Continuing with the ‘luxury’ theme, where we really ramp up simple DIY creations with the ultimate in natural ingredients, we present… luxury skin serums! These use the best of the best in natural ingredients to assist in anti aging and problem skin, and shine the spotlight on the more unique and high-performance oils and other products.
Serums are very easy to make, in fact most of the time they are a simple matter of blending together some oils. Here we play with fancier oils and ingredients to give you the ultimate in luxury, natural skincare, without the massive price tag of conventional beauty products.
First, let's take a look at some of the ingredients we will use in our serums.
Hyaluronic acid - hyaluronic acid is a humectant that draws in and attracts water. It is found naturally in the skin but decreases with age. Properly hydrated skin appears plumper, decreasing the signs of wrinkles and aging, so it is important to hydrate your skin with hyaluronic acid, particularly if you have more mature skin. Fun fact: a single gram of HA can hold up to 6 litres of water!
Squalane - popular in cosmetics and the beauty world, squalane is an emollient that seals in moisture and minimizes moisture loss. Apply it after you apply your hyaluronic acid at night to seal in the moisture, and wake up with dewy, glowing skin. It is ultra lightweight and a non greasy, non comedogenic oil derived from sustainably sourced sugarcane.
D-Panthenol - otherwise known as Provitamin B5 and famous for its addition in hair care products, panthenol is also great for skin. It binds to hair and soaks into skin providing moisture and emolliency. It helps manage effects from oxidation and stress, as well as maintain healthy fibroblasts, the most prolific cells in our skin’s connective tissue, which boost collagen and elastin production. Use it in the water phase, up to 5%.
Ascorbic Acid/Vitamin C - Vitamin C is essential for healthy cells and cell regeneration, and a small amount goes a long way. Use a Vitamin C serum on your face once weekly followed up by some squalane to soothe.
Hydrolyzed wheat protein - another popular addition to hair care products, wheat protein is extracted from wheat germ and is rich in peptides, amino acids and non-animal protein. It is simply amazing for skin as it helps firm, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and keep skin moisturised, soft and protected from dryness. It is the ultimate addition in luxury skincare products, and although quite pricey, a little goes a long way. Use it in the water phase or cool down phase of creams and lotions, up to 5%.
The following high end oils all have exceptional skin properties and are great for anti-aging and problem skin. Each one is worthy of its own blog but here is a quick rundown of the benefits:
Marula - rich in Vitamins E and C and antioxidants, marula oil is known for its regenerating, repairing and rehydrating nature. It is a beautifying oil and imparts a lovely glow to the skin.
Raspberry - red raspberry seed oil offers the anti-aging benefits of softening wrinkles and fine lines, improving elasticity and suppleness and being rich in antioxidants, ellegic acid, Vitamins E and A and alpha linoleic acid. It offers limited broad spectrum UV protection, and contains phytosterols which help repair skin damage.
Tamanu - primarily a healing oil, tamanu oil is perfect for helping restore problem skin to its healthy best. It is rich in anti inflammatory properties, antioxidants, Vitamin E and fatty acids. It is good for scarring, abrasions, eczema and acne, rashes and just about any other problem skin condition.
Primrose - rich in omega acids, evening primrose oil is wonderful for treating problem skin, dryness and sensitivity, and aging skin. It promotes elasticity, even texture and a softer, more youthful look.
Pomegranate - the oil of ‘the divine fruit’ is a speciality oil with high performance in the skincare department. It is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols and Vitamin C, and also has limited UV protection. It encourages cell repair and regeneration, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, damaged and problem skin.
Seabuckthorn berry - vividly orange in colour, seabuckthorn berry oil is a speciality oil rich in beta carotene. The oil is harvested from the seabuckthorn shrub of the Himalayas and contains many vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds that help protect against aging and sun damage, and promote cell regeneration and elasticity. You only need a few small drops of this potent oil to get all the benefits.
Argan - this famous oil from Morocco is rich in oleic and linoleic acid, Vitamin E, antioxidants and phenols. It can slow the signs of aging by reducing oxidative stress, increasing hydration and increasing elasticity. It is ultra moisturising and can treat skin conditions and dryness, as well as promote wound healing. A light but penetrating oil, a little argan oil goes a long way.
Rosehip - bring back your skin’s natural glow with rosehip oil. Packed with vitamins and healthy acids, rosehip is able to deeply moisturise skin and reduce the signs of aging and pigmentation, brighten and even out skin tone, help fade scars and even firm up your skin.
Ok, now that we know all about our luxury oils and ingredients, let’s start making serums!
5ml marula oil
1 drop Vitamin E oil
Combine all ingredients together and pour into the bottle. To use, massage about 3 drops of your serum into your skin after using a water based cleanser or hydrator (rose floral water is beautifully hydrating).
10ml distilled water
12ml hyaluronic acid
12ml aloe vera gel
1.2g/ tiny pinch D-Panthenol
1-2 drops Euxyl 940
2 drops calendula
1 drop vegetable glycerine
4g hydrolyzed wheat protein (optional)
Mix everything together well and pour into a glass bottle, or add to the bottle and shake to combine. Use about a R5 coin size amount in your hand and massage into your skin. Follow up with an oil based cream or serum, or use some squalane to seal in the moisture.
10ml hyaluronic acid
⅛ tsp Vitamin C (you really need very little!)
10ml distilled water
Dissolve the vitamin C into the water by shaking it up in the bottle. Then add the hyaluronic acid (it is already a 1% dilution so no need to further dilute). Using once a week should be sufficient, then follow up by applying an oil based serum or a few drops of squalane on top to seal in the moisture. The Vitamin C serum might sting a little a first but should go away.
6ml Eco E wax
10ml rosehip oil
5ml borage oil
5ml argan oil
1 drop Vitamin E oil
Few drops squalane
1 tsp honey
65ml aloe vera gel
1 dash hydrolyzed wheat protein
1.2g/ tiny pinch D-Panthenol (optional)
5 drops frankincense
2 drops lavender
2 drops Euxyl 940
Melt all the oil phase ingredients together in a water bath. While they are melting, whisk together the liquid phase ingredients. Add the liquid to the oil and whisk continuously as it cools. It should begin to emulsify and thicken up, but this process sometimes takes a day or two. When you are happy with the consistency and the mixture has cooled, add the essential oils and preservative, then pour into a bottle. Massage into clean skin.
5ml tamanu oil
1 drop frankincense
1 drop helichrysum
Blend the oils together and add to the bottle. Use as a night serum on clean skin.
For blemish-free, glowing skin try this simple serum with evening primrose oil:
10ml argan oil
10ml evening primrose oil
Add the oils to the bottle and tilt to combine. Massage into clean skin day and night.
This is actually a variation on my all time favourite chamomile cream, but instead uses seabuckthorn berry oil. It is completely non greasy and has a velvety feel on the skin, simply gorgeous!
5ml moringa oil
5 ml rosehip
20ml arrowroot powder
Melt all the oils together in a water bath. As they cool, add the arrowroot powder. I find adding it little by little makes it easier to work with. Whisk up with a fork or milk frother until you have a thick, creamy texture (this might take about 10 minutes and if you are mixing by hand your arm may get tired, but the result is worth it!) then decant into a tin.
We hope you enjoy our easy-to-make and luxurious serum recipes!
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