BAZAAR Beauty Awards 2021: The Best Serums and Masks to Target Every Skin Concern
Best Pre Serum: First Care Activating Serum, $118, Sulwhasoo
Sulwhasoo’s signature First Care Activating Serum is in its fifth iteration and remains one of the must-haves in a skincare routine. Formulated with the brand’s JAUM Activator, this pre-serum helps with skin cell renewal while protecting the skin’s microbiome. It also preps skin to better absorb the rest of the products that follow in your skincare routine.
Best Acne-Control Serum: Blemish Control, $87, RE:ERTH
With mask-wearing still the norm, it’s inevitable to have a pimple or two now and then, especially if you’ve spent the entire day out. RE:ERTH’s Blemish Control is a gentle, lightweight serum that has a patented anti-microbial formula that eliminates acne-causing bacteria without drying out skin. Lysozyme (a type of enzyme) and immunoglobulins (antibodies) destroy bacteria, while water-soluble vitamin A supports collagen production and improves skin texture.
Best Anti-Ageing Serum: H.A. Intensifier, $159, SkinCeuticals
SkinCeuticalsThis is designed to not only replenish the skin’s supply of hyaluronic acid (HA), but also improve its ability to produce more. HA in three molecular weights ensure that the serum can reach the di erent layers of skin for maximum hydration. Proxylane stimulates collagen synthesis and helps maintain the skin matrix for a fi rmer look and feel, while liquorice root and purple rice extracts work to inhibit the breakdown of HA.
Best Anti-Pollution Serum: Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Intense Serum, $110, Aesop
While most skincare rely solely on their ingredients to deliver results, this one from Aesop also incorporates texture into the equation. Red algae and tara gum form an imperceptible film over skin to protect it from airborne particles, with grape seed, green tea and parsley seed extracts forming a trifecta of potent antioxidants to further shore up the skin’s defence against environmental pollutants.
Best Brightening Serum: C-Firma Fresh Day Serum, $110, Drunk Elephant
This serum comes with a powder phase and a serum phase that you mix just before use to maintain optimum potency. Packed with 15 percent L-ascorbic acid (a stable form of vitamin C), 0.5 percent ferulic acid and 1 percent vitamin E, it rids surface dead skin cells to reveal brighter, more even-toned skin.
Best Firming Serum: Skin Caviar Liquid Lift, $1,090, La Prairie
Centred around caviar, which is synonymous with the brand, this serum is fortified with Caviar Premier and Caviar Absolute. The former, a combination of lipids, proteins, peptides and other biomolecules, works to strengthen and lift skin, while the latter helps redensify skin for smoother contours.
Best Hydrating Serum: 5.1 Lift, $120, EPION
With the ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, HA remains the gold standard ingredient for anyone looking to quench parched skin. EPION’s 5.1 Lift is formulated with plant placenta and HA to supply skin with a reservoir of water from which it can draw on to keep it hydrated throughout the day.
Best Resurfacing Serum: Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum, $130, Kiehl's
Retinol has long been considered the anti-ageing ingredient for its prowess in promoting skin cell renewal, and restoring density and fi rmness. It can, however, come with side effects such as redness and peeling if administered in high doses. Kiehl’s Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum skirts the issue by introducing skin to retinol in low and precise doses, delivering maximum results without the discomforts for a refreshed complexion.
Best Soothing Serum: Skin Repair, $118, DrGL
The Skin Repair serum takes a multi-pronged approach to soothing skin. Potassium DNA and sodium RNA reportedly help repair damaged skin cells and aid in the healing process, while active plant stem cell extracts stimulate skin cell renewal and alpha lipoic acid, a potent antioxidant, protects against environmental pollutants and free-radical damage.
Best Acne-Control Mask: Anti-Blemish Mask, $60 for a pack of 10 sheets, Kskin
This sheet mask is gentle on skin yet tough on blemishes. Formulated with botanical extracts that regulate sebum production naturally, it soothes infl ammation and helps prevent breakouts. Use twice a week for better results.
Best Anti-Ageing Mask: Precious Gold Vitality Mask, $440, Clé de Peau Beauté
Your skin is in for a treat with this rich mask that boasts 24k gold and gardenia extract, which help reduce dullness and improve texture and tone. Gold also has potent antioxidant effects to protect against free radicals, which can damage cells and cause premature skin ageing.
Clé de Peau Beauté
Best Anti-Pigmentation Mask: Whitelogist Kojic acid Brightening Mask, $142 for a pack of six sheets, DECORTÉ
There’s more to this sheet mask than meets the eye—it is actually made of two compressed sheets: An adhesive layer that helps the mask stay securely on the skin and a fluid-retention layer saturated with essence. The essence itself has kojic acid, a brightening agent that inhibits the formation of melanin, as well as the Bright Concentrate Complex, which breaks down existing melanin for a visibly brighter complexion.
Best Clarifying Mask: Detox Face Mask, $70, Malin+Goetz
This oxygenating gel mask foams immediately upon application to deeply cleanse skin. Key ingredients squalene and almond oil help moisturise skin, while vitamin E and green tea extract give a potent antioxidant hit. Skin will also appear brighter thanks to the inclusion of vitamin C.
Best Firming Mask: Contour firming Mask, $240, 111Skin
Skincare gets luxe with this mask that boasts diamond peptides (yes, you read that right) that deliver proteins deeper into the skin. Meanwhile, the Pro-collagen Complex and Firming & Lifting Complex reinforces the extracellular matrix to maintain skin elasticity and promote collagen synthesis for a smoother, firmer complexion.
Best Hydrating Mask: FlashMasque Hydrate 5 Minute Sheet Mask, $43 for a pack of four sheets, Patchology
Skin dehydration can show up as patchiness, flakiness or dullness and this mask gives a surge of moisture stat. Essential hydrating ingredients such as HA and betaine quench dryness while vitamin B5 helps improve skin elasticity. It takes only five minutes to reap the benefits, thanks to the advanced mask material designed to aid the delivery of actives.
Best Resurfacing Mask: Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask, $69, KORA Organics
This exfoliating mask teams turmeric, known for its antioxidant and anti-infl ammatory properties, with aspen bark extract, rose hip seeds, papaya enzymes, peppermint essential oil and quartz to promote skin cell turnover and regulate sebum production for a glowy complexion.
Best Soothing Mask: Tea-Tox, $62 for a pack of eight sheets, Sigi Skin
Saturated with the goodness of probiotics, kombucha, yuzu extracts, galactomyces ferment filtrate (fermented sake) and HA, this helps protect skin from environmental aggressors while hydrating it deeply and strengthening its barrier.
Best Overnight Mask: Cicapair Sleepair Ampoule-in Mask, $66, Dr.Jart+
Formulated to support the skin’s natural reparative process while you snooze, this sleeping mask calms redness and aids skin recovery, working towards stronger, healthier-looking skin. Its key ingredient, centella asiatica, helps skin bounce back from damage, while a cocktail of other botanical ingredients hydrates and soothes it.