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'Liquid gold': This popular CeraVe serum brightens and smooths, fans say — and it's only $12 (that's 45% off)

If post-acne marks, enlarged pores or dull, uneven skin are keeping you from loving your beautiful face, we've found an affordable solution: A serum that's so cherished by over 34,000 five-star fans at Amazon that it's been called "heaven sent" and "liquid gold." Without further ado, meet CeraVe's Resurfacing Retinol Serum. This stuff is formulated to smooth and brighten your visage while minimizing post-acne marks and pores. Catch it on sale for only $12 (down from $22) and see why shoppers are smitten.

But wait, there's more: Reviewers say it helps fade scars too.

$12 at Amazon

Other retinol serums can cost over $20 and don't claim to offer a fraction of the benefits of CeraVe's proven formula. It helps reduce scars, signs of aging and dullness. Of course, you can stock up your skin-care routine with products that individually treat these concerns and continue monthly facials to clear your skin, or you can snag this for just $12. The choice is yours!

This serum is a multitasker: Some reviewers have even noticed a reduction in wrinkles and stretch marks. It also aims to erase old acne scars, oversized pores, even fine lines. Better yet, the formula is paraben- and fragrance-free, and it's recommended for those with oily, dry and sensitive skin alike. Plus, it's non-comedogenic, so it won't clog pores.

If you need any more convincing, just trust Cera — actor Michael Cera, that is. "Can human skin truly be this moisturized?" the Superbad star asked in his wildly popular (and now award-winning) Super Bowl commercial for CeraVe. "Yeah."

Nearly 35,000 Amazon reviewers have given CeraVe's Resurfacing Retinol Serum a fresh-faced five-star rating, with many raving about how the serum transformed their skin.

One reviewer declared: "Helps reduce the appearance of my fine lines… every little bit helps when you are in your 50s!"

"It works!" agreed a fan. "I am 67 years old with (20s and 30s) acne scarring and lines and wrinkling around my mouth and cheeks. I am also extremely fair and oily and have uneven skin tones and ruddiness. ... My skin now has an even, all-over tone with much less ruddiness. The lines and even deep wrinkles are lessened and softened. My skin has a peachy soft look to it. People have been telling me that I 'look really good' for the last month or so. ... I would liken my results at this point to a series of salon peels."

The thrilled five-star reviewer who deemed it "liquid gold" elaborated: "I am absolutely blown away by this product. I have sensitive oily/combination acne-prone skin with lots of redness. I’m noticing a huge difference in less than two weeks already and even noticed today my forehead wrinkles are starting to disappear! What the heck? I wasn’t even hoping for or expecting that as well. I couldn’t recommend this more; uneven tone and texture, redness, acne and wrinkles have all improved exponentially in a short period of time."

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
Amazon shoppers consider CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum to be the gold standard — and it's on sale for just $12. (CeraVe)

"Best retinol I have ever used," stated a fan. "I have spent hundreds of dollars on retinols, and none of them have ever worked as well as this product. I have suffered from acne since I was a child, and so I have millions of acne scars. I've only been using the serum for about two months now, and my overall complexion has changed as far as [evening out] skin tone. My very dark pigmentation from post-acne scars have all lightened or disappeared. I have very sensitive skin, that’s why I am very cautious about what I put on my face."

"100% recommended!" said another customer. "I suffered from terrible acne for my entire adult life, and after undergoing a very harsh treatment with my dermatologist ... I was left with deep scars, dry skin (it was oily before), ultra sensitivity to pretty much anything and dermatitis ... Nothing helped. Most things left me with a pretty nasty rash, even stuff that was designed for sensitive skin. I decided to make the switch to CeraVe, and now I couldn't be happier with the results! ... I was really depressed because of my skin but I finally got my confidence back!"

Like with any retinol, patience is key — don't expect this serum to work miracles after a single use. "Definitely will need to keep using to see more results," a final user shared.

It's also important to keep in mind that retinol can irritate sensitive skin, especially if you've never used the ingredient in your skin-care routine before. "I had to ease into it, using it every three nights and then every other night," said one writer, adding, "But I love it now ... My skin is noticeably tighter with the retinol use."

Another reviewer cautioned, "You MUST wear sunscreen on your face when using this product, otherwise you'll be damaging your skin."

Oily skin? Dry skin? A combination? No worries — this works with all skin types. 

$12 at Amazon

Psst: Did you know retinol isn't just for your face? One Yahoo Life Shopping Writer swears by this affordable (and on-sale!) Gold Bond Age Renew Retinol Overnight Body & Face Lotion in case you want to round out your collection.

"It contains seven moisturizers, including shea and cocoa butters, to help keep skin hydrated," she said. "I'm pretty sure it's because of this that I woke up after the first application with zero redness or itching. But even better? My skin felt noticeably more moisturized and smoother just eight hours after I'd slathered it on, and stayed that way the rest of the day."

$11 at Amazon
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$12 at Walmart$13 at CVS Pharmacy

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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