Update Your Spring Skincare Routine with the Best Serums for 2024

I was today years old when I fully understood the difference between a moisturiser and a serum. Put simply, serums penetrate the skin’s surface (up to ten layers deep, no less!), delivering active ingredients to address damage. Moisturisers, on the other hand, sit on the surface layer, creating a barrier against external factors and locking in hydration. 

To use a fashion analogy, think of serum as that pair of Spanx working hard to create a smooth outline under an outfit, whilst moisturiser is your weather-proof trench coat, protecting you from the elements. So you can understand why a good skincare routine requires both working together in harmony and not just one or the other in isolation. 

Whilst serums aren’t a new concept in the world of skincare, they are forecasted to be in demand for 2024. Beauty trends have led to many over-experimenting with aggressive topicals such as retinoids and exfoliating acids, resulting in red, irritated and sensitised skin. It’s no surprise then that skincare junkies are reaching for soothing, hydrating serums which can repair compromised skin barriers. 

If your skincare routine currently lacks a serum, there’s a multitude of options on the market. To choose the right serum for you, look for a formulation targeted at your skincare concerns. To offer a helping hand, we’ve found and reviewed four of the best:

Skincare concern: dullness, uneven complexion

Serum: COSRX The Vitamin C 23 Serum 

This powerhouse serum is formulated with 23% Vitamin C, which is recommended for its ability to brighten and even out skin tone. Packaged in a glass bottle with a pipette applicator, we really enjoyed the water and oil texture that looked and felt like an oil on initial contact with skin, yet absorbed quickly leaving no grease or residue. Best incorporated into your morning skincare routine, follow COSRX up with moisturiser and SPF for maximum protection. Whilst you’ll need to use this product long term to see the effects on an uneven complexion, the brightening and smoothing results were instantaneous, giving a vibrant, springtime glow to skin from first use. 

Skincare concern: Sensitive skin

Serum: SOS Serum

This gentle fragrance-free serum comes in a pump dispenser and boasts an easily absorbed formulation, suitable for both face and body. SOS skincare is specially formulated for those with sensitive, dry or irritated skin, thanks to its ingredient list that includes soothing and cooling refined extract of peppermint and deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid. Also suitable for those with eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis, SOS serum will deliver instant relief to chapped and dry post-winter skin many of us are struggling with. 

Having recently started using prescription strength tretinol at night to smooth my fine lines, I found this serum to be a godsend. Chasing up the tret with a layer of SOS Serum instantly soothed and did not irritate my skin. I’ve also been using it on my body (lizard-like scaly skin on my legs are a thing of the past!) and on my partner whom I have coaxed into applying on his dry skin thanks to the fragrance-free genderless scent. 

Skincare Concern: Signs of aging

Serum: SBC Bakuchiol Smoothing Serum

Known as ‘nature’s retinol’, Bakuchiol is found in the leaves and seeds of the psoralea corylifolia plant and is known for being a potent antioxidant. It’s a new ingredient to me, so I was intrigued to trial SBC’s serum which is infused with 1% bakuchiol plus elasticity-boosting rosehip oil and hydrating hylauronic acid.

The generously sized 100ml pump bottle is designed to be used on the face and body; the instructions suggest slathering on areas where signs of aging are present, such as decolletage, neck, hands and chest. Bakuchiol tingled slightly upon application and was absorbed in seconds, leaving my skin feeling extremely hydrated and supple. The next morning I woke with a visible glow – I will definitely be preserving this one, particularly on hands which are in need of some TLC after a winter. 

Skincare Concern: Fine Lines, dryness 

Product: SBC Hydra-Collagen Intensive Serum

This ultra-hydrating face serum will drag your skin kicking and screaming out of winter thanks to its hero ingredient – marine collagen. The inky list also includes kukui nut and passion flower seed oils which infuse skin with antioxidants to help protect skin from free radicals.

A joy for the senses, the lightly fragranced formulation smells like breathing in fresh sea air and leaves skin feeling deeply moisturised long after application. If your skin is feeling dry and tight, or fine lines are a concern, add this serum to your routine and apply it day and night for best results. 

Sophie Green

Sophie Green is PR Manager for a designer flash sale website and part-time fashion blogger, having founded her fashion and shopping blog Lafashionfolie.com in 2012. Finding a passion for the industry at a young age, Sophie studied Fashion Communications at university and has worked in the industry for over a decade, heading up the PR departments of several fashion and fine jewellery brands. Through her fashion blog she has worked on campaigns with brands including UGG Australia, La Redoute and Headmasters and counts sitting opposite Anna Wintour at the Topshop Unique LFW show as a career highlight! Outside of work Sophie likes to unwind by hitting the gym for a boxing class or ‘researching’ the best G&T’s the capital has to offer. Her fashion obsession is sequins, with an entire section of her wardrobe dedicated to all things-sparkly!