It's not always easy finding the best face serum, you've got to track down a formula that's right for your skin type (whether that's oily, dry or combination skin), whilst also making sure it fits your budget...
Chances are, you've already tried a LOT in your quest for perfect skin. But did you know that a great serum will make the biggest difference when it comes to overhauling your complexion?
Yup, whether you're looking for an anti-ageing elixir or a super hydrating potion, a high-quality face serum has the power to transform your skin's health. This is because most serums tend to be packed with the potent ingredients in lightweight formulas, this ensures they deliver all that good stuff deep down into the dermis.
For example, Niacinamide (the key ingredient in The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, is a skin-strengthening, pore-tightening powerhouse. And if it’s a hydration hit you’re after, try Evolve Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Serum 200 or L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid Serum, £24.99. Both contain hyaluronic acid, a water-holding molecule that we naturally produce, and a must for parched skin.
Whatever your skin issue, we've reviewed 17 of the very best face serums right here...
1 Best face serum for: A moisture and radiance boost L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Serum
Hyaluronic acid acts like a glass of water for thirsty skin, and this serum contains a generous 1.5% concentration of it. The formula is fairly no-frills to use, clear and slightly sticky on first application, but its moisture-restoring magic makes it worth every penny. Dry skin is more prone to “creasing”, so this hit of hydration plumps (and therefore smooths out) those fine lines.
2 Best face serum for: Dull skin with texture issues T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
This serum is packed with AHA and BHAs, to help promote skin's cell turnover - which basically means it'll improve any texture issues like fine lines, blackheads or enlarged pores. It also helps boost collagen and elastin, to leave the skin looking plumped, glowy and youthful. Along with all of that, it's free from potential irritants such as essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes and SLS.
3 Best face serum for: A instant hydration boost Zelens Z Hyaluron Hyaluronic Acid Complex Serum Drops 30ml
Ok time to get a bit tech-y – this serum contains a mix of three hyaluronic acids at different molecular weights (very low, low and medium), which creates an instant and then sustained hydration boost to the skin. Clever, huh? This also helps to improve the skin’s elasticity over time which is key for minimising the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
4 Best face serum for: Overnight plumping ESTEE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex serum
There's a reason this is such a cult classic. It's powered by the patented Chronolux Power Signal Technology which basically helps to smooth the appearance of any emerging fine lines or wrinkles. Alongside it's age-defying properties, it helps to boost a radiant complexion too and aids in retaining moisture. Sidenote, despite the name you can use this in your day and night time routine.
5 Best face serum for: Reviving dull skin BYBI Beauty Supercharge Serum 30ml
Ok, this is a different kind of serum, because it doesn’t really feel like a serum as all. It has the texture of a light, dry oil so it needs to be used after moisturiser, unlike traditional serums. It can be used day or night but if you don’t love a dewy finish stick to making it the final step in your night time regime. Lemongrass, geranium and jasmine work together to help with cell turnover and watermelon seed oil and prickly pear help to rejuvenate skin with their anti-oxidant properties.
6 Best face serum for: Correcting deep wrinkles and improving elasticity. La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Serum
Ask any dermatologist what the gold-standard anti-ager is, and 9 times out of 10, they’ll say retinol. But it can be pretty potent stuff, especially for the sensitive skinned. This serum minimises potential reactions by containing other skin-barrier-restoring ingredients, such as vitamin B3 (otherwise known as niacinamide). And don’t be put off by the formula's thick, yellow appearance – it blends like a dream and absorbs in the blink of an eye.
7 Best face serum for: Organic formula & long-lasting hydration Nordic Roots Hyaluronic Booster Serum 28ml
This serum is really fast-absorbing, ideal if you’re doing your morning in a rush before your first Zoom call. The formula consists of hyaluronic acid for rehydrating the skin, sugar beets and hop flower, which target hyperpigmentation and help to fade age spots. The blend of ingredients works to plump the skin too, which reduces the appearance of fine lines. If you have highly sensitive skin the fact this is fragrance free will be music to your ears and an impressive 100% of the ingredients are organic.
8 Best face serum for: Preventing blemishes SkinCeuticals Blemish and Age Defense Corrective Serum
I know what you're thinking, SkinCeuticals are pretty pricey, but they're also one of the best brands around for creating effective hard-working skincare formulas. I noticed an instant difference after using this serum - where I'd usually wake up with a couple of tiny blemishes around my chin and hairline, the morning after using this I had none. Yup, zero new blemishes.
9 Best face serum for: Oil control & minimising pores Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Packed with 10% niacinamide, this incredible serum is all your skin needs to help prevent excess oil and irritating breakouts. It works by decongesting skin and rebalancing sebum production, to keep spots under control. Not only does it stop breakouts and minimise pores, but it also soothes skin, leaving it looking clearer and brighter.
Use it all over if you're prone to acne, or as a targeted treatment directly on any spots. Oh, and it's alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan and cruelty-free. Not bad, huh?
10 Best face serum for: Dry, dehydrated skin Evolve Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Serum 200, 30ml
If my skin is ever feeling a bit dry or tired, this is the serum I reach for. Not only is it 99.3% natural (which means it’s made up of non-toxic, non- synthetic ingredients), but it’s like a big drink of water for parched skin. Apply it before any moisturiser and it’ll get rid of all signs of dehydration.
As well as being all natural, the serum is also vegan, eco-friendly and cruelty- free.
11 Best face serum for: Anti-Ageing and dry skin types REN Clean Skincare Keep Young and Beautiful Firming and Smoothing Serum 30ml
The best thing about this serum is that it firms skin and gives a boost of hydration. Expect to see an instant dewy freshness after application, but then over the longterm, it helps with moisture retention thanks to the hyaluronic acid. After weeks of use, this claims to help skin becomes better equipped to repair and protect itself for everyday aggressors. Which sounds pretty great to us!
12 Best face serum for: Brightening Vitamin C 20% & Hyaluronic Acid Serum
If you’re ready to level up your vitamin C game then this serum is a fab option. The combination of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C works to lighten hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone caused by sun damage. Just remember to apply SPF when this is in your routine for increased UV protection.
13 Best face serum for: Pigmentation, texture issues and helping achieve all- round clearer skin. Treat Tincture 30ml
Industry-renowned Dermatologist, Dr. AJ Sturnham, has released her long awaited skincare range and trust me, it's incredible. Hailed a 'gold standard night serum' thanks to it's powerhouse ingredients, this serum has been designed to give you clearer, healthier skin. With a line-smoothing retinoid complex and moisture-boosting squalane and hyaluronic acid, I noticed a difference after just a few uses.
14 Best face serum for: Sensitivity, roseaca and skin that stresses out easily Calming Serum
This is hands down one of the very best serums I've ever tried. It contains a plant-based complex that helps bring freaked out skin back to a balance. My complexion has a couple of rosy patches that just never seem to go, but consistently using this serum has made a massive difference. No matter what has been stressing your skin out, sun exposure, sleepless nights, jet lag, air con or pollution, this serum will bring it back to a happy medium.
Oh, and if you're ever plagued by those annoying under-the-skin spots, this will help get rid of them. Promise.
15 Best face serum for: Improving skin texture & minimising pores Shani Darden Skin Care Texture Reform
Celebrity facialist, Shani Darden, is responsible for maintaining the flawless complexions of Emily Ratajkowski, Chrissy Teigen, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jessica Alba. So naturally, when Shani released her own skincare line, our ears pricked up. This clever formula contains a mild retinol, along with lactic acid, both of which are designed to help all skin concerns from texture and uneven tone, to breakouts and red patches.
16 Best serum for: Treating redness Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum
Known for its powers of helping to calm irritation, tiger grass is the major key in this serum that makes it great for treating redness. It encourages quicker healing and helps to reinforce the skin’s barrier to help to prevent further flare ups from occurring.
17 Best face serum for: Nurturing skin prone to redness and inflammation Vanderohe No.1 Nourishing Face Serum, 30ml
This one sits somewhere between an oil and a serum, but don’t be put off if your complexion is on the oily side. Natural oil-based products can help to balance blemish-prone skin, and this 100% organic formula sinks in quickly, leaving no greasy residue. Yep, it’s pricey, but that’s due to the highest-grade organic, wild-harvested and cold-pressed oils it’s packed with. I love how well my make- up applies over it, and how pampering it feels to massage it in before bed. It smells like a posh spa, too.