Asian woman putting cream on face

Face serums have been the darling product of skincare enthusiasts for years now – and with good reason. These silky formulations are chock-full of good-for-the-skin ingredients. Experts design them to absorb into the skin better than creams. While a heavier cream forms a barrier on the skin’s surface, a face serum penetrates deeper into the skin cells because of its smaller molecules.

Harvard Health notes that checking the ingredients list is essential when choosing a serum. They have to suit your skin’s needs and exclude potentially irritating ingredients. Because your tolerance is different from everyone else’s, you must first understand your skin. Moreover, don’t automatically reach for the most expensive one — a celebrity endorsement doesn't a serum make.

Here are the most popular types of face serums and what they can do for your skin.

Hydrating Serum

Hydrating serums are suitable for most skin types. With as the key ingredient, a hydrating serum works by drawing water to the skin to deliver extra hydration. Use this with moisturizer, which locks the moisture in by creating a barrier on the skin’s surface. Other commonly used ingredients in hydrating serums include aloe vera, ceramide, vitamin E, and rosewater.

Brightening Serum

If you want radiant, even-toned skin, brightening serums are the way to go. They usually contain niacinamide, which refines and brightens the skin, vitamin C, , or other antioxidants. These help the skin repair itself and reduce inflammation from sun exposure or acne breakouts. Consequently, they help brighten the skin and refine pores while supporting collagen and elastin production.

Exfoliating Serum

Dull skin cannot reflect light. It also usually comes part and parcel with uneven skin tone and texture. An exfoliating serum with like glycolic acid and lactic or BHAs like salicylic acid can help address this. AHAs are ideal for mature skin, while BHAs are more suited for oily and acne-prone skin. Follow the instructions when using exfoliating serums since over-exfoliating can damage the skin barrier and cause breakouts, peeling, and even skin burning.

Anti-Aging Serum

A face serum can address most of the common signs of premature skin aging since its molecules can penetrate deep into the skin. These signs include sun damage, fine lines, enlarged pores, dryness, and dullness. A notable ingredient is retinol, which promotes cellular turnover, revealing fresh cells. It’s essential to use sunscreen when using anti-aging serums because they increase skin sensitivity.

Most serums deliver multiple benefits at once. For example, an anti-aging serum such as POND'S Age Miracle Double Action Serum contains both niacinamide and 30 times skin renewal actives to reduce the appearance of fine lines, aid in skin regeneration, and improve hydration. It’s an anti-aging serum that delivers most of the benefits mentioned above.

POND'S Bright Triple Glow Serum primarily delivers brightening benefits from niacinamide, but it also hydrates the skin with hyaluronic acid and brightens the skin with Gluta-Boost C. Together, these ingredients give the skin a dewy, radiant glow.

Finding the right face serum for your skin means understanding its needs as well as its sensitivities. Make sure to use it in conjunction with a regular skincare regimen and copious amounts of sunscreen to preserve any progress you’ve made on your skin.