There can be confusion around the role of serums in a skincare routine and whether they’re worth investing in, but with the number of solution-based serums out there, one-size-fits-all products are a thing of the past. To help you get the best out of your serum and understand which ones actually work for your skin type, we have enlisted the help of Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, Medical Consultant Skin Expert and Founder of Award-winning Adonia Medical Clinic.
What does face serum actually do for your skin?
“Face serum is usually a concentrated formula that delivers active ingredients to the skin, providing targeted benefits such as hydration, brightening, and firming,” Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme explains. “The active ingredients in a serum can help address specific skin concerns, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation and redness. Serums are often formulated to encourage more potency of the active to the skin compared to moisturisers.”
What is the best way to use face serum?
“The best way to use a face serum is to apply it after cleansing and toning, and before moisturising. This will allow the serum to penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver the active ingredients to where they are needed most. You can use a serum in the morning and at night, depending on your skin’s needs.”
The key to using serums? Keeping a consistent routine and paying close attention to how your skin responds. Below you’ll find an expert’s guide to the best new serums for all skin concerns.
- Best face serum for dry skin: Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense Hyaluronic Acid Serum, £59 for 30ml
- Best fast-absorbing face serum: Aesop Lucent Facial Concentrate, £93 for 60ml
- Best face serum for oily skin: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum, £5 for 30ml
- Best anti-ageing face serum: Skinceuticals Resveratrol B E, £114.99 for 30ml
- Best affordable face serum: Simple Booster Serum 10% Niacinamide,
£7.99£5.33 for 30ml
Best for dry skin
“The La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum is formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to help plump and hydrate the skin, while also reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” says Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme. “The La Mer The Concentrate contains Magnesium and calcium: These minerals help to promote healthy skin function, improve the skin’s elasticity, and boost collagen production.”
Dry skin will benefit from the hydrating and replenishing hyaluronic acid in Medik8’s Hydr8 B5 Intense and thirsty complexions are left dewy thanks to the multi-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid in the Tropic Rainforest Dew.
Best for oily skin
“The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum contains niacinamide and zinc to regulate sebum production and improve the appearance of enlarged pores,” says Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme.
Oily skin will benefit the most from hydrating serums like the Aesop Lucent Facial Concentrate, that have fast-absorbing formulas with a smooth and matte finish.
Best for combination/normal skin
“The Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains hyaluronic acid and Vichy’s mineralising thermal water to hydrate and plump the skin, while also strengthening the skin’s barrier function,” shares Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme.
Normal and combination skin will benefit from the high levels of HA4 and Polyglutamic Acid in the FaceGym Hydro-Bound Daily Serum, while the snow mushroom – “nature’s sponge” – in the Botanics Pure Botanicals Snow Mushroom Concentrated Serum gives skin lightweight and non-greasy hydration.
Best for acne-prone skin
“The Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster is a lightweight serum that combines azelaic acid, salicylic acid, and niacinamide to improve skin texture, reduce redness, and unclog pores,” says Dr Ejikeme. “This serum is also formulated with soothing ingredients like liquorice root extract and allantoin to calm and hydrate the skin.”
Acne-prone skin will also benefit from sebum production regulating and skin texture-improving serums like the Simple Booster Serum 10% Niacinamide (Vitamin B3).
Best for mature skin
“The Resveratrol from Skinceuticals Resveratrol B E combines a maximised concentration of 1 per cent pure, stable resveratrol, synergistically enhanced with 0.5 per cent baicalin and 1 per cent pure vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) for optimized anti-aging antioxidant performance,” says Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme. “This antioxidant cocktail neutralises free radicals, supports skin’s natural antioxidant defences, and reveals visible radiance and firmness.”
Mature skin will benefit from the glow-giving super strength of 30 per cent vitamin C in the Trinny London Boost Up Awaken Serum, while the 1 per cent Granactive retinoid in the Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Retinoid Serum helps to tackle fine lines, even skin tone and boost skin’s elasticity.
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