With countless serums available, how do you know which to choose? Read on to discover our shoppable guide to find the one that’s right for your skin…
What Is A Serum and When Should I Use It?
“Serums are an excellent way of delivering active ingredients into the skin,” explains Dr Sophie Shotter, medical director and founder of Illuminate Skin Clinic. “They are lightweight and can help to deliver hydration deep into the dermis, whereas thicker moisturising creams sit closer to the surface.” They are best applied to cleansed skin, before your moisturiser to allow them to get where they need to go. “I always pat mine in with my finger tips to avoid excess product wastage on the palms,” advises Dr Sophie.
How Do I Know Which Serum To Buy?
To find the best serum for your skin, you should get to grips with ingredients and choose one based upon this. “Anti-ageing serums often contain retinol, hydrating serums often contain hyaluronic acid and serums targeting acne may use salicylic acid or niacinamide,” says Dr Sophie.
Serums For Dull Skin
Dull skin that’s in need of a brightening boost is crying out for vitamin C. This potent antioxidant is great for reducing uneven skin tone, refining texture but ultimately it’s renowned for the glow it gives. Sunday Riley’s CEO Serum is a favourite thanks to its fast-absorbing and high-strength formula as is Herbivore’s Prism Exfoliating Glow Serum which uses kakadu plum extract (a rich source of vitamin C) alongside plant-derived AHA and BHAs to exfoliate dull skin and leave behind a radiant complexion.
Serums For Dry Skin
As Dr Sophie mentioned, if you’re a dry skin sufferer you should be looking for a serum packed with hyaluronic acid since it is great at holding water. Always apply this to damp skin and follow with a moisturiser to help lock it in. Try the Allies of Skin Triple Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum to really quench thirsty skin or Dr Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum which has both long and short chain hyaluronic molecules to help promote deep and long-lasting hydration.
Serums For Acne-Prone Skin
Those with acne-prone skin may feel slightly daunted by using a serum but there’s no need. There are plenty that are packed with breakout-fighting ingredients which can work wonders for clearing troubled areas. Dr Dennis Gross’s B3 Adaptive SuperFoods Stress Rescue Super Serum uses niacinamide to minimise breakouts and reduce redness while Caudalie’s Vinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum is packed with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and unclog pores.
Serums For Ageing Skin
When it comes to ageing skin, retinol is the answer since it’s helps to promote cell turnover and also stimulate the production of collagen. If you’re new to this ingredient, start gradually (1-2 times a week) and slowly build up your tolerance. It can also increase dryness and sensitivity so be sure to moisture and wear SPF during the day (although you should be doing that without this gentle reminder). Oskia’s Retinoid Sleep Serum comes in two levels (Level 1 and Level 2) and works overnight to plump and firm.