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Staff tested: The best serums

Serums are a nice addition to your beauty regimen, especially during fall and winter, when skin tends to get drier. Pick the right one for you with this guide to the best serums

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Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase ($62, 30 mL)

"Using this under my sunscreen reduced itchiness and flakiness, and some of the deeper lines on my face. I liked the refreshing scent. I did get a few blemishes soon after I started using it—but I don’t know if the serum contributed to that; it might have been hormonal or stress-related."

Lisa Murphy, Consulting Editor, Health and Web

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Vichy Aqualia Thermal Fortifying & Soothing 24Hr Hydrating Concentrate ($37, 30 mL)

"I loved this serum’s ultra-soft scent, and the texture was so moist it was like water in the form of a cream. My skin is slightly sensitive but this didn’t give me any problems at all. It felt very clean and smooth going on, and wasn’t heavy. I think I’m addicted."

Bonnie Munday, Editor

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Olay Total Effects 7 Signs Serum ($25, 50 mL)

"While I didn’t need to address all ‘7 signs’ of aging (listed on the package), this serum did diminish the fine lines on my forehead, and it worked well as a moisturizer. I have combination skin and I don’t like greasy products, so this non-greasy formula worked well, and softened my skin."

Stephanie Han, Art Director

4 / 7
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Nuxe Sérum Merveillance ($52, 30 mL)

"This serum made my skin feel much softer. It claimed to offer ‘detensing action,’ to diminish signs of fatigue and to make skin glow. My skin did feel less tight and looked brighter. The main drawback for me was that it had a strong floral scent —but this makes sense since Nuxe is a flower- and plant-based skincare line."

Lindsay Borthwick, Associate Editor

5 / 7
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Bioré Restore Skin-Boosting Night Serum ($14, 41 mL)

"I liked the gel-like consistency and how it prepped my skin for makeup. This oil-free formula was great for my acne-prone skin, making it super-soft and smooth. The scent, while pleasant, was a little strong for my liking, but for an effective serum you can’t beat the price."

Jennifer Masseau, Assistant Editor

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Boots No. 7 Restore & Renew Beauty Serum ($25, 30 mL)

"The package said this fragrance-free serum (apparently a hot seller in the U.K.) would reveal younger-looking skin in four weeks, but I must have applied it too enthusiastically—I used up the tube in less than three. It made my skin feel smoother, so I’ll be picking up another tube—and using it more sparingly!"

Margaret Nearing, Senior Editor

7 / 7
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Boots No. 7 Restore & Renew Beauty Serum ($25, 30 mL)

"The package said this fragrance-free serum (apparently a hot seller in the U.K.) would reveal younger-looking skin in four weeks, but I must have applied it too enthusiastically—I used up the tube in less than three. It made my skin feel smoother, so I’ll be picking up another tube—and using it more sparingly!"

Margaret Nearing, Senior Editor