A bespoke suit should be high on every man’s wish list. Wearing something that is handmade just for you is a special feeling, and the detailed fit will be incomparable to anything you’ve ever worn before. But, with a hefty price tag, it might have to stay on the list for a while. Still, there is one area where most of us can enjoy a tailored approach: our skincare.
Grooming industry advice was fairly generic as recently as the mid-aughts, encouraging men to step away from the Borax bar and try a face wash that left the top layer of skin behind, while loudly explaining the virtues of plain and simple moisturiser. Since then, it’s become a more sophisticated machine, offering high-tech solutions to improve our complexions with finessed formulations that can tackle multiple concerns in one easy (lazy) hit.
Serums offer concentrated active ingredients and specialised support where your skin needs it most. Most of the time, serums can be used am and/or pm, and should be applied to dry, cleansed skin before other products. Let’s take a tour of the best serums with super powers for your face.
For Deep Line Filling
Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum
Gained a few extra wrinkles this year? (Us too, it was pretty challenging.) Kiehl’s claim that this strengthening serum penetrates up to eight layers of the skin’s epidermis.
It contains Hyaluronic Acid and herbal adaptogens – botanical extracts that can increase cell resistance to stress – to help fortify the skin barrier, plump out skin cells and give skin a bouncier, supple feeling. Just think of it as Polyfilla to fill out those hair line cracks that keep popping up.
For Balancing Combination & Oily Skin
Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum
From Aesop’s bestselling Parsley Seed range, this antioxidant-rich cocktail uses Grape Seed, Panthenol and soothing Aloe Vera to soften and strengthen the skin. Not only that, antioxidants can also help fight off environmental threats like pollution.
Lightweight, with deep hydrating powers, it can be used morning and night. It’s good for all skin types, but particularly helpful for oilier ones.
For Pampered Skin
Tom Ford Research Serum Concentrate
Got upwards of £200 to throw at your face? Lucky you, and Tom Ford’s ultra-premium serum would be a good place to start. Ford spent three years with research scientists perfecting this caffeine-rich formula.
It’s enriched with White Porcelain Cacao and Gyokuro ( a type of Japanese Green tea), Hyaluronic Acid and Peptides, to minimise fine lines and wrinkles. You only need to use a few drops, which is helpful because you only get a few to begin with, and, ideally it’s part of a two-step regime with a £320 face cream.
Just try not to cry when it leaks all over your wash bag.
For Early Signs Of Ageing
Bulldog Age Defence Serum
Boosted with anti-oxidant rich Rosemary, Echinacea and Vitamin E, Bulldog’s easily affordable serum aims to drench the skin without leaving any greasy or sticky residue. Firming and nourishing, it caters to all skin types that might be developing the early fine lines and want to hang on to a more youthful look.
At this price point, you don’t have to worry about using too much either.
For Hard Core Anti-Ageing
Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal System
This most-wanted serum sells out really quickly, so keep your finger poised to hit add to cart. Retinol is the top ingredient among serious dermatologists for its super powers in preventing premature ageing. Beneficial to all skin types, it will turn that frown upside down by ironing out that furrowed brow and more.
Super hygienic dispenser, too.
For Fine Lines, Breakouts & Uneven Skin Tone
Dermalogica AGE Bright Clearing Serum
This is an excellent all-rounder for dry, oily or combination skin to be used at night. It contains Dermalogica’s AGE Bright Complex, which works with the skin’s natural microbiome to help prevent breakouts while reducing visible fine lines.
Niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B3 that treats acne) and White Shiitake Mushroom get to work clearing out old, dull skin cells. The Salicyclic Acid clears and prevents blemishes.
Apply twice a day, after cleansing, and allow to dry. When your skin looks brighter and clearer in the morning, you won’t be imagining it.
For Skin On The Edge
Dr Dennis Gross Stress Rescue Super Serum
Suddenly battling areas of inflamed, red breakouts or flaky skin? These are all signs of skin in open revolt. On top of a sub-par year, it can feel like the last straw, but there is help. Dr Dennis Gross’ Stress Rescue Super Serum can restore a sense of calm, on the surface at least.
Packed with B3 Adaptive Superfoods (extracts from maca root, cacao, goji berry and Maitake mushroom) this lightweight, hydrating serum can fight the usual visible signs of ageing such as worry lines, redness, sensitivity, breakouts and new irritations (like the ones caused by wearing face masks a lot).
For Dry, Troubled Skin
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultra Recovery Booster
If stresses and strains are starting to show in your face, we recommend Sarah Chapman’s Ultra Recovery Booster. It’s packed with Omegas 3, 6 and 9 plus a probiotic Ecoskin® complex, Delisens™ and NAB™ Butterbur – advanced, patented ingredients that work to improve and protect the skin’s barrier and microbiological balance.
Has a barely-there scent, leaves no trace and helps calm, soothe and repair inflamed, sensitive and fragile skin. An all-rounder.
For Probiotic Plumping Action
Gallinée Youthful Serum
Probiotic pioneers Gallinée’s Youthful Serum serves up a highly concentrated cocktail of probiotics (good bacteria), probiotics (food for the good bacteria) and lactic acid (the gentlest of the AHAs), to restore your skin’s microbiome and help prevent ageing and boost hydration.
Working with your skin’s natural flora and fauna can improve tricky conditions like eczema and reduce breakouts.
For Sustainable Skin Care
The Other Saint Moisturiser & Serum
Eco-friendly British brand The Other Saint popped up on our radar recently with an impressive new range of scrubs, exfoliators and masks. Their Moisturiser-Serum, suitable for all skin types, has a light, creamy texture which immediately gives thirsty skin a nice long drink to plump out burgeoning wrinkles.
Vegan friendly and waste conscious, the innovative, ceramic-like pots are made from renewable FSC wood and plant material and can be fully recycled through industrial composting. Stick your empties in the council food waste bin, or use them to store small items.
For Homegrown Ingredients
Hæckels Algae Plump + B3
Hæckels is another local hero banging the sustainable drum. Infused with Margate seaweed, the Algae Plump + B3 is high-tech skin solution made from ingredients from our own shoreline.
The marine botanical extract functions better than hyaluronic acid – giving skin three times more hydration for up to 24 hours after the application. Vitamin B3 – or niacinamide – improves the skin texture by smoothing out lines.
The best bit? All this, and it’s only £20.