Thursday, May 30, 2024

25 Face Serums For Every Skin Type and Concern

Must read

1

Best For All Skin Types

Sofie Pavitt Face Mandelic Clearing Serum

Mandelic Clearing Serum

1

Best For All Skin Types

Sofie Pavitt Face Mandelic Clearing Serum

Now 35% Off

When it comes to a do-it-all serum, the Clearing Serum beats out the competition. Whether you’re struggling with acne, hyperpigmentation, dryness, or unwanted texture, mandelic acid is a gentle ingredient that helps exfoliate the skin without causing any irritation. In fact, this serum is so gentle it can even be used to reduce sensitivity.

  • Key Ingredients: Mandelic acid, hyaluronic acid, panthenol
  • Benefits: Illuminates, reduces blemishes, exfoliates, hydrates
  • Skin types: All

What our experts say: “Every beauty editor friend of mine raved about this serum, and now that I’ve used every last drop in my bottle, I can officially join them. Since using this serum continuously, my skin is brighter, some dark marks have begun to fade, and I haven’t had a breakout. I need to place a new order ASAP.” –Tatjana Freund, Luxury & Commerce Editor

2

Best For Dry Skin

CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Serum

On Sale

Hyaluronic Acid Serum

2

Best For Dry Skin

CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Winter months mean dryer skin, but what do you reach for when your goal isn’t to be glowing like a disco ball all day? This hydrating hyaluronic acid serum—also featuring nourishing vitamin B5 and barrier-boosting ceramides—adds moisture to the skin without making it look too dewy, thanks to its gel texture.

  • Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, niacinamide
  • Benefits: Hydrates, protects skin barrier
  • Skin type: Sensitive, dry, normal

An Amazon reviewer says: “I’m a licensed esthetician and I am so impressed with this serum. I like it better than $400 serums I’ve used. After just a couple of days using this, my skin is soft, smooth, and so hydrated. For the price, you cannot beat it!”

3

Best For Professional Results

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

Best Seller

C E Ferulic

3

Best For Professional Results

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

Beloved by pretty much every celebrity whose skin you admire and most likely their dermatologists, this serum is one to invest in. vitamin C, ferulic acid, and vitamin E work to reduce even severe hyperpigmentation and minimize fine lines over time. In the short term, your skin will be protected from environmental aggressors and should look glowing.

  • Key ingredients: Vitamin C, ferulic acid, vitamin E
  • Benefits: Brightens, firms, smooths fine lines and wrinkles, protects against environmental aggressors
  • Skin types: Dry, normal, combination, sensitive

An ELLE editor says: “As a former pimple picker, discoloration and scarring was the life-long penalty I thought I had to deal with—until my dermatologist recommended I incorporate SkinCeuticals’ fan-favorite C Ferulic Acid into my skin routine. It’s my morning serum and gives me a boost of brightness to take away drab, dull areas from my skin. Plus, it helps reduce the intensity of my dark spots and even out my tone.” —Nerisha Penrose, ELLE.com Beauty E-Commerce Editor.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

4

Best Dewy Serum

Rhode Peptide Glazing Fluid

Peptide Glazing Fluid

4

Best Dewy Serum

Rhode Peptide Glazing Fluid

Hailey Bieber’s ultra-hydrating serum does more than just add a glow. With brightening niacinamide, healing peptides, and moisturizing hyaluronic acid, this serum is like a cocoon for the skin. Plus, it can also be mixed into makeup or added on top of the cheekbones for an added dewy boost.

  • Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, peptides, niacinamide, marula oil
  • Benefits: Hydrating, soothing, brightening
  • Skin types: Dry, normal, sensitive

What our experts say: “In the winter, when my skin often feels tight and a little bit crunchy, adding this serum as a base before the rest of my routine helps keep my skin hydrated and protected throughout the day. In the summer, sometimes I’ll use this as my lightweight moisturizer. It’s great underneath makeup too!” –Tatjana Freund

5

Best Gentle Anti-Aging Serum

Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1 Serum

Crystal Retinal 1 Serum

5

Best Gentle Anti-Aging Serum

Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1 Serum

This serum utilizes the powerful anti-aging and brightening properties of retinal–not to be confused with the classic retinol. This is the gentlest version, ideal for sensitive skin and people who have yet to dive into using vitamin A. Once your skin is used to the ingredient, Medik8 has a system of higher doses you can begin using.

  • Key ingredients: Retinal, hyaluronic acid
  • Benefits: Anti-aging, brightening, hydratinng
  • Skin type: All

What our experts say: “I have never been able to consistently use a vitamin A serum serum before, even though I would love to experience the benefits of retinol or retinal. My skin has always been too sensitive, and I’d experience purging, extreme dryness, or irritation. This serum is now a must in my routine. It’s gentle, hydrating, and I have noticed fewer breakouts and a more even, brighter skin tone. I can’t wait to move up to a higher strength once I finish the last drop.” –Tatjana Freund

    6

    Best For Pores

    The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

    Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

    6

    Best For Pores

    The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

    While they haven’t patented a way to surgically remove pores yet, this serum will get you close to perfect. With a blend of niacinamide and zinc, this formula smooths texture, clears out acne-causing congestion in pores, and reduces that oily shine you used to need powder to cover up.

    • Key ingredients: niacinamide, zinc
    • Benefits: Smooths, clears pores, prevents acne, reduces shine
    • Skin types: Normal, dry, combination, oily

    What our experts say: “It takes a lot of effort to keep my sensitive, combination skin in check, but Ordinary’s niacinamide and zinc serum is one I’ve relied on for years to make the job easy. It helps visibly shrink my pores, ward off pesky breakouts, and reduce redness, all without leaving behind any dreaded tight feeling. (Proof: my skin will instantly revolt when I run out of the serum and need to replace my stash). Used in tandem with my favorite DamDam exfoliating cleanser, plus Laneige’s hydrating face cream and overnight mask, it’s helped give me the glass skin of my dreams-and for just under $12 at that!” —Sam Peters

    Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

    7

    Best For Plumping Skin

    L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

    On Sale

    Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

    7

    Best For Plumping Skin

    L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

    Not only does this hyaluronic acid serum rehydrate thirsty skin to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, but it also helps boost radiance with vitamin C. Your skin should feel tighter with a nice youthful glow.

    • Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C
    • Benefits: Hydrates, brightens
    • Skin types: All

    An Amazon reviewer says: “A little goes a long way. It really doesn’t have a smell and I did put it on my neck and face while still damp. I had some loose skin on my neck, GONE! Small wrinkles around my eyes and mouth GONE! All of this after only one week.”

    8

    Best With Retinol

    RoC RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Night Serum

    On Sale

    RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Night Serum

    8

    Best With Retinol

    RoC RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Night Serum

    Now 29% Off

    For skin types that can handle it, retinol is a must for fighting signs of aging. Retinol is the star ingredient of this RoC overnight serum, which thousands of Amazon customers swear by for revealing smooth, refreshed, and plumper skin. Since the formula comes in sealed capsules, it’s also much less likely to oxidize, keeping the product potent over time. Additionally, it features ceramide NP, one of the most common types of ceramides found in the skin, known for its moisture-retention properties.

    • Key ingredients: Retinol, ceramide NP
    • Benefits: Brightens, hydrates, smooths fine lines and wrinkles, plumps, firms
    • Skin types: All

    An Amazon reviewer says: “Forty years of smoking ruined my face. I had deep lines on the top and bottom of my lips, and the left side of my face looked like a dried river bed. I’ve used this serum for two weeks and the deep lines around my lips are not as deep and look smoother. The dried river bed is almost unnoticeable. My skin looks healthier and tighter.”

    9

    Best For Dry, Acne-Prone Skin

    Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

    On Sale

    Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

    9

    Best For Dry, Acne-Prone Skin

    Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

    Now 44% Off

    If “moisture” equates to “clogged pores” in your mind, allow me to introduce you to your skin’s savior. This hyaluronic acid serum with vitamin B5 and glycerin is crafted to give your skin the hydration it needs without giving it a reason to break out, thanks to Neutrogena’s oil-free, sensitive skin-safe formula.

    • Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, glycerin
    • Benefits: Provides lightweight hydration
    • Skin types: All

    An Amazon reviewer says: “My dermatologist put me on Retin-A for melasma, and my already dry skin became like a desert. I started using this serum and really liked it. It’s gentle and has hyaluronic acid, so it helps hydrate without irritating your skin more.”

    Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

    10

    Best French Drugstore Serum

    La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

    Amazon’s Choice

    Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

    10

    Best French Drugstore Serum

    La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

    Have you ever seen a French woman in the streets and wondered how her skin looked so good? The answer is probably this French pharmacy classic. This hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and glycerin-infused serum help hydrate, plump, and reduce hyperpigmentation all in one formula. Unique additions include madecassoside—one of the most active compounds in centella asiatica used for soothing and wound healing—and the brand’s signature antioxidant-rich Prebiotic Thermal Water to combat environmental aggressors that can cause signs of aging.

    • Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, glycerin, madecassoside, La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water
    • Benefits: Hydrates, plumps, repairs skin barrier
    • Skin types: All

    An ELLE editor says: “This product is so hydrating and soothing for my skin. It’s my go-to when traveling. It’s like a tall glass of water for your skin and gives a natural, beautiful glow. This is one of my favorite hyaluronic acid products and you will see the results.” —Danielle James

    11

    The Easy Glow

    Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum

    C-Firma Fresh Day Serum

    11

    The Easy Glow

    Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum

    Recently reformulated, this 15 percent vitamin C serum has a cult following for a reason. Fans rave that it instantly makes the skin look glowing and healthy, and over time reduces hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage or scarring. To top it all off, it has antioxidant ferulic acid, vitamin E, and pomegranate extract to help prevent signs of aging.

    • Key ingredients: Vitamin C, ferulic acid, pomegranate extract
    • Benefits: Brightens, firms, evens out texture
    • Skin types: Normal, dry, combination, oily

    A Sephora reviewer says: “I’ve seen my complexion dull with winter, leaving it a little ashy at times. I’d also started to see age lines on my face which prompted me to try this serum. So far, when I use this, my skin seems to glow beautifully!”

    12

    Best For Blackheads

    The INKEY List Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Blemish + Blackhead Serum

    Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Blemish + Blackhead Serum

    12

    Best For Blackheads

    The INKEY List Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Blemish + Blackhead Serum

    This serum uses salicylic acid to deeply cleanse pores and reveal clean, blemish-free skin. By helping reduce oiliness, this product should also reduce the number of visible blackheads, so you can finally say goodbye to pore strips. What’s more, it has nourishing hyaluronic acid plus zinc to calm irritation and fight against free radical damage.

    • Key ingredients: Salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, zinc
    • Benefits: Cleans pores, reduces shine, hydrates, soothes, fights against free radical damage
    • Skin types: Normal, combination, oily

    A Sephora reviewer says: “I’ve struggled with blackheads since I was a tween, and nothing has helped draw them out better than this product. It’s lightweight, non-sensitizing, has a very light smell, and isn’t too sticky. It’s also cheap! I’ve been using this product for years now and will continue to swear by this.”

    Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

    13

    Best For Dewy Skin

    Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

    Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

    13

    Best For Dewy Skin

    Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

    Credit: Courtesy

    Thirsty skin can find reprieve with this serum from Glow Recipe. It’s made to impart a healthy, glazed donut-esque glow while nourishing your skin with watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide.

    • Key ingredients: niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, watermelon extract
    • Benefits: Nourishes, brightens, tightens pores
    • Skin types: All

    A Sephora reviewer says: “This product is a must-have in my makeup and skincare routine. It makes my skin feel so plump and hydrated while giving it a healthy and radiant appearance. You can use this as a serum/moisturizer or as a makeup base!”

    14

    Best Oil Serum

    Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Fresh and Dewy 2 in 1 Serum

    1000 Roses Fresh and Dewy 2 in 1 Serum

    14

    Best Oil Serum

    Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Fresh and Dewy 2 in 1 Serum

    Now 66% Off

    This serum is like therapy for the skin: it soothes and calms irritation, adds a dose of hydration, and protects the skin. Through a blend of vitamins, natural ingredients, and hydrating oils, this is the perfect blend of a skin care serum and facial oil.

    Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, rose water, vitamin E

    Benefits: Hydrating, soothing

    Skin type: Dry

    An ELLE editor says: “I just finished my bottle of 1000 Roses and let me tell you—the rose water, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins C and E combo awakened my skin. It’s an oil serum combo, so don’t forget to shake! Don’t be afraid of the oil. It didn’t clog my skin, it wasn’t heavy, and you really barely notice it once applying.” —Danielle James

    15

    Best A-List Approved Serum

    Biba Los Angeles The Plant Stem Cell Serum with Peptides

    The Plant Stem Cell Serum with Peptides

    15

    Best A-List Approved Serum

    Biba Los Angeles The Plant Stem Cell Serum with Peptides

    Biba de Sousa, the founder of Biba Los Angeles, is the esthetician behind some of Hollywood’s most beloved A-listers. With clients like Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, and Hailey Bieber, it should come as no surprise that her line of skin care products is effective and foolproof. This Plant Stem Cell Serum is one of the line’s most beloved products, thanks to its ability to increase hydration and reduce sensitivity.

    • Key Ingredients: Plant peptides, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants
    • Benefits: Hydrating, soothing, healing
    • Skin types: Normal, dry, sensitive

    What our experts say: “I’ve had the pleasure of having a personal consultation with Biba–which included the best facial of my life. Since I sadly can’t see her on a regular basis, I do the next best thing, which is to load up my skincare routine with her products. Over the years, I can’t tell you how many bottles of this serum I’ve gone through. What I can tell you is how much healthier, hydrated, and glowing I look when I use it.” –Tatjana Freund

    Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

    16

    Best For Exfoliating

    Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

    Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

    16

    Best For Exfoliating

    Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment

    Dull, dry, and discolored complexions can benefit from a good exfoliating serum to gently revive skin when the elements are basically against it. This one from Sunday Riley is packed with lactic acid, lemongrass, and licorice to slough off flakes and fight hyperpigmentation.

    • Key ingredients: Lactic acid, lemongrass, licorice
    • Benefits: Brightens, clarifies, exfoliates
    • Skin types: All

    An Amazon reviewer says: “I’ve been a makeup artist for 15 years… I’m obsessed with this particular product because of its immediate results. It plumps the skin and gives it LIFE.”

    17

    Best For Redness

    Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Serum

    Cicapair Tiger Grass Serum

    17

    Best For Redness

    Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Serum

    When it feels like dryness and irritation just won’t quit, consider reaching for this balancing serum. Centella asiatica (derived from an herb grown in Asia) soothes and protects, while cicabond (derived from ivy) and Dr. Jart’s probiotic-rich complex help to hydrate and repair damage. The plant-based formula is also a go-to for calming sunburns and skin that’s reacted negatively to strong formulas.

    • Key ingredients: Centella asiatica, cicabond, Jartbiome
    • Benefits: Soothes, repairs and protects skin barrier, hydrates
    • Skin types: Normal, dry, combination, oily

    An Amazon reviewer says: “I am a new believer in the Cicapair line. The serum plus the cream literally saved my skin barrier after a recent unfortunate—and self-inflicted—benzoyl peroxide burn. My face did a complete 180 from eye-watering sting and dryness one day to on the mend with NO sensitivity the next. Lesson learned about overdoing actives, but I will absolutely reach for this bottle next time my barrier is feeling the slightest bit compromised to soothe and speed up the repair.”

    18

    Best For Cystic Acne

    DRMTLGY 24 Hour Acne Serum

    Amazon’s Choice

    24 Hour Acne Serum

    18

    Best For Cystic Acne

    DRMTLGY 24 Hour Acne Serum

    Using a combination of benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid, not only should this serum reduce even the most intense acne flare-ups, but it’s also made to help fade scarring post-pimple for even, calmed skin.

    • Key ingredients: Benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid
    • Benefits: Fights acne, fades scarring
    • Skin types: Normal, dry, combination, oily

    An Amazon reviewer says: “I’m a 45-year-old woman, so I’ve literally tried everything at this point. Unless this is a crazy first-time coincidence, this stuff works! My cyst was completely gone in three days of using this at night, along with a few other regular pimples that were hanging out near Big Daddy Cyst.”

    Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

    19

    Best For All Skin Types

    Renee Rouleau Skin Correcting Serum

    Skin Correcting Serum

    19

    Best For All Skin Types

    Renee Rouleau Skin Correcting Serum

    Credit: Courtesy

    The answer to some of your skin concerns lies within this bottle. Featuring a blend of niacinamide and biosaccharide gum-2, this serum works to prevent sensitivity, manage acne breakouts, and reduce the appearance of impurities to bring you one step closer to the skin of your dreams. Also included are antioxidant-rich beta glucan and phospholipids to deeply hydrate and boost the skin’s barrier.

    • Key ingredients: niacinamide, biosaccharide gum-2, beta glucan, phospholipids
    • Benefits: Combats acne, brightens, reduces shine, calms, hydrates, protects the skin’s barrier
    • Skin types: Oily, acne-prone, combination, sensitive

    A Renee Rouleau reviewer says: “This is a game-changer. It leaves you feeling hydrated but doesn’t clog your pores and works to treat your acne. I always have a bounce to my skin, and my elasticity is back without the fear of breaking out. Love it!”

    20

    Best Natural Anti-Aging Serum

    Le Domaine The Serum

    The Serum

    20

    Best Natural Anti-Aging Serum

    Le Domaine The Serum

    Created using botanical and natural ingredients, this anti-aging serum helps smooth fine lines for a more lifted, plump appearance. It also helps combat dullness by giving the skin a boost of much-needed hydration.

    • Key Ingredients: Antioxidants, ProGR3, grape water
    • Benefits: Anti-aging, brightening
    • Skin type: Normal to dry

    An ELLE editor says: “Le Domaine may seem like another celebrity-backed skincare line, but this serum is backed with science. Scientists used their research on progeria, a disease that causes children to age rapidly, to formulate anti-aging active compounds in their formula. Upon first application, my skin quickly absorbed the product and looked hydrated, and while I try many things, I swear it’s this product that’s caused my fine lines to soften. It’s a hefty price tag, but if Brad Pitt is looking this good at 59—I’ll have what he’s having.” —Danielle James, ELLE.com’s Beauty Director

    Headshot of Nerisha Penrose

    Nerisha Penrose

    Beauty Commerce Editor

    Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.

    Headshot of Tatjana Freund

    Fashion & Luxury Commerce Editor

    Tatjana Freund is Hearst’s Fashion & Luxury Commerce Editor, covering beauty, fashion and more across multiple brands. Previously, she worked at ELLE.com and Marie Claire. She’s a fan of whiskey neat, podcasts that give her nightmares, and one time Zoë Kravitz laughed at a joke she made. 

    More articles

    Latest article