BEST VITAMIN C SERUM
Three forms of vitamin C—plus zinc to help them absorb—put Dr. Barbara Sturm The Good C Vitamin C Serum ($145) in the antioxidant major leagues, but it’s the layerability, silky finish and zero irritation that tipped it into winner status.
One of our favorite drugstore launches of the year, Olay Regenerist Retinol MAX Night Serum Fragrance-Free ($33) combines a hefty dose of retinol with the brand’s signature niacinamide to fight pesky wrinkles and age spots sans sensitivity.
BEST PEPTIDE SERUM
Think of peptides as the food that keeps collagen and elastin full, and PCA SKIN ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum ($115) as the drink that keeps skin plump and youthful. With continued use, lines around the eyes and mouth stop shouting as loudly in the mirror.
BEST GLYCOLIC ACID SERUM
We don’t all inherit smooth skin from our parents, but Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment ($85) gives it to us in a bottle. Tiny molecules of purified glycolic acid act like little chimney sweepers inside each pore for clear, radiant skin.
BEST HYALURONIC ACID SERUM
Clinically tested by 175 dermatologists on 1,600 women worldwide, Vichy Mineral 89 Face Serum ($30) visibly plumps skin and boosts barrier function using the brand’s French volcanic water and pure hyaluronic acid.
BEST GROWTH FACTOR SERUM
In the skin-care yearbook, SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum ($295) is Most Likely to Succeed. Its dual-chamber delivery system contains a revolutionary growth factor blend, peptides and nourishing botanicals that support skin rejuvenation.
BEST BAKUCHIOL SERUM
Current skin-care darling bakuchiol earns its marks for mimicking the effects of retinol, but without the irritation. Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum ($72) mixes the plant-based active with squalane for an even easier line-smoothing experience.
BEST CBD SERUM
Broad-spectrum, Oregon-grown hemp CBD is the secret sauce in Prima Enlightenment Serum ($18), which pumps life back into lackluster skin with the help of brightening niacinamide and a cocktail of nutrients.
BEST PROBIOTIC SERUM
Skin-perfecting probiotics and peptides pair up in Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Revitalise & Glow Serum ($96), an ultra-luxe oil-serum that tackles dullness, dehydration and discoloration.
BEST BLUE LIGHT DEFENDER
To prevent signs of aging from too much screen time—let’s face it, we’re all guilty—goodhabit Rescue Me Glow Potion Oil Serum ($80) blankets skin with its blue light–guarding BLU5 technology, hyaluronic acid, blue spirulina and blue tansy flower.
“There is some evidence that excessive exposure to blue light in the form of computer screens, phones and tablets can cause damage to our skin in a similar way that the sun’s rays can damage skin. Excess blue light may predispose us to age spots, wrinkles and the breakdown of collagen. One study showed that blue light exposure can damage the skin’s natural regenerative cycle as well. Overall, the science on blue light’s effects on our skin is spotty, but what we know isn’t very good.” —Dr. Anthony Youn
BEST POLLUTION FIGHTER
Think of Grown Alchemist Anti-Pollution Primer ($39) as your daily armor against inflammation-causing contaminants. Plus, it’s silicone-free, but still manages to blur pores so makeup can apply seamlessly.
BEST NECK SERUM
Like a neck workout and a magical wand in one, Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum ($82) delivers a nongreasy peptide serum—and a nice massage—to the neck, jaw and décolleté via a rollerball applicator.
BEST NECK CREAM
Even the most flattering ring lights can’t make deep neck bands disappear, but SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair ($120) can help them look smoother over time with its triple-threat formula of retinol, peptides and skin-strengthening glaucine.
“Neck creams are invaluable, specifically for preventing neck aging. In your 20s, sunscreen and moisturizers are sufficient, but as the delicate skin on the neck ages, adding specially formulated neck products with peptides, retinol and hyaluronic acid is important to help strengthen and renew it.” —Dr. Gene Rubinstein
BEST TREATMENT FOR MENOPAUSAL SKIN
The loss of estrogen that comes with menopause can drain moisture and firmness from skin. Korres White Pine Meno-Reverse Restorative Overnight Facial ($68) utilizes the brand’s proprietary white pine extract to bring back hydration and plumpness as you sleep.
BEST SKIN-CARE SYSTEM
Our most awarded product ever, Jan Marini Skin Research Skin Care Management System ($310) takes the guesswork out of creating an efficacious skin-care routine, and the visible—and dramatic—results speak for themselves.
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