I avoided serums, especially oil-based serums for a long time. The old school mantra of oil-free wash, exfoliant scrub, and oil-free moisturizer was pounded into my head. Yet, these methods were not working. I was an adult and still struggling to balance my combination skin.
My first attempt to embrace oil involved coconut oil. Remember how it was (still kinda is) touted as the cure-all for everything? Well, I decided to give it a try. It was definitely not a good result! The oil never quite absorbed into my skin and it gave me a rather greasy look! Once it wore off, it left my skin rough and dry. Needless to say, I was disappointed and hesitant of trying facial oil again, let alone an oil-based serum...
I'll halt here, just in case this is all new to you. I only recently learned the difference between a face oil and an oil-based serum! Okay, quick break down compliments of The Beauty of It Is:
+ A face oil adds hydration and nutrition
+ A serum is a bonus – it brightens, slows the onset of lines and wrinkles, it tightens, it exfoliates, etc. It is essentially a face oil blended with extra ingredients, or it can be an oil-free base of aloe or an emulsion of oils and floral waters, or any number of other things. Serums vary wildly in texture and use. Some replace your face oil (because it’s basically one), and others are sticky and do not wear well alone at all and must be layered with a face oil or cream
Fortunately, after experimenting further, I found a few skin care lines that kept me from living the oil-free life. I learned that the type of oil and combination of oils in a serum matter. Good oils sink into the skin and hydrate through each layer, leaving it soft and glowy (not greasy). Surprisingly, when the combination of oils is correct, oil helps balance oil. Weird, right? Well, it's true! Since starting to use these lovely oil serums my skin has improved, becoming more calm and balanced. Now, I can't lie and say my skin is perfect. I still get the occasional breakout, but I do have a unique hormonal situation, so I'm kind of an oddball. Basically, if I'm seeing improvement it means others will see incredible results!
How to Pick a Serum
Serums are potent combinations of nourishing ingredients that assist the skin. Quality serums leave the skin refreshed, plumped, hydrated, clear, and bright! They can provide daily restoration or the occasional boost. Just about everyone can benefit from adding a serum to their daily routine.
+ Dry Skin: look for nourishing ingredients that are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants such as avocado, rosehip, and pomegranate seed oils
+ Oily/Combination Skin: look for balancing ingredients that treat existing blemishes and lighten hyperpigmentation, such as jojoba, black cumin, and papaya seed oils
+ Sensitive Skin: look for calming ingredients, such as including evening primrose, borage, and argan oils.
Oil or Aloe/Water-Based?
I keep it simple for myself. I use oil-based serums at night and aloe or water-based during the day. I only use both in a 24-hour period if my skin needs extra love. My reasoning is based on the logic that the deepest nourishment and restoration occurs at night. I want to infuse and nourish my skin while I sleep. The oil-based serums tend to penetrate deeper and often have greater potency, so I incorporate them into my nightly routine of self-care.
Since the aloe or water-based serums pair with a day moisturizer and work well under makeup, I prefer to apply mine in the morning. It provides that extra boost of skin love during the day. The lighter weight of these serums can also be perfect for newbies, if an oil-based serum seems a bit intimidating.
Ingredients matter. If you are taking the time and spending the money to use serums, please read up on the sourcing process of the ingredients. Are the oils sourced responsibly? Are the essential plant oils wild or indigenous or at least organic? Do you recognize the ingredients and are they safe? Quality is a natural result of purity. If a company does not demonstrate a clear desire to source with care, I would highly recommend avoiding their products. Don't waste your money, dear friends.
Current Favorite Serums:
+ Evan Healy Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum BLUE
+ Evan Healy Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum ROSE
+ Evan Healy Blemish Purifying Serum
+ John Masters Organics Bearberry Skin Balancing Face Serum, aloe-based
Other Great Facial Oil & Serum Resources:
2. Cup your hand and spray hydrosol into it, then add 1-2 pumps (or more if needed) of an oil-based serum. Lightly rub palms together and then press to your face, gently distributing it over your cheeks, forehead, and chin
3. Optional: Add any other oils, like the Evan Healy Blemish Purifying Serum on any problematic spots
4. Finish with a light misting of a hydrosol or toner
5. Optional: Lightly massage a rich cream moisturizer either all over or on select drier spots of your face and neck
1. Wash face with a gentle cleanser (unless you oil-cleansed, then simply rinse with water)
3. Optional: Cup your hand and add 1-2 pumps of an aloe or water-based serum. Lightly rub your palms together and then press palms to your face, gently distributing it over your cheeks, forehead, and chin
4. Apply a light dollop of moisturizer to entire face and neck
5. Apply makeup, as needed
À votre santé!