12 Dermatologist-Recommended Serums to Try Before Your Wedding
Because of the nature of our job, we're inundated with "miracle" serums promoting new ingredients that promise to give you glowing skin that's free of blemishes, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. This, of course, sometimes sounds too good to be true; half the time, it is. But when you're prepping for a wedding, you don't have the time or the money to try a variety of skincare products that may or may not work. That's why we asked dermatologists to share the serums they personally rely on every day.
That's right, we went straight to the experts to find out the products they stock their own medicine cabinets with. And if the professionals are using these serums each day, you know they've been rigorously tested and approved because of how well they actually work. If you haven't found your personal favorite pre-wedding serum yet—or are searching for some new products to try—look no further than this list, which includes formulas that target a variety of different needs. Whether you want to diminish fine lines and repair skin cells or reduce puffiness and even skin tone, there's a product here for you. Best of all, these products aren't all super expensive (although some certainly fall into the "splurge" category), meaning you can put your best face forward on the big day without breaking the bank.
If you're ready to find the best serum for your needs, click through here to get recommendations from ten top derms. One spoiler alert first: If you take away anything from this, it should be that antioxidant-infused serums are an absolute must. Nearly every doctor names it as an essential.
Three experts recommend this specific product, which says a lot about its power. "It contains a combination of antioxidants that reduces fine lines and wrinkles, neutralizes free radicals, and reverses environmental aging," says Dr. Dendy Engelman, a New York City-based dermatologist. "It improves the skin's texture and appearance. I consider it one of gold standards for topical antioxidants." Adds Dr. Anne Chapas, owner and founder of Union Square Laser Dermatology, "I use it after I wash my face with a mild cleanser. It not only provides some SPF but also helps undo sun damage like discoloration, brown spots, wrinkles and uneven redness on skin." Dr. Joshua Zeichner concurs. "Using it every morning is a must."
Skinceuticals "C E Ferulic" Serum, $165, skinceuticals.com
Engelman also favors this anti-aging serum. "It contains ceramides, which strengthen and protect skin cells to repair and renew, along with something called Idebenone technology, a retinol that tops the list of powerful antioxidants and gives your skin the most protection and repairing benefits," she says. "Retinol is especially great for acne (generally the cystic kind) but it also plumps fine lines and wrinkles."
Elizabeth Arden "Prevage" Anti-Aging Serum, $162, elizabetharden.com
This product packs a punch without breaking the bank. "It contains a combination of several potent antioxidants, including vitamin C, E, and green tea, which prevent oxidative cellular damage due to the sun and even internal stress. It feels great on and makes my skin calmer and less reactive," says Dr. Jacqueline Berliner, a dermatologist at Marmur Medical in New York City.
YourGoodSkin Balancing Skin Concentrate, $19.99, yourgoodskin.com
Berliner also touts this defense serum as a must-buy product. "This is another one I like and use regularly," she explains. "It contains a variety of antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, grape seed extract, cocoa, turmeric, green tea, and coffee. It's extremely lightweight, leaves no residue, and makes my skin even and radiant."
SkinBetter Science "Alto" Defense Serum, $145, skinbetter.com
"I love that this one serum can tackle all of the signs of aging on both the face and neck," says Dr. Whitney Bowe, a New York-based dermatologist. "It's packed with vitamin A and a powerful peptide blend to fight wrinkles; vitamin C for a more even skin tone, and calcium amino acids and ceramides that help firm the neck. Plus, it's just under $35 so you get a bang for your buck."
No.7 "Restore and Renew" Serum, $33.99, ulta.com
"I use and recommend a vitamin C serum daily because it boosts collagen synthesis, reduces hyperpigmentation, brightens skin, and acts as an anti-inflammatory," says Dr. Sejal Shah, a dermatologic surgeon. She adds that she alternates between the brand's C-Esta and Revision Vitamin C 30 Percent Lotion.
Jan Marini "C-Esta" Serum, $108, janmarini.com
Yes to Blueberries
Shah also recommends this affordable product, explaining that its natural ingredients really work.
Yes to Blueberries "Age Refresh" Repair Serum, $8.95, jet.com
Hale also raves about this serum, which she says "hydrates and instantly makes skin glow."
Meaningful Beauty "Crème de Serum" Anti-Aging Treatment, $64, ulta.com
"This serum-like gel is my go-to for intense hydration, smooth skin, and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles," says Dr. Patricia Wexler of Wexler Dermatology. "It has a proprietary mix of five hyaluronic acid forms that work synergistically, immediately providing hydration all day long. It also contains a peptide complex to support skin rejuvenation, along with polysaccharides and plankton, which enable the skin to produce its own hyaluronic acid for long-term skin health. It's especially great to use for post-resurfacing and rapid healing."
SkinMedica "HA 5" Rejuvenating Hydrator, $120-178, skinmedica.com
"This is a real treat for my skin during the winter when the harsh weather takes its toll—my splurge, if you will," says Dr. Francesca Fusco, dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology. "I like to switch serums with the season and this is especially good when used alone or layered with moisturizer to rejuvenate my skin."
La Prairie "White Caviar" Brightening Pearl Serum, $530, laprairie.com