The best face serums to transform and treat your skin
What other way to end a year that with a recommendation of the best face serums from my stash!
Some of these have been recently added others have been loved and repurchased!
Of course, this is a list that is based on my current crushes, and I have so many more serums to try and review. It’s bound to change so please don’t judge me if in the future my opinions isn’t the same. We’re all human and it would be sad if we didn’t change as we learn more.
Disclaimer: recommendations are based on my own experiences and one product might work for me but not for you. Please do your own research to further decide if this is something you wish to try.
Best Face Serums For Every Skin Type
The best face serums in my list are products I have tried and love, and all have some type of active ingredient. It is my opinion that a serum is the king of any routine. Some might judge it unnecessary and recommend a simple routine comprised of toner and moisturiser. I believe a serum is absolutely necessary to achieve your skin goals. There’s one for everyone and for every condition.
The Inkey List Hyaluronic acid
First of all, everyone should have hyaluronic acid in their stash. It doesn’t matter if you are oily or dry, acne-prone, or experiencing the first signs of ageing, hyaluronic acid is a must!
With extensive use it will moisturise your skin, diminish fine lines, repair the skin barrier, you name it.
Of course since hyaluronic acid is a must, it’s also great when it’s budget-friendly and easily accessible. Which is why I chose The Inkey List one. It’s a very basic hyaluronic acid serum that works in any routine, layered with any other product. To give it a head start I recommend patting it in with slightly wet hands. This will give the hyaluronic acid the water it needs to draw into the skin. I have a more extensive review here if you’re curious.
Cosrx Triple Hyaluronic Ampoule
Continuing with hyaluronic acid, I’m a huge fan of this one from Cosrx. It’s a bit more expensive but also 40ml. It also absorbs easily, layers well, and has a very basic and short ingredients list. I loved it before The Inkey List one came to my collection, and will most likely repurchase it because I like the size and the simple formula.
Fun fact: when I first started with hyaluronic acid, it was with a simple cream from the pharmacy, and I had a reaction to it. I had to wash it off because it was uncomfortable. I continued using the cream though and probably repurchased it about 3 times, it was awesome and I’m happy I was persistent. Back then I didn’t even know how hyaluronic acid worked, but it helped my skin.
PSA Midnight Courage
OK, this one is technically not one of the best face serums, it’s an oil that contains retinol. 2% Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate in rosehip and bakuchiol oil to be more precise. It has been a fantastic addition to my routine. I even reach for it more than for the Medik8 Crystal Retinal though the strengths are different so it’s not comparable.
Retinol is simply a must for everyone. It doesn’t only diminish fine lines and wrinkle, it also helps with hyperpigmentation and acne. Its work by accelerating the skin cell turnover rate, promoting collagen production and a healthy, clear complexion.
I could probably rave about retinol for a long time. Bottom line is, you need it in your routine. Start low and build your tolerance slowly.
Fun fact: my first retinol serum was from Indeed Labs and I loved it! I since moved on to other strengths but I still recommend it as a first retinol serum
Medik8 Crystal Retinal
This serum is very popular and for good reasons. It was love at first application. I got the number 1 but there is also 3, 6 and 10. The number corresponds to how much retinol is in the serum. And the higher the number the higher the price as well. I chose the 0.01% Encapsulated Retinaldehyde. It also contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin, plus it is a slow-release type of serum.
Well not really chose, more like it was the only option as the other ones were sold out during black Friday.
The serum is creamy and has a pastel orange colour. It sinks in immediately and it never irritates my skin, though my skin can most likely withstand their “10” without a problem.
The formula is very elegant and I can already see some effects on my hyperpigmentation. Even though at the moment I reach for the Midnight Courage oil, it really is only because of the difference in strength. I can see myself purchasing the “6” in the near future and I will probably adore it.
The fact that they have a range of strengths really makes it beginner-friendly.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX
The best face serums list can’t go without this cult classic.
In addition to being an old company with beautiful traditional formulas, Sulwhasoo has amazing products. I absolutely loved their overnight vitalising mask, and when I saw this serum on sale I just had to get it.
It’s a very pricey product, and I took my chances with it, weighing the pros and cons, and in the end, the curiosity won. And I didn’t regret it.
The First Care Treatment Serum is supposed to be the first step after cleansing and it is meant to boost your skincare routine. It promotes blood circulation and a youthful, glowy, healthy-looking skin. And it delivers.
It gives your skin that little something that makes it look so healthy and radiant. And in addition to this, it’s a beautiful sensorial experience, with a magnificent fragrance that instantly relaxes you.
The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C + EGF
Even if you don’t have hyperpigmentation, which is what vitamin c is mostly used for, you can fully profit from it. It is an antioxidant after all.
If you don’t know what the oxidation process is to think of a slice of apple left on the counter. It will darken in colour because of the contact with the air. Now imagine that happening with your skin.
Antioxidants fight off the free radicals. These free radicals occur for various reasons most often being pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol intake. They will cause dull-looking skin, sun spots, irritation, and much more. Antioxidants will help combat that. And the most studied one is vitamin c.
I have more on The Inkey List 15% vitamin c here, but in short, it’s a great and affordable option and a great mention in this list of best face serums.
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Glow Face Serum
As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed I remembered about this serum and how much I love it. I have one in my unopened stash and can’t wait to get it back into my routine.
This serum is only 15ml which is why I really am disapointed with Fresh. they should make it into a standard 30ml!
It is fully packed with 480 000 capsules of minerals and vitamins. A cocktail of vitamin C, E, B5, ginger water, chicory root, zinc, magnesium, etc. So many great ingredients that work on hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and the skin barrier. It gives a beautiful glowy and clear complexion. If only it was in a bigger format.
I think anyone can benefit from this serum. And the texture is so unique. The capsules remain intact until contact with skin.
Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster
Now this might ot be a face serum but that’s how I personally use it.
Azelaic acid is a mild acid that can also be used by sensitive and dry skin types. This booster is a real treat that can be used for so many skin concerns. A real multi-tasker. It can reduce blemishes and hyperpigmentation, as well as ageing spots and dull skin.
I love trying new ingredients in my routine and this was an interesting one. It definitely helped with my acne at the time and I still use it as a spot treatment during my Accutane journey.
The Inkey List Niacinamide
As some say, niacinamide is crack for the skin.
This one too is a real multitasker, as niacinamide has so many benefits for every skin type. I chose The Inkey List one again because it is so affordable and easy to use. The Ordinary also has one but I find the formula to be not as good as a few years ago. Many of you have told me that you experience pilling with it, just like me.
Niacinamide is here to help you with dullness, hyperpigmentation, sebum production, inflammatory acne, skin barrier, and so much more. You might think that you don’t need it since you don’t have acne or oily skin, but I’m telling you, you can love it no matter your skin type or concerns.
I could not skip tranexamic acid in this best face serums list!
Tranexamic acid is anti-inflammatory, decreases UV sensitivity, and helps restore the skin barrier. It actually blocks the transfer of melanin into the scarring tissue. Thus creating a more even and clear complexion. It is ah-mazing and I could not live without it.
I cannot recommend this Good Molecules serum more and some of you told me that you really enjoy it after my recommendation which makes me so happy.
The texture of this serum is so lovely and it sinks in right away. I usually use it at night and alternate between it and The Inkey List tranexamic acid treatment. But I do reach for this one more because it uses an advanced form of the ingredient.
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