And you do all right — washing your hair, moisturizing, using SPF, you’re calling it — but your skin still looks tired and dull. A hyaluronic serum may be just the thing you need to bring back that coveted summer glow, even when there’s no sun in sight. Face serums offer a concentrated dose of moisturizing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, anti-aging properties, and retinol, to help hydrate and nourish the skin deep inside. We asked dermatologists to disclose the most effective (and affordable) formulations you can find at your local drugstore, Amazon, or pretty much anywhere you like shopping. Here’s just what they had to say.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
Here it is, the GOAT: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is the love of my life and the only serum I have never been able to experience without. In the past few years, it has totally transformed my face, offering a warm, vibrant mug where there used to be tired, sallow eyes. It uses a synergistic antioxidant combination of ferulic acid and pure vitamin C and E to boost the safety of your skin from environmental harm caused by free radicals (so it’s particularly good if you live in an urban area) and boost signs of aging and photo harm all in one shot.
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
Ole Henriksen, a pioneer in vitamin C – infused skin care, formulated this powerful brightening, anti-aging serum years ago, and it is still one of his most iconic offerings. The mix of orange and green tea extracts, vitamin C, and collagen works to brighten up, visibly firm, and provide hydration throughout the day whenever you apply it. It’s a very good, cheap choice which proves its place in your arsenal.
BioEffect EGF Serum
This is a doozy. See, it’s known for (and won awards for) replenishing the body’s own natural supply of EGF (epidermal growth factor) and rejuvenating the skin cells, and it helps stop the aging process quite literally. EGF is very good for your skin, as it helps skin cells improve collagen and elastin production to increase the capacity of your body to retain water and maintain healthy, youthful skin. Another beautiful thing to write about? It’s so strong that you don’t even have to add moisturizer to top it. Only purify, sound, apply and go.
SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense
I’ve considered this SkinCeuticals product to be a godsend as someone who suffers from sun damage and discolouration. This uses 3% tranexamic acid to minimize the recurrence of discoloration, 1% kojic acid to improve the brightness of your skin, 5% niacinamide (which is vitamin B3) to further reduce skin discoloration, and 5% hepes, which stimulates natural enzymes in your skin to help break the bonds that attach dead skin cells to the surface for a comprehensive, even exfoliation cycle. In addition, participants observed an average 60 per cent improvement in the appearance of their stubborn brown patches in a 12-week clinical trial. I use it before retinol every night, and find a strong morning difference.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum
The newest serum of Tata Harper contains nine (incredible) acids which are made to create an instant glow on your skin. It’s made with carotenoids from tomatoes, a tomato grown in Israel that serves as a natural color corrector. It absorbs UVA which UVB, which emit a green light when exposed to sunlight (which neutralizes redness) to make the skin appear clearer. The serum also contains olive-derived squalane, which restore skin softness and smoothness and helps keep the skin hydrated without leaving an oily residue.