Ok, so the skincare world is…as daunting as can be, and sometimes that collection of The Ordinary serums staring back at you from the bathroom cabinet feels like a veritable chemistry lab ready to blow at any moment.
Take a breath, cause we’ve done the leg work with the slippery serpent that is serums, and we’ve got the best serums for your face rounded up right here.
Best Brightening Serums
Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum
Like most brightening serums, the power behind the Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum lies in the high concentration of vitamin C. Glycolic Acid exfoliates the skin allowing for said vitamin to penetrate the skin deeper. This serum is fragrance and artificial colour-free and works for all skin types. Oh yeah, it also boasts a 4.5-star rating on Sephora from 240 peeps who've given it a whirl.
L'Occitane Reine Blanche Brightening Serum
Ideal for those with some pigmentation issues, this serum brightens and tones the skin with organic meadowsweet flowers water, white mulberry extract and salicylic acid. The Reine Blanche Brightening Serum is a silver bullet for upping the skin’s luminosity, clearing any dullness and unevenness, and giving you a serious glow.
Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum
So turns out Squalane is more than just a fun word to say. It is produced naturally by your skin cells, but the amount you produce decreases as you get older and actually is in prime production in your teen years, at least for some—the only thing that was in overdrive in our teen years was sebum. Anyway, the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum has white shiitake mushroom extract blended with a unique derivative of vitamin C to thank for its mass of 5-star reviews. Put simply, it does what it says it does—degrades dark spots PLUS prevents new ones from popping up.
Best Hydrating Serums
Eye of Horus Cosmetics Seven Seed Scared Oil
Clean beauty at its best, this uber hydrating oil can be used in place of your daily moisturiser or primer, simplifying your beauty routine down to one sacred bottle. Lightweight and silky, Seven Seed Scared Oil is 100% natural, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free . Made with Moringa, Abyssinian, Hemp, Pomegranate, Marula, Baobab and Nigella Seed Oil for skin renewal , this elixir will boosts hydration, stimulate collagen production as well as reducing fine lines, dark spots, dryness and inflammation . It’s a winner.
Sand & Sky Australian Emu Apple Dreamy Glow Drops
Aside from the undeniable pop of colour that the packaging adds to your side of the bathroom mirror cabinet, the Sand & Sky Australian Emu Apple Dreamy Glow Drops make your skin so dewy and smooth—think newborn baby dolphin. You may be wondering what an emu apple is. Well, high in antioxidants and natural waxes, emu apple is known for its ability to protect and nourish the skin and it's grown right here in Australia. The glow drops are also chockablock with vitamin C and Kakadu Plum that lights up your skin from within for a dreamy hydrated glow that lasts.
Best Serums For Blemished Skin
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum
Ok, this is where this Accutane-treated writer personally steps up to the mic to give her 2 cents. After most of us, acne-prone beings are downright product-catfished by influencer endorsements for much of our lives, it's not often a product comes along that actually slaps. Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum is truly a resurfacing miracle. Thank a blend of glycolic, tartaric, citric and salicylic acids in advance for your brand new skin. Seriously, it also fades scars so now you can forget about picking your face to within an inch of its life—it's just so hard not to pop. It also enhances the performance of other products by clearing the way for maximum absorption. Give the reviews a read if you need more convincing.
Avène Cleanance WOMEN Corrective Serum
They bring out the big guns for us acne-prone peeps and the Avène Cleanance WOMEN Corrective Serum is no different. A double threat, this serum works to reduce the appearance of blemishes and the production of excess sebum as well as being gentle enough for those with sensitive skin to improve the semblance of skin texture and tone. The main ingredients are Synovea, a component that helps to reduce blemishes and limit sebum oxidation while reducing excess sebum production and P-Refinyl, an inbuilt mattifier that also tightens pores.
Avec Bioactive Nutrient Serum
This nourishing serum is like a superfood for your face. Each bottle is packed with 14 vitamin and mineral-rich botanicals that are hand-picked by farmers to ensure every ingredient is plucked at the height of the plant's potency. The formula is made with a dreamy mix of jojoba oil which accelerates healing; burdock to combat breakouts, lemon myrtle to cleanse congested pores and rosemary which is full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties which make it especially well suited for acne. This is your skin's new superhero.
Best Anti-Ageing Serums
Estèe Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex Serum
It's no secret we spend a little too much time using the baby filter on IG. Something that gives us a little more of a youthful appearance? Presenting: the Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex Serum from Estèe Lauder. Go to sleep slathered in this and you awake to a smoother, even-toned and radiant face. Bonus, it's non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and comes in recyclable glass packaging.
Rodan + Fields Total RF Serum
Ok so this one is pricey but trust is, it is a miracle worker for your skin. Total RF Serum is powered by R+F’s RF TriEnergy Complex that combines scientific and natural ingredients to energise millions of surface skin cells to address all the key signs of skin aging. RF TriEnergy Complex is made up of Ayurvedic Sandalwood, Indian Kino Extract and Omega 6 Fatty Acid blended into a unique ratio for maximum potency. These powerful ingredients work synergistically together for ultimate optimisation of anti-ageing skin benefits, in a way that the individual ingredients do not. The result is smoother, firmer-looking skin with less visible fine lines. Apply this beauty in the am and pm before moisturising.
ALPHA-H Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum
Ok, alert– we’ve got an award winner in the house: the ALPHA-H Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum. This liquid gold won Beauty Haven Best In Beauty Awards last year, and to be honest if you get just one serum from our list, let it be this one. The magical elixir speeds up the skin's renewal process and in the process drastically refines tone and brightness as well as reducing sun damage and blemishes. Also fun fact, it's made right here in Australia. Go us!
Biologi Bm Regenerate Serum
Sometimes you gotta keep it simple. The team at Biologi certainly agree, their Bm Regenerate Serum is only 2 ingredients—Mountain Pepper Berry Fruit Extract and 0.2% sodium benzoate. Don’t let this serum’s simplistic ingredient list fool you—Mountain Pepper Berry is the hero ingredient because of its superior antioxidant and collagen-boosting potential. The Native Mountain Pepper Berry enhances collagen production, repairs barrier function, and increases hydration to gently defy the visible signs of ageing.
Best Budget Serums
The Ordinary Buffet Serum
Ok so there may have been some The Ordinary slander at the beginning of this article, but that doesn't mean we don't love them. Not only are their formulas bomb, but there’s also just something irreplaceable about only having to pay $6.23 on the ol’ Afterpay payments for a serum that works. The Buffet serum is how it sounds; a buffet for the face. Anything good you can think of is in this little frosted bottle, it's got ya tetrapeptides, tripeptides and even hexapeptides. Yeah look all we know is it's affordable and makes our skin look nice.
Dope Skin Co. Antioxidant Botanical Facial Serum
Like a multivitamin for your skincare routine, this little serum packs a serious punch thanks to powerful plant-based antioxidants and vitamins to brighten, visibly reduce hyperpigmentation, even skin tone and firm. The Botanical Facial Serum has Hyaluronic Acid to deeply hydrate (which helps to plump and reduce signs of fine lines, win) while rose water and Vitamin B3 balance your skin's oil production for clearer skin. This product's also pregnancy safe, cruelty-free, and vegan.
Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
There hasn't been much mention of the phenomenon of Korean skincare in this list yet, despite the chokehold that it has on our Pinterest boards and wallets. That ends here. Perhaps the most recognizable trigger words for Korean beauty: glass skin. Think poreless, luminous, and translucent downright fairy princess skin. Amazingly, you can achieve all this for only $40 thanks to the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum which deeply hydrates and protects due to the potency of the main ingredient—green tea seeds. Who’d have thunk? At any rate, we aren't the only ones that love it—its popularity has earned this little green powerhouse an impressive 4.3 stars out of 5 from avid users.
Looking for some skin protection to use after you’ve slathered your face with the best face serums? Here are the best sunscreens to buy right now.
Editor's note: Urban List editors independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we get revenue from your purchases.