Serum that hydrate
- Hydrating serums provide an additional layer of moisture beneath face creams, oils, and sunscreens. They accomplish this by employing humectants, which are ingredients that draw water into the stratum corneum (top layer of skin).
- Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, and snail mucin are the main ingredients.
- Best for: All skin types.
- Try these products: ClarityRx Daily Dose of Water Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum, Timeless Hyaluronic Acid 100% Pure, and SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel are the simplest and best hyaluronic acid formulas I’ve tried.
Serum with Antioxidants
- Antioxidant serums protect your skin from free radicals, which cause aging. Free radicals are unstable molecular fragments that attack cells via oxidation.
- Free radicals are neutralized and prevented from causing damage by antioxidant ingredients.
- Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid and its derivatives), niacinamide, retinoids, vitamin E, ferulic acid, coenzyme Q10, and green tea are key ingredients.
- Best for All skin types.
- Products to try: L-ascorbic acid is widely regarded as the best antioxidant, and it is most effective when combined with ferulic acid and vitamin E at a low pH. As a result, the patented SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is the gold standard.
- Brightening serums are designed to improve radiance, even out skin tone, and fade dark spots, post-acne marks, and hyperpigmentation.
- Brightening serums may also contain light-reflecting particles, which provide an instant luminous effect.
Vitamin C, niacinamide, kojic acid, alpha arbutin, tranexamic acid, and hydroxy-acids are the main ingredients.
- Dullness, dark spots and hyperpigmentation are the best uses for this product.
- Try these products: Summer Fridays CC Me Serum is a favorite of mine because it contains two types of vitamin C derivatives as well as niacinamide. SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense, a dark spot-fighting serum, is another product I swear by.
Serums for Resurfacing
- Resurfacing serums, also known as retexturizing serums, are exfoliating leave-on treatments. They contain AHAs, BHAs, or a combination of the two, which dissolve dead skin cell buildup and smooth the skin’s surface.
- These serums are often suitable for sensitive skin because they are gentler than most acid toners.
Lactic acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid are the main ingredients.
- Best for All skin types. (However, sensitive people should stick to lactic acid.)
- Try these products: Biossance Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum.
- Contains a high 10% concentration of lactic acid and is intended to be used at night. With 11% AHAs and 1% salicylic acid, Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is even more potent.