Jul 082015

What are natural facial serums?

Natural facial serums are packed with highly concentrated and potent active ingredients, which quickly penetrate the deeper levels of the skin. Usually of a light consistency, they are quickly absorbed. They consist of a fewer thickening agents, in comparison to creams, for example.

Natural facial serums address and target various skin types and conditions. Natural facial serums promote firmer skin texture, fresher and hydrated skin texture, less visible lines and wrinkles,…

Natural Facial Serums

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What are active ingredients and which ingredients are usually used in natural facial serums?

Active ingredients are those ingredients in a beauty product, which actually deliver the claimed and proposed benefits for the skin. They are represented in higher concentration in product formulation. Depending which skin concern they wish to address, active ingredients can be extracts, antioxidants, peptites, vitamins (A, C, E), skin-brighteners (kojic acid), hydrators ( sodium hyalurante), etc.

Peptides, biologically active compounds, are short chains of amino acids (chains of up to 50 amino acids are peptides, chains of over 50 amino acids are proteins), found in a body as enzymes, hormones etc.

Depending on the number of amino acids, the peptides listed on ingredients list would look like dipeptide (two amino acids), tripeptide (three amino acids) tetrapeptide (four amino acids), …

In skin care, peptides act like cell-communicating ingredients, sending the skin signals that it is damaged and needs to produce more collagen. Peptides can be derived from natural sources, by isolating a peptide chain from other peptide chains, but for this process, synthetic chemicals are used (like, for example, hexane is used in extraction of essential oils), which can remain in a peptide and cause skin irritation.

Most peptides in skin care products are synthetic, and therefore the skin may not react as favorably to unnatural and therefore not as easily recognizable peptides, and would take longer for the skin to receive cell-communicating signals from these peptides.

Some peptides used in skin care products: Acetyl hexapeptide-3, Acetyl hexapeptide-8, Acetyl tetrapeptide-9, Caprooyl tetrapeptide-3, Copper peptides, Hexapeptide-11, Nonapeptide-1, Oligopeptide-68, Palmitoyl dipeptide-5 diaminobutyroyl hydroxythreonine, palmitoyl dipeptide-6 diaminohydroxybutyrate, Palmitoyl oligopeptide, Palmitoyl penapeptide-4, Palmitoyl pentapeptide, Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl-tripeptide, Palmitoyl tripeptide-38, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2.

Extracts are potent plant derivates, obtained by supercritical CO2 method, using low temperature and no chemicals in order to preserve potent and fragile plant actives.

Sodium hyalurante is mostly used in serums promoting skin hydration. Sodium hyalurante has the ability to penetrate deep into the dermis of the skin, maintaining and attracting water, thus promoting a softer, smoother skin with less visible wrinkles and fuller appearance.

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Natural facial serums based on texture

Depending on the ingredients and therefore the skin’s concern they are aiming to address and target, natural facial serums come in a variety of different textures/consistencies : liquid and gel-like texture and oil texture

  • Natural facial serums of a liquid and gel-like texture contain highly concentrated essential oils and extracts, in addition to peptides, sodium hyalurante, and are usually water-based products. They are very light, easily absorbed and great for a daily use, especially under the makeup. They can be used alone or layered with a moisturizer.
  • Natural facial serums of an oily texture contain carefully selected potent and highly concentrated carrier oils, essential oils and mostly – plant extracts. Oil based natural facial serums are of a thicker consistency, and are mostly used as a night treatment. They can be used alone or in a combination with moisturizers.

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Natural facial serums based on skin type

Many natural facial serums can and do address various skin demands and problems all at once. If you have dry skin as well as fine lines, you can find a natural facial serum with hydrating and anti-aging properties. At the same time, you can use a hydrating facial serum during the day, while as a night treatment, you can use a replenishing and renewing serum. Just because you have oily skin, it does not mean the skin is also not in a dire need of hydration. Bellow you can find a selection of natural facial serums based on skin type as well as based on skin conditions.

Dry and dull skin
For skin that’s dull and in need of hydration, look for hydrating, rejuvenating, replenishing and revitalizing serums which contain hydrating ingredients, such as sodium hyalurante, ceramides and amino acids. For most with dry skin, using only a serum might not be enough, so combining a hydrating serum with a moisturizing cream or facial lotion is advised.

A selection of natural facial serums recommended for dry and dull skin:

Mature skin
For mature skin, look for  anti-aging, firming, brightening and renewal serums containing anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients. Such serums may not offer enough moisturizing properties, so a light moisturizer applied after serum would benefit the skin greatly.

A selection of natural facial serums recommended for mature and skin in need of anti-aging treatment:

Oily and acne prone skin
For oily skin, you should look for balancing facial serum, which will balance your skin’s oil production, but at the same time won’t strip your skin of its natural oils, thus making the skin to produce more oils. For acne prone skin, look for serums which will not contain comedogenic ingredients and will, at the same time, heal already existing acne (tea tree, white willow bark extract etc).

A selection of natural facial serums recommended for for oily, combination and acne prone skin:

Skin prone to redness and dark spots
For skin prone to redness look for anti-redness and calming serums which do not contain irritating ingredients. If you suffer from dark spots, whether from sun exposure or age, look for brightening serums, containing ingredients which inhibit melanin production or brighten the skin.

A selection of natural facial serums recommended for irritated, redness prone and skin suffering from pigmentation:

Sensitive skin
Serums, due to their highly concentrated active ingredients, may prove to be irritating to those with sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, look for calming serums, and serums which may not contain many, if any, essential oils.

A selection of natural facial serums recommended for irritated and sensitive skin:

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The cost of natural facial serums: justified?

Out of all skin care products, serums tend to be the most expensive. Given high concentrations of expensive active natural ingredients, in most cases, the cost is justified. When using natural facial serums, you achieve fast, visible results, and the active ingredients, which penetrate deep into the skin, work in the long run as well. Of course, justifying spending, say, 100€ on 30ml or even 15ml of a product can be difficult, but you can find natural facial serums which will not break your wallet, bank account and your mortgage. It should be noted, however, that despite knowing the immense benefits of these highly concentrated expensive ingredients in natural serums, some brands do tend to go a bit overboard with the prices. Not naming any names, but a 5ml facial serum, containing only one carrier oil and a quite affordable essential oil with a price tag of 40€? While on the other hand, and here I will be naming names, Mel Millis 30ml Baobab & Immortelle serum, containing quite a lot of potent and expensive extracts, costs 57€? You be the judge.

Does a higher cost of a serum mean it’s superior to those which cost less? I’d argue that in most cases yes, but again, do not be persuaded based on the cost only – just because a serum has a high price tag, it does not mean it’s actually worth the price – look at the ingredients: are they precious and skin beneficial ingredients? If the answer is yes, then the product justifies its price – however, when you see a product which costs, say, 200€, then, unless you have an unlimited budget, I would suggest you skip on such serum. There has to be a reasonable line drawn somewhere, in my opinion. While natural facial serums, carrying a price tag of 100€ do, in most cases, contain many precious, skin-beneficial and very expensive ingredients, you can easily get a facial serum, which would address your skin’s needs, for a reasonable price of, say, 50€. Also, another aspect to keep in mind is the volume of a natural serum; for example: 50€ for 15ml vs. 50€ for 30ml.

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Natural facial serums based on price

When looking for beauty products, the first rule should be what ingredients they contain and how they’d benefit your skin. Usually, the better ingredients means the higher the cost, but it’s not easy to shell out 100€ for one beauty product. So here’s a selection of natural facial serums based on price. The categories are based on prices in three currencies: €, $ and £, so 20$ would be substantially less than, say, £20.

  • Natural facial serums up to 20:

Natural Facial Serums

Thesis Lullaby for dry skin serumNourish protect replenishing peptide serumAndalou Naturals pure pore serumAcure Organics seriously firming serumKelly Edwards rejuvenating serumLogona rose serumAvalon organics age – less illuminating serumGreen People hydrating firming serumAura Cacia essentials facial oil serumDr Scheller depigment serumKneipp intensive regeneration serum

  • Natural Facial Serums from 20 – 30:

Natural Facial Serums

Barefoot SOS repair & renew ultimate youth serum Paul Penders hydrating control serumREN vita mineral optimum skin serum oil  |  REN evercalm anti – redness serumJohn Masters Organics green tea & rose hydrating face serumA’Kin revitalizing cellular radiance serumThe Grapeseed Company rose & grape serumJohn Masters Organics bearberry oily skin balancing face serumBurt’s Bees radiance serumMyChelle clear skin and oily blemish control serumMel Millis rosehip & pomegranate repair serum  |  Jason hyper – C serum

  • Natural Facial Serums from 30 – 50:

Natural Facial Serums

Intelligent Nutrients anti-aging serumEstelle & Thild bio-calm anti-redness serumMyChelle vitamin A plus serumAbsolution moisturizing & antioxidant serumAntipodes worship superfruit antioxidant serumCaudalie vinexpert firming serumMel Millis baobab & immortelle age defying serumREN radiance perfection serumS5 replenish skin serumLuxsit regenerating serumOsmia facial calibration serumMelvita rose plumping radiance serumLiving Nature firming flax serumJohn Masters Organics vitamin C anti-aging face serumSoapwalla restorative face serumTrilogy age proof CoQ10 booster serumBeaut – Boutique stem – cell serumPAI instant calm redness serumGreen People age defy+ hydrate and renew serum

  • Natural Facial Serums from 50 – 70:

Natural Facial Serums

Absolution radiant booster serumLife Extension skin stem cell serumRussell Organics vitamin C serumLaurel facial serum balanceJurlique redness rescue restorative serumPrimavera intensive serumCaudalie vinoeperfect radiance serum complexion correctionJurlique herbal recovery advanced serumAnipodes joyous protein-rich night replenishing serumRussell Organics soothing serum  |  Osmia facial restoration serumElemental Herbology cell food radiance and vitality serum

  • Natural Facial Serums from 70 and up:

Natural Facial Serums

Lina Hanson global face serumMUN brightening youth serumKahina Giving Beauty brightening serumLaurel antioxidant serumOsmia facial brightening serumAurelia revitalize & glow serumOdacite night time repair serumJurlique purely age-defying firming and tightening serumOskia super 16 pro-collagen super serumBottega Organica ultra concentrated face serumJosh Rosebrook deep hydrating serumOne Love Organics springs eternal youth preservation serumTata Harper booster contouring serumAmala rejuvenating serumAbsolution revitalizing booster serum | La Bella Figura barbary fig renewal serumTammy Fender quintessential serumThe Organics Pharmacy antioxidant face firming serumMay Lindstrom Skin the youth dew – hydrating facial serum

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My wishlist of natural facial serums

I am a big fan of facial oils and facial serums. I’ve tried quite a lot of them, but, as always, there’s still a long line of those which I haven’t and are on my never ending wish list of natural beauty products.

Natural Facial Serums

  • Andalou Naturals pure pore serum ($19,96): antibacterial witch hazel and natural salicylic white willow bark are great for oily and acne prone skin, along with potent antioxidants. Also very affordable.
  • REN vita mineral optimum skin serum oil (€35,25): given I like using REN vita mineral cream as a moisturizer before applying makeup, this serum is on my wish list due to essential acids, which hydrate and promote collagen formation while Vitamin A promotes skin’s renewal process. Affordable.
  • Melvita rose plumping radiance serum (€47,94): I really like Melvita’s moisturizing rose nectar day cream, and since most of the Melvita’s rose collection is on my wish list, so, too is this serum. There are a few ingredients I am not that fond of in this serum, however, there are many plant extracts including those of roses. Given there are quite a lot of “fillers” in this serum, the price seems a bit high.
  • Trilogy age proof CoQ10 booster serum (£29,50): based on ingredients, this serum would be great for the times when the skin feels tired and in a need of some boosting. CoQ10 promotes skin’s renewal process. Even though there’s only 20ml, this serum is nonetheless affordable.
  • Antipodes worship superfruit antioxidant serum (€47,93): given it’s water-based, this serum must feel light on the skin, and thus perfect for applying before makeup. It contains many concentrated antioxidant fruit extracts and essential fatty acids. Somewhat affordable.
  • Luxsit regenerating serum (£43,00): bilberry seed oil promotes collagen production and skin’s elasticity, and while this oil-based serum does not contain any “fillers” I still think it’s a bit too expensive.
  • S5 replenish skin serum (£44,00): while mainly targeting dry skin, it would be useful for harsh winter days under the makeup. A bit too expensive.
  • Mel Millis baobab & immortelle age defying serum (£45): it’s no secret I really like potent precious formulations of Mel Millis, so this serum, containing precious and expensive immortelle would naturally be on my wish list. It also contains concentrated extracts and Vitamin A with carrot extract. Price is justifiable.
  • Laurel antioxidant serum ($80): this brand uses highly skin-beneficial, precious and expensive ingredients in their formulations – it’s an absolute delight for any fan of truly natural beauty products. Promoting collagen production and having chock-full of potent antioxidant ingredients, this serum must be something else for the skin. A price falls rather heavy on the wallet, but it is still justifiable.
  • MUN brightening youth serum ($95): containing the luxuriously precious prickly peer oil, which is a very potent antioxidant, anti-aging and skin-brightening agent, this serum, along with argan oil and rosa damascena, does not contain many ingredients, but I’d wager they are very concentrated. With its price of $95 for 20ml, I would have a hard time justifying the purchase.
  • Kahina Giving Beauty brightening serum ($90): has quite a good number of potent extracts, promoting calm skin, as well as regenerative and hydrating properties, but I am not sure why there’s the need for preservative, given there’s no water in this oil – based serum. A bit on expensive side.
  • One Love Organics springs eternal youth preservation serum ($75): marine plants based serum, promoting skin’s revitalization, while at the same time having a calming effect and antioxidants to boost. Containing just carrier oils and extracts, and no preservative – which is always a plus. Price somewhat reasonable.
  • Aurelia revitalize & glow serum ($84): full of potent extracts, promoting healthy and glowy looking skin by way of probiotics, but given it also contains water, there are also emulsifiers and preservatives. It would be probably great for dry skin and used under makeup, but for my oil skin, it would be used as a night treatment. Price somewhat reasonable.
  • May Lindstrom Skin the youth dew – hydrating facial serum ($120): containing many carrier and essential oils, but none of them, in my opinion, should amount to such high price for 20ml. Yes, all these oils are skin-beneficial, and I am sure the final formulation is a treat for the skin, but nonetheless, based on ingredients alone, I cannot see myself justifying spending €120 for 20ml of this serum. Curiosity still remains, though.
  • La Bella Figura barbary fig renewal serum ($125) : containing somewhat exotic ingredients, leading with expensive, precious and skin-beneficial barberry fig oil, this serum, too, falls on the very expensive side. It contains no preservative, it’s purely an oil-based serum, and the ingredients each carry skin-beneficial properties, addressing various skin demands, from anti-aging with Vitamin A to moisturizing. Not sure how I’d justify spending that much on one beauty product, even though the ingredients are worth it.
  • Tata Harper booster contouring serum ($185): not sure what to think when looking at the long list of ingredients and steep price. Sure, the carrier oils and extracts are bountiful and carry many skin-beneficial properties, which I think could suit almost any skin type, and the promise of a tighter, firmer and contoured skin most definitely sounds very appealing, but the price is a bit out of this world; – splurge in its most precise sense of the word. Maybe, somewhere down the road I’d put a mortgage on my house for this serum, hehe, because the intrigue most certainly exists.

So, why should you use natural facial serums?

Natural facial serums, containing highly concentrated active ingredients can be a quick as well as an answer providing long term solutions for myriad of skin problems. On one hand, they tend to be quite expensive, but on the other, they actually deliver the promise, since, in most cases, the precious active ingredients are not only concentrated, but not lost among ingredients, such as (too much) water, emulsifiers etc. Only a small amount of a facial serum is needed in order for the product to work, and a facial serum can last for a long time – all this combined, a facial serum can replace various other facial skin care products.

Look at the natural facial serums from a point of an investment view.

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Do you use natural facial serums and if so, which ones are your favorite? What is your take on the cost of natural facial serums? Would you spend 200€ on a natural facial serum?


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  7 Responses to “Natural Facial Serums”

Comments (7)
  1. Wow what a fabulous article! This is a definite ‘print & save’ for me! I think in my current financial situation I would pay £30 for 30ml of a recommended serum. I have just started using one by ARK whick was a freebee and would retail at £42 plus I have a SOPHYTO PHYTONUTRIENT SKIN CONCENTRATE waiting in the wings which I got in a beauty box that would normally retail at £30. I have previously had samples of Green People and Estelle & Thild – loved the latter. Also got a Nourish in the sale but didnt notice it was for dry skin – it just sat on top of my oily complexion. I love it when my skin absorbs a serum so fast I almost dont have time to massage it in!

  2. Thank you, Theresa! Glad you find this post useful! It seems you’ve got more than enough serums to use up before buying a new one 😀 Are you using Nourish Radiance serum? I am using it, too and shall post a review next week. While it’s targeted mostly at those with dry skin, I didn’t have much issues with how quickly it absorbs, though it does leave a bit of sticky feeling for a few minutes. Serums should be absorbed pretty quickly, yes.

    I’m also testing one of the more luxurious serums and should post a review soon as well; I think this serum, and the brand, even if more on an expensive side, would receive praise from basically any fan of high quality natural beauty products :)

  3. Hi, yes it was the Radiance serum, I think I may have been putting a little too much on. My mom is loving it as I passed it onto her – she has normal skin compared to my oily. I dont mind my oily skin, I only have a few wrinkles at 42!

  4. Hey! :)
    I use only one pump for the whole face; it does leave a bit of a sticky look and feeling for a while. Seems the money didn’t go to waste, since your mom is loving it!
    Yes, people with oily skin tend to have less wrinkles as opposed to those with dry skin, but the problem with oily skin is being more prone to acne.
    I concur – you look youthful :)

  5. Ahh thanks :-) xxx

  6. Hello :) I never really bothered with serums, but recently i’ve been enjoying using Elemental Herbology Cell Food Radiance and Vitality Serum Facial Serum. My skin is oily but dehydrated which is a bit of a tricky skin type to deal with! This serum has been really ideal for the Summer, it’s so hydrating without feeling oily and absorbs into the skin quickly, it has a lovely scent of rose. I much prefer using a serum rather than a moisturiser for my skin in the Summer as it’s so light. I was using a face oil (Trilogy rose hip oil) in the daytime which was too heavy so now I use the oil in the night only.
    Regarding the price, the Elemental Herbology serum is very expensive even though I only use two drops. I would not pay 200 euros on any skin product even if I could afford it.
    I would probably try one of the serums you’ve recommended in the cheaper price range next Summer :)

    • Hi Yasmin! I concur – having oily and, at times, dehydrated skin can be hard to nourish: you need a product which balances your skin as well as delivers hydration. I’d suggest using a light moisturizing serum during the day and something more nourishing and balancing during the night, like an oil based serum targeting oily skin (I’ve reviewed Laurel balancing serum for oily skin, and it’s a great one and also in the same price range as the EH serum you’re using).
      Rose hip oil would be too heavy for day time use, I agree.
      The Elemental Herbology serum does fall into a more pricey category, but – if you’re happy with it and a little goes a long way, then it’s worth it.
      By the time the next Summer rolls around, I might update my serum recommendations 😉
      Thank you for your detailed comment :)

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