Yes, we know what you’re thinking: What the heck is a serum? For starters, it’s not what turned Venom into a villain. We don’t blame you for being in the dark about these magical potions. Serums are more obscure than other grooming products like cleansers and moisturizers, but we’d argue they’re the most important. They’re lighter than moisturizers and deliver powerful cocktails of active ingredients to your face, so you can take care of almost any skin problem. They also give your skin an extra layer of protection to avoid dryness, as well as free radical damage, during the winter season.
Whether you’re dealing with wrinkles, acne, or dark spots, we have a serum for you. Read on to learn more.
Best Serum Overall: Clarins Double Lipid Serum
Hands down, Clarins was the best serum we tried by far. Its proprietary formula of 21 plant extracts addresses almost any skin concern. Dealing with hyperpigmentation, premature skin aging, or redness? This serum has a fix for that. Testers who used this twice a day for at least two weeks saw a smoother complexion, fewer breakouts, and a reduction in the appearance of pores and wrinkles. Yes, it’s expensive, but a little bit goes a long way, and one bottle will last you for at least three months. That’s why Clarins’ Double Lipid Serum is a recipient of The Manual 2020 Grooming Awards.
Best Anti-Aging Serum: Kiehl’s Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar-based chemical found in our skin that keeps it hydrated, taut, and plump. Unfortunately we produce less of it as we age, but that’s where Kiehl’s new hyaluronic acid serum comes in, providing a shot of hyaluronic acid to our mug. While results may vary, we found that using it consistently helped reduce the appearances of fine lines and wrinkles.
Best Serum for Tired-Looking Eyes: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum
In layman’s terms, retinol is a skin-peeling wrinkle remover, and Murad’s eye serum is our favorite product to help reduce the dreaded signs of crow’s feet.
Best Serum for Acne: Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum
A serum doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Mario Badescu’s (comparatively affordable) serum contains a boatload of acne-fighting salicylic acid to keep your breakouts at bay.
Best Serum for Hyperpigmentation: Caldera + Lab The Good Serum
Dealing with dark spots caused by acne or aging? Grab Caldera + Lab’s versatile potion, which features 27 natural ingredients to fight skin problems, especially hyperpigmentation.
Other Serums We Love:
Skinceuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier (1 fl. oz.)
Our 2020 Grooming Awards panelists Joey Zauzig and Moti Ankari swear by this hyaluronic acid serum from Skinceuticals, which was designed by dermatologists. And we can’t blame them. Simply put, it works.
The Ordinary The Buffet Serum
The Ordinary is a fantastic purveyor of budget-friendly skincare, and the brand’s multi-purpose serum is no exception. A formula of hyaluronic acid and peptides help improve skin texture.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift Serum
Shockingly, La Prairie’s Skin Caviar series is its most affordable line. But we’d argue that this handsomely packaged serum is worth the sticker shock. It’s infused with caviar (yes, caviar) and a proprietary formula that immediately firms skin. Think of it as Botox in a bottle.
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