The idea of religiously following a nightly, multi-step skincare regimen makes me tired.
And as obsessed with beauty products as I am, bottles of various lotions and potions usually sit in my medicine cabinet until I have a serious skin emergency (Hormonal breakout! Redness! Hyperpigmentation, damn you, summer! Flakey skin! Ugh.) Then I end up slathering something over the offending issue—it says to use it as a spot treatment, but that’s probably just a recommendation, right?—and promising myself that I’ll be better about my skincare routine. Which I am for a few weeks … Until I fall asleep on the couch watching Fleabag in a full face of makeup.
Obviously, it’s a vicious cycle. And while I may never have the in-depth skin care routine my dermatologist wishes I could follow, I’ve finally fully committed myself to one extra step: The serum.
This is because serums do exactly what I want—they work their magic crazy-fast. Get the right one, and you’ll notice big changes in your skin. That’s because these formulations are more concentrated than most other skin care, and penetrate facial skin on a deeper level than other moisturizers or treatments because they’re made with smaller molecules. Basically, use a good serum and you’ll see results almost instantly.
The other reason serums are kind of the MVP of your vanity? They tackle more specific skin problems than most treatments. Dry skin? Dull complexion? Fine lines? No matter what your issue, there’s a serum that’ll fix it.
Obviously, there are a lot of options out there—so here’s a breakdown of some of the best serums the Sporteluxe team has tried.
For hydrated skin
Use this super light serum under your regular SPF (you know you need it) in the morning to lock in moisture without feeling like you’re wearing an oily barrier over your whole face. Not only will it keep your cute little face hydrated, it’ll protect cells from pollution, weather, chemicals and free radicals thanks to antioxidants like glutathione, vitamin C, and E.
For brightening and smoothing
I have one of those ridiculous mirrors where one side is normal, and the other side is super magnified. When I accidently catch a glimpse of my face, I’m terrorized by the size of my pores and how insanely splotchy my face looks. That’s when I reach for this gel-like serum. It’s a mouthful, but Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is made with 12% AHA/BHA blend. Pat it into your cheeks, decolletage, and shoulders at night and wake up to refined, resurfaced skin.
For problem skin
Believe all the hype you’ve heard about this magical serum—it’s just as good as people say. After speaking with founder April Gargiulo (yes, she is a vintner’s daughter and actually runs wineries herself, so girlfriend knows how to get down with quality ingredients), and learning how dedicated she was to sourcing natural, organic, pure botanicals, I had to try it myself. You guys. All it takes is six drops a night to clear up acne, diminish fine lines, tighten pores, and give skin that airbrushed quality. I’m convinced that if I dumped an entire bottle on my face I’d wake up looking like Gigi Hadid. It’s that good.
For combination skin
Canadian beauty brand, DECIEM unveiled their line of low-cost, highly effective serums in September and sort of flipped the skin care world on its head. Currently, The Ordinary is a collection of vitamin, retinoid, hydrators, and direct aid serums that can be mixed and matched for whatever your skin requires. Because they’re so affordable—seriously, almost everything costs less than $15—you should honestly invest in a few different formulas. They’ve even developed a guide for how to layer serums on top of each other for best effects.
For daily use
Green beauty brand Odacitè’s serums are as addicting as PokemonGO—I wanna catch them all. Combining elements of aromatherapy and botanicals, Odacitè’s serums serve a specific function; one calms broken capillaries, one improves elasticity, and another boosts sagging skin. These are so fun to mix and match depending on what your skin feels like when you wake up, and light enough to use during the day (unlike some of the uber-powerful formulas). And they smell incredible—like perfume for your face.