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8 of the best serums

Whether your skin is dry, dehydrated, sensitive or acne-prone, your skincare regime will always benefit from a targeted and concentrated serum. But which one will make the most difference to your skin? SUZANNE SCOTT reveals the best serums to invest in



Much more than a hydrating serum, this exfoliating hybrid can transform your complexion in just a few uses. Containing a potent cocktail of antioxidants, vitamins C and E and retinol, you can expect visibly smoother and more hydrated skin in just one week. And, because of the added retinol, it also works wonders on minimizing pores, brightening dark spots and fading fine lines and wrinkles.

BEST SERUM FOR POLLUTION DEFENSE Prager Skincare Antioxidant Serum

City dwellers will know that coming into contact with pollution every day takes its toll on your skin. As the toxic load increases, skin can become sensitive, inflamed, dry and uncomfortable. This clever serum brings balance back to the skin with antioxidants including revitalizing vitamin C skincare and ferulic acid to help defend it against whatever the day throws at it. Massage it into cleansed skin every evening and seal it with moisturizer.

BEST SERUM FOR AN OVERNIGHT TREATMENT Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

Your skin does its best work at night, because while you are sleeping, it is in repair mode and mopping up free radicals. This oil-free serum supports the skin’s overnight renewal process and replaces lost moisture with hyaluronic acid. Use in place of your usual night cream and don’t forget to bring it down onto your neck and upper chest.

BEST SERUM FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster

Breakouts can plague skin long into adulthood, but the blemish products you used as a teen are not going to help. This targeted treatment approaches acne from every angle: it helps to minimize the blemish, reduces redness and soothes inflammation. Apply two or three drops to cleansed skin before moisturizing whenever your skin misbehaves.

BEST SERUM FOR DRY SKIN Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum

Nothing rehydrates dry skin quite like hyaluronic acid, and this particular serum is, in our opinion, the gold standard of hyaluronic-acid serums. It’s highly concentrated, feels comforting, and helps to smooth the skin’s surface, firm and plump out lines and wrinkles. Use it twice a day, every day, on clean skin.


De-puffing the under-eye area and plumping out lines would normally require two different skincare products, but this serum somehow manages to do both. It contains hyaluronans, which bring moisture to the skin and so plump it up, plus algae-derived minerals, which help to reduce puffiness and lessen the appearance of dark circles. If you have been burning the candle at both ends, this is definitely the serum for you.

BEST SERUM FOR NATURAL NUTRIENTS Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

Formulated from 22 nutrient-rich botanicals from whole plants, this oil-based serum is a potent blend of protective antioxidants, fortifying phytoceramides, vitamins and fatty acids. Basically, it’s everything you need to maintain a balanced and healthy skin. Warm a few drops between the palms of your hands and press onto cleansed skin. It’s great used at night, when skin needs extra nourishment, but it also provides a brilliant base for makeup and helps skin appear supple and dewy.


Airplane cabin air can be particularly challenging to skin; the dry air wicks away valuable moisture and, despite filtration, the recycled air can be heavy with toxins. Cleanse your skin with a gentle wipe and then follow with this luxuriously silky serum; it supports the skin’s renewal process, reduces sensitivity and maintains moisture. Reapply as often as you need, and massage it in really well to aid detoxification.

The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown