1. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, $12.90.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 might just be the world's favourite affordable hydrating serum. Multiple molecular weights of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 (also known as panthenol) help the skin to hold onto moisture. At less than $15, you can't go wrong.
2. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane, $18.30.
Looking for an entry level vitamin A serum? The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane contains a gentle, non-irritating form of vitamin A called granactive retinoid and hydrating squalane in a formula most skin types will be able to tolerate. A beginner anti-ageing serum for those on a budget.
3. The Ordinary Buffet, $24.90.
The Ordinary Buffet serum gets its name because it contains a buffet of ingredients that target the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: hyaluronic acid, peptides and amino acids. You can learn more about this serum in our The Ordinary Buffet explainer here.
4. BOOST LAB AHA Glow Resurfacing Serum, $29.95.
As far as bang for your buck exfoliating serums go, BOOST LAB AHA Glow Resurfacing Serum is an easy winner. Gentle AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) lactic acid exfoliates the skin's surface for a smoother, brighter complexion. We also reviewed this serum in our guide BOOST LAB serums article.
5. BOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost Serum, $29.95.
Some affordable hydrating serums can feel sticky or tacky when you apply them, but BOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost Serum is silky and doesn't pill. It's got all the ingredients you want in a hydrating serum including two forms of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 (panthenol).
BONUS: Both these serums come in the BOOST LAB Supercharged Skincare Pack (7 Piece Set) that gives you all seven full-size 30ml serums for the price of five.
6. Skinstitut Retinol, $34.30.
Out of 541 customer reviews, Skinstitut Retinol is rated an impressive 4.6 out of 5 stars. The formula contains 0.25% retinol (an effective form of vitamin A), making it a low-medium strength product suitable for most skin types. Still, start slow, especially if you're a retinol beginner!
7. L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Filler 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Serum, $44.95.
Anecdotally, people love how plump and juicy L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Filler 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Serum 30ml makes their skin feel. Again, two forms of hyaluronic acid help the skin hold onto moisture, which in turn can reduce the appearance of dehydration, and fine lines and wrinkles.
8. innisfree Brightening Pore Serum, $58.
Good affordable vitamin C serums can be hard to find, but innisfree Brightening Pore Serum 30ml is a Korean skincare favourite. The formula contains ethyl ascorbic acid (a very mild form of vitamin C) and tocopherol (vitamin E) for antioxidant protection, all-rounder niacinamide (vitamin B3) and hydrating vitamin B5 (panthenol). Together, these ingredients help to improve the appearance of skin tone and texture.
9. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum, $59.95.
Want to target the appearance of ageing and blemishes at the same time? La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum 30ml is an exfoliating serum that uses two chemical exfoliation ingredients: glycolic acid (an AHA or alpha hydroxy acid) and salicylic acid (a BHA or beta hydroxy acid). You can read our full La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum review here.
10. Alpha-H Vitamin C, $62.96.
We wrap up this list with another brilliant entry level vitamin C serum that will also look chic in your bathroom. Alpha-H Vitamin C 25ml contains gentle vitamin C derivative ethyl ascorbic acid, and hyaluronic acid for added hydration.
BONUS: You can try all four of Alpha-H's vitamin serums (vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin E) in the Alpha-H Vitamin Profiling Kit for under $100. Bargain.