Serums For Clearer Skin
If you're one of the many people still dealing with breakouts—whether occasional or chronic—into adulthood, you know how much it sucks, and how difficult it can be to find the right combination of products that won't cause your skin to react angrily. That said, if your routine for treating acne has remained unchanged since those pubescent breakouts, it's time for an upgrade. We asked passersby which serums they use to keep their skin looking clear. You graduated high school a long time ago—it's time for your skincare routine to do the same.
Continuing to suffer from acne-prone skin well beyond adolescence sucks, especially if you're also starting to think about how to prevent aging. This serum from SkinCeuticals addresses both of those concerns. With a blend of dioic acid, salicylic acid, LHA, glycolic acid and citric acid, this serum gently but thoroughly exfoliate the skin and reduces sebum production, one of the main causes of breakouts. It can also improve skin tone, calming blotchiness and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and active breakouts.
SKIN TYPE: ACNE-PRONE, OILY, COMBINATION, & MATURE
FORMULA FACTS: OIL-FREE
RECOMMENDED BY: STEPHANIE DANLER, DARYL OH
The Active Serum from iS Clinical is truly a "do-all" product, and along with being brightening and anti-aging, it's particularly effective at treating irritated, acne-prone skin. Extracts of willow bark, sugar cane, bilberry, and mushroom are powerful natural ingredients that work to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, redness, and acne while smoothing fine lines and softening the skin's texture.
SKIN TYPE: COMBINATION, OILY, ACNE-PRONE, MATURE
FORMULA FACTS: PARABEN-FREE, DERMATOLOGIST TESTED
RECOMMENDED BY: STEPHANIE DANLER
This serum from Marie Veronique contains the powerful benefits of retinol without the harsh side effects that are often the downside of using a prescription-strength formula. It combines 7% retinol (which is microencapsulated to prevent chemical breakdown), Vitamin C in the form of l-ascorbic acid at 3% concentration, and sodium salicylate with ingredients sourced from nature, like rosehip seed oil, aspen seed extract, rosemary, and turmeric for benefits that include increased collagen production and reduction of inflammation and redness. As with any retinol-based product, it's an effective choice for dealing with concerns of both aging and acne-prone skin.
SKIN TYPE: ACNE-PRONE, MATURE
FORMULA FACTS: NO SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES, NO ALCOHOLS, NO PARABENS, NO PHENOXYETHANOL, NO MICROBICIDALS, NO PRESERVATIVE IRRITANTS, NO GLUTEN
RECOMMENDED BY: DANA DRORI
If the above options have you clutching your wallet, Glossier comes through (as usual) with an affordable alternative. Their Super Pure Serum is designed to address stressed skin with niacinamide (AKA Vitamin B3) and zinc PCA, which together clear impurities and soothe redness and irritation. One important caveat to keep in mind: if you're also using their Super Glow Serum, or any other product with Vitamin C as an ingredient, be sure to apply the two serums at alternate times of the day. When applied to the skin at the same time, niacinamide and Vitamin C react and cancel each other out, so you'll miss out on all the amazing benefits of both ingredients.