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The Girlfriend's Guide To Serums

You'll see the kind of results that actually make you want to FaceTime in broad daylight.

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5 different facial serums
Jeff Elkins
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Moisturizers are all well and (very) good, but if you want to see the kind of results that actually make you want to FaceTime in broad daylight, add a serum to your regimen. Packed with active ingredients, serums have smaller molecules that allow them to penetrate deeper into the skin to get serious work done with only a few drops. For added oomph, exfoliate skin first with a mild scrub or washcloth. Celebs and makeup pros take serum-prep to the next level with Dermaflash ($189), a home dermaplaning tool that's supposed to remove dead skin cells and peach fuzz to give you a perfect canvas. (Hey, we were skeptical, too. But maybe there's a reason it’s a bestseller at Sephora.) Here, a few of our readers' favorite new serum solutions.

Glow for It
Eve Lom’s Time Retreat Radiance Boost Treatment (about $95) uses naturally derived alpha hydroxy acids along with a mild retinol to boost cell turnover (key to revealing brighter skin) without irritation. Another glow-getter: vitamin C, which reduces sun damage and discoloration. A few options to try: emerginC's vitamin C serum ($79) with anti-inflammatory antioxidants; Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum ($34), a fragrance-free choice packed with active ingredients.

Get the Red Out
Redness from rosacea, inflammation or over-treated skin is no one’s best look (or feel). Dr. Jart’s New Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum (about $46) will quickly calm irritation. (Beauty trivia: Tiger Grass is an Asian herbal plant known to aid in skin recovery.) NeoStrata’s Redness Neutralizing Serum is designed to have a light cooling effect and reduce the appearance of flushing.

Rejuvenating Multitaskers
The latest serums contain a smorgasbord of ingredients that join forces to plump, hydrate and tighten. Miracle Age Repair Serum (Thank You Farmer, about $50) does all that good stuff, plus contains burdock extract to help diminish dark spots. Want to splurge? Check out Rodial’s Rose Gold Serum (about $230), which is enriched with 24 Carat Gold technology, peptides and marine extracts.

Don’t Feel Bad About Your Neck
Skin care, like gravity, doesn’t stop at your jawline. Boots No. 7 Restore & Renew Face and Neck Multi-Action Serum (about $34) contains calcium amino acids that work to repair crepiness, peptides to reduce wrinkles, and hibiscus seed extract to help support collagen production. Because, really, you can’t wear turtlenecks every day.