Milky Serums Are All the Rage—Here’s What to Know and Try

Milky Serums Are All the Rage—Here’s What to Know and Try featured image

Along with mullets and chlorophyll-spiked water, milky serums are currently topping the list of beauty trends. While this group of serums is thicker than the traditional—they also tend to boast a white, milky color—we pinged Andrew Shemin, founder and CEO of new biology-focused brand IDEO Skincare, to find out what else sets these serums apart.

“In contrast to a watery or gel-based serum, these serums are milky in look, texture, and feel,” says Shemin, who explains that any powdered ingredient is the reason behind the unique texture, as opposed to more transparent options such as squalane or hyaluronic acid. “To make the serum thick, the powdered ingredients are held in suspension. Solutions are transparent, meaning you can see through them, whereas a suspension tends to look cloudy or murky, depending on the type and concentration of ingredient.” Another benefit to these serums, according to Shemin? “These types of milky formulas are non-drying and assist with better application of next steps in your skin-care routine.” Ahead, 11 of our favorites to take for a spin.

1 / 11

Algenist Algae Niacinamide Moisture Veil ($52)

A moisturizer in milky form, this oil-reducing serum optimizes hydration and helps preserve the skin’s sensitive barrier. Included in the formula: hydrating alguronic acid, balancing algae concentrate and brightening niacinamide.

2 / 11

Naturopathica Marshmellow & Ceramide Sensitivity Soothing Serum ($90)

The definition of a milky serum, this creamy formula features soothing marshmallow and replenishing ceramides to bring skin from dull and dry to supple and bright.

3 / 11

Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum ($68)

Formulated for melanin-rich skin, this serum claims to fade dark spots and prevent the onset of new ones thanks to amber algae, niacinamide and encapsulated vitamin C.

4 / 11

Versed Auto-Save Advanced restoring Serum ($25)

Specifically made for daytime use, this serum gets to work on mending the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while soothing irritated spots simultaneously. In a study conducted by the brand, which tapped people between ages 35 and 65, 94 percent agreed that their skin clarity was improved.

5 / 11

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum ($62)

Lightweight and powerful, this vitamin C–filled serum packs a punch against dark spots and dullness and unleashes more spotless-looking skin within just a few weeks of consecutive use.

6 / 11

Good Light Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion ($22)

To gently exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin, swipe this meadowfoam seed oil– and snow mushroom–infused serum on the skin post-cleanse and watch your complexion transform from dry to moisturized.

7 / 11

Layers Probiotic Serum ($89)

Like a drink of probiotic-filled kombucha for your skin, this serum houses lactobacillus ferment and plant extracts to increase cellular turnover for more luminous, glowing skin.

8 / 11

Arbonne Super Calm Skin Relief Serum ($50)

The main ingredient in this luxurious serum is tiger grass, a heavy-hitter known for its soothing, comforting properties. Not only does it bash our redness in seconds, but it’s also sensitive-skin approved.

9 / 11

Covey Next Up Vitamin C Serum ($59)

Apply one to two pumps of this thick serum to the skin post-cleanse for that just-washed, clean feel. Infused with ingredients such as vitamin E and grapeseed extract, your complexion will be visibly restored and bright as can be.

10 / 11

Alba Botanica Hemp Soothing Serum ($12) 

To soothe stressed skin, this concentrate gets to work quickly—it’s best to apply it pre-snooze—and unleashes that Insta-worthy, healthy glow come morning.

11 / 11

IDEO Skin Memory Serum ($175)

In a third-party clinical study using this complex, users saw a 63-percent improvement in redness, a 50-percent improvement in hyperpigmentation, and a 67-percent improvement in skin tone.

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