Recently, I noticed a trend in my inbox. More and more skincare brands were turning their attention below the neck, creating serums specifically made for the body. Like facial serums, they function as targeted treatments, and they tend to be more lightweight than body lotions. (The rules of skincare layering apply here, too: Apply serum first, followed by lotion or cream to seal everything in.)
“Body serums are typically made with different types of plant oils and absorb onto the skin quicker than a cream,” explains Ellen Marmur, board-certified dermatologist and founder of MMSkincare. “In addition, serums deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients which provide better results.” Of course, different products offer different results, but in general, the derm says you can expect body serums to offer hydration, tightening, brightening, and nourishing benefits.
And as someone who is often delinquent on body lotion already (oops), I wondered if this step was worth my while. But Marmur believes body serums can be worth it, especially during the drying fall and winter months. “In each season it is important to stay hydrated in order to preserve your skin,” she says. You heard the doctor: Body serums are a definitive yes. Keep scrolling for 15 worth trying, and get ready for impossibly silky, soft, and flake-free skin.
Nécessaire The Body Serum ($45)
Necessaire’s gel-like formula boasts five(!) different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid for serious skin hydration. If you top off with their equally beloved lotion, you’ll be all but guaranteed the softest skin ever.
Tracie Martyn Resculpting Neck and Body Serum ($98)
Packed with caffeine, pumpkin seed extract, and other firming ingredients, this serum from celeb facialist Tracie Martyn helps is like an anti-aging serum—only for your bod.
Renée Rouleau Smoothing Body Serum ($48)
Serums often have higher concentrations of ingredients, and that’s very much the case with this formula. Made up of 21% glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids, it not only gently sloughs away dry skin and flakes, but it also helps with keratosis pilaris (aka the pesky bumps that can appear near hair follicles).
Clarins Renew-Plus Body Serum ($68)
This product has been around for years, and it’s known for keeping skin super-soft, hydrated, and even-toned. Oh, and a little goes a long way.
Mutha Body Contour Serum ($95)
Somewhere between a hydrating serum and a treatment serum, this cult-favorite product is packed with ingredients that offer a little bit of everything: skin tightening, resurfacing, and of course, moisturizing.
Boscia Youth-Restore Firming Body Serum ($35)
This firming and toning serum helps with everything from stretch marks to sun spots, and the chamomile adds a soothing touch.
IS Clinical Youth Body Serum ($120)
If adding another product to your routine feels like a burden, consider this spray-on formula: Not only is it crazy-convenient to apply, but it also has the ingredients (hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, antioxidant-rich blue algae extract) to add the hydrating, protective layer you’re looking for.
Lord Jones Bump + Smooth CBD Body Serum ($60)
This lotion-like serum hydrates with the best of them, thanks to ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and the brand’s signature CBD. But it also contains a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate, which leaves skin looking brighter and smoother with each application.
Playa Ritual Body Serum ($38)
The gang’s all here (vitamin C for radiance, niacinamide for even tone, hyaluronic acid for hydration, and then some) in this lightweight, does-it-all formula.
Truly Anti Cellulite Resurfacing Body Serum ($28)
If you spend any time on TikTok, you’ve likely seen people rubbing Truly products all over their bodies—including this serum. Containing both botanical ingredients as well as retinol, it helps firm the look of skin, and adds a pretty, flattering sheen that looks oh-so-pretty in sunlight.
Farmacy Honeymoon Glow Body 12% AHA/BHA Resurfacing Body Serum ($40)
Another formula that uses a blend of AHAs and BHAs, this body serum is actually made with 2% salicylic acid, making it a great choice if you experience body acne.
Bioeffect Body Intensive Serum ($110)
Epidermal growth factor, aka EGF, is the key ingredient in all Bioeffect products, including this anti-aging body serum. Expect it to provide firmer, more plump, and all-around glowing skin with each use and over time.
Moroccanoil Night Body Serum ($62)
The base of argan and tsubaki oils feels nourishing on skin, while vitamin C and holy basil extract brighten and provide a dose of antioxidant protection.
Saint Jane Beauty Luxury Body Nourishing Serum ($58)
Think of this CBD-infused serum as a pumped-up body oil: It absorbs right away, feels silky and moisturizing, and can be mixed with any serum for extra moisturizing benefits.
Josie Maran Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Body Renewal Serum ($22)
As the name suggests, this serum has a milk-like consistency that absorbs quickly into the skin, while pineapple enzymes chemically exfoliate dead skin cells for an extra glow.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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