If there’s one step in our daily skin-care routine that we dare not skip, it’s applying serum. The best face serums deliver a highly concentrated, potent dose of active ingredients to the skin and target a range of skin concerns in one go. Whether it’s antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, botanical agents, or other ingredients, serums can carry smaller molecules deep into the skin, where they benefit us most.
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Kenneth Howe, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, explains that “in contrast to moisturizers, serums don’t contain air-tight, occlusive ingredients, which allow them to penetrate more deeply into the epidermis, carrying their active ingredients with them.”
Another reason these facial serums are a mainstay for skin-care novices and lovers alike? The good, old feel factor. “Serums are the new moisturizers,” New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, tells Allure. “They are perfect for layering — like a primer on clean skin before makeup or sunscreen.”
Luckily, there’s a world of options out there, including vitamin C serums and thirst-quenching formulas infused with hyaluronic acid, to suit your skin type and concerns. We’ve rounded up 22 of the best face serums below (many of them recommended by dermatologists, and all tested by us), so keep scrolling to find your new favorite.
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