How to Choose the Best Serum for Summer According to Skin Type

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on April 30, 2024
best serum for summer
⏱️ 6 min read

This is an objective, non-biased article. We base our product choices on various factors, such as product reviews, ratings, and overall reputation of brands. It does, however, contain affiliate links for featured products.

Serums can make or break your skincare routine, especially during summer when UV rays add complexity. They contain a high amount of active ingredients that target specific concerns, so choosing the right one for your skin type is crucial.

In this article, we help you select the best serum for your skin type and build a season-appropriate routine. Let’s begin!

How Do I Choose the Best Serum for Summer?

To choose the best serum for summer, consider your skin type and specific concerns. Look for ingredients that address hydration, oil control, and sun protection. 

Here’s a list of ingredients to look for based on your skin type.

Image source: Freepik

Best Serum for Dry Skin in Summer

Dry skin in summer can look rough and have fine lines, but hydration can help. Thus, use serums that hydrate and restore the skin’s moisture barrier.

Look for humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, ceramides, and squalane. Here are some of our top serum recommendations for dry skin in summer:

1. Tatcha The Dewy Serum

Tatcha’s The Dewy Serum stands out with its unique blend of three key ingredients: lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and squalane.

The serum’s hyaluronic acid plumps, squalane locks in moisture, and lactic acid gently exfoliates dead skin cells and brightens the complexion.

Together, these three ingredients give your skin a long-lasting supple, bouncy, and radiant look.

2. Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum

Omega fatty acids are a must for balanced skin – they keep oil production in check, maintain hydration, and even prevent breakouts and irritation.

Packed with omega fatty acids 3, 6, and 9, ceramides, and plant-based moisturizers like shea butter and jojoba oil, Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum is the ultimate solution for dryness and pesky breakouts.

It’s your go-to for banishing dryness and combat breakouts and irritation. So, give your skin the care it craves on long summer days!

3. Biossance Squalane and Copper Peptide Serum

Squalane is a superhero ingredient in skincare. It can be found in plants such as olives, wheat germ oil, and rice bran and is similar to the lipids that our bodies naturally produce.

But Biossance has taken it to the next level with its Squalene and Copper Peptide Serum.

This serum has a silky, non-sticky formula that instantly plumps your skin, locks in moisture, and triggers collagen production, resulting in visibly rejuvenated skin. So, Biossance knows how to make skincare easy and effective!

Best Serum for Sensitive Skin in Summer

Sensitive skin needs extra care in summer when skin is more likely to get irritated. Soothing serums with aloe vera, chamomile, and Centella Asiatica are best for calming inflammation and reducing redness.

Here are the top serums for sensitive skin in summer:

1. Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Serum

Sensitive skin needs extra care in the summer as the sun and harsh temperatures can make it more sensitive.

The Kate Somerville Recovery Serum is ideal for stressed and sensitized skin. It contains ceramides, peptides, and omegas to strengthen the protective skin barrier.

2. Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Intense Serum


Avène’s Hydrance Intense Serum offers instant relief because of its refreshing texture. It soothes irritation with Capric Triglyceride and Glycerin and strengthens the skin’s barrier.

Avène Thermal Spring Water ensures lasting moisture without clogging pores, so it is perfect for hot weather.

Plus, it’s formulated to minimize allergic reactions, free of parabens and mineral oil, and vegan-friendly.

3. EltaMD Skin Recovery Hydrating Serum

Sensitive skin needs gentle, simple formulas to restore the damaged skin barrier daily.

EltaMD’s Skin Recovery Hydrating Serum provides daily protection with Centella Asiatica leaf extract and antioxidants.

The studies claim it can reduce skin irritation.

Best Serum for Oily Skin in Summer

Oily skin in summer is challenging. Excess sebum causes blemishes and a greasy look. Use oil-control serums with niacinamide, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil to control sebum, minimize pores, and reduce blemishes.

Choose lightweight, oil-free serums that balance oil production and provide hydration.

Here are our product picks for the best serum for oily skin in summer:

1. Neutrogena Hydroboost Hydrating Serum

Did you know that oily skin can produce even more oil without moisture?

Thus, hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid are required to maintain a natural moisture balance.

Neutrogena Hydroboost Serum is a lightweight, non-comedogenic serum formulated with hyaluronic acid. It hydrates and plumps the outer skin layer, reducing excessive oil production without clogging pores.

2. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum

Niacinamide is great for oily skin because it helps control sebum production. Not only does it help reduce breakouts, but it also helps make your pores appear smaller and your skin smoother.

The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum uses a potent concentration of this ingredient, and since it’s a water-based formula, it won’t add any additional shine or oil to your face!

3. Glow Recipe Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Acid Serum

Increased sweating during the summer months can lead to clogged pores and breakouts – especially if your skin is already acne-prone.

This is why you need to exfoliate your skin regularly—but not too often. Over-exfoliation can damage the skin barrier and cause further complications.

Try Glow Recipe’s Strawberry Smooth Serum. It clears breakouts and soothes and brightens skin without drying or irritating it.

Best Face Serum for Combination Skin in Summer

Choose a lightweight serum with hydrating and brightening ingredients for normal or combination skin.

Serums with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants help maintain skin moisture and give a radiant glow.

See our top product picks:

1. Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient for combination skin as it provides hydration without being heavy or greasy. Combination skin typically has both oily and dry areas, so finding the right balance is important.

Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid is a lightweight gel serum that instantly plumps the skin and provides effective long-lasting hydration

2. Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Vitamin C serum is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals and environmental aggressors.

It also enhances the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Choose a lightweight Vitamin C serum like Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum to fade dark spots and brighten your complexion.

3. Naturium Niacinamide Face Serum

Niacinamide regulates oil production, brightens skin, and improves texture.

The Naturium Niacinamide Face Serum is great for oversized pores and skin texture. It locks in moisture and removes irritants, providing multiple skincare benefits in a single product.

What About the Rest of Your Skincare Routine?

While serums are crucial, a complete skincare routine is essential. To lock in benefits, prep skin before serum application and follow with a suitable moisturizer. 

It’s vital to ensure that other products complement the properties of your serum. We’ve covered this topic in our Summer Skincare Routine, where we recommend suitable ingredients and products for different skin types. 

When selecting SPF, choose wisely to avoid breakouts or reactions. So, if you need help picking the best SPF for your skin type, check out our SPF Guide.

When Choosing the Best Serum for Summer Keep in Mind…

Serums are lightweight and have a high concentration of active ingredients, allowing them to penetrate deep into the skin.

They come in various formulations, targeting specific issues such as aging, hyperpigmentation, acne, hydration, or brightening.

Choosing the right serum according to your skin type is essential for maintaining healthy and glowing skin during the summer season.

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