This Drugstore Anti-Aging Serum Gives Shoppers Their Best Skin Ever

And it’s just $13.

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artnaturals Retinol Serum

Some days it feels like everything goes wrong. Your coffee burns your tongue, your AC breaks, and your Internet decides it's the perfect time to go on the fritz, almost like a coordinated effort to drive you crazy. When the mess feels like it can't get any greater, it's nice to have one reliable treat to look forward to—like an inexpensive retinol face serum that delivers so much glow, a bad day leaves no trace.

That's just what shoppers get from Artnaturals' Retinol Serum, a compilation of top-of-the-line ingredients nicely priced at $13. The serum calls on a dozen elements, without the filler or over-the-top packaging that bumps up the cost on comparable serums. And as someone who browses skincare and reads labels all day long, I can't remember the last time I was so impressed with a formula.

Headlining the formula is retinol, which is an excellent anti-ager even by itself in products like Differin. Artnaturals ups the ante by adding hyaluronic acid for immediately plumping up fine lines, jojoba oil to soften and soothe skin, and vitamin E and green tea leaf extract for free-radical nullifying antioxidants. Witch hazel extract tightens pores for a night-and-day difference, and finally, propolis extract and centella asiatica comes in to amp up skin's protective barrier.

artnaturals Retinol Serum

To buy: $13; and

Any one of those ingredients are phenomenal alone—I still remember being shocked by the difference a simple witch hazel toner made for my skin's clarity and brightness. Together, they've won this retinol serum uniformly admiring reviews wherever it's stocked, like from one person who says, "My heart lives in this bottle."

"This is the best serum of all time," writes another Target shopper, whose dermatologist pointed them towards the product. One more says: "All my fine lines and wrinkles are gone. My daughter bought this serum for me after she had me complain one night about my wrinkles. I have only been using this serum for a month, and I look 10 years younger. This is a gem."

Other people see results within a five-day span, like someone who bought it on a friend's recommendation and saw their skin texture smooth out in record time. Acne clears up, too, as do "huge pores" and wrinkles—and that's just gleaned from the first page of reviews. Reading more, others go on to mention the serum lightened their age spots and dark marks, left crow's feet "nowhere to be seen," and firmed skin to such a degree that shoppers say they'll use it forever.

The downside to retinol is always the risk of irritation, yet at the serum's 2.5 percent concentration of the ingredient, fans report zero side effects ("not even itching"). As a penultimate person writes, "I urge you to go ahead and try this serum—you will fall in love with how your skin turns out after. I have used it for one week, and my skin has really improved. The wrinkles are almost all gone." In the words of a last person, "I have never seen myself look this good."

At $13 for all that, it's enough to turn a bad day around.

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