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The Only 3 Face Serums You Need
Essential Takeaways
If there’s one step in our daily skincare routine we wouldn’t dare skip, it’s applying serum. This essential stage fills in that gap between cleansing and moisturizing by giving our skin a hefty dose of highly concentrated active ingredients (aka vitamins for your skin) that neither of the before or after products can quite achieve.

The Only 3 Face Serums You Need

If there’s one step in our daily skincare routine we wouldn’t dare skip, it’s applying serum. This essential stage fills in that gap between cleansing and moisturizing by giving our skin a hefty dose of highly concentrated active ingredients (aka vitamins for your skin) that neither of the before or after products can quite achieve.

Serums are lighter skin-care formulations—usually a liquid or gel that is thinner than oil but heavier than toner—allowing them to be more easily absorbed into the skin and act as a base layer under your heavier products like moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup.

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Another benefit to serums is that they target a range of skin concerns in one go. These super-concentrated liquids are meant to help correct specific skin issues, and each one offers a unique purpose and ingredients ranging from hydrating to brightening (read more about them here). And yet, because there are thousands of tailor-made serums out there (read: you can get super specific about your needs), finding one that works for you can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming.

Luckily, we’ve discovered that there are three targeted serums that can be considered the holy grail of skincare essentials. They cover the overarching needs of all faces, from pollution protection to anti-aging, that we can all benefit from. So if you’re new to serums or haven’t quite found the right fit, we’ve got you covered. Read on for more.

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been touted as one of skincare’s best ingredients, and so Vitamin C-spiked serums can provide all of the vitamin’s fabulous perks, including offering restorative and repairing potential. First, because Vitamin C is highly acidic, applying it topically through products like serum triggers your skin to heal itself by accelerating elastin and collagen production—helping to plump and firm the skin and prevent premature aging. “Collagen” is a buzzword in the skincare aisle for a reason: It is critical for your skin’s ability to hold its strength and remain youthful-looking, but sadly, our bodies produce less of it as we age (ahem, this starts happening after about the age of 20). Adding a Vitamin C serum to your skincare routine will help boost your body’s natural production.

Vitamin C-enhanced serums also have antioxidant properties that protect your skin against environmental aggressors like sunlight and air pollution, making this particular serum ideal for daytime use. We consider this a must if you spend a lot of time outside.

Brighten your day and your skin with our Hello Sunshine Vitamin C serum:
View Hello Sunshine Vitamin C Serum

And its repairing qualities don’t end there. Vitamin C can also act as an anti-inflammatory agent, helping to soothe skin that is puffy and red. It has also been known to help reduce skin discoloration like dark spots and hyperpigmentation by inhibiting your skin’s melatonin production. And, in fact, over the long term, Vitamin C can help prevent dark spots from forming in the first place.

2. Hyaluronic Acid

Similar to the fact that our body’s ability to produce collagen decreases as we age, so too do our levels of hyaluronic acid—a compound that helps your skin draw in moisture from the environment. Plus, past research shows that environmental factors like air pollution and smoking can accelerate this process. When our skin has less hyaluronic acid to work with, it becomes more difficult for it to retain moisture, leading to dehydration and a breakdown of the skin’s barrier. This leaves your skin vulnerable to damage from external factors. Compromised skin can also lead to skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, acne, and rosacea.

Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, meaning it has an unbelievable ability to retain water and is why it’s a key ingredient in skincare products meant for parched complexions. Not only does this key anti-aging ingredient allow your skin to get the hydration it craves, but regular use of it can lead to the appearance of healthier, plumper, more dewy skin while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. We think it’s safe to say we’d all love that kind of glow.

Dew you, boo with our Dew-Gooder Hyaluronic Serum. Discover how to quench dry, thirsty skin with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide!
View Dew-Gooder Hyaluronic Serum

But even those who aren’t battling dryness can benefit from adding hyaluronic acid serum to their skincare routine to prevent moisture loss and improve your skin’s glow. And because of its non-irritating nature, hyaluronic acid serums can be applied to multiple skin types. To get the most out of this targeted serum, apply it to slightly damp skin, and then apply a thicker face cream to help lock in the moisture. This routine is especially essential in the wintertime, when our skin tends to be at its driest, but using the serum itself should be a year-long love affair.

3. Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol has been touted by beauty gurus for its benefits as an ethical, clean alternative to retinol. In fact, it works magic on fine lines and skin texture for those of us who are looking to mature a little more gracefully. While its predecessor, retinol, has been long used as the hero anti-aging ingredient in various skincare products from toner to night cream because it stimulates the production of collagen, it has been known to cause irritation, swelling, and flaking for those with dry or sensitive skin. And we surely don’t want that to happen to you.

That’s why bakuchiol, a plant-based ingredient derived from the psoralea corylifolia plant, is so extraordinary: It provides the same age-defying, collagen-boosting benefits of retinol but without the irritation. A natural ingredient that has long been used in Ayurveda medicine because of its healing properties, bakuchiol has been shown in several studies to have benefits in skincare, and it’s just now gaining the notoriety it deserves.

A natural, gentler alternative to retinol? And no Blockbuster card required? As if! Check out how to rewind time with our Be Kind, Rewind Bakuchiol Serum.
View Be Kind, Rewind Bakuchiol Serum

Unlike traditional retinol, which makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays if worn during the day, bakuchiol serums can be used morning and night. The benefits of incorporating it into your skincare routine include smoother skin texture, less hyperpigmentation, and restored elasticity. This all happens because it increases cell turnover by stimulating collagen production. For all its benefits, Bak has become our new best friend—and should be yours, too.

Nicole Axworthy is a Toronto-based writer and author of the vegan cookbook DIY Vegan.

Kinder Beauty

Hello Sunshine Vitamin C Serum

Dramatically brightens uneven skin tone, revives natural collagen production, helps protect your skin, and reduces inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
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Kinder Beauty

Dew-Gooder Hyaluronic Serum

Deeply hydrates your skin. Added niacinamide improves the appearance of uneven skin tone and texture, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
view more
Kinder Beauty

Be Kind, Rewind Bakuchiol Serum

Same age-defying benefits as retinol, but without the irritation! Smoothes fine lines and wrinkles while promoting cellular turnover and elastin production.
view more
Kinder Beauty

Starter Kit

Everything you need to jumpstart or elevate your skincare routine! Includes all three Made by Kinder Serums, a Kinder Beauty Embroidered Spa Headband, and carry pouch!
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Each month you'll get

Up to $165 worth of vegan, cruelty-free, & clean beauty
5 products from top ethical and clean beauty brands
A mix of both full-sized and travel-sized items
Skincare, makeup, haircare, body care, and more
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