The Only 5 Skin-Perfecting Serums You Need in Your Bathroom Cabinet
It's easy to be bamboozled by the sheer number of serums that line the shelves of any skincare store. From go-tos like Priceline and the local chemist to high-end destinations like Mecca Cosmetica and Sephora, there are literally hundreds of options to choose from. So how to determine where to spend your hard earned coin? You could start by taking advice from skincare experts on what they love and use (recommended), or you could just read this post. We've curated five hard-working serums that utilise gold-standard ingredients to make a change in your skin. From an editor-approved antioxidant fluid to a cult retinol formulation that won't cause irritation, keep scrolling for the only serums your bathroom cabinet really needs.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum ($70)
Hyaluronic acid holds 1000x its weight in water making it one of the most moisturising compounds in the world. (And if there's one thing we know about healthy skin, it's that its optimally hydrated.) This water-based gel combines HA with anti-ageing peptides to help minimise the appearance of fine lines, and colloidal oatmeal to soothe and calm.
Sephora Collection Renew & Peel Super Serum ($49)
Chemical exfoliators are largely preferable over manual scrubs as they offer an even exfoliation and can refine skin in a gentle manner. (In many cases you leave them on, so there's no tugging of the skin involved.) Acid serums keep skin clear and can also be hydrating. Read up on the different types of acid serums to suss which one is best for you.
Verso Skincare Super Facial Serum ($180)
Retinol is one of the most well-known anti-ageing ingredients in existence with zillions of options of the vitamin A derivative flooding the market. While its magic powers are legend (enhanced collagen production, reduction in fine lines, improvement in acne), this ingredient is also known as a potential skin irritant. Verso's serum delivers all of the benefits and none of the cons.
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic ($214)
Antioxidants are crucial for skin protection, making them an essential part of any skincare regime. (Skin magician Melanie Grant told us that recent research shows free radical damage from air pollution can be just as ageing as UV rays!) This cult serum from Skinceuticals delivers a potent combo of antioxidants including—you guessed it—vitamins C and E, and ferulic acid. Once applied it sinks in so deeply it can't be washed or rubbed off. (Impressively, it remains protective for up to four days.) Use it under your sunscreen to maximise the benefits. Go here for more info on antioxidants.
Ultraceuticals Ultra C23+ Firming Concentrate ($138)
While vitamin C is indeed an antioxidant, it is also regarded as a bit of a powerhouse ingredient due to it's ability to boost collagen production, firm skin, diminish hyperpigmentation as well as help protect against environmental damage. (Bit of an overachiever, no?) Ultraceuticals' new concentrate combines vit C with powerful peptides for maximum anti-ageing benefits.