Some serums help reduce the visible signs of aging and promote healthy, more radiant-looking skin.

Aging is a natural and unavoidable part of life, and we’re all for aging naturally. But even so, many of us don’t look forward to losing our youthful appearance. As we age, our skin begins to lose its natural glow, eventually becoming dull, wrinkled, and saggy.

Along with healthy eating and minimal sun exposure, anti-aging (or pro-aging, as we like to say) serums can play a role in slowing this process down. Through the use of active ingredients, like retinoids or hyaluronic acid, some serums can help improve your skin’s texture and tone and protect against environmental stressors.

Serums that support aging gracefully are skin care products containing active ingredients that target the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, with the goal of improving the appearance of your skin.

How do serums for mature-looking skin work?

As we age, our skin can become:

  • thin
  • wrinkled
  • dry
  • discolored
  • loose
  • saggy
  • dull
  • rough

Serums that support healthy aging can help minimize these changes via active ingredients, such as retinoids, peptides, and antioxidants. These ingredients can stimulate collagen production, improve skin texture and tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and protect against further damage from environmental stressors.

The effectiveness of pro-aging serums may vary depending on the product; however, many have been clinically shown to improve the appearance of fine lines, age spots, and other signs of aging with regular use.

In one study that tested a serum with hyaluronic acid (HA), 40 women (ages 30–65) applied the HA serum twice daily. The findings show that the serum provided “excellent” skin hydration, as demonstrated through clinical, photographic, chemical, and instrumental assessments.

A 2011 study of 34 female participants found that, by week 12, an “anti-aging” serum provided an 18% improvement in overall appearance.

Specifically, the study found the following:

  • fine lines improved by 27%
  • coarse wrinkles improved by 15%
  • uneven pigmentation by 10%
  • firmness/elasticity by 11%
  • resiliency by 18%
  • radiance by 21%
  • skin tone by 16%
  • roughness by 47%

Participants reported high satisfaction with all aspects, including saying their skin feels more elastic, resilient, firmer, hydrated, and brighter.

There are several effective ingredients in serums that provide pro-aging support, and they all do specific things.

Here are some of the most common:


Retinoids are a class of compounds derived from vitamin A. They’re used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including fine lines, wrinkles, and acne.

Retinoids work by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production, which can improve the texture and appearance of the skin over time. Some common types of retinoids used in skin care include retinol and tretinoin.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that helps your skin maintain hydration and plumpness. When used in skin care products, hyaluronic acid can help improve skin texture and tone and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Peptides are short amino acid chains that can penetrate the skin and signal cells to perform specific functions. When used in skin care products, peptides can help stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Ferulic acid

Ferulic acid is a plant-based antioxidant commonly used in skin care products. When applied topically, ferulic acid can help neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, which is linked to collagen breakdown, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of aging.

Ferulic acid may also enhance the effectiveness of other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, making it a popular ingredient in pro-aging serums.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage caused by environmental stressors such as UV radiation and pollution. When applied topically in a serum, vitamin C can also help to stimulate collagen production, brighten the skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that’s commonly used in skin care products for its ability to exfoliate the skin and improve its texture and tone. When applied topically, glycolic acid can help to dissolve dead skin cells and other debris on the surface of the skin, which can clog pores and contribute to a dull complexion.

There’s no specific age you should start using pro-aging serum. However, most dermatologists recommend starting a basic skin care regimen, including daily sunscreen use and gentle cleansing and moisturizing, in your early 20s to help prevent premature aging.

As for pro-aging serums, they can be introduced to a skin care routine at any age when signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, begin to appear. Additionally, some individuals with specific skin concerns, such as dryness or hyperpigmentation, may choose to start using targeted serums earlier.

Exactly how often you should use an pro-aging serum varies according to your individual skin type and concerns.

As a general guideline, most pro-aging serums can be used once or twice daily, typically applied after cleansing and toning and before moisturizing.

Still, it’s important to follow the instructions provided with the specific product, as some serums may be more potent and require less frequent use or a slower introduction to the skin.

The main difference between serum and cream is the consistency and concentration of active ingredients.

Serums for mature-looking skin are typically lightweight and have a thinner consistency than creams, making them more easily absorbed by the skin. They’re often formulated with higher concentrations of active ingredients, such as antioxidants or retinoids, which can penetrate deeper into the skin to target specific concerns like fine lines and hyperpigmentation.

Creams, on the other hand, are typically richer and heavier in texture, providing more hydration and moisture to the skin. They may also contain similar active ingredients but in lower concentrations.

Whether you want to call them “anti-aging” or “pro-aging” serums, they can’t completely reverse or stop the aging process, as aging is a natural and inevitable part of life. However, they can help reduce the visible signs of aging and promote healthier, more radiant-looking skin.

If you’re considering using an pro-aging serum, it’s important to choose a product that’s appropriate for your skin type. You should also consult with a dermatologist or skin care professional if you have any questions or concerns about using these types of products.