The best face serums for men will give you a brighter, more beautiful complexion

It’s impossible to pick a single best face serum because no two guys have exactly the same skin care needs—it makes sense that no two of us should have exactly the same skin care regimen. Of course there is one reliable baseline regime it should be in place for everyone, but we all need to build our own unique steps on top of that foundation – to target the unique obstacles our own skin faces (such as acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, irritation , inflammation, rough texture and so Hi M).

Serums are one of the best ways to add some customization to your skincare routine. If you are prone to acne, for example, a good one salicylic acid serum (applied 2-3 times weekly) can help alleviate the problem. A person with dry skin will benefit greatly from one hyaluronic acid serum. Dull, tired skin can be reversed Vitamin C serum is applied every morning.

For those who want to try their hand at preventative care – minimizing fine lines and keeping skin looking nice and tight for years to come – a retinol serum will keep everything lifted without a dose of anesthetic. Or maybe you simply need a skin reset – it may sound counterproductive to add another product to the mix, but securing a serum whose star ingredient is niacinimide will help soothe irritated skin, reduce inflammation and redness, so you can get back to feeling comfortable in your money maker.

Applied after you wash your face and before moisturizing, serums typically seep into the skin as opposed to resorting to the outer layer (as a moisturizer does). As such, they work on the skin from within, helping to play a long game with your skin care regimen. Serums are packed with all the nutrients needed to target your skin conditions, and usually a drop or two goes a long way—so don’t be put off by 1 oz. vials that cost twice as much as your moisturizer. After continued use (typically a few months), you should see drastic changes in your overall complexion.

Below are the 19 contenders for the title of best face serum, each with its own hero ingredient to target a specific skin concern.

Best face serum, an overview

Best starter serum

The regular hyaluronic acid 2% + B5 moisturizing serum

If you’re new to serums (or a skin care routine in general), then you might be a little concerned when it comes to dropping a wad of cash on a 30ml bottle. Not to fear, you can get amazing results for single digits. The Ordinary’s hydrating serum has a loyal fan base thanks to its potent blend of hyaluronic acid and B5, combined to hydrate while increasing the skin’s ability to retain water, and a very attractive price.

Best moisturizing serum

SkinCeuticals hyaluronic acid gel serum

This gel serum uses everyone’s favorite moisturizing ingredient, the ultra-absorbent hyaluronic acid, to draw moisture into the skin. It double hydrates with vitamin B5, which also helps speed up the healing of any acne marks or scars.

Best Brightening Serum

Ursa Major Vitamin C Serum

Use this vitamin C serum every morning to take advantage of its ascorbic acid and in turn promote a brighter, more radiant complexion. It’s one of those products you didn’t know you were missing until the compliments started rolling in.

Best pore-clearing serum

Typology salicylic acid and zinc serum

This serum combines the pore-clearing power of salicylic acid with the anti-inflammatory properties of zinc to help prevent and treat breakouts. People with acne prone skin will appreciate a two or three times weekly use of this to help reduce oil production and keep dead skin cells and bacteria out of your pores.

Best texture smoothing serum

Dr. Dennis Gross Retinol Ferulic Serum

The good doctor is at it again with this brand new rejuvenating serum. He uses both retinol and its herbal, skin-smoothing counterpart, bakuchiol— in addition to hydrators like hyaluronic acid and squalane, plus antioxidant-rich ferulic acid. Apply before bed to wake up with a smoother, firmer, glowing complexion, and use continuously to tighten fine lines and prevent breakouts. It’s going smoothly.

Best firming serum

Dr. Loretta retinol serum

This carefully balanced serum is primarily controlled by retinol to help reduce and counteract the signs of aging (such as wrinkles, rough texture and dark spots). It adds various lipids to the mix—like in some ceramides and soybean oil—to help counteract irritating side effects of said retinol while moisturizing and firming dry or aging skin. It’s a terrific winter serum, to use opposite your seasonal hyaluronic acid serum in warm weather/humid climates. (Since the latter should be avoided when the air is too dry.)

Best antioxidant serum

Chantecaille bio lifting serum

Every day, your skin takes a beating from the elements – harmful UV rays, pollution and your personal mix of sweat and dirt. Antioxidants help protect the skin from these factors, soothing and brightening your complexion in the process.

Best toning/balancing serum

ONE Winner of the Grooming Awards, this serum from Jaxon Lane combines niacinamide, tranexamic acid and bakuchiol in a quick-drying base to minimize pores while smoothing fine lines and rough texture. Great, actually.

Best SPF serum

ZitSticka SPF 50 sunscreen serum

if you don’t use an SPF moisturizer, apply this SPF serum daily under your regular hydrator. It provides SPF 50 broad-spectrum coverage while being absorbed quickly into the skin. It also uses vitamin C to brighten the skin and ceramides to firm and plump. It’s great for acne-prone skin as well as a base SPF layer for makeup and concealer wearers.

Best cooling + soothing serum

Dermalogica soothing serum for sensitive skin

With oats, botanical extracts, primrose oil, hyaluronic acid, collagen and peptides, this serum nourishes and soothes lightly or freshly irritated skin and positions it for rapid recovery. Use it after shaving or after a day in the sun or when your skin needs a splash of calm.

Best eye serum

The skin around your eyes is a little more delicate than the rest of your face (read: be extra gentle around these parts). To make your eyes look bright and alive, you’ll want to pick up a hydrating eye serum, preferably one packed with collagen-boosting peptides to keep skin extra tight. Valmont’s gel-like eye contour has a thicker consistency than most serums, perfect for those days when the central heating is crazy about sucking you dry.

Best custom serum

Function of Beauty customized face serum

Function of Beauty customers complete a survey to determine which custom ingredients to put into their unique serum recipe. So not only do you get a product that targets more than one condition (since most of us want to prioritize multiple things with our skincare regimen), but FoB is also more affordable than most retail serums. It is a good starting point for first-time serum users.

Best of Rest

Beauty of Joseon glow serum

For less than $20, this k-beauty favorite packed with propolis (the other byproduct of our favorite worker bees) is the key to unlocking your winter glow.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

It was your grandmother’s go-to serum for firming her skin and smoothing fine lines, and soon it will be yours too.

Retrouvé nourishing face serum

Vitamins not only keep your body running like a well-oiled machine, they’re also great at helping your skin repair and regenerate so you can keep glowing.

Glow Recipe watermelon glow niacinamide dew drops serum

Don’t let the cute packaging fool you – this brightening serum is a powerhouse when it comes to reducing hyperpigmentation and evening out skin tone.

Isntree spot saver powder ampoule

Don’t let red, irritated skin stop you from putting your best face forward, slap on some mistletoe for sweet, sweet relief.

Eadem milk marvel dark spot serum

Melanin-rich skin has different needs when it comes to reducing hyperpigmentation. This fragrance-free serum is specially designed to reduce post-acne scarring without bleaching the skin’s natural tone by incorporating a blend of niacinimide, licorice root and raw algae.

Neutrogena hydro boost hyaluronic acid face serum

Hate to break it to you, but water alone won’t prevent skin from drying out in the winter—but a hyaluronic acid-powered serum sure will.

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