Serums address a wide variety of skin concerns, and can be a great addition to a skincare routine. If you’re looking for a new serum, here are our recommendations for the best serums for combination skin.
1. Vitamin C Serum
Mad Hippie Serum for Anti-aging and brightening
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
This natural vitamin C serum contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate (a stable form of vitamin C) and other effective skincare ingredients to help brighten, hydrate, and provide anti-aging benefits.
2. Power 10 Formula LI Effector with Licorice
It’s Skin Serum for Brightening and Evening Skin Tone
It’s Skin Power 10 Formula LI Effector with Licorice
This affordable serum contains a high concentration of licorice extract, which works to brighten and promote a more even skin tone.
3. C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid
SkinCeuticals Serum for Anti-aging and brightening
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid
This brightening and anti-aging vitamin C serum is often considered one of the best of the best. It helps improve signs of aging while fighting environmental aggressors.
4. Hydrium Centella Aqua Soothing Ampoule
COSRX Serum for Soothing and hydrating
COSRX Hydrium Centella Aqua Soothing Ampoule
This soothing and hydrating serum is packed with effective yet gentle ingredients that help soothe the skin. It is even suitable for calming current breakouts.
5. Resurfacing Retinol Serum
CeraVe Serum for Fading post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and minimizing large pores
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
This drugstore retinol serum is specifically formulated to tackle post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and large pores, and helps promote an overall even and clear complexion.
6. Discoloration Correcting Serum
Good Molecules Serum for Lightening Dark Spots and Brightening
Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum
This affordable serum is perfect for those looking to lighten discolored spots (like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne or melasma) for a more even complexion.
7. Hyaluronic Acid Booster
Paula's Choice Serum for Hydration
Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
This serum combines hyaluronic acid with ceramides and other deeply hydrating ingredients to give the skin an extra moisture boost.
8. Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
The Ordinary Serum for Fighting Acne and Evening Skin Tone
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
This product from The Ordinary hosts an impressive variety of benefits. Azelaic acid is a brightening skincare ingredient known for minimizing acne, lightening hyperpigmentation, and reducing redness.
9. Retinol 1% in Squalane
The Ordinary Serum for Fighting the Signs of Aging
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane
This product is the highest-strength retinoid serum from The Ordinary, and the brand’s answer to more traditional retinol products. It’s excellent for preventing and minimizing the signs of aging.
10. Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
The Ordinary Serum for Treating Dark Circles and Puffiness
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
This eye serum contains a high concentration of caffeine to reduce pigmentation and puffiness around the eyes.
11. Anti-Aging Pore Minimizer Face Serum
La Roche-Posay Serum for Minimizing Pores and Exfoliating
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Anti-Aging Pore Minimizer Face Serum
This serum is packed with chemical exfoliators and additional ingredients that help minimize the appearance of pores, while also smoothing the skin’s texture and reducing fine lines.
12. Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
La Roche-Posay Serum for Hydration
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
This serum combines pure hyaluronic acid with other hydrating ingredients that replenish the skin’s moisture barrier.
13. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The Ordinary Serum for Minimizing Blemishes and Controlling Sebum Production
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
This multi-tasking product helps minimize blemishes and congestion while reducing redness and regulating the production of sebum.
14. 1% Retinol Treatment
Paula's Choice Serum for Hyperpigmentation and Wrinkles
Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
This treatment combines retinol, a powerful anti-aging ingredient, with hydrating and brightening ingredients for an even, smooth skin tone.
15. Redness Relief Repairing Serum
Paula's Choice Serum for Redness
Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum
This calming, lightweight serum helps to reduce redness while also hydrating and fighting the signs of aging.
16. 10% Niacinamide Booster
Paula's Choice Serum for Refining Pore Size and Improving Skin Tone
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster
This super light niacinamide product is one of the best Paula’s Choice serums. It delivers a multitude of benefits, including minimizing the appearance of pores, controlling sebum production, smoothing fine lines, reducing redness, and brightening.
17. 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
Paula's Choice Serum for Evening Tone and Texture
Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
This booster combines azelaic acid with other brightening ingredients that work together to fade post-acne marks, minimize blemishes, brighten, and even out tone and texture.
18. 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum
Timeless Serum for Brightening and Anti-Aging
Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum
This affordable vitamin C serum contains a 20% concentration of vitamin C, which helps brighten and fight signs of aging.
19. Vitamin C Serum
TruSkin Serum for Brightening and Anti-Aging
TruSkin Vitamin C Serum
This gentle and affordable serum contains vitamin C, which brightens and fights signs of aging, as well as other soothing and hydrating skincare ingredients.
20. Vitamin C Concentrated Serum
Derma E Serum for Brightening and Anti-Aging
Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum
This affordable vitamin C serum contains a stable and effective form of vitamin C, as well as additional ingredients that help hydrate and soothe the skin.
21. C15 Super Booster
Paula's Choice Serum for Brightening and Fighting Signs of Aging
Paula's Choice C15 Super Booster
The 15% concentration of pure vitamin C in this serum helps brighten the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How do I choose a serum?
If you’re picking out a serum to add to your routine, you’ll want to keep your skin type (combination) in mind so that you find a product suitable for combination skin. You’ll also want to think about the specific skin concerns you’re looking to target so that you can look for a serum that contains ingredients that addresses those concerns. For example, if you know you want to minimize the appearance of your pores, you’ll want to look for a serum that targets pores (like the Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster or the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Anti-Aging Pore Minimizer Face Serum).
Is a serum necessary for combination skin?
Serums aren’t an absolute necessity for a solid skincare routine. If you want to keep things super simple, a basic routine will include a cleanser, a moisturizer, and a sunscreen to keep your skin clean, hydrated, and protected. That said, if there are specific skin issues you’d like to target, serums can be incredibly beneficial. It all comes down to what your specific skin goals are.
Should I use a serum everyday?
This depends on the specific serum you’ve chosen and how your skin reacts to it. Many serums are suitable for daily use, so long as you aren’t applying other products with active ingredients that don’t layer well with your serum’s ingredients (you can do a quick internet search to see if the active ingredients in your products can be used at the same time). That said, some serums may contain high concentrations of ingredients that shouldn’t be used every single day. You may also find that your skin gets irritated with daily use of a certain serum. For the most accurate usage instructions, pay attention to the instruction label on your chosen serum, and take note of how your skin responds to the product.
The Bottom Line
Adding a serum to your routine is a great way to address specific skin issues. Consider using one of these serums in your skincare routine to target your concerns and promote a glowing complexion.