Active Anti Aging Serum

Active Anti Aging Serum

I looove a good serum - particularly different serums for different purposes, and also layering serums for multiple benefits. I usually use a light water-based serum in the morning, and something richer and oil-based in the evening, but this anti aging serum is the best of both worlds. Because it incorporates a small amount of emulsifier, it combines oil and water-based ingredients to create a thin lotion-like serum jam packed full of actives. You can use it any time, but night time is ideal for actives to get to work in your skin.

This serum is designed to go in a pipette or serum bottle, so you can gently squeeze out just the right amount into your palms. For a luxury look, go for a gold or silver pipette.

There’s often a real temptation to get carried away with adding lots of actives to a serum. I could have kept going and added actives such as Vitamin A, allantoin, extracts, and other oils (which all have anti aging benefits), but at some point it starts to become overwhelming, not to mention expensive! You don’t need a plethora of actives in a serum to see results, you just need a handful that work well together and do their jobs. Here is how I ‘justified’ my ingredients:

My aim was to create an anti aging serum, so of course all ingredients should work towards this purpose and you want to choose actives that have anti aging benefits.

To help the actives get down into the skin and do their jobs, I included a penetration enhancer in the form of propanediol. Penetration enhancers help carry other ingredients into the skin.

Humectants like panthenol and propanediol give a hydration boost. Hydration is key to making skin look younger, more supple and more plumped.

I used moisturising squalane which is perfect for all skins.

Berry and seed oils are included for their high-end moisturising, antiaging and antioxidative effects.

Bisabolol is used for its protective properties.

I used actives such as caffeine to depuff and boost skin circulation, as well as CoQ10 to defeat the aging effects of free radicals and replenish loss in the skin over time.

Citric acid, an AHA, also adjusts the pH down to ideal skin levels.

This serum has a light yellowy orange colour due to the seabuckthorn oil and CoEnzyme Q10 content.

Active Anti Aging Serum

Heated water phase

77.7% water

2%  propanediol 

0.1%  caffeine 

0.5%  panthenol 

0.2%  xanthan gum

Heated oil phase

2.5%  Emulsifier HP 30

10%  squalane

0.5%  Vit E

Cool down

0.5%  bisabolol

0.5%  CoQ10

0.5%  essential oil of choice

2%  sea buckthorn berry oil

2%  prickly pear seed oil

1%  preservative

Citric acid to adjust the pH to 4.5 - 5, as required.





Stick blender

Weigh out all your ingredients. Heat the water in a beaker to around 70-75 degrees C. Dissolve the caffeine powder into the heated water.

Mix the propanediol and xanthan gum together in another beaker to create a slurry. Then slowly blend in the water/caffeine mixture Give a quick buzz with the blender to form a gel.

In another beaker, add all the heated oil phase ingredients and heat them to around 70 degrees C or until fully melted.

Check the water phase and the oil phase are both around 70-75 degrees, if not, heat them back up. Combine the heated water and heated oil phases together and blend with a soup/stick blender for 2 minutes until emulsified. Stir by hand until the mixture has cooled right down to 30 degrees.

Add in all the cool down phase ingredients and give a quick blast with the blender to incorporate them in. Caffeine needs an acidic environment so test and adjust the pH to 4.5 as your last step.

Decant into a pipette bottle and enjoy!


Feel free to leave out the essential oil and replace the 0.5% with a different oil or another active.

You could use different plant oils, but these are really lovely.

You can use a hydrosol or a water-based extract/infusion instead of water. Green tea is a really nice choice.

For actives:

If you don’t want the caffeine, you can remove it and replace it with a different active, or add to the water amount to keep the formulation adding to 100%.

You can also change the actives in the cool down phase, although they are included for the purpose of anti aging.