. It incorporates remarkable ingredients, including melittin from bee venom, known for its ability to boost collagen production, which leads to skin cell repair and a visible decrease in wrinkles. The formula is advanced further with the Triple Action formula, enriched with multi-peptides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, to provide a myriad of benefits, from diminishing dark spots to delivering optimal skin hydration and firming effects.

Peaus is a cruelty-free product that safely extracts bee venom using a patented device, making it an ethical choice. After trying Peaus, our team was pleasantly surprised by how it instantly hydrated our skin upon application. Just 2 weeks later, we noticed a significant reduction in the visibility of our deeper lines, leaving our skin feeling smooth, plump, and noticeably firmer. What we appreciate most is its lightweight texture, which quickly absorbs into our skin, providing both hydration and a lifting effect.

One important piece of advice: please do a patch test before you go crazy with this serum. The powerful bee venom active ingredients in the bottle may cause an adverse reaction if you’re allergic to bee stings. 

For just $42.99, you get a 30ml bottle, and it should easily last for several months. Just remember to act fast, as it tends to fly off the shelves!

Value for Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

Value for Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

#2 Strong Runner Up

Bee Venom Super Serum by Rodial

a-

OVERALL GRADE

PROS

cons

The Bottom Line

For those looking for a big splurge, consider this best-seller from Rodial. This serum carries a steep price tag of $237.37 for 30ml. Although it’s not the most budget-friendly option, what it offers is truly exceptional. Like Peaus, Rodial’s serum also uses melittin from Bee venom to kickstart collagen production deep within the skin as well as a blend of botanical oils, vitamin E, and marine collagen for skin nourishment.

Rodial also ensures the humane treatment of bees, ensuring no harm when collecting their venom. The runner-up in our testing trial, this serum checked almost every box we had when looking for an anti-aging serum, and here are our thoughts.

We’ve been using this serum for 3 weeks now, and while there was a slight tingling sensation upon the initial application, we’ve observed remarkable improvements in the firmness of our skin, particularly on our forehead and around our eyes. Also, the overall texture of our skin is a lot smoother, softer, and healthier looking.

If you are allergic to bee stings, then we don’t recommend this. All in all, we think that if you have a bigger budget and you don’t want to sit through the pain that comes from invasive procedures, give this a try.

Value for Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

Value for Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

#3 Takes Some Patience, but Worth It

Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum by Kiehls

b+

OVERALL GRADE

PROS

cons

The Bottom Line

The Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum with Ceramides and Peptide by Kiehl’s proudly presents itself as an innovative anti-wrinkle dermatological serum, boasting a potent blend of Pure Retinol in a daily-strength micro-dose, along with Ceramides and Peptides.

This serum confidently claims to combat visible signs of aging, rejuvenate skin complexion, and reduce imperfections and dark spots, all while enhancing the skin’s texture. However, it didn’t do much for us in the first 2 months, which was kind of a letdown. But once we hit the 6-month mark, we started seeing some real improvements in the way our frown lines and forehead wrinkles were smoothing out.

We particularly love the inclusion of Ceramides, our favorite humectant ingredient, which delivers excellent hydration to keep our skin rejuvenated and moisturized. Another challenge we all had was the thickness of the serum, but it gradually thins out and dries down after a few minutes.

Be cautious if you have extremely sensitive skin or are new to using retinol though. Starting slowly and gradually building tolerance can help minimize potential side effects like dryness or peeling. And remember, it’s crucial to wear sunscreen during the day when using retinol to protect your skin. In the grand scheme of things, these precautions are minor inconveniences when compared to the remarkable and transformative results this serum can deliver.

Value for Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

Value for Money:Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

#4 Cult-fave, but Pricey

C E Ferulic by SkinCeuticals

b

OVERALL GRADE

PROS

cons

The Bottom Line

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Vitamin C Serum is a legendary product, being the original serum from SkinCeuticals. It features a potent combination of 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% vitamin E, and 0.5% ferulic acid, making it a powerhouse against environmental damage while promoting a radiant complexion.

In terms of results, the premium price tag is justified by the serum’s performance, as our skin was noticeably smoother, plumper, and brighter by the end of our four-week testing period. Dispensing is easy with the dropper-style bottle, which doesn’t drip, and a few drops cover the face and neck.

One drawback, however, is the peculiar metallic or “laboratory” smell, compared to “hotdogs” by some but the scent doesn’t linger on the skin, so it’s not a dealbreaker for us.

Like many vitamin C serums, this one can be drying, especially due to its potent Ascorbic Acid content. Our skin felt slightly dry and flaky after the second week of use. Despite this, the serum’s ability to deliver a radiant glow and environmental protection still makes it a worthy addition to a skincare routine.

Value for Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

Value for Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

#5 Solid Budget Option

Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum by La Roche Posay

B-

OVERALL GRADE

PROS

cons

The Bottom Line

La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum falls within a mid-price range and features a potent combination of pure retinol and Vitamin B3. This serum claims to address visible signs of aging, revitalize skin complexion, and diminish imperfections and dark spots while enhancing skin texture.

After 4 months, we noticed our skin had a nice glow, and looked radiant. But the true magic of this anti-aging serum became evident after nearly 9 months, as the lines around our eyes and mouths started to appear less noticeable. The best results, though, were observed after 12 months of consistent use, with our skin looking more plump, and the wrinkles significantly smoothed out.

Keep in mind that this serum can dry out your skin. To avoid this, we’d suggest adding a layer of moisturizer on top for extra hydration. If you notice dryness, you can ease into it by applying the serum every other night until your skin gets used to it. Oh, and be careful not to get it too close to your eyes as it could be irritating, and always remember to put on sunscreen during the day, as it can make your skin more sun-sensitive.

Value for Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating: 

Worth for the Money:

Product Efficiency:

Ingredients Quality:

Customers’ Trust Rating:

Our Top Choice

Within our Independent Board of Reviewers, Sarah Keller is a seasoned expert with sharp insights into the beauty and skincare industry. She stands out as the most passionate when it comes to seeking the ultimate skincare product capable of tackling her stubborn crow’s feet and smile lines.

Below, you’ll find Sarah’s firsthand account detailing her experience with the Advanced Bee Venom Serum by Peaus, alongside her striking before-and-after images.

Before
After

 Note: Photographs are unretouched. Outcomes can differ among individuals

“I’ve served as a beauty editor for nearly a decade, and while I’ve had the privilege of trying hundreds of skincare products, Peaus Advanced Bee Venom Serum’s ‘Patented Triple Action Formula’ feature drew me in. Despite having sensitive skin, this formula worked wonders for me. I found it to be really hydrating but not too heavy on my skin. It’s one product that all skin types can benefit from.

After 2.5 weeks of putting the serum to the test, I witnessed a noticeable reduction in my wrinkles, especially around my eyes and mouth. My overall complexion exhibited a more lifted and youthful appearance, and my once lackluster skin now radiates with luminosity, and honestly, who doesn’t want that? I am actually obsessed with this now and it is my new daily face serum.

This result definitely solidified our choice of the Advanced Bee Venom Serum by Peaus as our number 1 pick for anti-aging serums.” – Sarah K., Beauty Editor

Advanced Bee Venom Serum  

By Peaus

  • Made in the USA with premium natural ingredients
  • Formulated by Experienced Dermatologists
  • Premium ingredients
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Clinically Proven Formula
  • Cruelty-Free, and Paraben-Free

Based on 6223+ Reviews

Comparison Table

Quick Summary:

Peaus Advanced Bee Venom Serum

Rodial Bee Venom Super Serum

Kiehls Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

 

 

La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum

Size

30ml

30ml

30ml

30ml

30ml

Retail Price

$42.99

$237.37

$65

$182

$44.99

Value for Money

Exeptional Value

Very Good Value

Decent Value

Below-average Value

Decent Value

Product Efficiency

Highly effective

Highly effective

Very effective 

Very effective 

Moderately effective 

Ingredients Quality

Exceptional, top-tier ingredients

Exceptional, top-tier ingredients

Good quality

Good quality

Below average quality

Customers’ Trust Rating

Very high

High

High

Moderate

Moderate

Cruelty-Free

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

CITATIONS
  1. Wong, Q. Y. A., Chew, F. T. (2021). Defining skin aging and its risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sci Rep, 11, 22075.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8586245/
  2. Li, J. K, Zhou, P. J., Guo, Y. N., Xu, T. X., Lin, S. F., Lin, S., Ji, C. (2023) Recent advances in exosomal non‐coding RNA‐based therapeutic approaches for photoaging. Skin Res Technol, 29(9), e13463. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10495620/
  3. Wilkins, J. M., Gakh, O., Kabiraj, P., McCarthy, C. B., Tobin, W. O., Howe, C. L., Lucchinetti, C. F. (2020). Signatures of cell stress and altered bioenergetics in skin fibroblasts from patients with multiple sclerosis. Aging (Albany NY), 12(14), 15134–15156. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7425440/
  4. Kurosumi, M., Kurosumi M., Hongo M., Kamachi M. G. (2021). Does age-dynamic movement accelerate facial age impression? Perception of age from facial movement: Studies of Japanese women. PLoS One, 16(8), e0255570. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8341570/
  5. Cao, C., Xiao, Z., Wu, Y., Ge, C. (2020). Diet and Skin Aging—From the Perspective of Food Nutrition. Nutrients, 12(3), 870. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146365/
  6. Han, S. M., Hong, I. P., Woo, S. O., Chun S. N., Park. K. K., Nicholls Y. M., Pak, S. C. (2015). The beneficial effects of honeybee-venom serum on facial wrinkles in humans. Clin Interv Aging, 10, 1587–1592. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4598227/
  7. Bissett, D. L., Oblong, J. E., Berge, C. A. (2005). Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatol Surg, 7(2), 860-5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16029679/

Heather Michaels is a skincare enthusiast and loves everything about self-care. With an unwavering passion for exploring various skincare brands and products, she has become a trusted source of skincare insights and advice for her dedicated readers. During her free time, she enjoys writing and meditating.