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Best Serum for Dry Skin

Best serum for dry skin

23 Nov 2022 • 2 min read

Serums are an ever-growing skincare trend. From targeted serums for specific concerns to single-ingredient products that deliver transformative results, we’ve never had more choice when it comes to choosing skincare products.1 If you’re new to serums (or need a refresher), these highly concentrated products deliver potent ingredients directly to your skin. They usually come in the form of a liquid or gel and typically target specific areas of concern.2 You can generally find a variety of serums that include different active ingredients. These are designed to work for various skincare problems, which is why some people choose to use more than one serum or multi-ingredient products.3 There are serums out there to suit people with most skin types, including those that have a dry complexion. If you’re looking for something to support your skincare goals, we’ve got everything you need to know about dry skin serums below.

Why is serum good for dry skin?

It might be tempting to forgo serums if you have dry skin. These super-light formulas often feel like they don’t deliver a lot of hydration, and might even be irritating for those that experience sensitivity as well as dryness.4 However, the trick is in choosing a product with the right ingredients. There are plenty of serums that can potentially provide exceptional thirst-quenching qualities, helping dry skin feel hydrated and plumped.5 Remember, though. You will probably want to combine your serums with the right type of moisturiser for your skin as well. If you have dehydrated skin, using just a serum might not cut it. Usually, you would apply your serum to damp skin after cleansing before applying moisturisers or creams.6

What dry serum ingredients to look out for?

Not all serums are the same, and some have ingredients that are better suited to dry skin than others. Look carefully at the ingredients list before you invest and follow the label instructions to get the best possible results.

Some hydrating serum ingredients may include:

When searching for your next serum, you may notice that some brands have single-ingredient (or pure) products, while others use a combination. It might take a bit of time to find the right one for your skin type. It’s worth doing a patch test first, just to be sure your chosen serum doesn’t cause any irritation.

How to use serums for dry skin

Using a serum as well as a moisturiser may give you double the hydration. That’s because many serums penetrate deeper into the skin, absorbing in to help your skin feel hydrated. On the other hand, moisturisers and creams create a barrier to seal in moisture.14 Once you’ve chosen your serum, it’s essential to follow the instructions carefully. Usually, though, serums are applied after cleansing and toning but before moisturising. They tend to be used twice a day unless the directions specify otherwise.15 

Read more about dry skin: Best face creams for dry skin or How to choose a foundation for dry skin

Last updated: 24 March 2021


Manisha Taggar


Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019

BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science

Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.

After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.

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