acial serums are nutrient-rich skin care products that are primarily water-based and generally don’t have ingredients like mineral oils, petrolatum or other heavier oils. They aim to work on a variety of epidermal issues like acne, wrinkles, dryness or redness. You need to look out for the ingredients to suit your requirement. For instance, if you are looking for an anti-aging or anti-wrinkle serum those with peptides or growth factors can serve the purpose. If your skin is not very sensitive then you can even go for serums having vitamin C, antioxidants, retinol or kojic acid. For daytime use you can go for antioxidant serums whereas for the night, a serum having growth factors, retinol and peptides are better as it helps in damage repairing by stimulating collagen. [1]

Serums have active ingredients in high concentration. The small molecules are rapidly absorbed into the epidermis. Serums could penetrate the deeper layer of the skin and therefore considered more effective than many creams. You need to apply it after cleansing your face. Follow it up by application of your moisturizer. You can even add a few drops of serum to your moisturizer. [2]

Since serums do not form a thick film on our face, they are easier to use and give a lighter feel. Before applying makeup, facial serums can be even used as a moisturizing primer which is very safe as they are full of antioxidants, vitamins and hydrating agents. An anti-aging serum should have powerful antioxidants like grape seed extract, pomegranate extract, resveratrol, ferulic acid, vitamin A and C and peptides. These boost elastin and collagen levels making the facial skin firmer and protecting it from oxidative damage. [3]

Essential Ingredients of a Facial Serum

  • Anti-inflammatory ingredients: These include aloe vera, arnica, zinc, goldenseal etc. that inhibit cellular damage induced by inflammation and also work on epidermal redness.
  • Antioxidants: These include grape seed extract, pomegranate extract and vitamin C which could work against fine lines and other signs of skin aging by reducing sun damage and oxidative stress.
  • Moisturizing or Hydrating ingredients: These include essential fatty acids, amino acids etc. which naturally restore our epidermal lipids, enhance the skin’s moisture holding capacity and thereby reduce fine lines and dryness.[4]

Why You Need an Anti-ageing Serum

  • An anti-aging serum can brighten or soothe your otherwise dull skin.
  • Persistent use can give you everlasting anti-aging benefits.
  • You can get firmer, healthier skin that has lesser wrinkles and a better tone.
  • It can help your epidermis rejuvenate faster.
  • It works on your acne marks, brown spots and other discoloration of the skin.[5]
  • By enhancing epidermal hydration and supplying other active ingredients, it helps inhibit sagging of skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. [6]
  • By increasing epidermal hydration, serums help boost the elastin and collagen levels which in turn maintains the youthful appearance of the skin. [7]

Homemade Anti-ageing Serum

Commercial serums may have chemicals that could be harmful to your skin or they may be very expensive. So, you could go for the homemade versions. Some of these include:

1. Essential Oil Based Homemade Serum

Half tablespoon each of evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, and pomegranate oil
Twenty drops of frankincense oil or lavender oil
Fifteen drops of vitamin E oil
Ten drops of carrot seed oil

Mix all the oils well and store in a dark colored glass bottle. Apply it the morning and night.[8]

2. Rosehip Seed Oil Based Anti-aging Serum

A tablespoon of unrefined and organic rosehip seed oil
Six drops of frankincense oil
Two drops each of rose essential oil and lavender essential oil

Take a container and put the rosehip oil in it. Now add the other three oils and mix them well. Use a funnel to transfer the serum to a dark colored glass bottle. [8]

How to use it
With a mild cleanser wash your face at night and then apply a toner.
Now take a small quantity of the serum in your hand and rub it in your palms to warm it.
Massage on your face for two minutes and leave it on overnight.
Use lukewarm water to wash your face in the morning.
Seven days of regular application is known to show results.

How it works
Rosehip seed oil offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It is also rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. It revitalizes and brightens the dull aging skin, helps fade blemishes and imparts a youthful glow to your skin.

Frankincense oil offers anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits whereas lavender and rose essential oils offer restorative and skin enhancing benefits.

3. Homemade Vitamin C Serum for Mitigating Fine Lines and Wrinkles

A teaspoon of vitamin C powder
Two capsules of vitamin E oil
A tablespoon of glycerin
A tablespoon of distilled water

Pierce the vitamin E capsules and extract the oil. Take a bowl and add the vitamin C powder, distilled water, glycerin and the oil and whisk well. Now transfer it to a dark colored glass bottle. [8]

How to use it?
First clean your skin and apply toner.
Take a few drops of the serum and rub it in between your palms to warm it.
Massage it gently on your face for two minutes and leave it overnight.
Wash off in the morning using lukewarm water.
Seven to ten days of application is known to show appropriate results.
You need to use the serum within three to five days. So prepare in small amounts.

How did it work?
By enhancing the production of collagen, vitamin C works on age-related fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. Glycerin serves as a humectant, and vitamin E helps repair and nourish the epidermis.

4. Do It Yourself Anti-wrinkle Eye Serum

Three teaspoons each of castor oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E oil
Three drops of carrot seed oil
One ounce of sweet almond oil
One teaspoon of rosehip seed oil
A capsule of evening primrose oil

Extract the oil form the evening primrose oil capsule. Mix the oils together. Apply the serum every night. [9]

How it works?
It takes care of your dark circles and wrinkles in the eye region. Castor oil, vitamin E oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil offer moisturizing benefits, whereas evening primrose oil, carrot seed and rose hip seed oils mitigate dark circle and make the skin firmer.

5. Anti-wrinkle Serum for Those Over 30 Years of Age

Two drops of patchouli oil
Two tablespoons of wheat germ, almond or apricot kernel oil
Five drops of borage oil
Six drops of jojoba oil and carrot seed oil
Seven drops of fennel oil
Eight drops each of rose oil and clary sage oil
Nine drops of yarrow oil
Ten drops of palma rosa oil

Mix the ingredients together and store in a glass bottle away from sunlight. Apply it on your face in the morning and evening. [10]

6. Anti-wrinkle Serum for Those Over 50

Two drops of myrrh oil
Five drops of galbanum oil
Nine drops of evening primrose oil
Ten drops of neroli oil
Ten drops of borage oil
Ten drops of carrot seed oil
Ten drops of rosehip seed oil

Mix the oils together and store the serum in a glass bottle preferably having a dropper. Keep it away from sunlight. Apply it once in the morning and again in night. You can even add four drops of violet leaf oil to the serum. [11]

7. Do It Yourself Anti-aging Serum for Dry to Normal Skin

One tablespoon each of evening primrose oil and almond oil
Three drops of lavender essential oil
Five drops of geranium essential oil
Ten drops each of palmarosa essential oil and calendula essential oil

Take an amber or dark colored glass jar and put the evening primrose and almond oil in it. Add rest of the oils and shake to mix. Apply once in the morning after washing your face and once at bedtime.

How it works
The evening primrose oil and almond oil moisturize the skin by virtue of their essential fatty acids. Geranium oil adds radiance to your skin whereas palmarosa and calendula essential oils nourish and soothe it. [12]

8. Homemade Anti-ageing Serum for All Skin Types

Two tablespoons of apricot kernel oil
Four drops of orange essential oil
Five drops each of lemon and geranium essential oils
Eight drops of neroli essential oil
Ten drops each of carrot seed and blue chamomile essential oils

Take an amber or dark colored glass jar and put all the essential oils. Shake the bottle to mix the oils. Apply the serum in the morning and at bedtime.

How it works
Orange and lemon oil work against wrinkles; geranium oil adds a glow to your skin; neroli oil works as a skin relaxant; apricot oil provides essential fatty acids, and carrot seed oil nourishes your epidermis.[13]

9. Do It Yourself Vitamin C Serum

One and half tablespoons of aloe vera gel
One teaspoon each of vitamin C powder and filtered water
Five drops of frankincense essential oil
One-eighth teaspoon of vitamin E oil

In a bowl take the vitamin C powder and filtered water and whisk it. Blend the aloe vera gel with it and then add the oil and mix well. Use a funnel to pour the serum into an amber colored bottle. Apply the serum at bedtime and wash it off in the morning. [14]

How did it work?
Vitamin C helps in diminishing age spots, boosting skin elasticity, brightening and making your skin look younger. Vitamin E oil gives an antioxidant boost to your skin; aloe vera works on various skin issues; frankincense oil helps to reduce wrinkles and tightens your skin.

10. Pomegranate and Geranium Regenerating Facial Serum

A quarter teaspoon each of olive, pomegranate oil and Squalene
Half a teaspoon of glycerin
Ten drops each of geranium and frankincense essential oils
80 ml of aloe vera juice
Little bit of xanthan gum
Three grams of Olivem 1000
Forty drops of grapefruit seed extract

In a small glass jug, mix the xanthan gum and glycerin. Make sure there are no lumps. Keep it aside.
Take the pomegranate oil, Squalene, olive oil and Olivem 1000 in a heat proof jug and add the glycerin and xanthan mixture. Place the jar over simmering water. Put a cling film on the jug to cut down on excessive evaporation. Using a thermometer maintain the temperature at 70 to 80 degree Celsius for half an hour.

After removing the jug from the fire, whisk the mixture with a stick blender. Cool the mixture to forty degree Celsius. Now add the grapeseed extract and the essential oils and transfer to a pump dispenser or a plastic bottle. [15]

How to use the serum?
Take a little bit of the serum, rub it in your fingers and apply a thin layer on your face either in the morning or in the night. You can apply makeup over it.

How it works ?
It is full of antioxidants to boost your skin health and protect it. Frankincense and geranium essential oils add the right kind of fragrance to the serum whereas aloe vera offers soothing benefits.

Tips for Application of a Facial Serum

1. Wash and exfoliate: Before the application of a facial serum always wash your face. Apply your face wash on your wet forehead, nose, chin and cheeks and massage in circular motion. Wash it off and then exfoliate. Exfoliate your skin at least thrice a week. Exfoliation deep cleanses your pores. A chemical and manual exfoliator should not be used on the same day.

2. Amount of serum to be applied: Consistency of your serum determines the amount to be used. If you have a thin serum you just need a small amount. Take one drop in your finger and apply to one side of your face and do the same on the other side with another drop. Thicker serums need warming up before application. Take a few drops in your palm and rub your hands together to warm the serum. Using mild pressing movement put the serum on your entire face.

3. Better absorption of the serum: Post application, you need to tap your entire facial skin in small circular movements for a minute or so. This promotes a deeper penetration of the serum.

4. Moisturize: After applying the serum, wait for a minute and then apply your moisturizer to seal the nourishing ingredients of the serum. In the morning, you can apply to makeup after this. [16]

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