#Skin Care

The Best Face Serums To Add To Your Beauty Routine

by Sidney Burds

The Best Face Serums To Add To Your Beauty Routine
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You think you’re already doing enough with your skincare routine. You cleanse, tone, moisturize, and use under eye creams. But as you grow older, you might start to see the tell-tale signs of fine lines, uneven texture, and sun damage. What. The. Heck. Truth is your products might not be doing enough, and you need a stronger, more nourishing face serum to close the gap.


If you’re wondering if you really need to add a face serum to your beauty regimen the answer is a firm “yes.” Face serums combat signs of aging and environmental damage, along with giving you that wake-up-flawless glow. They have the ability to increase collagen production which is one of the best things you can do to achieve soft, youthful skin.


We get that one serum doesn’t fit all, so we did the research for you. Here are the best face serums according to your skin concern and texture preference. From dry to oily, sun damaged to fine lines, these serums are true miracles in a bottle.


Woman examining her skin close up



1 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Brightening Serum


Striving for that lit-from-within glow you catch after a trip to the spa? While you might not have the budget for regular facials, this Sunday Riley brightening serum delivers the same results for less. Packed with 15 percent advanced Vitamin C, your skin will experience an instant boost of radiance, while phytosterols reduce the appearance of redness and skin sensitivity.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
Listen, this is expensive, I know, BUT it is everything! I've tried about 40 high end and about 40 drug store moisturizers, anti aging etc products over the last 8 years or so, and this is probably the best one I've ever used! After one full bottle, my skin is brighter, my pores are smaller, I look younger, more awake, & refreshed! I will continue to buy it even at $85 a pop. Don't hesitate to buy!

2 of 16 Image Credits: Amazon

Best for Brightening

Acure Brightening Glowing Serum


When you find a drugstore dupe that can beat out the big name brands, it's worth grabbing and giving a try. With over 400 reviews and averaging 4 stars on Amazon, this Acure serum is one of the top brightening bestsellers. Sourced with the highest quality ingredients, Acure's serum uses argan oil for moisture, borage oil to soothe, and a combination of cranberry and pumpkin seed oil for antioxidant protection.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
This is my new favorite product. I just ordered my second bottle and after finishing the first, I've found that my face is so much clearer and glowing! I didn't even realize how dry my skin was until I started using this product. I apply after washing my face at bedtime and I use in the am again before putting on my makeup. It is not greasy.

3 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Drugstore

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%


Adding a serum might sound like a bad idea for oil prone skin, but trust us, it will do more good than harm. Your oil production could be due to the fact that you're using products that are too harsh and drying your skin, causing it to over-produce oil. This gentle serum by The Ordinary uses niacin amide (aka Vitamin B3), to reduce congestion and blemishes. This along with zinc ZPA works to balance sebum activity bringing your oil production back to normal.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I have very large pores and very oily skin. After a week of use I’ve noticed my Hoover Dam sized pores have drastically reduced. I’ve also noticed my face is a lot less shiny. I even forgot to apply my mattifying primer one day, and I didn’t look like I went bobbing for apples in a vat of Crisco by the end of day.

4 of 16 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best for Oily Skin

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum


Sometimes regular moisturizers just won't do. Maybe you have naturally dry skin, or perhaps you like to enjoy the outdoors and the cause is sun or wind exposure. Skip slathering on layers of creams and use a couple of drops every morning and night of Fresh's face serum. Rose water and cucumber extract are the key ingredients that instantly hydrate and alleviate any irritation.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
Went skiing out west and forgot to apply sunscreen. At the end of the day, my normally olive skin was bright red and tender. My cheeks, chin area and part of my forehead were tight, tingly and irritated from the burn. When I returned home, I continued my normal regimen, however, extra moisturizer did not help the areas that were sunburned. The redness had toned down slightly, but in general, my skin felt even tighter and very itchy. Luckily, I found a sample packet of Fresh Rose Deep Hydrating Face Serum and when applied, I felt immediate relief. The serum absorbed upon contact, that itchy feeling went away and the redness was toned down even more. Happy to have found this product and will use it now and in the future. Thank you Fresh for this fabulous product!

5 of 16 Image Credits: Ulta

Best for Dry Skin

Clinique Acne Solutions Acne + Line Correcting Serum


While some of us weren't lucky enough to leave acne behind in high school, there's a serum to get it gone for good. Specifically designed for adult skin that experiences breakouts, Clinique's acne and line correcting serum gently cleanses and clears your skin, without promoting further breakouts. Not only does it banish acne, it also tightens and improves texture.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I first got this serum as a sample when I destroyed my skin using expired make up! (I know, I know...) And it helped clear me up faster than what I was already trying! I have been dealing with moderate acne since my early teens and my skin looks better now than it has...ever! I'm 29, so the fact that this helps with fine lines is an amazing bonus for me! Not many products treat both! The dropper is wonderful! I use one drop on my forehead and two on each cheek.

6 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best for Acne

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment


You might not have signs of fine lines or wrinkles yet, but none of us are exempt from aging skin. While it's a natural part of life, there's nothing wrong with prolonging your youthful complexion. This Sunday Riley serum is a daily lactic acid treatment that exfoliates your skin's surface, revealing a clarified visage. It also works great on uneven skin texture and acne scarring.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
This was my first expensive purchase for skincare. I have been battling cystic acne for about 5 years now. I got it under control with Accutane, but the scar damage and huge pores were still an issue. After trying facials and cleansers anyone recommended, I decided to invest and buy this product that I heard great reviews about. It has absolutely transformed my skin in one month. I recommend this to anyone who has battled with huge pores and acne scars.

7 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Anti-Aging

Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum


Keep those laugh lines and crows feet at bay with Herbivore's secret ingredient for smoothing skin, bakuchiol. Bakuchiol gives your skin an overall refined appearance, infused with PHAs and tremella mushrooms for quick hydration absorption. It has a unique jelly-like texture that quickly dries leaving your skin refreshed, dry, and soft.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
This is a really thick and wonderfully soothing serum. You only need a large drop or two to spread it across your whole face. It tends to get a bit sticky, so less is more here. It makes my skin feel soft, smooth and moisturized, and it makes it glow (I'm in my 30s). I usually use a natural moisturizer on top of this, but you don't really need to. This is a great skincare product with excellent natural ingredients, and the glass dropper bottle is super nice!

8 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best for Fine Lines

La Mer The Regenerating Serum


Skin inflammation, uneven texture, and aging, you have met your match. Now we get that this price-tag is high, ahem that's why it's the best splurge. Not everyone will be able to justify this purchase, but treating your skin well while you're young will help it age beautifully over time. If you're looking to take your at-home skincare routine seriously, this is worth the investment.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I have been using La Mer for over twenty years and I'm 48. I'm constantly being ask what product I'm using and they can't believe my age. I have sensitive skin, and La Mer has been the only product I can use.

9 of 16 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Splurge

Coola Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum


Who doesn't love laying out in the sun? It's warm, gives you Vitamin D, and boosts your skin color with a luminous tan. Years of continuous exposure, however, lead to signs of aging like sun spots and wrinkles. Fake the tan and fight the sun damage with Coola's face serum. With key ingredients like plant stem cell cultures that reduce signs of premature aging, you can feed your skin while maintaining a faux sun-kissed glow.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I've been using this for a couple of weeks now and I am in love with the results! I'm naturally very fair so I try to stay out of the sun, but I like the way I look so much better when I'm tan. I mix about 1 pump of this in with my nightly moisturizer and not only does it give me just the right amount of subtle, natural looking color, it also softens and hydrates my skin really well and evens out my skin tone. I think this is definitely going to become a holy grail product for me. I cannot recommend this enough! So happy with the results, my skin looks amazing!

10 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best for Sun Damage

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum


You've probably noticed us going on and on about Vitamin C serum, with good reason! Vitamin C has a huge role in collagen production, which helps your skin cells turnover, leading to fresher, newer skin. Ole Henriksen was an early adopter to this skincare revelation, so it makes sense that years later its face serum is still one of the best for Vitamin C on the market.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I work in an assisted living facility, caring for 86 seniors. One thing I have noticed is the women with the most beautiful skin are using Vitamin C on their faces...they all seem to have this product in common. I bought Truth Serum and could not believe how much smoother, brighter and youthful my skin started looking and I am 62 years young. This will continue to be my go-to product from now on.

11 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Vitamin C Serum

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum


It's time to boost that cell turnover! You may not be showing any signs of aging (we not-so-secretly envy you) so to keep the good genetics going add a collagen boosting serum to your routine. Dr. Dennis Gross face serum is potent with 3-O-Ethyl, the most effective form of Vitamin C, that balances skin tone, diminishes fine lines, and brightens skin long term.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I 100% recommend this product. It has made my skin brighter. I am Latina, so after I have acne I get pretty bad dark spots, but with this product, my dark spots are all gone! I am totally hooked, this product truly works wonders. The smell doesn't bother me at all, I actually like the smell and the texture, it is not heavy or oily. So perfect for me. I really have nothing bad to say about this product.

12 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best for Boosting Collagen

Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum


Care about the ingredients in your skincare? Us too, that's why we love this natural face serum by Tata Harper. It's 100 percent natural, no GMOs, toxins, fillers, synthetics, or artificial chemicals. The formula is as green as the bottle, vegan, cruelty-free, and the packaging is recyclable. It brightens and tightens with ingredients you can feel good about.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I really like this serum for evening out the complexion. If you have normal skin during the summer or oily skin this could be used without a lotion after the serum. This is a very lovely line that is clean and natural, and the serum is vegan. Tata Harper's packaging is beautiful. After just a couple of nights use, I noticed a difference in my overall complexion. I didn't notice any difference with any fine lines that I have. It makes the skin very smooth and is great before make up application as well. If you are looking for a serum to help even out your complexion, calm redness to the skin and is from a "clean" line, this should be it.

13 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Natural Formula

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Serum


Leave it to a dermatologist-developed Korean skincare brand to create the ultimate serum for skin relief. Dr. Jart's Cicapair Tiger Grass Serum is made with jartbiome, centella Rx, and cicabond combined to help strengthen and protect your skin from irritations. It's great for all skin types, but we find this face serum to be especially helpful for those with sensitive skin prone to irritations.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I'm the girl who has both cystic and your typical surface acne along with redness and sensitive skin. I'm currently on Accutane (month 2 so my skin is a train wreck right now) and this stuff...let me tell you...my new holy grail. My skin feels so comfortable. It helps so much with the irritation and redness. My open acne spots have definitely reduced in size over the last 72 hours. I use it both morning and night and seriously LOVE this product. Definitely recommend it!

14 of 16 Image Credits: Amazon

Best K-Beauty

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum


Taking a chance on a new product is an investment that might not always pay off. If you need a good, trusted recommendation try this highly reviewed TruSkin serum is currently Amazon's bestselling face serum. It has over 7,000 reviews, with an average of 4 stars, and hundreds of before and after photos to back up the product's no. 1 rating.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
My search for an amazing serum is finally over. I just purchased my 3rd bottle and I am hooked! My skin looks flawless and I have been getting so many compliments about how great I look. My skin glows as if I just walked out of a spa treatment. A little goes a long way, the bottle usually last me about 3 1/2 months. I use it every morning and every night. Thank you for this amazing product!

15 of 16 Image Credits: Sephora

Best on Amazon

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum


When Beyoncé sang about waking up flawless, we think she was referring to this night face serum. Drunk Elephant’s night serum clears uneven skin tone, dullness, uneven texture and the size of pores practically overnight. You won’t find essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrances, or dyes in this product, as Drunk Elephant believes they are the cause of most skin irritations.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I tried my sample during a break out, and woke up with a few new tiny little bumps. I stopped using it because it freaked me out. But I went back to my skin care girl at Sephora, who encouraged me to continue trying it. I used it for four nights in a row, and I am blown away at how it's changed my skin. Brighter, softer, smoother...Love this stuff. I promise the "break outs" subside with continued use. ALSO, PRO TIP: This is a BALLER spot treatment. Like...It'll kill a blemish overnight.

16 of 16 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Night Serum

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum


Sensitive skin women, we hear you. We understand and know the fear of trying a new product and having it backfire in (or on!) your face. Harsh chemicals and extra strength formulas are not your friend, so be gentle with your skin and use this soothing First Aid Beauty serum. It uses hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture, plump, and nourish your face. No redness or breakout worries here.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I have combination skin and acne. This is the only thing that's changed my skin. I use a drugstore face wash in the shower, dry my face and apply this serum. After the serum I follow with the lotion also by this brand. My skin hasn't been better since.