“Beauty is Pain.” You’ve all heard the age-old mantra. From eyebrow threading, pushup bras and wearing heels so high your feet hurt just thinking about them, women go through a lot to look and feel their best. Some women take this a step further and undergo cosmetic procedures. For those out there not keen on a little nip and tuck action, top-of-the-line skin care regimens can be the next best thing.

Face Skin Care. Woman Receiving Serum Treatment In Beauty Salon

Affordable Serums

Aveeno is a powerhouse in the beauty industry. With its Active Naturals collection, the brand has distinguished itself in both hair care and skin care. The main component of Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Intensive Renewal Serum is a group of ingredients Aveeno combined and named the Active Naturals Blackberry Complex, which combines antioxidant-rich blackberries, vitamins and dill extract to nourish skin while reducing visible signs of collagen loss. You've no doubt tried products that feel like you just lathered a spoonful of peanut butter onto your forehead. But Aveeno's serum is light, smooth and doesn’t leave an uncomfortable goopy and gross feeling. It soaks right in without any residue.

Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer is packed with a stellar lineup of ingredients like retinol SA, glucose complex and hyaluronic acid to brighten skin and prevent wrinkles while you snooze. To use properly, apply a pea-sized squeeze all over your face and neck while gently rubbing in. Use every night to give your skin the moisture it needs while smoothing fine lines. If you have visible age spots and wrinkles you can’t stand, this light yellow serum could be the ideal choice for you.

Mid-Tier Serums

They say looks aren’t everything, but Clinique's Smart Custom Repair Serum comes in a bottle that's just plain old cool – a sleek, silver attention grabber. The ingredients are just as impressive. Clinique combined more than 200 ingredients to diminish wrinkles, reduce dark spots and improve radiance to promise you a sun-kissed, well-rested look most of us would give an arm and a leg for. The serum includes things like caffeine for its anti-inflammatory properties, red algae extract for its antioxidants, licorice to help balance oil and barley extract because its phenols defend against free radicals in the air.

Peter Thomas Roth’s brand is famous for extensive research and development and effectiveness. Its Retinol Fusion PM Serum includes powerful ingredients like retinol, pentylene glycol and lecithin to help bring your skin back to life. The optimally concentrated formula of retinol at 1.5 percent promises to leave all skin tones and types looking revitalized in the morning, with vitamin C and E working together to maximize fine line reduction with minimal irritation. Additionally, if you’re sensitive to harsh smells, you don’t have to worry because it's fragrance-free.

Feel Like Splurging?

With an almost cultish following in the celebrity sphere, Dr. Barbara Sturm's line includes the Sturm Hyaluronic Serum. Sturm's innovative approach to caring for skin and tendency to stay on the cutting edge of new discoveries has made her a pioneer in the skin-care industry. If you're looking for a natural solution to your skin-care dilemmas, take a look. All of Dr. Sturm’s products are free of fragrance, mineral oil and preservatives.

On the pricier side, Sturm's serum was called “botox in a bottle” by InStyle magazine. Compared to the costs and time investment of going under the knife, this product is a steal. It's also a hit because of its calming effect on the skin, using hyaluronic acid, skullcap and purslane together to reduce redness, irritation and rosacea. The long-chain hyaluronic acid provides hydration on the top layers of your skin, while the skullcap and purslane boost cell activity and reduce inflammation.