If you’re in your twenties, you’ve probably been told that a good skincare routine is vital: cleanse, moisturise and most importantly, apply sunscreen daily. (Although, in case this is new: apply sunscreen daily.)

In between cleansing and moisturising however, is a small but crucial component you’re likely not paying enough attention to: serums. Perhaps dismissed as a step for those firmly in anti-ageing territory (I’m in my twenties, please) or yet *another* component in an already extensive skincare regimen, newsflash: you should really be using a serum.

“In your twenties, serums are particularly important because it’s a component of your skincare routine where your skin gets the most active ingredients and the best product penetration,” says facialist and skin expert Jocelyn Petroni. “Your twenties are also when you see particular skin concerns, like breakouts, that you really want to treat, and the best way to treat [them] is through a serum.”

And if you’re one of the #blessed few who well, don’t have any skin concerns, Jocelyn still recommends incorporating a serum into your daily skin routine morning and night. “It’s good from an early age to start hydrating those deeper skin cells, because I believe anti-ageing is in prevention,” she says. “Along with sunscreen, using a hydrating serum or a fine-textured oil will maintain optimal water content in your skin, which will make it more resilient for extrinsic and intrinsic things that oxidise the skin and be the best prevention for ageing down the track.”

The serum you use will depend on your skin concern and skin type. So, whether you’ve got combination or dry skin, or are prone to oil and breakouts, keep reading for Jocelyn’s advice and best product recommendations.


Look out for: Ingredients like fruit acid (e.g. lactic) and salicylic acid.

Jocelyn recommends: Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum, $99

“I’ve seen amazing results for people with breakouts and with dull build-up on the surface of the skin, because it essentially works like an exfoliator. These enzymes dissolve away surface dry dead skin as well as clean out the pores. It even comes in a more mild version, if this one’s too strong.”


Look out for: Fine-textured oils that won’t weigh down the skin.

Jocelyn recommends:Shemana Face Serum, $44

“Put a few drops of this under your moisturiser, add a few drops to it or [mix a few drops] with your foundation, it’s that serum that blends with everything. It’s so good for very dry skin.”


Look out for: Light-textured, hydrating formulas.

Jocelyn recommends: Bioeffect Serum, $195

“It makes the skin stronger, it repairs the skin and it’s perfect for premature ageing. Your skin starts ageing from 22, so you should work on keeping it healthy.”


Ingredients to look out for:  Vitamin B.

Jocelyn recommends: Ultraceuticals B-squared Hydrating Serum, $89

“It’s very healing and water-based so it’s very hydrating. Oily skin types will love it too because it’s quite light, but it’s also great for sensitive, reactive skin — it can really heal and repair.”