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Cleansers purify, moisturisers hydrate and serums, well, what do they do again? It’s easy to be
baffled by these mercurial treatments since they target so many different concerns—from
dryness to redness to general meh-ness. The trick is to identify your most pressing complexion
issue, and choose one or two accordingly. As serums have smaller molecules than moisturisers,
they penetrate skin to deliver active ingredients where they’re most required. If you haven’t
already added a concentrated serum to your daily routine, we’ve highlighted some of our
favourites according to four common requests.
Most of these serums tap hyaluronic acid to drench skin in moisture—like a large gulp of
Evian for your face. Our bodies produce this skin-boosting acid but it diminishes as we age.
Hyaluronic works like a moisture magnet, binding water to the skin and quenching dry patches.
Purists would appreciate Susanne Kaufmann’s Hyaluron Serum. It has just five ingredients and a
splashy dose of the renowned plumper. Calling on five molecular weights of hyaluronic, Glow
Recipe’s new plum-powered serum is designed to be slurped up by your skin for an
instant and juicy effect. This Korres serum blends
hyaluronic with a dash of organic saffron—the precious spice is rich in
antioxidants—to firm and lift skin. Apot.care, the
brainy French brand, has a potent hyaluronic serum too, but you could also try its DMAE Serum to
alleviate lines and wrinkles. The star ingredient is dimethylaminoethanol, a molecule believed
to add back bounce to your complexion. Or you could go the plant-based, vegan-friendly route
with Elemis Superfood
Facial Oil. It uses antioxidant- and omega-rich broccoli, flax seed and daikon radish to
seal in moisture.
viewing of products
Who doesn’t want supple, even skin? Thankfully, there are numerous ways to get there. If you’re
not already using an alpha-hydroxy acid, that’s a logical place to start. Sunday Riley’s Good Genes
Lactic Acid Treatment is a stellar choice for AHA novices. It fuses brightening
liquorice, soothing arnica and lactic acid (the gentlest acid) to retexturise skin. As a
night-time prescription, Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum can make your skin
dreams a tangible reality. It combines AHAs and BHA (salicylic acid) to resurface while you
slumber. A completely different stimulus for smooth skin is an antioxidant booster. Essence 27 Bio-Vitalising
Cell Hydrating Fluid from Cosmetics27 is an ultra-light emulsion that reduces minor
irritations and reboots your complexion. Or you could try a retinol-fuelled serum
to create smoother skin by triggering cellular turnover and collagen production.
If dullness, discolouration or hyperpigmentation is an issue, a brightening serum can help you
see the light. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is the pivotal player in these
illuminators. One of the most potent prescriptions is Dr. Dennis Gross’s
Professional Grade IPL Dark Spot Concentrated Serum, a cocktail of ascorbic
acid, lactic acid and liquorice root that improves skin tone. Glow Recipe’s fruity wonder uses
three powerful forms of antioxidant-rich vitamin C, including 22% pineapple juice, to combat
acne scars, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. This Tatcha serum pairs
Vitamin C with Japanese angelica root, a herb known for its brightening abilities, while Kiehl’s
added extracts of white birch and peony to its dark spot vanquisher.
A multitasking favourite, Origins’ GinZing™ Into the Glow Brightening Serum combines
AHA, BHA, and vitamin C for gentle, glow-revealing exfoliation.
Infused with soothing ingredients, these serums target redness, dehydration and irritation. One standout is Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Calming Serum, which uses a complex of plant extracts, including purslane, to quell problematic skin and reduce redness. Hailey Baldwin is reportedly a fan, especially after long-haul flights. British brand Ren Clean Skincare has an entire capsule devoted to treating sensitive skin. Its Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum uses a blend of milk protein, seaweed extract and arnica extract to mollify stressed skin. French brand Darphin is also committed to relieving redness. Its Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum has a mix of three calming flowers (hawthorn, peony and chamomile) known to reduce irritation. Originally designed for post-surgery patients, 111Skin’s Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y2 heals damaged skin with calendula extract and aminocaproic acid, an anti-inflammatory. The message in this bottle: Keep calm and carry on.