Ready to burn your face off, but like, in a good way? These five serums live up to the hype.
For all the casual conversation one hears about serums, let’s all take a moment to acknowledge one glaring truth: No one really seems to know exactly what that word means. Some deductive reasoning from Into the Gloss asserts that it’s “a skincare product you can apply to your skin after cleansing but before moisturizing with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly into the skin.”
It’s extremely vague, in other words, and as serums become increasingly buzzy, the range of consistent ingredients and outcomes only widen. But generally speaking, some of the best serums out there seem to rely on a concoction of chemicals that work to exfoliate, rehydrate and brighten skin.
While there are legitimate concerns about everyday folk misusing chemical products that have traditionally been reserved for skincare professionals, with so many brands rushing to enter the serum marketplace, there seems to be a new miracle product dropping every other day.
But the five we’ve rounded up below are essentially fool proof, and best of all, they do in fact deliver some dewy AF skin after a few weeks of use. You’ll notice that four of them contain pretty much the same active ingredients, which is good to keep in mind as you’re setting your monthly skincare budget (because as we all know, that biz can get out of hand real quick).
The Ordinary “Buffet”, $14.80
It seems like everybody’s obsessed with The Ordinary (including us) and for good reason; the company is dedicated to pricing transparency and it’s a game changer for products that can feel out of financial reach.
This water-based serum, which is one of the company’s best-selling products, is a cocktail of peptides that reduces fine lines, hydrates, fades dark spots, and generally leaves you feeling that much glowy-er each day. Apply it day and night before your moisturizer.
Verso Antioxidant Turmeric Booster, $95
Turmeric has been all the rage for some time now as a healthy, delicious lil’ something you can add to your food and drinks. But now it’s catching on as a powerful skincare ingredient as well, and Verso’s version delivers a jolt of illumination on days your skin is feeling a little dull. In addition to turmeric, this serum also contains green tea, giving it an even more powerful antioxidant punch.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, $95
The hype is real, y’all. Apply this glycolic miracle potion at night and start to feel the effects immediately (it’ll probably sting a little). This serum derives its power from a power combo of AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid), which essentially delivers a super low-key chemical burn that resurfaces your dermis.
It’s not as scary as it sounds, promise. And when you wake up in the morning your skin looks fresh AF.
Glossier Solution, $24
It’s probably safe to assume at this point that Glossier can do no wrong. Their newest combines a trio of chemical exfoliants: AHA, BHA, and PHA (polyhydroxy acid) that likewise work to resurface the skin, shrinking pores and zapping acne in the process.
On top of all that, the bottle is freaking gorgeous. Apply this once a day with a cotton ball or pad, and follow up with moisturizer.
Omorovicza Acid Fix, $115
First, can I just say that in an increasingly competitive marketplace rife with chemicals, this elegant Hungarian skincare brand deserves some respect for its name? I mean, “Acid Fix” is pretty much as straightforward as it gets, demonstrating they’re not tiptoeing around the fact that this stuff is, well, acid. And it goes on your skin. To burn it. Honesty is the best policy, no?
It likewise employs AHA and BHA as its key ingredients, but you’re also getting Australian caviar-lime extract for brightening purposes, as well as a bit of lactic acid for smoothing out fine lines.
Words: Deena DrewisPhotos: Courtesy/Composition