Your Skin Care Secret Weapon
Serums can be easy to overlook. They come in a small bottle and they seem to promise a lot of the same things our moisturizers or masks do. But applying serums beneath your moisturizer is the most impactful way to get results—and get them fast. They allow you to customize your regimen to suit your specific skin care need.
Like high-proof liquor, serums pack a ton of potency into every drop. For example, most facial lotions typically contain about 5 to 10 percent of active ingredients. By contrast, serums can pack up to 70%. Plus, your daily lotion has larger molecules than a serum, so it typically sits on the surface of the skin. Serums are able to penetrate deeper. And while serums certainly provide your skin with additional moisture, the main reason a man would want to use one is to add nourishing ingredients into the deeper layers of the skin that a regular moisturizer isn't able to deliver. Which is why you apply them after you wash your face, but before you apply your daily lotion.
The best serums are designed to target specific concerns, from reducing wrinkles or fighting acne to adding brightness to a dull complexion. And you want to tackle these concerns. For men over 30, your body's natural skin-cell renewal process is slowing. For younger guys, a serum can ensure your skin stays in peak condition. We've tried dozens to bring you the best ones for the most common concerns men have.
They don't call it “Super” for nothing. We noticed an improvement in skin after just a week of using this serum. It's lightweight, absorbs fast and can be used both in the morning and at night. The formula is an all-star team of ingredients—from niacinamide and squalane to green tea and ginseng—in concentrations that are clinically proven to treat fine lines and hyperpigmentation. Fragrance free and gentle on skin, the formula hydrates skin while working as an eraser to remove visible skin damage.
$46 by Jaxon Lane
Best for Breakouts
or Enlarged Pores
Breakout-prone skin needs salicylic acid to prevent clogged pores. And if you feel like your pores are more visible lately, they might need a good cleaning. This serum helps with that too. Unlike other serums, you don't apply this to your entire face. Instead, you only apply to the areas you're concerned with—the large pores around your nose, that problem spot on your chin, etc. The addition of zinc to the formula not only reduces inflammation, but reduces oil production. Combined with the skin-clearing properties of salicylic acid, you'll be able to keep dead skin, dirt and bacteria from clogging any more pores.
Targeted blemish serum,
$21.90 by Typology
& Signs of Aging
This is a pricey bottle, but a little goes a long way to do a lot for your skin. Especially if you want to reverse some signs of aging like fine lines, crow's feet and pigmentation. They used the Rolls Royce of retinoids, Granactive Retinoid, for maximum efficacy but lower irritation—so it's ideal for both those starting out with (and those well-versed in) retinols. As we age, our skin becomes less elastic but using Granactive Retinoid stimulates skin cell production while you sleep, restoring a more youthful bounciness. The serum also boasts powerful probiotics to help strengthen the skin barrier and balance sebum levels, making this formula suitable for both dry and oily skin.
Anti-aging night serum,
$165 by Patricks
Best for Eyes
The skin around the eye is already thin and delicate, so it's made for a serum to get in there and work its magic. Drunk Elephant has amassed a cult following because their formulas are so effective. The eye serum is a smooth, satiny formula that absorbs quickly while black tea boosts brightness and copper peptides minimizes fine lines while keeping skin taught and smooth.
$60 by Drunken Elephant
Wake Up Tired Skin
Vitamin C has become such a powerhouse ingredient for quality skin care products. That's because it's a potent antioxidant that promotes healthy collagen production. Which means redness, ruddiness and general skin dullness are all minimized. This serum is something of a skincare insider secret. The affordable elixir blends potent Vitamin C with plant-based hyaluronic acid to soften and hydrate skin.
Vitamin C serum
$29.99 / $21.99 by TruSkin
It's crucial to treat sensitive skin gently. Otherwise, it'll only retaliate and make things worse. To keep redness, flaking and inflammation at bay, apply this lightweight yet hydrating serum. While it calms irritation, it works to allow skin to renew itself, further strengthening your skin barrier. It's great for after too much sun, a particularly rough shave or anytime stress is causing your skin to react.
Calm repairing serum,
$44 by Paula's Choice
You typically don’t need more than two pumps or a few drops. Apply the serum with one or two fingers (to avoid wasting any on the palm of your hands) and massage thoroughly into the skin.