The 17 Best Face Serum Brands 2022

Carrie Kathleen
Jan 13, 2022

Face serum is important in skincare and contains lots of precious ingredients that are effective in anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, moisturizing, whitening, spot removal, etc. It replenishes skin's essential nutrients and moisture, stimulates and accelerates cell repair and renewal and promotes skin metabolism, leaving the skin brighter and firmer. It should be noted that, unlike lotions, the dosage of serum should not be more than 2-3 drops each time. After applying serum, you should massage your face to promote facial blood circulation and soothe the skin. Charlotte Cho, the founder of Korean beauty products online market Soko glam said that serum injects moisture and anti-aging active ingredients into the skin, and it is so lightweight that it can be applied thickly.

We rounded up a host of brands with a cult following, like La Prairie, POLA, LA MER and so on. Each brand boasts a wide range of super-quality products, most of which are the winners of multiple beauty awards. Now, if you’re ready to get the perfect face serum, scroll down to check the following list of brands we’ve compiled for you.

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  • 1. La Prairie
  • 2. POLA
  • 3. LA MER
  • 5. Cosme Decorte
  • 5. LANCÔME
  • 5. Estée Lauder
  • 6. SK-Ⅱ
  • 7. Helena Rubinstein
  • 9. Elizabeth Arden
  • 10. SHISEIDO
  • 11. CLARINS
  • 12. Kiehl's
  • 13. Chanel
  • 14. Dior
  • 15. Olay
  • 16. L'Oréal Paris

La Prairie

La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Liquid Lift is a potent lifting serum for mature skin, providing a lifted look. The star ingredient of the serum is La Prairie’s proprietary caviar extract, which contains high levels of selenium, multivitamins and amino acids and generally works as an antioxidant and moisturizer. And the main ingredient of the serum is palmitoyl oligopeptide, which is effective in boosting collagen production, relaxing muscles and minimizing the appearance of expression lines. However, the effect can only be maintained over the long-term with continued use. The addition of common moisturizing ingredients and botanical extracts makes for a more comprehensive skin care effect. It should be noted that the serum contains a certain amount of preservatives and fragrances, so a patch test is recommended if you have sensitive skin. The Skin Caviar Liquid Lift has a lightweight texture that spreads easily and smoothly, and also has a very pleasant scent. It feels smooth and non-greasy on your skin, even great for oily skin.

In addition to the Skin Caviar collection, La Prairie also brings plenty of offerings that target aging concerns, suitable for mature skin.

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POLA, a member of Japanese cosmetics company POLA ORBIS HOLDINGS, was founded in 1929 in Shizuoka, Japan. The B.A series is the highest-end product series of POLA. It has always had a good reputation since its launch and has now developed to the fifth generation. The B.A series, including B.A lotion, features anti-glycation, and is the most renowned product series for anti-glycation in the skincare industry. The POLA B.A Grandluxe II released in 2013 is considered a hall of fame product of POLA offerings.

Helping with achieving glowing and lustrous skin is the main, but not the only, benefit of POLA B.A Serum. The serum is also enriched with moisturizers and a variety of botanical extracts to provide soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as skin care and oil control. As the serum contains a certain amount of fragrances, preservatives, and alcohol, etc., all of which may raise the risk of allergies, so consumers with sensitive skin need to have a patch test before using. The serum has a thicker texture, which is more suitable for using in the dry weather. Featuring rose and jasmine as the main notes, the serum has a pleasant scent.

The POLA B.A Grandluxe II looks extraordinary, with the flacon designed by Japan's most prominent kimono designer.

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La Mer, owned by the Estée Lauder Companies Inc., was founded by Dr. Max Huber in 1946. Unlike its face creams of a limited selection, La Mer more focuses on the face serums.

La Mer Serum is the only repair serum on the market that is designed to apply before and after a beauty treatment. It is enriched with Miracle Broth, the brand's hero ingredient, at 5 times the concentration of other offerings of the same brand. Miracle Broth, a seaweed extract, is a moisturizing ingredient exclusive to La Mer. The restorative properties of La Mer are related to the antibacterial activity of seaweed. The seaweed contains a variety of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients that prevent skin infections and allergic dermatitis, and are also helpful in managing skin conditions such as acne and folliculitis. The repair serum is designed for problematic skin such as extremely dry skin, and sensitive skin, etc., acting as "first aid" rather than a skincare serum for daily use. The serum only contains a preservative, without fragrance or alcohol, low risk of allergies, so consumers with sensitive skin can rest assured when using the product.

The Regenerating Serum and the Genaissance de la Mer The Serum Essence can be used as daily skincare essences to hydrate and lift skin. The former targets consumers in their twenties and the latter is designed for mature skin. If you want to tighten your sagging skin, the Lifting Contour Serum is a better pick.

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Cosme Decorte

Cosme Decorté is a Japanese luxury skincare and cosmetics line owned by the KOSÉ Group, with products sold at counters. The KOSÉ Group, established in Tokyo in 1946, is one of the three largest cosmetics manufacturers in Japan.

In addition to the slightly higher priced AQ series, Cosme Decorté also offers relatively affordable series such as Vital-Science, The White-Science and Micro-Performance. The award-winning Moisture Liposome Serum occupied one of the top three places of the Best COSME Awards for Serums six times and was hailed as a Hall of Fame Serum in 2009. It has a good moisturizing effect to make your makeup apply more smoothly, and meanwhile enhances skin’s elasticity as well as providing soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, the serum contains fragrances, preservatives, extracts and chemical sunscreens, so consumers with sensitive skin are advised to do a patch test in advance. With a translucent gel texture with good spreadability, the serum smells nice and feels refreshed on skin. Not only does it deliver an amazing moisturizing effect for dry skin, but also quite suits for oily skin.

Cosme Decorté Liposome Treatment Liquid features moisturizing as its star benefit, but it cannot meet the needs of anti-aging. Therefore, it mainly targets young women who have dry skin. For mature skin, the iP.Shot is more recommended, due to its moisturizing and wrinkle-reducing benefits.

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Lancôme is a French brand founded by Armand Petitjean in 1935. As a world-renowned high-end cosmetics brand, Lancôme is involved in various product areas, such as skincare, cosmetics, and perfume, etc. Lancôme targets mature women aged 25 to 40 with higher education levels and higher income levels.

Lancôme's Génifique Face Serum is a global best-selling skincare product that incorporates nine beauty patents. As a milestone for Lancôme, it has been hailed as "the future benchmark of the global beauty industry". Launched in 2009 and updated to its second generation four years later, the second generation of Génifique Face Serum contains 40% more active ingredients than its predecessor.

The bifidus prebiotic is the star ingredient of Génifique Face Serum, which claims to accelerate skin’s natural renewal and deliver a visibly smoother and more radiant-looking complexion. The serum feels refreshed, suitable for oily skin types. Overall, the Génifique Face Serum serves as a fundamental skincare product, so consumers may apply other potent essences over it as needed.

In addition, Lancôme has also launched the Ampoule (Advanced Génifique Sensitive Antioxidant Serum) to use with the Génifique Face Serum. The hero ingredient of the Ampoule is the same as the Génifique Face Serum. With a similar texture, the Ampoule has less irritation to the skin and provides anti-inflammatory, soothing and anti-redness benefits.

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Estée Lauder

Founded in 1946, Estée Lauder is one of the world's largest skincare, cosmetics, and perfume companies named after its founder. The Americans made Estée Lauder‘s legendary life into a movie to show respect for her.

Estée Lauder was the first cosmetics brand to introduce the concept of "skin repair". Since its release in 1982, the Advanced Night Repair (ANR) has always been the best seller of the brand. The seventh-generation Estée Lauder ANR is called the Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex Serum. Compared to the sixth-generation ANR, the seventh-generation one has added the baobab (ADANSONIA DIGITATA) seed extract, while retaining its exclusive Chronolux CBTM technology for skin repair. Tripeptide-32 in the serum targets skin cell renewal to maintain a healthy skin.

The seventh-generation ANR is also significantly different from its predecessors in terms of appearance and texture. The seventh-generation ANR has an egg white texture to leave the skin feel more moisturized and refreshed, and features great fluidity and better penetration, compared to its predecessors. For oily skin, it does not even feel sticky in summer. In addition, this serum remains oil-free formula, which helps prevent breakouts and is suitable for most skin types, especially for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin.

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SK-II is a Japanese cosmetics brand launched in 1980. It combines cutting-edge technology and pure natural essence to skincare products, which are well received by women.

Besides the famous SK-II Facial Treatment Essence has gone viral in the past two years, the GenOptics Aura Essence is also a best seller with quite good reputation. Both of the serums feature the SK-II exclusive Pitera formula, which contains a variety of amino acids, minerals, organic acids, vitamins and other ingredients to regulate sebaceous gland secretion and remove excess aging keratin, as well as providing anti-inflammatory benefits. The GenOptics Aura Essence features brightening benefits and contains De-Melano P3C, namely Niacinamide, which has been clinically proven to reduce hyperpigmentation and inhibit melanin production, and can also be used to treat acne.

The GenOptics Spot Essence looks similar to the GenOptics Aura Essence. Both of them have the same hero ingredients and can be swiped all over your face. The difference is that the GenOptics Aura Essence is suitable for addressing uneven skin tone and acne marks; while the GenOptics Spot Essence adds anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients to better target stubborn spots and acne. The latter has a thicker texture, perfect for skin care during the autumn and winter, but a little bit sticky for oily skin in the summer time.

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Helena Rubinstein

As the star product of HR, the Powercell Youth Grafter Serum has won 40 international beauty awards since its launch, including Prix d'Excellence de la Beaute Marie Claire, COSME Awards for Serums, BITEKI Best Serum and Voce Best Serum, etc. The Powercell Youth Grafter Serum is very helpful for oily skin and acne-prone skin, providing anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits. The upgraded third-generation Powercell Skinmunity Serum increases the concentration of active ingredients three times more than the first-generation serum. It also contains a certain volume of alcohol, which can provide antibacterial and cleansing benefits. Overall, the Powercell Skinmunity Serum is more suitable for acne-prone skin and gives a lot of moisture to the skin. However, the serum contains alcohol, fragrance and preservatives, etc., all of which are irritating to the skin, so it is not highly recommended to consumers with sensitive skin.

The scent of Powercell Skinmunity Serum is too strong, smelling like a "cheap perfume" according to the feedback of many consumers. The serum is a creamy white liquid with a thick texture that can be spread easily and feels soft. The Powercell Skinmunity Serum contains silicone, which fills the pores and provides a short-lived smoothness, making the skin feel softer and more refreshed. However, it does not provide any skincare benefits.

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As a french perfume house founded in 1828 and owned by the LVMH Group, Guerlain is also known for its skincare products. Over the past one hundred years, Guerlain has established its brand in France and even around the world with its unique aristocratic style and high-quality products.

Guerlain Abeille Royale is an award-wining skincare collection, of which the Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil is a well-received star product of Guerlain. Besides the feature of moisturizing, the Youth Watery Oil also provides anti-inflammatory benefits. The latest version adds golden beads, namely Commiphora (myrrh) gum that also produce moisturizing and anti-inflammatory effects. As a fundamental moisturizing skincare product, the Youth Watery Oil is more suitable for dry skin. It should be noted that the serum contains preservatives, alcohol and fragrance, all of which will trigger allergies.

The Double R Renew & Repair Serum also contains black bee honey as its exclusive active ingredient. It is housed in a pump bottle with two chambers: one contains a serum with a lightweight texture targeting dry skin and pores, and the other one contains a lotion-like formula with a thicker texture providing wrinkle reduction and firming benefits. When the serum is pumped, both formulas are combined to apply to the face. Compared to the Youth Watery Oil, the serum is more lightweight, easier to spread and not greasy.

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Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden is an American brand founded by Ms. Arden in 1910. Elizabeth Arden offers skincare products, cosmetics and fragrances, and enjoys a high reputation in the beauty industry.

In 1990, Elizabeth Arden launched "Ceramide Capsules", and later renamed it "Advanced Ceramide Capsules", which contains ceramide and is one of the best-selling serums to date. The Advanced Ceramide Capsules serum comes in golden capsules, while the other night version of the serum is packaged in a pink capsule format. The golden capsules are more effective in moisturizing and is suitable for using during the dry weather. The serum capsule does not contain fragrance and preservatives, so it is more skin-friendly, more hygienic, and extremely portable. The ingredients of the pink capsules are similar to those of the gold capsules, as well as the moisturizing effect. However, in comparison, the pink capsules have a more lightweight gel-like texture, which is not so greasy and more suitable for consumers with oily skin.

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Shiseido is a Japanese famous cosmetics brand founded in 1872. Shiseido has been favored by numerous consumers worldwide, and its products are sold in 85 countries. As a Asian top-notch brand, Shiseido has earned a good reputation around the world.

Shiseido launched the Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate in late 2014, which won the first place in the Japan’s Best COSME awards for serums in 2015 and is still the most well-known serum from Shiseido. Skin immunity-boosting is the major selling point of the Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate. However, the serum actually has no significant effect on signs of aging caused by stress and environmental factors. If you want to keep your skin look healthy, you’d better avoid substances that irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction. The serum is a fundamental skincare product that contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients, suitable for oily skin. Laden with drying alcohol that provides cleansing and antibacterial benefits, the serum feels better on acne-prone skin. The serum features a lightweight texture and a comforting floral fragrance, easy to spread, not sticky, and can be used with other skincare products. However, the serum contains a certain amount of preservatives, fragrance and alcohol, all of which are irritating and not suitable for consumers with sensitive skin or unstable skin conditions.

As the Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is a fundamental skincare product, if you’re looking to diminish dark spots and brighten dull skin, the White Lucent Microtargeting Spot Corrector would be a better pick.

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Clarins is a famous French beauty brand founded in 1954. Its rise to prominence differs from those cosmetics brands that started with fashionable clothing and from those beauty brands that began with facial skincare products. It is a French family-run business that ranks first in sales on the European market, which is twice as much as that of Lancôme.

Clarins has a wide range of serums, such as the V Shaping Facial Lift Serum, the Hydra-Essentiel Bi-phase Serum and the Double Serum. The Double Serum is one of Clarins' best-selling offerings and has received the best beauty awards from the British magazine Harpers & Queen and the French fashion magazine L'Officiel. The Double Serum features moisturizing and additionally contains more than ten kinds of plant extracts, providing anti-inflammatory and soothing, moisturizing and repair benefits. In addition, the Double Serum contains fragrance and preservatives, without other irritating ingredients, and can be considered a moderately safe serum that is suitable for most skin types.

It is worth mentioning that the Double Serum features a pleasant floral fragrance. Overall, this serum is suitable for use as a fundamental moisturizer for dry or normal skin, but can’t meet the needs of anti-aging for mature skin consumers.

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Founded in 1851 in Manhattan, New York, Kiehl's originally provided its customers with potions and ointments as a typical 19th-century apothecary. By the early 1960s, Kiehl's pharmacists began to develop a variety of skincare products for both men and women based on their rich experience and professional knowledge. In 2000, Kiehl's officially joined L'Oreal Group (L'Oreal).

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is one of the best sellers and also the hero product of the brand. The serum contains stable ingredients that can help decrease skin melanin production, accelerate surface skin cell turnover and reduce hyperpigmentation. The serum is very skin-friendly, with oil control and anti-bacterial benefits, and is very suitable for acne-prone skin and oily skin. However, it can cause skin irritation, so it is not highly recommended to consumers with sensitive skin.

Another best-selling serum from Kiehl's is the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate that is formulated with 12.5% Vitamin C. This serum is packaged in a dark-colored bottle and use an oil-based solvent to maintain the potency of Vitamin C. Due to a high concentration of vitamin C and propylene glycol, which can irritate your skin, many consumers may feel a little bit tingling for the first try.

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Chanel is a French brand founded in 1910, which is a pioneer of the fashion revolution. Chanel represents a unique style that has lasted forever. Elegance, delicacy, luxury and fashion are its values and inner spirit.

Chanel skincare products include the Le Lift Collection, the Le Blanc Collection, and the Hydra Beauty Collection. The Camellia flower is synonymous with Chanel. The Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum has been occupying first place on the list of hydrating and moisturizing products recommended by much mainstream beauty and fashion magazines since its launch in 2015. The serum delivers moisturizing benefits, suitable for consumers who have high requirements for moisturizing. The serum has a pH value of 6 to 7, which is slightly acidic and mild for skin, but it contains fragrance and preservatives, with moderate safety. The serum has a gel-like texture, which is easy to spread and feels good on the skin. The high moisturizing benefits and refreshed texture are very suitable for use during the autumn and early winter, but it feels slightly sticky in the summertime. With a pleasant scent, the serum is packaged in a simple transparent square glass bottle.

If you have dry skin, applying the serum before makeup can avoid cakiness and flaking to help your makeup lay evenly for a long-lasting look.

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Dior is a French luxury perfume, fashion, or cosmetics brand founded in 1947, adhering to elegant and gorgeous styles. Dior is known for its high-quality and fashionable lip products.

The One Essential Skin Boosting Super Serum that was launched six years ago has been sold two million bottles and once ranked on the list of the Best COSME Awards for Serums. Although the One Essential Skin Boosting Super Serum delivers great moisturizing benefits, additional moisturizers are still necessary during the autumn and winter. The serum can be considered a fundamental skincare product that contains fragrance, preservatives, and salicylic acid, which may trigger irritation to the skin. This serum has a slightly sticky texture, easy to spread. It has a comforting scent and feels good on the skin.

Dior has a wide range of serums, including the Dior Prestige, Dior Capture Totale, and Dior Capture Youth, etc., providing a number of skincare benefits such as lifting and firming, brightening skin tone, reducing wrinkles, and anti-aging. However, in general, Dior does not stand out in the skincare field, and its serum offerings are not very competitive with its siblings at the same price points.

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Olay is a global leading skincare brand with the slogan of "Fearless of Age”. Its offerings feature moisturizing and brightening benefits. Olay’s hero ingredient is nicotinamide which can repair and improve the skin barrier, provide anti-inflammatory for acne-prone skin, and deliver brightening benefits over long-term use. Olay’s serums, masks, and body creams are all formulated with niacinamide.

Olay has a variety of skincare products, of which the White Radiance Light Perfecting Essence is the star product and the best seller of Olay’s brightening offerings. The serum is formulated with 99% pure niacinamide, which is the hero skincare ingredient to brighten the skin. The serum has a lotion-like texture, with a refreshing feeling but a little bit of strong fragrance. The serum is packaged in a simple silver-white bottle and its specially designed dropper makes it easier to control the amount of usage.

The ProX is also a classic product from Olay. With the same hero ingredient as the White Radiance Light Perfecting Essence, the serum features reducing the look of dark spots. It can decrease melanin production, reduce inflammation and glycation caused by hyperpigmentation, and is more targeted to black spots. The ProX has a thicker texture and is more suitable for use in a dry climate.

A pure concentration of niacinamide can irritate the skin, so the amount of niacinamide added to the skincare product is not much, which also can deliver a limited brightening effect. The niacinamide may cause allergic reactions such as stinging, peeling, and redness, so it is highly recommended to have a path test in advance.

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L'Oréal Paris

Founded in 1907, L'Oréal Paris is one of the most well-known and time-honored cosmetics brands owned by the L'Oréal Group. L'Oréal Paris mainly specializes in hair coloring, hair care, makeup and skincare products, all of which are favored by women and girls around the world.

L'Oréal Paris Youth Code Serum Intense has a similar formula to the Lancôme's Génifique Face Serum, but the price is only a third of the latter, so it is very cost effective pick. The hero ingredient of the Youth Code Serum Intense is also the bifidus prebiotic, which can accelerate skin’s natural renewal. L'Oreal adds relatively more moisturizers, while regulating the skin's pH value to exfoliate dead skin cells.

Overall, the L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Serum Intense can deliver outstanding moisturizing and oil control effects, more suitable for oily skin, but not highly recommended for sensitive skin. The serum is easy to spread and feels refreshing on the skin in the summer time, but requires to be used with other moisturizers during the autumn and winter.


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