We know it's usually the winter months that are associated with dehydrated skin (central heating and cold snaps will do that to a face), but for some, it can be just as much of an issue throughout the summer months too. Over zealous sun exposure, the dreaded summer cold and a few too many jugs of Pimms can all take their toll on even the glowiest of complexions, leaving what was once perky and bright looking a bit dull and dreary.
Prevention is always better than cure, but even if you've reached the point of no dry skin return, there are ways you can turn this ship around. Firstly, get yourself a lightweight serum for dehydrated skin and apply it post-cleansing/pre-makeup every single day. (And night, if you can, too.)
Packed with hydrating ingredients, as well as antioxidants and other skin defenders, serums are great for adding an extra layer of nourishment below your moisturiser. That's why we called on the industry experts—the beauty editors who have tried every serum out there to reveal the ones they rely on to keep their skin happy through the summer, and well into the colder months too. These serums are like a glass of water for your skin—so drink up.
"I like to keep things simple with my serums, which is why I go for The Ordinary's hyaluronic acid. It is so lightweight that it sinks in almost instantly, and nothing leaves my skin feeling quite this bouncy." —Alyss Bowen, associate social media editor, Byrdie UK
"Ok, so this isn't strictly a serum, but it does just as good a job as any. It's an essence, so feels more like a silky water than anything else and you simply pat on with the palms of your hands. It makes skin feel so fresh and look so bright. I love it." — Amy Lawrenson, editorial director, Byrdie UK
"It's hard to describe, but the sensation you get from Caudalie's serum is akin to kneading out a ball of pizza dough. By lacing it with so much hydration as well as collagen-persuading resveratrol and betaine, it practically stretches out taut, rigid, dry skin and stops it from looking so grey and grim." —Shannon Peter, deputy editor, Byrdie UK
"It flies under the radar a little, but this absorbs super quickly and really makes a noticeable difference to my dehydrated skin. After a few days of using this, my skin looks and feels noticeably plumper and hydrated, and any pesky fine lines are smoothed out. That's why this is the one that I return to every winter." —Sam Flowers, freelance beauty editor and founder of This Is Mothership
"I always have a bottle of Dr Sebagh's Repair Serum in my bathroom cabinet. It's packed full of hyaluronic acid, which helps maintain a good hydration level. My skin gets much happier after just one use." —Katie Thomas, digital beauty editor, Marie Claire
"I gear my regimen to fighting wrinkles but also to soothe my skin, which can get so dry in winter you can practically hear it screaming. I've used this for over a year now. It's got the light texture of a serum, so it doesn't just sit on top of the skin. It's packed with vitamins A and C, so it's always busy speeding up cell turnover, which is especially important during the colder months when skin gets drier. If I need an extra moisture boost, I reach for Clarins Double Serum (£56), as it soaks in straight away and quenches nonstop with 20 plant oils." —Fiona Embleton, senior beauty editor, Marie Claire
"This feels like a smart hybrid between an essence, a gel and a serum. It drenches skin in moisture but sinks in super fast, so it's ideal as a pre-makeup prepping product." —Bella Blissett, beauty columnist, You
"My skin is really sensitive and prone to redness, so lots of other, more hardcore formulas can irritate it quite easily. This, on the other hand, calms it down pretty instantly, and my skin just drinks it up. Godsend." —Joely Walker, beauty director, Grazia
"Hydration—and especially the kind that gets deep down into my skin—is vital, so the hyaluronic acid–packed formula of this becomes a crucial part of my nighttime regimen. Even though you use a very small amount, a couple of drops does the job. When I wake up, my skin is incredibly soft and there's a plumpness that, at the age of 38, I find very pleasing. Plus, I now take anti-ageing very seriously, and the clinical results and testimonials from other editors who have tried it are so impressive that I feel confident I'm not only nourishing my skin in the here and now, but also investing in how it looks in the future." —Emma Gunavardhana, writer and brand consultant for The Beauty Podcast With Emma G
"I've just switched to this serum. My T-zone is terminally oily (even when it's chilly outside and my cheeks are parched). This has a lovely milky feel and somehow simultaneously plumps up dry bits without clogging oilier ones. It's got peptides, omega oils and antioxidants—no dodgy synthetic ingredients—and smells so delicious with jasmine and mandarin. Love!" —Fiona McKim, beauty editor, Woman & Home
And considering these editors have tried all the serums, you know these are all pretty safe bets.