Serums are hot in skin care now. They’re meant to be applied after cleansing, but before moisturizing. If you have younger or oilier skin that doesn’t need so much hydration, serums can also be great as stand-alone moisturizers. “Serums can dramatically improve one’s skin, texture and tone,” Dr. Frank said. “A serum can have a stronger concentration of key ingredients which will penetrate the skin better.” He recommends using serums that contain a lightening agent to even out skin tone, or one that contains a fruit acid like grape, papaya, or grapefruit.
• Chanel Le Blanc Brightening Concentrate, $195 : We’ve been using this serum (which is one of the brand’s best sellers in Europe and Asia) religiously all winter. It’s meant to brighten things up, fade dark spots, and make skin tone more even.
• Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum, $22.99: This drugstore staple contains concentrated amino-peptides and moisturizers to make your skin more supple. Comes fragrance free, a plus for sensitive skin.
• SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Serum, $265: If you’re desperate for a skin fix, save up your pennies and go for the big guns. This potent serum provides major hydration. We’ve been milking ours ever since we met Cate Blanchett (the brand’s spokesperson) up close and saw how amazing she looks.
• Clarins Vital Light Serum, $110: Another brightening potion from a French brand that knows skin care.
• Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum, $48: This one is a super hydrating serum made with organic grape water and antioxidants.