Best Serums for Glowing Skin:
For Vitamin C: Joanna Czech The C+ Serum, $340
“Vitamin A (commonly referred to as retinol) is a crucial ingredient in maintaining optimal skin health,” shares acclaimed esthetician Joanna Czech, whose treatments are beloved by celebrities and Vogue editors alike. “This fundamental vitamin attaches itself to skin cells, reaching both the dermis and the epidermis, normalizing their function and getting them to behave like younger, healthier versions of themselves.” Aside from retinol, both experts name vitamin C as another ingredient to look out for. “Vitamin C brightens, evens skin tone, increases collagen production, and fights off damaging free radicals, leaving your skin with the perfect glow.” Oh, and niacinamide can provide essential antioxidant protection, too.
Because serums offer the highest concentration of active ingredients, they are often the most useful in rejuvenating your skin’s appearance. “They were created to deliver potent ingredients directly into the skin to heal, rejuvenate, and improve the skin's overall health,” Czech explains, continuing that these allow you to target specific concerns, to promote a healthy glow. That being said, while the means to achieving glowing skin may vary by skin type, the methodology remains the same. “Glowing skin is synonymous with healthy and hydrated skin, which anyone can achieve,” she says, often hindered by dryness and pigmentation. To address these concerns and more, read on to discover the best serum for glowing skin.
Let’s start with tackling dryness concerns, shall we? Czech’s The Soothing Serum is formulated to be calming and protective. “This serum contains hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, allowing the ingredients to reach maximum absorbency into the skin,” she says of her chosen formula to quell redness, inflammation, and sensitivity. On the other hand, there’s Tatcha’s serum, powered by lactic acid found in Japanese superfoods, hyaluronic acid, and squalane to improve texture and lock in moisture.
For Vitamin C
Industry-wide, vitamin C is known to expertly brighten your complexion. Often dubbed the gold standard ingredient, the antioxidant boasts a variety of usages, from boosting collagen production to neutralizing free radical damage. That said, Hartman likes Glossier’s Super Glow. “[This] uses a more gentle version of vitamin C–magnesium ascorbic phosphate–versus the pure l’ascorbic acid, which makes it a great option for first-time Vitamin C users who want a brighter complexion,” he says. Otherwise, Czech details that her C+ Serum “is an anti-inflammatory that helps increase collagen production, hydrates, brightens, evens skin tone, and inhibits melanin synthesis.”
Per Czech, a mild exfoliation is key to maintaining luminosity. Remember: the best face exfoliators work by improving dullness and unclogging pores to refresh the skin. Because of this, they’re often mainstays in acne-fighting regimens to prevent breakouts. “SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF is an oil-free vitamin C serum that is designed for oily, acne-prone skin,” Hartman says of the formula he uses personally. “It reduces oiliness, improves skin clarity, and refines skin texture, all while providing protection from environmental stressors.” There’s also the Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum which uses a cocktail of AHAs, BHAs, botanicals, and squalane to reveal a healthy glow.
Say smoothing fine lines and wrinkles is at the top of your list. Czech notes MBR’s Liquid Surgery Serum is worth every penny. According to her, “this powerful serum contains a medical synthetic oxygen carrier used as hemoglobin to substitute and replace excess carbon dioxide with essential, pure oxygen” to allow for a complete rejuvenation of cell metabolism. TL;DR: the serum restores skin volume and elasticity to relieve deep wrinkles. A more classic approach to wrinkle smoothing, however, comes by way of Lancôme’s Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum. Through a robust fusion of ferulic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, this formula targets volume loss, dark spots, and environmental stressors.