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The Best Face Serums for Every Single Skin Type

Basically an Instagram filter in a bottle.

skin
Rosdiana CiaravoloGetty Images

If cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreen are the meat and potatoes of skincare, serums are the spices. They'll take your routine to a new level with ingredients and formulas that address all of your individual concerns. Whether you're looking to treat dryness, dark spots, fine lines, or oiliness, there is a serum out there for you that will address all these issues and more. Plus, you can layer them on to create your perfect ingredient cocktail so you'll never have a bad skin day again.

But as much as face serums feel luxurious and chic, selecting the right one for you can be overwhelming. Which serum does what? How do I know what my skin needs? The options feel endless, but I'm here to take your hand and guide you through the options so you can find a nice pocket-sized solution to the biggest skin woes. You're not alone if the "serum" category in stores feels intimidating—you're talking to a girl who didn't realize that nighttime serums are truly for dreamland, and came home with a nice sunburn. From Vitamin C serums, AHA/BHA concoctions, and B12-filled bottles, I promise you'll find an option to suit your needs and price point.

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Most Plumping
Hydra-Serum
Embryolisse dermstore.com
$35.00

If a swimming pool isn't within your reach this summer, a squirt or two of this gel will provide the same refreshing rush as a cannonball...or close enough. It's intensely hydrating, and it plumps up the skin for a bouncy, perfectly primed complexion. 

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Fast-Acting
Active Serum
iS Clinical dermstore.com
$138.00

Consider this serum a time-traveling DeLorean for your face. It softens skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and it zaps hyperpigmentation to make you appear more youthful in just weeks. 

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Super-Organic
Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum
Eminence Organic Skin Care dermstore.com
$48.00

Apparently, strawberry and rhubarb are just as good of a duo in skincare as they are in a summery pie. Fruit-derived salicylic acid gently exfoliates while rhubarb imbues the skin with ascorbic acid to fight wrinkles.

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Best Smelling
Flora Serum
Monastery monasterymade.com
$118.00

If you've ever taken a stroll through a botanical garden, the scent of this creamy option should be all too familiar. A bouquet of floral oils gives it its soothing powers, along with hyaluronic acid for an extra boost of moisture. Think of it as your skin's chic, vintage watering can. 

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Seaweed-Infused
Balancing Act Soothing Facial Serum
Voya amazon.com
$102.00

Voya harvests a specific strain seaweed off the coast of Ireland that has potent sebum-reducing powers, and packs it into this tiny bottle to help you battle acne. And by calming inflammation and rebalancing the skin, the formula actually mattifies your complexion so your makeup looks flawless. 

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Most Healing
Y Theorem Repair Serum
111SKIN amazon.com
$332.43

Healing is the main goal for this serum—it was actually created to treat post-surgery trauma. It's proprietary complex helps enhance collagen and elastin production, which are key for keeping the complexion firm and healthy. 

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Most Brightening
Brightening Glowing Serum
Acure Amazon
$19.99
$12.16 (39% off)

The vegan formula (which is also USDA-certified organic) uses a mix of ultra-hydrating argan oil and anti-inflammatory borage oil to sooth irritated, acne-prone skin, while the added antioxidant-rich cranberry helps brighten dark spots and discoloration. 

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Retinol-Infused
Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum
Neutrogena Amazon
$19.99
$16.18 (19% off)

This silky serum is filled with retinol—a.k.a. the big kahuna of anti-aging ingredients—and glycerin to rev up collagen production and smooth out wrinkles, all without drying out your skin. 

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For the City
Beauty Shield Vitamin C Pollution Prevention Serum
e.l.f. Cosmetics Ulta
$16.00

You've heard a trillion times before that you're "supposed" to be using vitamin C on your skin, and it's for good reason: The all-star ingredient is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes skin-damaging free radicals (yes, those are real, scientific things) and brightens dark spots and discoloration. 

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The Cult Favorite
Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum
No7 Ulta
$33.99

This product has three promises: softening lines/wrinkles, firming skin, and evening out skin tone, and nails all three with its ingredients, including Matrixyl 3000 Plus, No7's most effective anti-wrinkle peptide technology, as well as Hyaluronic Acid & Hibiscus. 

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Most Hydrating
Hydroboost Hydrating Serum
Neutrogena Ulta
$24.99

This serum is meant for those of us whose skin is dying of thirst. Its main ingredient is purified hyaluronic acid, a hydrating compound that is naturally found in skin and can absorb up to 1000 times its weight in water. 

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Drugstore Pick
Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Retinol Night Cream Oil-Free and Non-Comedogenic,
RoC Amazon
$19.99
$16.98 (15% off)

This anti-aging serum has retinol (a fancy Vitamin A that also fights wrinkles), and skin-renewing minerals like magnesium, zinc, and copper to stimulate collagen production in the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.  

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For Exfoliating
Overnight Glow Serum
pixi Pixi Beauty
$24.00

This serum does all the work while you're sleeping —using 10 percent glycolic acid & arginine, this serum works hard at reducing fine lines and aging while also brightening the skin to make sure you wake up looking gorgeous.  

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Best Primer
MaxGlow Serum + Primer
Aveeno Ulta
$100.00

This product will make you glow like you just came back from a tropical vacation. Ingredients like soy and kiwi complex enhance skin’s natural radiance, and you'll have that "lit from within" look you thought only came from expensive products. 

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Vitamin C-Infused
C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum
Drunk Elephant sephora.com
$80.00

This cult favorite serum uses vitamin C to powerfully reverse signs of aging, like fine lines, uneven texture, loss of elasticity, and overall dullness. It also hydrates and exfoliates so you can expect your brightest skin yet.

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For Long-Term Use
Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Daily Repair Face Serum
L'Oreal Paris Amazon
$26.24

Repeat after us: hydrolyzed soy protein and hydroxypalmitoyl sphinganine. Okay, fine, don't repeat after us, but those two tongue-twisters are the major players in this skin-strengthening and moisturizing serum, giving it the ability to truly amp up your skin's elasticity, tone, and brightness over time. 

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For Oily Skin
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The Ordinary sephora.com
$5.90

This serum is perfect for oily and acne-prone skin, and works hard to reduce the appearance of pores and blemishes. It contains none of the harmful ingredients that cause congestion, and is gentle enough to use twice a day.

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Best for Dark Spots
Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution
Kiehl's sephora.com
$56.00

If you hate dark spots as much as I do, this correcting serum will be your new best friend. It uses peony and birch to diminish the look of dark spots, dullness, and uneven texture. You will immediately look brighter after application. 

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For Luminosity
Violet-C Brightening Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA
Tatcha sephora.com
$88.00

This powerful serum is packed full of Vitamin C and AHA acids that all work to get you the the most luminous skin of your life. It's moisturizing, fast-acting, and encourages cell turnover for supple, smoother skin.

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For Sensitive Skin
DeliKate Recovery Serum
Kate Somerville sephora.com
$85.00

For anyone who suffers from irritated, red, or inflamed skin, this serum is the calming antidote. It also brings hydration to sensitive skin, and you'll be able to see a noticeable difference in only a week. 

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The Celeb Fave
Glow Drops
Dr. Barbara Sturm sephora.com
$50.00

Every celebrity's skincare routine seems to feature this serum, and there's a reason for it. It contains anti-aging and revitalizing ingredients to give you a glowing boost.

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Most Lightweight
Wild Rose Spotless Serum with 15% Vitamin Super C
KORRES sephora.com
$68.00

This vitamin C serum works to brighten skin and reduce dullness. It also utilizes wild rose oil to hydrate and plump the skin. If you prefer less weighty textures, you'll love this lightweight serum, which brings smooth, moisturized, and even skin.

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The B12 Pick
Vitamin B12 Hydration Booster Serum
boscia sephora.com
$46.00

For perpetually dry-skinned ladies, this serum is a savior. It's packed with B12, squalene, and apricot kernel oil to strengthen your skin's moisture barrier on all levels. Just shake the bottle like you're mixing up a cocktail, apply, and say goodbye to dry days. 

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For Overnight
Noni Night AHA Resurfacing Serum
KORA Organics sephora.com
$72.00

If you've ever wanted Miranda Kerr's skin, now is your chance to try her line. This serum employs AHA and BHA acids to resurface your skin while you sleep, so you can wake up with rejuvenated, baby-soft skin.

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Worth the Price Tag
C E Ferulic
Skinceuticals dermstore.com
$166.00

You're looking at one of the most hyped serums of all time, because it's that good. It offers vitamins and acids to protect against environmental damage and reverse signs of aging. It will brighten the skin, literally as soon as you apply it, as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 

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For Dry Skin
Anti-Aging Repair Serum
Dr. Loretta dermstore.com
$110.00

This anti-aging serum contains antioxidants, plant stem cells, and marine extracts that firms skin and fights wrinkles and other signs of aging. It also improves your skin's moisture levels so perpetual dryness can feel like a thing of the past. 

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For Quick Results
Intense Hydration Serum
Eve Lom dermstore.com
$76.00

This hydrating serum powerfully increases hydration within hours with the help of hyaluronic acid and vitamins. It also contains glycerin, which cools and calms irritation and redness.  

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