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Of course I love my results-driven active skincare, but the serums I tend to empty the fastest are ones that are soothing and hydrating and that I can reach for when my skin is maybe a little sensitive or I'm not sure what it needs. Today we're talking through 5 of the best of these kinds of serums...
First up, let's talk about the REN Evercalm Redness Relief Serum* | £48. This serum has a kind of milky, lotiony texture, which I personally really like right off the bat for my skin (which leans towards dryness and dehydration). It's softening and moisturising but also soothing and calming for my skin when it's feeling a bit angry because the season is changing or when I'm experiencing hormonal changes. It's formulated with squalane (a skin-similar plant oil), white mushroom (which can have anti-inflammatory properties), a prebiotic (this could help boost up your skin barrier function) and Vitamin E, an antioxidant (it protects the skin from free radical damage but also has a moisturising benefit). When I just want to keep my skincare routine gentle and restorative, just this followed by a ceramide cream works a treat!
Next we have our most 'active' option: the Zelens Power B Vitamin B Concentrate* | £90. This is a light gel serum suitable for all skin types but particularly great for sensitive but oily or spot-prone skin. It's formulated with numerous forms of Vitamin B, most notably niacinamide and panthenol. Niacinamide can be great for regulating oil production in the skin, it can strengthen the skin barrier by inducing increased ceramide production and it's great for discolouration, preventing hyperpigmentation spreading through the skin. Panthenol is a great soothing and hydrating ingredient that can help your skin better retain moisture too. We also have hyaluronic acid and glycerin in the mix to pull water into the skin. Urea is a natural moisturising factor that already exists within your skin and aloe can really help to soothe the skin. There's Vitamin E here and also Beta-glucan, an ingredient usually derived from oats that's great for hydration and supporting a healthy skin barrier, plus it can help with redness and inflammation. Incorporating this into your regular routine offers a gentle way of combating dehydration, sensitivity, inflammation and breakouts and it's really compatible with any other heavier actives you might want to use.
A product I've emptied and just got a new bottle of is Monday Muse's the Juice Daily Serum* | £40. This product does have a little bit of overlap with the Zelens product, so if that's beyond your budget: try this! You have niacinamide, panthenol and a prebiotic, again. Plus there's centella asiatica in here: a soothing extract often found in Korean skincare products. Red algae has antioxidant benefits and black cumin seed oil can be antimicrobial (so great for spot-prone skin), feels moisturising and has an anti-inflammatory benefit for the skin. This is a really light, fluid, hydrating-feeling serum that will work for any skin type and I honestly think most people could benefit from this. If you're sensitive or acne-prone: this is a gentle way of clarifying and calming the skin. If you're normal or dry: this will give you juicy, glowing and hydrated skin.
The next product I have to discuss is another one I've emptied before: the Glow Recipe Avocado Ceramide Recovery Serum* | £38. This formula is built around several ceramides, a fundamental component of your skin barrier (keeping it happy is essential to avoiding sensitive, dry skin). There's also Vitamin E in here plus bisabolol, which is the skin-soothing component of chamomile. Avocado oil is in here too, which is moisturising and packed full of replenishing fatty acids and jojoba esters will ensure your skin is lovely and soft. There are a few interesting plant extracts in this serum too - the first is turmeric, a powerful antioxidant. Then we have ginger, which has anti-inflammatory benefits, and rice bran extract and rice oil which can help keep oiliness at bay and also soothe the skin. All-in-all, this is a great product to use if you just want to keep things simple or it pairs really nicely as a counter to stronger actives. For example, if I've just used an exfoliating toner, I often reach for this to moisturise, replenish and calm my skin afterwards.
Last - but certainly not least - is another product I've run through a bottle of and gone back for more of! The PSA the Most Hyaluronic Super Nutrient Hydration Serum* | £41. This is such a great product to reach for in pretty much any situation. Damaged skin barrier? Dry, tired, lacklustre skin? Dehydrated? In need of something to pair with your actives? This serum is fantastic for all of those purposes. It's lightweight and a traditional, slightly gel-like formula with a milky-yellow appearance. I'm not a big hyaluronic acid serum fan but this product combines it with other ingredients that help deliver hydration that lasts and just elevate the overall benefits beyond just hydration. This serum also utilises panthenol, soothing Sodium PCA, moisturising safflower oil and kombucha, a supercharged antioxidant. It feels amazing on my skin, it doesn't have the issues I usually associate with hyaluronic acid and it has a lot of extra skin-replenishing goodness packed in.
Let me know - have you tried any of these serums? What are your go-to products in this category?