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Five Best antiaging serums for under $50

August 24, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 25 Comments
My promise to you last week (when putting together the Five Best antiaging serums I could find) was that I would coral the Five Best for under $50. This turned out to be a gratifying exercise. We have tested more good products under $50 than I would have suspected. I should even say that close runners up are worth a mention: Reviva’s TGF-1 and the Alpha Lipoic Acid and Nutra-Lift’s Rejuvenating A.

Cosmetic Skin Solutions C+E Ferulic Serum ($39.95). Thanks to Marsha, we learned about Cosmetic Skin Solutions C + E Ferulic Serum. It costs $100 less than an extremely similar and well known potion called Skinceuticals C+E Ferulic. Another member of the TIA community, Elyse, points out that the vitamin C in the CSS version is a vitamin C derivative called magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP). Assuming that Skinceuticals uses the more expensive L-ascorbic acid, it still doesn’t justify the price difference. Marsha claims to be very happy with the results she is getting from CSS. Certainly, the combination ferulic and vitamins C and E are worth checking out. Duke University researchers blended ferulic with vitamin C and E and proclaimed it a "potent ubiquitous plant anti-oxidant". In fact, it was discovered to act synergistically with other antioxidants and, in this case, rendered the vitamins C and E more powerful. The Duke Study found it particularly good for preventing sun damage, and studies elsewhere have demonstrated that exposure to ultraviolet light actually increases the antioxidant power of ferulic acid.

Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum ($48). Shyema and, it seems, most of her best friends love the amber colored Truth Serum. It has recently been reformulated and is now paraben-free. It still contains such brighteners as grapefruit and orange extract (which contributes to how great it smells). Antioxidants like green tea, and a powerful vitamin C derivative (sodium ascorbyl phosphate) help fight free-radical damage, which another vitamin C salt in the form of calcium ascorbate helps boost collagen production. The serum also contains hydrating sodium hyaluronate, which penetrates the skin to promote nutrient absorption for softer, fuller skin. And you gotta love the name!

NCN Professional Skincare 20% Matrixyl 3000 Serum ($38). In my experience, this serum with a hefty dose of the power peptide Matrixyl 3000 takes at least three weeks for its effects to be visible. Once it kicked in though, I had saw smoother skin that was a little plumper. Best of all, the skin where I tested it seemed firmer. Made by a small company that tries to keep its prices keen, this is very good value.

Your Best Face Concentrate Antioxidants ($48 in the TIA shop - update, 2011, the price of this has now increased to $55). YBF made this potion exclusively for Truth In Aging readers because we asked for something that would give us a base from which we could make our own serums – whether to keep the cost of our beauty habit down or unleash our inner formulator. It’s a great way to get a relatively inexpensive taste of the expensive antioxidants that are YBF’s trade mark – spin trap and Lipochroman-6. Use Concentrate on its own, with an  LED light device, mashed with fresh fruit as a mask, or mix it as a turbo charge for that leftover cream in your bathroom that didn’t do what you’d hoped but you can’t bring yourself to throw away before its empty.

Osmosis Replenish. This is one helluva skin smoother and it was one of Truth In Aging's Best Beauty Products of 2009. It has it all. A concise ingredient list with only hardworking actives. Nothing at all from the TIA nasty list. And the price to quality ratio is fantastic. It is powerful enough to make its mark on full-blown wrinkles as well as fine lines. It works incredibly well in conjuction with LED treatment (such as the Baby Quasar) and is a great team player. A damn good serum at any price.

::amazon(B00163JVJQ):: ::amazon(B000A0ADT8)::

Ingredients in Osmosis Replenish

Purified water, phosphatidycholine, ethyl, niacinamide, glycerin, catalase, superoxide dismutase, L-glutathione, ferulic acid, CoQ10, tetrahydrocurcuminoids, spin trap, R-lipoic acid, astaxanthin, chlorella, trans resveratrol, GHK copper peptide, grape seed extract, curcumin, green tea extract, ginkgo biloba, essential oil blend

Ingredients in CSS

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Asorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Alpha Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate.

Ingredients in Ole

Water (Aqua), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Acerbate, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Euphrasis Offinalis Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Oleth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thioctic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance (Parfum), Yellow 6 (CI 15985).

Ingredients in NCN

De-Ionized Water, Aloe Leaf Gel, Vegetable Glycerine, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Chrysin, Hydroxy- succinimide, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Steareth-20, Polysorbate- 20, Carbomer, Diazolidinyl Urea, EDTA

Ingredients in YBF Concentrate

Reverse osmosis water, triglyceride, ppg5 ceteth-20, vitamin E, spin trap (phenyl butyl nitrone), C10-30 alkyl acrylate, crosspolymer, Lipochroman-6, triethanalomine.
  • April 7, 2011

    by Marta

    Lisa, try Cosmedix Affirm. It is similar in some ways.

  • April 7, 2011

    by lisa

    Dang! I loved that stuff.

  • April 7, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Lisa, yes we did stop selling Osmosis Replenish. The company changed the formula and we had a number of complaints of allergic reactions.

  • April 6, 2011

    by lisa

    Did the TIA store stop carrying Osmosis Replenish? The brand does not seem to exist any more at the store website.

  • February 26, 2011

    by Vicki

    a response to reader's concern about replenish because of sensitive skin. of course, everyone's skin is different, but i too have exteremely sensitive skin, my skin has loved replenish, no breakouts or irritation. it does give a very nice glow too.

    a thought on vit. c and replenish. if true, not use at same time, and have to use one day and one night. makes sense, esp summer to use vit c during day, it does protect skin more from rays ( i learned this firsthand last summer.) my question is isn't replenish, being mostly an antioxidant, better to use during day also when your skin's in contact with free radicals , sunlight, pollution, etc.? seems like both c and replenish more effective during day. any thoughts helpful.

  • September 8, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Jaysie, yes I did and the answer is that they use L-ascorbic. Customer service replied as follows:

    “As indicated on the website descriptions per each antioxidant serums and onthe label under "Ingredients", L-Ascorbic acid is used as our form of Vitamin C.”

    He added that the confusion may have come about because “one reader may have asked about MAP, and our explanation was thedifference between it and L-Ascorbic acid as Vitamin C crystals.”

  • September 1, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Marta - I received my CSS C+E Ferulic yesterday and the label has l-asorbic on the ingredient list. Did you ever hear back from the company as to whether they changed their Vit C form?

  • August 27, 2010

    by VickyL

    Thanks for this list Marta!
    Since I must spend the bulk of my beauty budget on ybf Correct (it's too good to pass by) I have to economize somewhere. I love the ybf Concentrate - it takes the organic, botanical type products that I like and makes them pop.

    Now I want to try the Osmosis Replenish too. Great ingredients and price point and no nasties.

  • August 26, 2010

    by Ines

    Hi Marta,

    I love when you find wonderful products at affordable prices. I was trying to purchase a Vit C serum but I was afraid due to the Copper peptides in Osmosis Replenish (which is a winner to me). I think CSS worth a try. I will follow Peggys advice and use them with at least 12 hours in between.

  • August 26, 2010

    by Melinda

    Would I me able to use either the YBF Concentrate or Osmosis Replenish during the day if I'm using Alpha Hydrox Retinol Req-Q at night? Also, curious about he "essential oil blend" in Osmosis Replenish as I have very sensitive skin. Thanks for your help. I LOVE you website.

  • August 26, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Teresa - Wish I could find a serum for sagging, too, but I don't think it exists. Most of the anti-agers work on wrinkles, moisturization, and inflammation. Sagging and brown spots have yet to be conquered.

  • August 26, 2010

    by Teresa Gillenwater

    I am currently using Boots No. 7 Protect & Perfect because I love serums and it was affordable. Unless a product has the word matryxl, I don't know what I'm looking for. I really want to try a new serum as I am 52 and sagging a little more everyday. I would really appreciate an opportunity to try a product that will make a difference. Please consider me.

  • August 26, 2010

    by Peggy

    When I saw this offer,I could not resist. I have always wanted to try the Spin Trap and R-Thioctic and would love to review the Osmosis. This would truly be a real treat for me.
    Wait 12 hrs. between using vit.C product and copper peptide.Personally,I used the vit.c in morning and copper peptide at night-hope this helps.

  • August 26, 2010

    by pat

    I am an adict for this stuff and need to break my habit and narrow it down to a few good solutions!

    Would love to test-drive a product to see what I think!

  • August 25, 2010

    by michl

    Almost ready to send my review of Reviva's EFA's Cream. Would love to review YBF (love the line this far) or Osmosis!

  • August 25, 2010

    by patrice

    Now this I like...something under $50. With our present day economy and all of us tightening our belts, this post was great news.

    My questions is the same as Jaysies...will the copper peptides cancel out the Vit C? AsI use CPs and my Quasar and always looking for something to try on my crepey neck.

  • August 25, 2010

    by Val♥TIA

    I'll admit it...I've at times gotten caught up in "pricy = better quality" kind of thinking. And I won't times I got my money's worth. But as usual, Marta has burst my bubble and shown me there's an affordable quality route. I think it appropriate for me to Dare To Try a little Truth Serum. Come on, Marta...give me something good to try!

  • August 25, 2010

    by marta

    Hi jaysie, no I don't. The ingredients list that we printed is the one on the product. I'll go back to CSS for clarification.

  • August 25, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Marta - Would the GHK Copper Peptide in Replenish cancel out the Vit C in CSS?

  • August 25, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Laura: How odd that your CSS C+E Ferulic has a different form of Vit C on the ingredient list when, I believe, someone here on TIA was informed by the company that they use MAP. Even the ingredient list above shows l-ascorbic. Personally, I'd rather have MAP as it's supposedly far more stable, even though it's weaker. I've read so much about how l-ascorbic degrades if you even look at it.

    Marta: Do you know the scoop on this discrepancy?

  • August 25, 2010

    by marta

    Sandra, your skin sounds similar to mine. I have good results with Osmosis Replenish

  • August 25, 2010

    by Sandra

    Which one of these products would you recommend for someone age 55 with fair, congested oily skin?

  • August 25, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Kim, the link is now fixed
    Please check your email as I have sent you a coupon code for 10% off to make up for the inconvenience.

  • August 24, 2010

    by Laura

    Sadly I just finished my Osmosis Replenish (which I love for the $$) which I used in combination with a pharmaceutical grade L-ascorbic acid by Vivier. Is a great Vitamin C but expensive at $140. I just today received a bottle of the CSS Vitamin C E Ferulic. It lists L-ascorbic acid 15% as it's first ingredient, not MAP. I know cosmetics are not regulated but I thought the actual ingredients had to be factual?? Regardless, I have read that all stable forms of Vitamin C are beneficial, so we'll see how this TIA recommended product compares, especially for such savings.

  • August 24, 2010

    by Kim

    I've been trying to purchase the YBF Concentrate to use with the Baby Q, but the link won't work. Please help!

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