Sometimes, your skin could use that extra boost you simply can’t get from your summer moisturizer alone. If you’re looking for a do–it–all product to add to your skincare rotation—something packed with antioxidants that requires next to no fuss—get yourself to a beauty counter and pick out a new serum.
“It’s a daily booster treatment for the skin,” says Ole Henriksen, the man behind the eponymous brand. His line features several different versions a gel that somehow packs your skin’s daily dose of nutrition in just a few drops. We’d say “daily booster treatment” is an understatement.
But while serums come quite close to reaching bottled miracle status, they aren’t meant to replace your entire routine. “They’re applied prior to cream, so that when you layer your cream on top it won’t feel too heavy,” explains Henriksen, “Most serums are gel based with a light viscosity—I prefer gels in serums because the delivery system allows for the extracts with a tiny molecular structure to penetrate deeper beneath the skin’s surface.”
Ole Henriksen is far from the only brand to capitalize on the hype behind serums; almost every skincare line now makes at least one version of the product. And with so many options, how can we possibly know if we’re investing in the right bottle? “Every brand has their own things that they highlight,” says Henriksen, “But as a general rule, look for high concentrations of antioxidants with an emphasis on Vitamin C, peptides (he loves micro algae based peptides, which are water–based and absorb readily into the skin), and humectants such as sodium hyaluronate) for hydration. You should also look on the label for a proprietary firming complex.”
And if in doubt, always defer to the “sample first” policy. “Take it home, apply it and look in the mirror,” he advises, “You want it to feel comfortable on your skin and add brightness and luminosity. Make sure to continue to examine your skin in the mirror— just like we examine our bodies to see the results of a healthy lifestyle, we want to observe our face and track the changes in our skin.”
Naturally, we had to ask him which formulas he personally recommends. His first pick was his Truth Serum Collagen Booster, a Vitamin C–packed serum perfect for quick mornings. “Vitamin C is the most potent of antioxidants,” he says, “ And it has so many other benefits; it strengthens collagen and brighten and evens skin tone, so I was really incorporating all of those anti–aging benefits that your skin can never get enough of.”
As far as your bedtime routine goes, he immediately told us about the Lift serum he’s launching on QVC on August 22. “At night, your skin is at rest and regenerates itself, so I wanted to create something that would firm and define the facial contours,” he explains, “The ingredients really go to work beneath the skin’s surface, giving an instant lift so that you wake up with that rested, baby–face look.”
While you wait another month for that promised baby–face, shop our roundup of serum favorites in the slideshow above.