The Serum Guide: The Latest and Greatest for Glowing Skin
We fully admit we have a love affair with serums. A product that delivers the active ingredients we love deep down to the skin cells that need them in their most potent form? What's not to love? Yes, if we could, we'd layer serum after serum to our heart's content. But we don't have the time (or the funds) to feed a habit like that. We also know that more isn't always better. Better is better. Which is why we've channeled our serum obsession into a research project we now bring to you. From acne to wrinkles and everything in between, we've broken down the best of the best.
Scroll through to find the serum (or serums) that are right for you!
Most serums can be used day and night, but to maximise your results, use an antioxidant serum in the morning. In the broadest sense, antioxidants are anti-inflammatories that aid in healing and provide protection against environmental and sun damage. As a general rule, the more antioxidants, the better the protection.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($214)
We could rave about this serum for days (and we have). Why? Simply because it works. Together, vitamins C and E and ferulic acid boost the power of each other (as antioxidants often do), making each one stronger and more effective. The potent combination fends off dark spots and moisture loss and amplifies the sun protection factor of your sunscreen fourfold.
Prevage Anti-aging Daily Serum ($205)
Powered by idebenone this silky serum helps to prevent the visible signs of ageing via a blend of environmental defenders that protect skin from free radical damage. It addresses fine lines, age spots, and discolourations, redness, minor scars and sun damage.
Hydrating serums are a must for every woman. If you have dry skin, use one every day (morning and/or night). If you don’t have dry skin, keep one on hand for emergency skin-parched situations. Key ingredients to look for? Number one: hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water, making it one of the most moisturising compounds in the world.
Hylamide Booster Low-Molecular HA ($30)
Why have one form of hyaluronic acid when you could have five? Hylamide’s serum features five different forms of hyaluronic acid, all at varying molecular weights to draw moisture into every layer of the skin, including the lowest, hardest-to-reach layers.
Renée Rouleau Skin Drink ($87)
Hyaluronic acid draws moisture in while aloe leaf juice soothes and comforts skin in a highly concentrated serum that your skin literally drinks up immediately. Renée Rouleau also added vitamin C for brightening and a touch of salicylic acid to keep pores clear of dry, dead skin cells.
The bad news? Uneven skin tone is the number one indicator of age. The good news? When it comes to skin-brightening, the options are plentiful. From exfoliating acids like kojic and lactic to naturally occurring brighteners like vitamin C, licorice root, and arbutin, there's something to suit your every skin need.
Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum Concentrate ($124)
The magical brightening properties of this serum come courtesy of AHA and BHAs, bearberry extract and niacinamide. It does a stellar job of evening out skintone (that's truth in advertising for you!), and a little goes a long way. There's two milder versions to condition your skin with before you graduate to this guy which has the largest concentration of active ingredients.
Renée Rouleau BHA Clarifying Serum ($67)
BHAs (like salicylic acid) are great for keeping pores clear and skin breakout free. Renée Rouleau's serum uses a time-released blend of 3% salicylic, 4% lactic, and 4% glycolic acid to keep clogged pores and acne-causing bacteria at bay while evening out skin tone and texture.
At night, there's one ingredient that should be a part of every good skincare regimen: retinol. Retinol is the most studied anti-ageing ingredient to date. It's no surprise that it's the top skincare recommendation out of every dermatologist’s and aesthetician's mouth. It speeds up cell turnover, increases collagen production, and does so much more. Which is why people turn to the miracle ingredient for everything from ageing prevention to acne treatment.
Verso Skincare Super Facial Serum ($176)
Verso's claim to fame is retinol 8—a stabilised vitamin A complex that's eight times more effective than standard retinol of the same dosage. That may invoke visions of redness and flaking, but never fear—retinol 8 was developed to minimise irritation. In fact, it dramatically decreases the UV sensitivity usually associated with retinol, so you can wear this retinol serum night and day.
Yes, it exists—the perfect combination of your (and every skin expert's) two favourite things: retinol and oil. Ren's treatment contains 100% naturally derived vitamin A and a variety of antioxidants (like vitamin E and omegas 6 and 7) to promote healthy skin renewal.
Any more serum questions left unanswered? Ask away in the comments below!