Every guy needs a simple skincare regimen that covers the basics—cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize. But there's also good reason to introduce some more advanced, sophisticated players into your routine. This includes nightly retinol to hold off early signs of aging, sunscreens and SPF to block the sun’s harmful UV rays, a skin-friendly shave regimen, and lastly, serums.
Applied once or twice a day—after cleansing, before moisturizing—serums seep into all three layers of your skin, whereas moisturizers sit on a layer atop the skin. Serums are more penetrating and corrective than moisturizers, which are best for simple hydration and environmental protection. They're usually chock full of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, and more, depending on the recipe. All of these ingredients work to firm and brighten skin.
What does “brighter” skin look like? Simply put, it’s more radiant. It’s youthful. You’ll get compliments on your fresh face, since it works to reverse dark spots and fine lines, shrink pores, preserve moisture, and smooth the skin's texture. They work relatively quickly, too: Whereas retinol might take up to 90 days to show results (because you’re playing a long game with it), serums often reflect within weeks. Granted, it’s all the more effective if you do both, and if you pair it with a healthy, balanced, well-rested lifestyle. (If you binge drink, lay out in the sun all day, and don't get sufficient sleep, you can't expect to achieve a healthy complexion, period. No serum or retinol can counter bad habits that damage your skin.) If you’re ready to jump into this fountain of youth and add serum to your skincare regimen, then consider our favorite formulas below.
The Best Serum for a Consistent Complexion
The Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Face Serum
The Better-Than-Botox Face Serum
The Best Skin Soothing Face Serum
The Best Serum for Your Under Eyes
The Best Face Serum for Dry Skin
The Best Face Serum for Sensitive Skin
The Best Natural-Powered Face Serum
Originally Appeared on GQ