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Skin-care routines are becoming a bit extensive, don’t you think? It used to just be a three-step process, with a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. These days, however, with facial oils, eye creams, sunscreen and everything else on the market, a beauty regimen can take all day. And that is before you even get to a makeup process. But what if there was a singular product that was part skin-care item, part makeup product? Enter the serum foundation.
Before we get into the serum foundation, let’s take a quick refresher on the benefits of serum itself. Though we’ve already acknowledged that skin-care routines can get quite extensive, serums are actually a fantastic step to bring in, if you haven’t already. “A serum is a lighter product that generally has a high concentration of active ingredients to address specific skin issues,” said Dr. Michele Farber of Schweiger Dermatology Group.
Serums are made up of smaller molecules that penetrate deep levels of the skin, meaning that they can give you targeted results for specific skin-care concerns, delivering powerful ingredients right where they’re needed. “Vitamin C and antioxidant serums help neutralize environmental damage and address pigment discoloration,” said Dr. Farber. “Retinols can also be found in serums and these are fantastic for anti-aging and boosting collagen.”
So if a skin-care serum can correct color and improve flaws within the skin, imagine the power of a serum foundation, tinted to offer immediate color correction yet formulated with nourishing ingredients to make your skin the best version of itself.
Here’s what you need to know about serum foundations: They are more lightweight than traditional powder or cream foundations. Many would argue that a serum foundation feels more like a tinted moisturizer than a foundation. These products will actually feel good on your skin and provide you benefits in the same way any other skincare item can.
But a word to the wise: Don’t go crazy with any serum — tinted or not. These products hold a potent level of ingredients designed to give your face a boost of what it wants, so you want to make sure you’re introducing the right ingredients your skin actually needs.
“The wrong product can be irritating particularly to sensitive skin,” Dr. Farber said. “Just look through the ingredient list to know what you’re using.” And what should you be using? Whether you’re completely sold on the serum foundation or are in the market for an added step in your skin-care routine. Scroll through below to check out some of our favorite formulas.
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L’Oreal Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation
Infused with SPF 50 for UV protection and anti-aging ingredients that improves imperfections it covers them, it’s no surprise this best-selling serum foundation
has a near 5-star rating and over 5K reviews.
Tarte Hydroflex Serum Foundation + Blending Brush
This new foundation-serum hybrid is getting stellar reviews from our discerning beauty editors.
The Ordinary Serum Foundation
A foundation with moderate coverage and a lightweight feel, designed with pigments that are treated for a rich, highly-saturated effect.
Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum
An anti-aging serum
chock-full of DMAE and neuropeptides, with a semi-matte finish and much more coverage than you’d expect. Oh, and it happens to be my personal foundation of all time.
L’Oreal Visible Lift Serum Absolute Foundation
In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated foundations
at the drugstore—frankly, in general. It’s got an all-star lineup of anti-aging ingredients including pro-retinol (which is safe to wear out during the day) and vitamin radiance-boosting vitamin C.
ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation
A weightless serum with a velvety finish that nourishes skin using a potent blend of active botanicals like aloe leaf, rosehip oil and jojoba oil to soothe irritations and tame redness.
Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation
A cruelty-free, paraben-free serum
crafted with chameleon pigments to match skin and ingredients designed to smooth and strengthen skin, perfect for all-year-round wear.
Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation Drops
This oil and paraben-free formula gives you a subtle sheen that looks radiant and natural — not greasy. The buildable serum foundation allows you to customize your coverage level from light to full.
ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
I know ILIA’s on this list twice, but their serum-infused formulas simply perform like magic. This one contains a few all-star actives including niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.