The Complete Guide to Making a Face Serum at Home
If you have ever wondered, “can I make my own face serum?”, then you’ve come to the right place. With just a few simple ingredients, you absolutely can make your own face serum at home. And a damn good one too!
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What exactly is a serum?
There is a lot of confusion out there about what a serum actually is. I did some research and the general consensus is that a serum is a targeted skincare treatment – meaning you are looking for a product that is going to perform a specific task for your skin.
There are differing opinions on whether a face oil and serum are the same thing. I’m in the yes camp. Why can’t they be the same thing, and who made these rules? If a serum is a targeted skincare treatment – then a combination of super-powerful facial oils rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins + skin-beautifying essential oils is the most amazing skincare treatment you can ask for!
The vast majority of sites will tell you that a serum must be water-based in order to be effective. Well, in order to have a water-based product you have to have a preservative in your product (water = mold). I know there are tons of “safe” preservatives out there, but if I’m going to put something on my skin (ahem, the largest organ), specifically my face, I would prefer it to be as clean as possible. Again, facial oils + essential oils is the way to go!
Can a DIY Face Serum for anti-aging really be effective?
Another resounding yes!
There are specific facial oils and essential oils that help smooth fine lines and plump skin. There are facial oils that help brighten skin. There are facial oils that help with age spots. There are facial oils for EVERYTHING!
Let’s face it, the main reason most of us use serums is for anti-aging. I prefer “glowing skin” over anti-aging. We can’t stop ourselves from aging, it’s a natural part of life. We can, however, keep our skin hydrated and glowing with a great serum which in turn, keeps us feeling young!
I started using facial oils several years ago and they completely transformed my skin. I had combination, acne-prone skin and now my skin is glowy and hydrated all around. I also had pretty bad melasma and making my own serums and skincare products helped me get rid of it (check out what else I did here).
Most importantly, I love the way facial oils have transformed the texture and feel of my skin. I seriously look forward to using my DIY serums every day. It’s like a five-minute self-care session that makes me feel great!
How can I make my own face serum?
The recipe is simple. Like I mentioned above we are going to use a combination of facial oils and essential oils. You will need 2-3 carrier oils and a few essential oils. You could even just start with one carrier oil and one essential oil and you have your serum.
The very first serum I made was a combination of Argan Oil and Lavender essential oil. This is what got me hooked on making my own skincare. Argan oil is so light and it doesn’t leave a greasy feel, and it really nourished my dry skin. It’s great for fine lines too! If you haven’t tried a facial oil before, Argan Oil is a great one to start with.
What carrier oils are best for the face?
Before we get into which carrier oils are best to use in our serums, let’s talk about what a carrier oil actually is.
A carrier oil is derived from the plant’s nut, seed or kernel (the fatty portion of the plant). They are called carrier oils because one of their primary purposes is to literally carry essential oils onto the skin (since essential oils are too strong to be applied to the skin directly).
Aside from diluting essential oils, carrier oils provide a great source of vitamins, like A, D and E. They also provide tons of essential fatty acids, which our skin is begging for to stay glowing and hydrated.
There are so many carrier oils (same thing as facial oils) that it can get really overwhelming to figure out which one to use. In a nutshell, most carrier oils are going to be great for your skin. Sorry – I know that answer wasn’t very helpful!
My favorites are Argan, Jojoba, Olive, Rosehip and Tamanu. I make serums with these five all of the time. I just added Avocado Oil into the mix and I’m loving it. Of course, there are many more, but don’t overwhelm yourself in the beginning.
So which carrier oil should you use?
Since there are so many different oils, a good starting point is to go by skin type. Before I started using facial oils, I had combination skin. Once I started using Argan Oil my skin totally evened out. So even though we are going by skin type, once you start using facial oils you will probably normal out.
Here’s a breakdown of carrier oils by skin type:
If you have oily skin try Fractionated Coconut Oil, Grapeseed, Hemp Seed, or Tamanu.
If you have dry skin try Apricot Kernel, Avocado, Olive, Rosehip Seed, Sesame or Sweet Almond.
If you have mature skin try Apricot Kernel, Argan, Borage, Evening Primrose, Rosehip Seed or Sea Buckthorn.
If you have acne-prone skin try Fractionated Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed or Jojoba.
How about essential oils?
The second part of your serum formula is the fun part – choosing which essential oils you want to add! I like to call essential oils “serum boosters”. They are there to enhance your serum and kick it up a notch.
There are some serums, like my everyday serum, that I don’t add essential oils to because I like it plain. It’s totally up to you whether you want to add essential oils or not. Remember, this is your DIY serum and you can do whatever your little heart desires!
Just like carrier oils, there are a ton of essential oils that are great for the skin and that target specific skin conditions.
My favorite combination of essential oils to add to serums are Frankincense, Helichrysum and Lavender. They are the best oils for glowing skin!
If you’re working with a tight budget, stick with Lavender. It’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, great for fading scars and healing pimples. It’s a powerhouse!
Here’s a breakdown of essential oils by skin conditions:
Acne Geranium, Lavender, Tea Tree
Melasma/Hyperpigmentation Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender
Rosacea Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Rose
Lines/Wrinkles Clary Sage, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Sandalwood
Scar Healing Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender
Check out my top five essential oils for beautiful skin for more info (there’s a serum recipe too!).
How to make a face serum at home for glowing skin
So now that you have an idea of which facial oils and essential oils you might want to use – it’s time to make your serum!
It’s really important not to overdo the essential oils. I like to stick with a 1-2% dilution.
You will need a 1 or 2 ounce dropper bottle, a carrier oil (or oils) and your favorite essential oils. I love to splurge on these frosted glass dropper bottles – they make my DIY serum feel extra luxurious!
First, add your essential oils to your dropper bottle and swirl them around a bit. Second, fill the rest of the bottle with your facial oil. Give it a good shake to get everything well combined. Last thing – label it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a mystery bottle of something laying around.
I like to use these GLOW SERUM labels. I handwrite the ingredients on the side because I want the front to look pretty.
It’s fun to start experimenting with different combinations of facial oils and essential oils once you get the hang of making your face serums.
Here are a few of my favorite DIY serum combinations:
Equal parts Argan, Jojoba and Olive Oil
*I like to use this one without essential oils because the facial oils are so moisturizing and hydrating that I don’t feel like it needs an extra boost!
1 oz Rosehip Seed Oil
1/2 oz Tamanu Oil
1/2 oz Jojoba Oil
5 drops Frankincense
5 drops Lavender
1 oz Argan Oil
1 oz Avocado Oil
3 drops Blue Tansy Essential Oil
4 drops Frankincense
5 drops Lavender
2 oz Jojoba Oil
5 drops Lavender
5 drops Tea Tree
If you want to do more research into making your own serums and skincare, I highly recommend the book Power of the Seed by Susan M. Parker. It’s an amazing resource for all things facial oils!
Are you ready to make your glowing skin serum at home?
I can’t wait for you to give it try! Let me know how it goes in the comments!