Recently, I noticed a trend in my inbox. More and more skincare brands were turning their attention below the neck, creating serums specifically made for the body. Like facial serums, they function as targeted treatments, and they tend to be more lightweight than body lotions. (The rules of skincare layering apply here, too: Apply serum first, followed by lotion or cream to seal everything in.)
“Body serums are typically made with different types of plant oils and absorb onto the skin quicker than a cream,” explains Ellen Marmur, board-certified dermatologist and founder of MMSkincare. “In addition, serums deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients which provide better results.” Of course, different products offer different results, but in general, the derm says you can expect body serums to offer hydration, tightening, brightening, and nourishing benefits.
And as someone who is often delinquent on body lotion already (oops), I wondered if this step was worth my while. But Marmur believes body serums can be worth it, especially during the drying fall and winter months. “In each season it is important to stay hydrated in order to preserve your skin,” she says. You heard the doctor: Body serums are a definitive yes. Keep scrolling for 15 worth trying, and get ready for impossibly silky, soft, and flake-free skin.
Serums often have higher concentrations of ingredients, and that’s very much the case with this formula. Made up of 21% glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids, it not only gently sloughs away dry skin and flakes, but it also helps with keratosis pilaris (aka the pesky bumps that can appear near hair follicles).
If adding another product to your routine feels like a burden, consider this spray-on formula: Not only is it crazy-convenient to apply, but it also has the ingredients (hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, antioxidant-rich blue algae extract) to add the hydrating, protective layer you’re looking for.
This lotion-like serum hydrates with the best of them, thanks to ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and the brand’s signature CBD. But it also contains a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate, which leaves skin looking brighter and smoother with each application.
If you spend any time on TikTok, you’ve likely seen people rubbing Truly products all over their bodies—including this serum. Containing both botanical ingredients as well as retinol, it helps firm the look of skin, and adds a pretty, flattering sheen that looks oh-so-pretty in sunlight.
Another formula that uses a blend of AHAs and BHAs, this body serum is actually made with 2% salicylic acid, making it a great choice if you experience body acne.