20 Best Skin Serums to Try for Bright, Even-Toned Skin

Lauren Caruso
Best Skin Serums
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Photo: ImaxTree

Using a serum can seem like nothing but an expensive time-suck in your morning routine—especially to all of us who seem to be constantly on the go, rarely having any extra time before we’re rushing out the door. But that one additional step can be the key to hydrated, bright, even-toned skin—and who doesn’t want to be glowing?

MORE: How to Replace Your Heavy Foundation with Concealer

Still, figuring out which serum is right for you isn’t always easy. Here’s a quick breakdown: If you want more hydrated, dewy skin, you’ll want to look for a formula with hyaluronic acid, a water-binding molecule that can hold up to 1,000-times its weight in moisture.

If bright, even-toned skin is what you’re after, vitamin C (a.k.a. L-ascorbic acid) is your new best friend. The antioxidant is any derm’s gold-standard for lightening acne marks and sun spots, as well as lending skin a lit-from-within glow. If you’re looking for a powerful anti-ager, look for a serum with peptides or retinol, and save those for nighttime since they can break down in the sun.

MORE: Retinol Oils: The Anti-Aging Product Everyone Swears By

We culled 20 of our favorite, most potent formulas that promise to bring you closer to bright, even-toned, dewy skin—no matter your budget. The best skin serums to add to your skin-care routine, ahead.

A version of this article was originally published in April 2017.

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STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Murad Advanced Active Radiance® Serum
Murad Advanced Active Radiance® Serum

This powerful serum has a Resilient-C Complex that not only reverses visible signs of environmental damage, but also improving brightness, clarity and radiance.

$90 at Murad

Photo: Murad
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Glossier. Super Bounce
Glossier. Super Bounce

With a name like Super Bounce, you bet this serum boasts the ability to bring back elasticity to your skin. But our favorite part of the product description is this: "Good for skin depleted from hangovers, long layovers, blasting A/C, or high-high heat." Count us in.

$28 at Glossier.

Photo: Glossier.
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum

According to PCA Skin's website, this serum "encourages the skin to create its own hyaluronic acid, resulting in long-term anti-aging and hydration." Long-term anti-aging is exactly what everyone wants, right?

$115 at PCA Skin

Photo: PCA Skin
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron Serum
Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron Serum

You can use this serum day or night, leaving you with plump skin and a dewy glow.

$24.99 at Indeed Laboratories

Photo: Indeed Laboratories
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | CAUDALIE Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum
CAUDALIE Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum

This serum visibly smooths initial signs of wrinkles and restores a healthy glow to the skin, all the while not leaving a sticky residue behind. Win-win-win!

$52 at CAUDALIE

Photo: CAUDALIE
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum

In four weeks, 96 percent of users said their skin felt more hydrated and appeared to have a youthful appearance, according to a consumer survey conducted by Peter Thomas Roth.

$65 at Peter Thomas Roth

Photo: Peter Thomas Roth
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Bluemercury SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
Bluemercury SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

This serum is a small bottle that packs quite a punch: Not only does it defend against environmental aging and help build collagen, but it also delivers antioxidant protection.

$165 at Bluemercury

Photo: Bluemercury
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Acid Shot
Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Acid Shot

The heck is Dragon's Blood, you ask? Glad you asked: It's a sap found in the Croton Lechleri tree in the Amazon, and it protects and heals skin from all external factors. In short, if your skin is thirsty and dry, then give this serum a shot.

$24.95 at Nip + Fab

Photo: Nip + Fab
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare C+ Collagen Brighten + Firm Vitamin C Serum
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare C+ Collagen Brighten + Firm Vitamin C Serum

This serums fights dullness, dark spots, rough texture, and expression lines. According to its website, 92 percent of users said their face looked smoother and felt softer after just 21 days.

$78 at Dr. Dennis Gross

Photo: Dr. Dennis Gross
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | ELEMIS Hydra-Boost Serum
ELEMIS Hydra-Boost Serum

According to independent user trial results based on 105 people over two weeks, 87 percent agreed their skin felt instantly hydrated.

$72 at ELEMIS

Photo: ELEMIS
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Pixi Overnight Glow Serum
Pixi Overnight Glow Serum

As its name suggests, this serum works while you sleep to exfoliate and soothe your skin for a brighter complexion.

$24 at Pixi

 

Photo: Pixi
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

With over 100 reviews, 91 of which giving the product a 5-star rating, this is Ole Henriksen's No. 1 age-defying serum, described as a "daily multivitamin for the skin."

$48 at Ole Henriksen

Photo: Ole Henriksen
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum
Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum

According to Estée Lauder's website, 96 percent of users' skin looked redensified and reclaimed "a youthful firmness and suppleness." Impressive.

$68 at Estée Lauder

Photo: Estée Lauder
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | e.l.f. Facial Hydrating Serum
E.l.f. Facial Hydrating Serum

Soothe and nourish your skin with this serum's jojoba, aloe, vitamin E, grape, and shea butter formula.

$12 at e.l.f

Photo: e.l.f.
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Serum
Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Serum

This serum contains a potent youth complex of peptides, age-defying antioxidants, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin.

$62 at Youth to the People

Photo: Youth to the People
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | A Complete Youth Preserve Serum
A Complete Youth Preserve Serum

Not only is this product oil-free, but it also contains a moisturizer to rehydrate dry skin.

$54 at A Complete

Photo: A Complete
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum
Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum

Based on its website, 87 percent of women surveyed saw a significant improvement in skin dullness in just seven days. If that's not impressive, we don't know what is.

$69 at Jurlique

Photo: Jurlique
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

Overnight, you'll go from a drab complexion to a luminous one.

$90 at Drunk Elephant

Photo: Drunk Elephant
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Hydrating Booster Serum
Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Hydrating Booster Serum

Because this product is powered by hydrogen, it "penetrates the surface layers of the skin with a boost of hydrating vitality," according to its website—leaving your skin purely radiant.

$100 at Sephora

Photo: Perricone MD
STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Supreme
Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Supreme

In just 10 days, you should see reduced fine lines and wrinkles, and feel tighter, plumped skin.

$45; at Vichy

Photo: Vichy
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  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Murad Advanced Active Radiance® Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Glossier. Super Bounce
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Indeed Laboratories Hydraluron Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | CAUDALIE Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Bluemercury SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Acid Shot
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare C+ Collagen Brighten + Firm Vitamin C Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | ELEMIS Hydra-Boost Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Pixi Overnight Glow Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | e.l.f. Facial Hydrating Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | A Complete Youth Preserve Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Hydrating Booster Serum
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Supreme
  • STYLECASTER | Best Skin Serums | Pin It

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