20 Best Budget Face Serums in the UK that Actually Work!

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Are you looking for the best budget face serum in the UK? This is our top twenty for every skin type and problems!

Serum is arguably the most important step in your skincare routine. Serums are clear, gel-based or liquid, and they tend to be thinner than your moisturiser. You apply them onto cleansed skin before any heavier creams.

Serums are designed to deliver high concentrations of specific active ingredients to the skin. When looking for a good serum you should look for one that contains antioxidants as well as hyaluronic acid which will hydrate the skin.

Often serums are able to hydrate the skin more effectively than creams. You should choose the serum that addresses your own specific skin concern.

In my opinion choosing a good serum is more important than a good moisturiser. There are some great quality serums available on Amazon which are very affordable. Here is a list of the best budget face serums in the UK.

This post is all about the best budget face serums in the UK

Best Budget Face Serum UK

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Recommended Serums

The Ordinary Niacinamide
The Ordinary Niacinamide
ZELENS Power D Treatment Drops
ZELENS Power D Treatment Drops
Japan Health and Beauty – Kikumasamune sake milk
Japan Health and Beauty – Kikumasamune sake milk
Hada Labo Rohto Hadalabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Moist
Hada Labo Rohto Hadalabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Moist
Viola Skin Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Viola Skin Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Viola Skin Retinol Serum
Viola Skin Retinol Serum
Viola Skin Vitamin C
Viola Skin Vitamin C
Darphin 8 Flower
Darphin 8 Flower
Balance Me
Balance Me
Hada Labo
Hada Labo

1. Best Day Serum for Oily Skin

Viola Skin Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

The Viola Skin hylauronic acid serum locks moisture into the skin giving skin a soft, dewy glow. It is suitable for all types of skin and works well on oily skin. It will help to moisturise, soothe and hydrate your skin giving you a smoother, brighter and clearer complexion.  The Viola Skin range in general is excellent – check out their reviews on Amazon by clicking the Buy Now button below.

  • Hydrates and moistures the skin with Aloe and Hyaluronic Acid 
  • Witch Hazel Extract gives a more even skin tone
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles


2. Best Korean Serum for Acne Prone Skin

Oh K! Sos Oil Balancing Solid Serum

Unlike most serums which come in a watery or gel formula, the Oh K! Sos Oil Balancing Serum is solid! It comes in a stick – the video below demonstrates how to use it. It is an ideal serum for acne prone skin since it balances oils and reduces blemishes. You will also notice your skin is less shiny and looks healthier. The formula tones and hydrates the skin and works well under makeup or as part of your night time routine.

How to use the SOS Solid Serum

  • Balances oil production
  • Reduces redness and irritation
  • Contains tea tree and witch hazel to combat shine


3. The Best Niacinamide Serum

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide serum is, in my opinion, one of the best Niacinamide serums available. It is perfect for oily skin as it regulates sebum production, minimises pores and targets breakouts. It also contains zinc which is also highly effective at reducing blemishes, soothing the skin and improving overall skin health. For more information on Niacinamide check out: 7 Reasons Why You Need Niacinamide in your Skincare Routine. In my opinion this one of the best budget face serums in the UK.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Before and After

  • A potent serum for combatting blemishes
  • Boost the skin’s immunity and improves moisture retention
  • Promotes collagen production

4. Best Anti Wrinkle Serum for Mature Skin

Viola Skin Retinol Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E

The Viola Skin award winning retinol serum contains ingredients which fight acne, promote collagen and brighten skin tone. The serum contains high quality retinol (the most widely studied anti aging ingredient). Over time your skin will become clear and dewy. The appearance of sun spots will be improved, fine lines will be smoothed out and the skin will appear more elastic. You will also notice improvements in your skin texture, moisture and hydration. Viola Skin is an excellent brand and very affordable. Check the current price by clicking the Buy Now button below.

  • Retinol is clinically proven to be anti aging
  • Plumps, hydrates and brightens your skin
  • Reduces acne and pore size

5. Best Oil Free Serum for Oily Skin

Eclat Skincare Organic Hyaluronic Acid Serum

This is a very thin serum which is almost like water. It is suitable for all skin types but is ideal for oily skin. The Eclat Hyaluronic acid serum is ultra-hydrating as it contains different sizes of hyaluronic acid to retain moisture in the skin. It is also paraben free and cruelty-free. This is one of the most affordable serums available and definitely worth try. Click the Buy Now button below to check the current price.

  • Study showed 207% increase in skin hydration after 10 days
  • After 14 days fine lines are significantly reduced
  • Contains high, low, fragmented & encapsulated hyaluronic acid

6. Best Gentle Vitamin C Serum for Sensitive Skin UK

Viola Skin Vitamin C Serum For Face with Hyaluronic Acid

best hydrating serum for dry sensitive skin

This is an excellent Vitamin C serum and one of the best I’ve tried. It is also perfect for sensitive skin as it uses a less potent form of Vitamin C than other stronger serums. I wrote a full review of the Viola Skin Vitamin C serum where I analysed the ingredients in depth and looked at the long term effects of the product. It is effective in evening skin tone, plumping and firming the skin and healing the skin from sun damage. If you are new to Vitamin C products this would be an excellent one to try, and the Viola Skin range is very affordable.

  • Contains a less potent form of Vitamin C – ideal for sensitive skin
  • Creates a natural glow
  • Helps to repair damaged skin cells

7. Best Calming Serum for Sensitive Skin

Hyaluronic Acid Serum – A Calming Touch of Lavender with Deep Hydration for the Skin 

best hydrating serum for dry sensitive skin

This hydrating serum contains lavender essential oil which gently calms the skin and give a sense of serenity. The Gya Labs serum is effective in reducing fine lines and restoring suppleness to the skin. Skin is renewed and rejuvenated effortlessly. This would be an excellent serum to use as part of a relaxation routine to help you fall asleep.

  • Improves fine lines and firms skin
  • Effectively hydrates and moisturises skin
  • Lavender calms sensitive skin

8. Best Face Serum for Dry Aging Skin

Victoria Beauty Snail Gold with Snail Extract and Moroccan Argan Oil

best hydrating serum for dry sensitive skin

The Victoria Beauty snail skin serum contains pure snail extract, organic argan oil and chamomile to soothe and moisture dry skin. Snail is good for the skin as it contains allantoin, collagen and elastin. The formula also contains low molecular weight hyaluronic acid and a number of vitamins. The serum absorbs well into the skin and restores elasticity and hydration. It is also effective at soothing skin irritations. Argan oil is one of nature’s best moisturisers and keeps the skin toned and supple.

  • Rejuvenates and firms skin
  • Snail extract is particularly good at moisturising dry skin
  • Skin tone will become more even in time

9. Best Face Serum for Plumping Skin

Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum

Antipodes skin plumping serum is a water-charged serum that immediately plumps up the skin. It is suitable for all skin types but is especially good for dehydrated skin. It also stimulates collagen production making your skin bouncier. If you are looking for the best budget face serums in the UK this one is brilliant.

  • Skin becomes plumper and more hydrated
  • Wrinkles and fine lines are smoothed out
  • Improves the appearance and tone of the skin

10. Best Serum for Blemish Prone Skin

Tru Skin Tea Tree Clear Skin Super Serum

This serum is a high powered blend of Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Essential Oil. These ingredients all work to unclog pores, to reduce acne, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. This serum is slightly more expensive than a regular drugstore serum however it really works. It currently has over 2,000 five star reviews on Amazon. Click on the Buy Now button below to check the current price.

  •  Ingredients specifically designed to target breakouts
  • Leaves skin looking soft, youthful and radiant
  • Pores will become smaller and skin texture improved

11. Best Skin Serum for 30+ Year Old

Official Hada Labo Tokyo Anti Aging Super Hydrator Lotion

the best drugstore face serums in the UK

This is one of my favourite serums. It’s really effective, affordable and one bottle will last you about six months! I reviewed this product in detail in my post on Hada Labo UK. It deeply moisturises the skin and restores smoothness. I found it was much more hydrating than other serums and has a watery and slightly sticky consistency. It absorbs quickly into the skin and provides the perfect base for your moisturiser. I believe this is one of the best hyaluronic acid serums in the UK and I discovered it through skincare expert Caroline Hirons! Check out Caroline’s Hada Labo review below.

Caroline Hirons’ Brand Overview of Hada Labo

  • Contains 4 sizes of hyaluronic acid
  • Contains collagen and retinol
  • Feels ice cool on the skin

12. Best Korean Serum for Glowing Skin

SKIN and LAB Red Serum

the best drugstore face serums in the UK

The SKIN and LAB Red Serum gets its name from its red ingredients which include pomegranate, acai, raspberry, cloudberry, and wolfberry. This anti oxidant rich serum works to firm, brighten and deeply moisturise the skin. In time signs of ageing will be reduces and skin will become smooth, healthy, glowing and soft. This is a very light serum that absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy film.

Review of the SKIN & LAB Red Serum

  • Revitalises and moisturises the skin
  • Improves skin texture
  • Has a light, non-greasy texture and is fast absorbing

13. Best Hydrating Skin Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

NIP+FAB Dragons Blood Fix Serum 

the best drugstore face serums in the UK

This NIP and FAB skin serum is designed to hydrate, plump and smooth the appearance fine lines and wrinkles. It contains Dragons Blood which is used on the skin for its antiviral and wound healing effects. It is also anti inflammatory and reduces redness and swelling. As well as being rich in hyaluronic acid and Dragons Blood the formula also contains sap from the Croton Lechleri tree which acts as a ‘second-skin’ and adds a protective layer. Overall this combination of ingredients makes it an excellent hydrating serum.

  • Sap from the Croton Lechleri tree acts as a second skin
  • Dragons Blood reduces any redness or swelling
  • Skin is left hydrated and plumped up

14. Best Multi Peptide Serum for Skin

The Ordinary”Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%

the best drugstore face serums in the UK

The “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% formula differs from the original “Buffet” as it also includes a 1% concentration of pure Copper Peptides. These peptides are naturally found in human plasma (but decrease as you age) and work to maintain normal immune function, collagen synthesis, fibroblast production and anti-inflammatory responses. The Ordinary’s original “Buffet” serum is one of their best selling products. Regular use results in more nourished, youthful looking skin. If you are looking for the best copper peptide serum in the UK The Ordinary produce an excellent one.

The Ordinary Buffet vs Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%

  • Reduces blemishes and evens skin tone
  • Improves skin texture
  • Nourishes and hydrates the skin

15. Best Skin Serum for 40+ Year Old

PURITO Snail Repair Advanced Serum

the best drugstore face serums in the UK

There are many benefits of using snail serum on the skin. It helps to stimulate production of collagen and elastin, protect skin from free radicals, soothe and repair skin and restore hydration. It is used to treat dry skin, wrinkles and stretch marks, as well as acne and rosacea, age spots, burns, and scars. The PURITO serum has a high concentration of snail mucus along with aloe leaf and hyaluronic acid. It helps to reduce dark circles, brighten the complexion and firm the skin.

  • Smoothes and firms the skin
  • Regenerates the skin
  • Helps to brighten the complexion and reduce dark circles

16. Best Night Serum for Combination Skin

PurOrganica Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

the best drugstore face serums in the UK, best hydrating serum for dry sensitive skin

This is a powerful anti-ageing hyaluronic acid serum which plumps the skin and fills in fine lines and wrinkles. It contains hyaluronic acid, Chinese ginseng, MSM, Vitamin E, Jojoba oil and aloe. The serum reduces fine lines, sun spots, age spots or discolouration. It evens out skin tone and improves texture. The serum can be used on the entire body for an enhanced glow and more radiant looking skin. It works on all skin types but is ideal for combination skin.

  • Hydrates and moisturises the skin
  • Reduces the appearance of age spots and discolouration
  • Helps to repair damaged skin

17. Best vit c serum for oily skin

Satin Naturel Organic Vitamin ACE Anti-Wrinkle Serum  

the best drugstore face serums in the UK

This serum contains a combination of Vitamins C, E and A. These antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals which can causes signs of aging on your face. They also help to reverse the visible signs of aging by providing hydration, renewing skin cells and promoting collagen production. The serum has an Aloe Vera base and contains green tea and rosehip. If you are looking for the best vit c serum for oily skin this is a great one to try and easily one of the best budget face serums in the UK!

  • Maximised antioxidant protection with Vitamins A, C and E 
  • Contains Aloe Vera which is deeply nourishing and moisturising
  • Evens hyperpigmentation & dark circles 

Related: Vitamin C Serum – Proof that it works!

18. Best night repair serum for dry skin

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Supercharged Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Trehalose – For dry skin 

the best drugstore face serums in the UK, best hydrating serum for dry sensitive skin

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost range is one of my favourites and really affordable. All of the products in this range work really well, and in my opinion perform better than some more expensive products. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum makes your skin noticeably more hydrated and supple. It contains pearl capsules which burst to release Vitamin E. You skin will appear illuminated and glowing after only 24 hours. This is easily one of the best hyaluronic acid serums in the UK!

  • Moisturises and replenishes skin
  • Pearl capsules burst to release Vitamin E
  • Skin becomes noticeably more hydrated and plumper

19. Best korean serum for dry sensitive skin

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence

the best drugstore face serums in the UK, best hydrating serum for dry sensitive skin

This is easily the best hydrating serum for dry sensitive skin. The Snail Bee essence contains not only snail secretion but also Bee Venom to protect against pollution and stress. This essence is also great for troubled skin thanks to the addition of Adenosine and Arbutin which provide nutrition and improve your skins vitality. With regular use your skin will look hydrated and smooth. If you are interested in the Koreans’ use of snail in their skincare routine, as well as learning other Korean Skincare secrets check out: 7 Korean Beauty Secrets Every Woman Should Know

  • Bee Venom protects against pollution and stress
  • Adenosine and Arbutin provide nutrition to the skin
  • Makes your skin hydrated and smooth

20. Best antioxidant serum for sensitive skin

NATURIC Beauty Green Tea AntiOxidant Serum

the best drugstore face serums in the UK, best hydrating serum for dry sensitive skin

The Naturic Beauty Green Tea Anti Oxidant serum prevents blackheads and detoxifies the skin. Green tea contains an antioxidant called EGCG that fights DNA damage from UV rays to help prevent the harmful effects of sun damage. This serum is perfect to help with skin irritations, clogged pores or blemishes.

  •  Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial,
  • Reduces breakouts and blackheads, and purify the skin
  • Antioxidants help to prevent skin damage from the environment

Serum FAQs

Do anti wrinkle serums work?

There is evidence to show that serums which contain active ingredients such as retinol or antioxidants do help to reduce wrinkles. Retinol has been clinically proven in many studies to reverse the signs of aging. Check out this interview with three dermatologists who all agreed that anti wrinkle serums do in fact work: The truth about anti-aging serums

Do I need both serum and moisturiser?

Yes. Serums and moisturisers play very different roles in your skin care. You should choose your moisturiser based on your skin type and your serum based on your skin concern. Serums are more effective at penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin and targeting concerns such as dehydration, fine lines, pigmentation, redness or loss of tone. Moisturisers, on the other hand, are heavier and hydrate only the top layer of the epidermis.

Does serum go before moisturizer?

Serums should be the first products that touch your skin after cleansing, and your moisturizer should go on top.

Does Vitamin C serum help with acne?

Vitamin C is anti-inflammatory so it may help to reduce redness and swelling caused by acne.

When should you apply Vitamin C serum?

Many people apply their vitamin C serum in the morning as it helps to prevent damage from free radicals that can occur throughout the day.

Which is the best skin whitening serum?

The PULCHRIE Lightening Serum is an excellent skin lightener and dark spot corrector. Check it out on Amazon

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Best Budget Face Serum UK

20 Best Budget Face Serums in the UK that Actually Work!20 Best Budget Face Serums in the UK that Actually Work!
Olivia Herlihy
Olivia Herlihy

Olivia is the owner of UK Beauty Room and founder three other successful websites. Read Olivia’s inspiring story – from NHS Nurse to top beauty blogger in less than two years.

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