The best things come in small packages. These concentrated formulas give the old adage an extra dose of truth.
L'Oréal Paris Youth Code Serum Corrector
Apply the dark spot-correcting and illuminating lotionlike serum before your regular moisturizer. It's lightly scented, which made us worry about breakouts, but we awoke after the first night's use with smoother and softer skin. Two weeks later, old acne marks had faded.
Available at lorealparisusa.com, $25.
Matte need not mean dull, as production coordinator Jillian King learned with the mineral-dense complex that smells of cucumbers. It neutralizes acidity for a smoother complexion that needs barely a puff of powder after two weeks of use.
Available at fresh.com, $35.
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The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost
An overly dry winter and continuous (radiator) heat waves left editor Lauren Berger with one parched punim. A few dabs of the camu camu berry- and Brazil nut oil-infused gel after moisturizing turned her skin silky smooth and makeup ready.
Luxaskin Supreme Skin Food
Like a daily supplement for your face, the serum is chockful of vitamin B3 and botanical antioxidants that reduce redness and increase moisture.
Available at luxaskin.wazala.com, $42.
Enticed at first by the lavender, our tester found the tone corrector to be heaven sent. After just one week, dark spots from old acne blemishes faded enough that she ditched her foundation.
Available at kiehls.com, $50.
Bearer of sensitive, oily skin that occasionally gets dry? Fret no longer. Quickly absorbed with no shiny residue, the aloe vera-rich serum comes full force with the bold scent of ylang-ylang. Your complexion wins, herbally.
Available at aesop.com, $61.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
Deals editor Lindsay Bruno is fearful of products made for all skin types. Thankfully, Clinique's lightweight, twice-daily serum works to lighten age and acne spots without any dermal tantrums.
Available at clinique.com, $50-$73.
BareMinerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum
Cold and flu season is over, but intern Caroline Hallemann is still tending to a red nose. "A few drops of the lightly scented serum before bed reduces inflammation and increases hydration. It's a real-life prescription for beauty sleep," she says.
Available at bareescentuals.com, $50.
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