You Glow, Girl!
Updated: Feb 16
By Molly Monson
Skincare regimen videos tend to overflow your feed on every app, from Instagram to TikTok to YouTube. Knowing where to start can be daunting– if you’re looking to amp up your skincare routine, here are four essential serums to get you started, because as makeup trends come and go; beautiful, glowing skin is always in season.
If you suffer from dry, flaky skin, hyaluronic acid is a great place for you to start. Offering intense hydration and an instant smoothing effect, you’ll notice a difference in your skin after just a few days of use. For best results, use in the morning and evening before applying moisturizers.
Try The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% for $6.80 at ulta.com.
For blemishes and persistent acne, try a Niacinamide serum. Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B-3 and helps your skin develop and maintain it’s ceramide (lipid) barrier, which will not only help your skin retain moisture, but also reduce inflammation from conditions such as acne and eczema. Niacinamide can be used in the morning and evening before applying moisturizers.
Try Glossier’s Super Pure Niacinamide Serum for $28 at glossier.com.
For the best brightening and texture-evening serum, local skincare expert Dr. Michelle Naegele recommends a Vitamin C serum. Dr. Naegele owns Oxford Medical Aesthetics, a local spa offering everything from facials to laser hair removal and cosmetic treatments.
“Vitamin C is an awesome antioxidant– it binds to harmful free radicals and prevents intracellular damage, brightening the skin. I think of it like a windshield for the face” says Dr. Naegele. The serum is available at Oxford Medical Aesthetics from the practice’s dermatologist-approved skincare brand of choice, Obagi. For college-aged skin, she recommends a 10% Vitamin C serum. Use Vitamin C in the morning, underneath your moisturizer, for optimized results.
Try Obagi’s Vitamin C Serum 10% from drmichellenaegele.com
If you want to stay ahead of the game, a retinol serum can help you get a jump-start on your anti-aging treatments. Not to be an alarmist, but skin experts say the aging process begins around age 25 as the body slows collagen production. Unlike the gentler serums listed above, you may experience some inflammation as your skin gets used to the new serum.
First time retinol users typically experience mild dryness, redness, and peeling as their skin adjusts. For best results, find a low concentration retinol serum and begin by only applying it in the evening under a rich moisturizer a few times a week, and gradually increase your usage until your skin shows no reaction. Only use retinol in the evenings and be sure to double check that it won’t react poorly with the other elements of your nighttime routine, especially acne treatments. People with sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea or eczema should typically avoid retinol altogether.
Try L’Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum 0.3% Retinol, $36.99 at ulta.com.
If you experience any redness or adverse reactions after implementing these serums into your regimen, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist. Always remember– with serums, a little goes a long way.