Five of the best serums to give your skin a boost

Autumn is an ideal time to tackle skin issues and switch up your treatment products

This is an ideal time of year to tackle skin issues or to switch up your treatment products. During the summer, even mild but consistent sun exposure, or one fláithúlach afternoon without SPF can make pigmentation appear or worsen. Annoyingly, the ingredients that are proven to minimise pigmentation tend to sensitise the skin to the sun, potentially making the discolouration even more pronounced.

When autumn trundles round and the light gets a bit duller, conditions are perfect for reintroducing skincare products like retinoids, vitamin C and acids to your routine. It’s also a good time to make a switch generally. As you’re shoving sun dresses and T-shirts into the back of the wardrobe in favour of jumpers and jeans, the skincare of summer should be switched out too.

Your serum is a treatment product, designed to combat the aspects of your skin that might bother you (they differ for all of us) – dehydration, pigmentation, fine lines, texture. There is an effective serum for pretty much every skin complaint. If you are in the market for a good all-rounder, try Skingredients Skin Veg (€42 from pharmacies nationwide). This Irish serum contains hyaluronic acid, gluconolactone – an ingredient that assists in product penetration – and peptides. In texture, it’s a bit like an essence or preserum; thin, light and instantly absorbed. Skin Veg enhances the products applied on top as much as doing good itself.

If you want effective and affordable serums, and you’re not yet familiar with Beauty Pie, it’s a beauty subscription service (prices start at £5 monthly) that allows you to buy discounted high-quality beauty products. Japanfusion is my favourite Beauty Pie skincare range – have a look at it if you’re in the market for affordable skincare – but the new Superdrops High Intensity Hydration (£50 or £9.06 to members) is delectable. Taut, greyish skin is instantly plumped and hydrated, and it sits dreamily under moisturiser. Another excellent, affordable serum is the Inkey List Retinol Serum (€9.99 at Arnotts). It’s gentle enough to use as a good starter retinol if you’re unsure whether you want to invest in an expensive retinol product, but will still show results with consistent use.


If texture is your skin bugbear, Elixseri Opening Act Serum (€93 at is a resurfacing gel serum which uses lactic acid and fruit extracts to dissolve the bonds between dull surface skin cells and the fresh ones underneath. It's ideal if you are nervous of glycolic or strong acids, or if you are making a first foray into acids and can't be bothered with masks and toners.

Rounding out our problem-solving serums is Skinceuticals Discolouration Defense (€95 at Pigmentation goes beyond sunspots and is one of the skin concerns I get the most questions about. The reddish or dark pigmentation left behind by nasty breakouts is just as challenging to fade as hormone or sun-induced pigmentation, but this works really well on both provided you use it diligently.