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Serums are aqueous-based substances with activated ingredients meant to target different skin care concerns depending on the concentration of particular ingredients in the products. They also are known to be hydrators, as opposed to being moisturizers for your skin.
Typically, you would apply your serum to your skin after cleansing and before moisturizing. Serums are extremely lightweight, meaning they are easily absorbed into the skin and won’t leave your skin feeling greasy. Read on to learn how to best apply your serum in daily skin care rituals.
Our Annmarie Skin Care serums are aloe-based with other activated and natural ingredients and can be a little difficult to make at home—unless, of course, you are a chemist and have all of the proper equipment to make different emulsions through multiple phases of a formulation.
So for the sake of ease, we’re going to be talking about “oil-based serums.” I’m sure you’ve seen multiple companies selling a product as a serum, only to find out when you flip over to the ingredient list that it’s all base oils and a couple of seed oils. Yes, this is technically considered an oil (which acts as a moisturizer) and not a serum, as serums are actually hydrators with an aloe or aqueous solution. But again, for DIY facial serum recipes that are easy to make in the comfort of your own home, we’ll cover these types of “oil-based serums” below.
You can make these DIY face serums for all skin types at home since the ingredients are readily available. Oil-based serums can leave your skin instantly glowing, along with adding the proper moisturization necessary.
How To Create an Oil-Based Anti-Aging Serum
If you’d rather opt for one of our herb-infused aloe-vera-based activated serums, you can have your pick in our collection of Serums & Elixirs. But if you want to have a little fun in the kitchen and blend up some of your favorite oils, making your oil-based serums at home can be an excellent way to enjoy your skin care journey. These DIY oil-based serum recipes are both easy and fun to make! When creating a serum, it is essential to consider different skin conditions to know the right ingredients to choose.
- Pick your carrier oil
- Pick an essential oil (or a few)
- Add vitamin E or vitamin C
- Add them together and put the mixture into a glass dropper bottle
How To Choose the Right Carrier Oil for Each Skin Type
When choosing a carrier oil for your facial serum recipe, you can choose according to the skin type or personal preference.
When it comes to carrier oils, you may see some are specialty seed oils (like pomegranate seed and tamanu oil) while others are true carrier oils (like jojoba and grapeseed oil). True carrier oils are less concentrated than specialty seed oils and act as a “carrier” to deliver the other ingredients to your skin, hence the word “carrier.”
Most carrier oils tend to be neutral in scent and color. Carrier oils are great at diluting essential oils and carrying them into the skin because essential oils alone can potentially irritate the skin, especially those with sensitivities. When choosing carrier oils, choose organic and cold-pressed oils. They should be free of additives and preservatives.
Carrier oils for oily skin
- Grapeseed oil is rich in vitamin E and linoleic acid, and it can be nutritive to the skin, lessening the appearance of wrinkles. It is lightweight and easily absorbed into the skin, and it also has a neutral scent.
- Argan oil is rich in vitamins A and E. It can minimize temporary redness on the skin and moisturize dry and aging skin.
- Sunflower oil is a good skin moisturizer. It creates the appearance of brighter and smoother skin.
- Apricot kernel oil is rich in vitamin E. It has a calming effect on the skin.
Carrier oils for dry skin
- Jojoba oil is slightly heavier but closely mimics the skin’s natural oils, making it great for drier skin types. It is easily absorbed into the skin without clogging pores.
- Rosehip seed oil is high in vitamin A and C. While vitamin A creates even, glowing skin, both vitamins help create a protective base for the skin against environmental stressors. Unlike other true carrier oils, rosehip oil can only be used as a base oil.
- Sweet almond oil is lightweight, absorbs easily, moisturizes dry skin and offers natural skin protection.
- Avocado oil is high in oleic acid, which can help moisturize the skin.
- Sweet almond oil absorbs easily since it’s lightweight and is a good moisturizer.
Carrier oils for aging skin
- Rosehip seed oil contains natural retinoids that can help rejuvenate the skin’s appearance. It’s also a good moisturizer.
- Jojoba oil is very moisturizing and has rejuvenating properties to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
- Olive oil is very moisturizing and protects the skin against environmental stressors. If your skin is oily, this wouldn’t be the best carrier oil to choose, as it is heavier.
- Avocado oil contains vitamins A, D and E, which promote fresh and revitalized skin and visibly improve the look of beautiful skin.
- Argan oil improves skin hydration.
Carrier oils for normal or combination skin
- Jojoba oil works with all skin types.
- Rosehip oil is a great moisturizer.
- Coconut oil is highly moisturizing and protects the skin against environmental stressors. However, we recommend using a high-quality fractionated coconut oil, as it absorbs better and doesn’t clog pores.
- Grapeseed oil is excellent for all skin types.
Carrier oils for sensitive skin
- Rosehip oil helps unclog pores, leaving the skin looking luminous.
- Oat oil soothes the skin and opens up pores.
- Sweet almond oil moisturizes, soothes and protects skin against environmental stressors.
How To Choose an Essential Oil for Different Skin Types
Essential oils for dry skin
- Lavender is naturally hydrating and can moisturize the skin without clogging pores or appearing too greasy.
- Chamomile contains azulene which increases moisture and reduces the appearance of temporary redness. Avoid it if you have ragweed allergies.
- Sandalwood promotes hydration and reduces the appearance of redness on the skin.
Essential oils for oily skin
- Clary sage has active compounds, which make it a great option for balancing the skin’s natural oils.
- Rosemary contains esters that keep excess sebum production at bay. It increases skin hydration.
- Frankincense can balance natural oils on the skin.
- Geranium balances out skin oils.
- Neroli contains citral, which may help balance the skin’s natural oils without completely drying out the skin.
Essential oils for sensitive skin
When choosing essential oils, these are great options for incorporating into a DIY face serum for sensitive skin.
Essential oils for anti-aging
- Rose contains vitamins A and C, which renews the look of beautiful skin.
- Myrrh is rich in antioxidants that give your face a glowing look, resulting in more refined-looking skin.
- Jojoba can rejuvenate the skin's top layer and visibly plumps up the look of the skin for a youthful glow
- Clary sage reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
- Frankincense: Has anti-aging properties for mature skin.
How To Create Your Homemade Face Serum Recipe
- Add 2 ounces of carrier oil into a glass bottle.
- Add 20 drops of essential oil(s).
- Put the lid back on and gently shake the bottle to mix the carrier oil and essential oils.
DIY face serum for dry skin
- 2 ½ teaspoons of jojoba oil
- One teaspoon of rosehip seed oil
- Five drops of lavender essential oil
- Five drops of frankincense essential oil
Carefully pour all the ingredients into your serum bottle. You can use a funnel. Then cover it and gently shake to mix.
DIY face serum for oily skin
- Two tablespoons of jojoba oil
- Seven drops of lavender essential oil
- Seven drops of neroli essential oil
DIY face serum for anti-aging
- Three tablespoons of jojoba oil
- One tablespoon of rosehip seed oil
- Five drops of rose essential oil
- Five drops of frankincense essential oil
- Five drops of jojoba essential oil
- Five drops of myrrh essential oil
Oil-based serums greatly help the skin. They moisturize and deliver wonderful benefits for ultimate nourishment. The above guide will help you know which oils are best for your skin type and which ones you should stay away from. Once you have made your first oil-based serum, it becomes easy to make more in the future and better understand which serum ingredients work best for your skin. Even when you don’t feel like making your homemade serums, knowing what works for you will help you buy a great serum that won’t cause any problems on your skin.
Don't stop there, learn more about vitamin C serum vs powder to choose the right product for your skin.
Annmarie Gianni is a mother, health activist, entrepreneur, and founder of 3 successful businesses. Over ten years ago, she and her husband, Kevin, formed a team and Annmarie Skin Care was founded to provide a clean, skin care made with natural ingredients experience using natural, organic and wildc…
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