Face serum was all the rage a couple of years ago and for good reason. However, it has since lost its popularity, again for good reason; a lack of education. There is much confusion in two areas; what are they for and what do they do above and beyond a regular moisturiser? In truth the benefits are significant and there is a legitimate place for facial serums in your daily men’s grooming routine. The only downside – these benefits come at a cost but there’s a reason for that too. Let me explain.

Benefits of a Face Serum

A face serum absorbs quicker, is lighter (less greasy) and packs more of a ‘punch’ than a regular moisturiser with regards to efficacy. A cream or lotion which your regular moisturiser will most likely take the form of is often ‘padded’ with moisturising ingredients. These include petrolatum or mineral oil as well as lubricating and thickening agents like nut or seed oils to hydrate the skin. Face serums are often water-based, eliminating oils and contain concentrated active ingredient formulas with tiny molecules so the skin absorbs their goodness quicker and more deeply.

A good face serum will often harness the powerful combination of manmade and natural ingredients, such as Aloe Vera, Cucumber or Pomegranate amongst many others

Face serum is often rich in antioxidants, nutrients, ceramides, glycerin, natural ingredients and vitamins C, K, E providing anti-ageing benefits. Face serums are best used by those with normal or oily skin and with ageing concerns owing to their light, quick absorbing and non-greasy formulas. If you suffer with dry or sensitive skin then a thicker regular moisturiser is most likely still your best option but that’s not to say you can’t apply a serum in addition.

“Since this highly concentrated treatment contains high levels of nourishing ingredients, all of them help restore moisture and elasticity to the skin, while regulating oil production.” -Dr Navin Taneja, US National Skin Center


The best way to apply your face serum is first thing in the morning to clean dry skin allowing it to fully absorb (it will only take a minute or less). If you have sensitive or dry skin then apply your regular thicker moisturiser over the serum once it has absorbed. If you have normal or oily skin, then the serum alone could be enough hydration. Judge your skin after applying a serum to find the answer to this. If it’s dry or tight still then you might need a moisturiser too. Slightly contradictory however; I would advise all skin types to replace and or use a regular moisturiser in addition to a serum but with an SPF moisturiser built. This will help repair skin and protect it from sun and environmental damage.

Face Serum for Men

Dab a small quantity of face serum on to the cheek, nose and forehead using a clean index finger

Ape Recommended Reading: Three of The Best SPF Moisturisers.

You can apply your face serum as often as you feel necessary throughout the day and before bed. Your skin will never get tired of additional anti-oxidants but once (or twice for added affect) a day is fine. Remember, a face serum being concentrated means that although the price is higher than a moisturiser. A little will go a very long way- only a small amount of serum is required per application.

Most will see results in 6-12 weeks with a reduction in dark and age spots, and fine lines or whatever skin benefit the serum has been designed for. A word of advice; choose a serum matched to your skin type; dry, oily, combination or sensitive and the desired outcome you wish to achieve i.e. soothe sensitive skin or out and out anti-ageing benefits. Anyone over the age of 28 can start preparing for the affects of ageing or start battling them if signs are already visible.

Three of The Best

Anti-ageing Face Serum

Anthony Anti-wrinkle Glycolic Peptide Serum- an out and out anti-ageing serum to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles and deep lines. Three key peptides instantly plump the skin and relax deep wrinkles and expression lines while sagging skin is corrected and improved by buffered AHAs, and the skin’s rejuvenation process is kick started by a key Algae extract. Great for normal to oily skin types.

£55 for 30ml >

Hydration Boosting Serum

Malin+Goetz Replenishing Face Serum- works best as an intensive moisture-booster thanks to Sodium Hyaluronate which draws moisture into the skin. It will also smooth fine lines, restoring elasticity and even out skin tone. Designed for normal to sensitive skin, it will reduce redness and irritation. A great all rounder.

£58 for 30ml >

Anti-ageing Eye Serum

Polaar Triple Action Eye Serum- designed specifically for the delicate eye area- one of the first parts of the face to show signs of ageing. This rejuvenating serum fades away puffiness, dark circles and fine lines/ wrinkles as well as continuous moisture and cell regeneration.

£32.50 for 20ml >