Having dry skin is rough — in more ways than one. Aside from that uncomfortable tight feeling, folks with dry complexions have to deal with flakiness, sensitivity, itchiness, and makeup that just won't behave. And that's before you take into account the havoc that pollution, UV rays, and seasonal changes can wreak.
But don't throw in the towel just yet! There are tons of soothing, hydrating serums out there tailor-made to please parched skin. Not only are they formulated to hydrate, but many also protect and nourish, too.
Because they're highly concentrated and free of the occlusive ingredients lotions contain, serums are a deeply penetrating secret weapon for dry and other skin types. When layered beneath a creamy moisturizer, you get an unbeatable combination.
Since we know the struggle to find the best serum for dry skin is real, we've gathered some of the finest ones out there to satisfy thirsty complexions.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: From arid climates and seasonal changes to genetics and diet, dryness has a way of creeping into complexions. This carefully curated list boasts eleven serums for rehydrating and replenishing across several categories to meet different skincare needs.
Good to Know: Serums should be used before your AM or PM moisturizers to seal in all the concentrated goodness they provide.
Recommended Products: Nectar of the C Vitamin C Serum.
The Best Of the Best
We know what you're thinking — what if I want a budget-friendly, vegan, anti-aging, natural option safe for sensitive skin? That's where we come in! Our Nectar of the C Vitamin C serum ticks all the boxes and is, in our opinion, the best face serum for brightening, nourishing, and hydrating all skin types.
We use only vegan, cruelty-free, natural ingredients that are sustainably and ethically sourced and packaged, all at an affordable price! You might say we're a team of overachievers here.
Nectar of the C is packed with potent natural botanicals and is gentler than other vitamin C serums. That's thanks to the use of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a stable form of vitamin C that hydrates, wards off age-inducing stressors, and diminishes the look of fine lines. And with softening and conditioning organic jojoba and moisture-locking organic aloe vera, it's an ideal companion for dry skin types.
Oh, and did we mention that on top of the potent antioxidant power of vitamin C, it's also got ferulic acid and vitamin E for a compounding anti-aging effect? Like we said — overachievers.
Best Drugstore Serums for Dry Skin
First up is a set of serums you can find at many a drugstore at a budget-friendly price. But that doesn't mean they're any less potent than their higher-priced counterparts! Take Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum. With a 17% concentration of the company's Hydration Complex, dry skin types can expect quick relief. Both low and high-weight hyaluronic acid works to pull water to the skin and hold it there, while glycerin penetrates deeply.
Another solid deal comes in CeraVe's Skin Renewing Retinol Serum, which partners hyaluronic acid and essential ceramides with a dose of anti-aging retinol. It uses what the brand calls "MVE Technology" to continually release moisturizing ingredients, and it's non-comedogenic and fragrance-free so as not to irritate.
Best Natural Serums for Dry Skin
If your main concern — aside from relieving skin-sapping dryness — is to use only natural ingredients, Andalou Naturals' Quenching Coconut Milk Firming Serum is a smart choice. 98% of their formulas are naturally derived, and are vegan and cruelty-free just like us! This firming serum harnesses the fatty and amino acid power of coconut milk to nourish and hydrate alongside water-binding nutrients from the prickly pear cactus.
Another 98% natural option comes from Kiehl's, a brand with old-world apothecary roots. Their Midnight Recovery Concentrated Face Oil does its work overnight when your skin is busy repairing itself. Using olive-derived squalane and essential oils like lavender and evening primrose, this lightweight oil works to restore dry, tired-looking skin and leave it feeling soft and hydrated.
Best Vegan Serums for Dry Skin
With so many powerful, nourishing botanicals out there, it's no wonder there are tons of amazing vegan serums to choose from these days. We like The Yellow Bird's Blue Tansy Face Oil, a hand-made solution bursting with natural vegan ingredients like squalane, jojoba, and camellia that deeply hydrate and calm the look of temporary redness. The blue tansy is there to balance and soothe and gives this face oil a lovely blue hue.
Known for their cosmic creations in-store and meticulously formulated skincare and supplements, Moon Juice brings a veggie-tastic option to the list with their Plump Jelly. It combines peptides and hyaluronic acid with beet amino acid and silver ear mushroom to hydrate and promote a beautiful bounce.
Best Anti-Aging Serums for Dry Skin
You shouldn't have to sacrifice anti-aging benefits in your quest for the perfect hydrating serum, which is why Kate Somerville's Quench Serum shines. It features a potent form of vitamin A, lipids, and HSC Complex to deliver intense moisture to the deeper layers of the skin and lock it in place while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. The result is a dewy, luminous complexion.
There's also Pacifica's Vegan Collagen Complex Serum, which makes hydration a priority for restoring a youthful glow. Its concentrated medley of ingredients includes flower extracts, hyaluronic acid, japonica seed oil, and vegan collagen. And if you're worried about the effectiveness of vegan collagen, don't be — Pacifica uses real collagen proteins made from a plant-based fermentation process that equals animal collagen's biochemical, structural, and physical properties. Yay science!
Best Serums for Sensitive Dry Skin
If one of the most maddening aspects of your dry skin is the sensitivity that comes along with it, try First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum. It's free of the stuff that aggravates complexions, like artificial fragrances and colorants, sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil, and more. Instead, it boasts colloidal oatmeal and aloe to calm angry skin and hyaluronic acid and collagen to hydrate and rejuvenate. Plus, its lightweight gel texture locks in moisture and layers well under moisturizers.
French brand Caudalie is another cult favorite company that works hard to create effective, naturally derived products that won't irritate. Their Vinosource S.O.S Thirst-Quenching Serum is an aqueous solution that promises to restore skin's moisture balance. You can count on its combination of rehydrating ingredients to refresh and soften, while the light scent leaves subtle notes of citrus behind. And you won't find any animal-derived ingredients, parabens, phthalates, or mineral oils here.
Serums are the helping hand moisturizers need when it comes to tackling dry skin. And now that you have this round-up to refer to, you'll be well on your way to finding what works for you. Happy healing!