Here's Why You Really Need to Be Using a Serum

Because hangover skin is a thing

So you swear by your daily moisturizer, but if something needs special attention, like redness, wrinkles or enlarged pores, it’s time to call in the big guns: serums.

A few drops of these nutrient-rich elixirs--after washing and exfoliating--can do a whole lotta magic. You’ll notice a major difference after a couple weeks (sometimes even the next day). Here are our recommendations for the best serums for whatever your dermatological woe.


Hangover Skin

You know that dry, thin-skinned feeling after a night out? That’s acute dehydration. But the lavender-scented Midnight Recovery Concentrate by Kiehl’s earned its nickname “Hangover Cure in a Bottle” for good reason: a few drops before bed and you’ll forget that table dance ever happened.

Kiehl’s ($46)


Sagging Skin

Collagen, the stuff that keeps your skin pretty and plump, starts breaking down at age 24. But no need to freak out about firmness--a grape extract in Caudalíe Resveratrol Lift Firming Serum, instantly tightens your skin while hyaluronic acid jump-starts collagen production. Now you can at least go back to telling people you’re 24.

Caudalíe ($82)

la mer

Post-treatment Skin

Maybe you’ve had a peel, a deep-cleaning facial or, shhh, a little botox. For post-op soothing, apply La Mer’s The Concentrate; its kelp formula is specially blended to reduce redness.

La Mer ($340)

Reduce Sun Damage

Want to fade those too-much-fun-in-the-sun brown spots (when will we learn)? You need topical vitamin C, the active ingredient in Sonage High Impact Vitamin C Serum.

Sonage ($32)


Tighten Pores

Lack of sleep and poor nutrition can result in rough skin. So if you’re running on fumes, consider Ageloc Future Serum to up your pore game and fool the world into believing that you’re taking care of yourself. But for real, a few more z’s never hurt anyone.

Nu Skin ($206)


Fine Lines

Catch little furrows in your brow and around your lips before they become grooved. Advanced Night Repair is an oil-free formula that just needs a few drops to smooth out any imperfections.

Estee Lauder ($62)