Saturday, November 28, 2009

Facial serum - for dry skin.

If you're a dry skin kind of person, you are definitely going to need different oils than your greasy skinned sisters! You'll want to choose a base oil filled with oleic acid and Vitamin E to increase the moisturization of your skin and the absorption of the oil. You'll also want something with linoleic acid to reduce your transepidermal water loss and offer barrier repair (so GLA is a good thing for you also!)

As a carrier oil, you can pretty much choose what you want! Sesame oil or rice bran oil are great oils for a balance of oleic acid and linoleic acid. You can try combining something like soybean oil (high linoleic, very moisturizing) and olive oil (a little thicker but very moisturizing and a great humectant). Or you could use a high linoleic oil combined with high oleic camellia oil to get the benefits of both types of fatty acids for a lighter, drier feeling serum. And squalane is always a welcome addition to a serum if you want something really light and well absorbed. Let's go with squalane, soybean, and camellia oils as our base for this serum.

Also consider using fractionated coconut oil as a base for your serum. It is very light, easy to spread, and offers great moisturization that will sink into your skin. It doesn't have all the fancy polyphenols and fatty acids offered by the other carrier oils, but it does offer fantastic moisturization in a colourless, odourless, very stable oil. (More about this oil in a few days...)

Borage or evening primrose oils, I think, would be essential for a dry skin serum. Both offer great barrier repair features and moisturization, as well as some anti-aging features. (If that's what you want in a serum!) I'm going with evening primrose as is it anti-oxidant in nature, and that's never a bad thing! Let's go with 10% for dry skin and 20% for very dry skin. And let's go with 10% borage oil for barrier repair.

One oil I haven't mentioned yet is sea buckthorn oil (see a blurb here, look for a post in a while on this topic). Sea buckthorn oil contains a ton of tocopherols - 2,470 ppm - which will offer great softening and moisturizing features for dry skin, and it is showing great promise in helping regenerate damaged skin. Consider using this at 10% in your serum.

Two other oils - carrot oil and rosehip oil (again, see blurb until I post!) - are great for dry skin. Rosehip oil can aggravate acne, but it contains high levels of GLA and retinoic acid. Carrot tissue oil is great for very dry skin. Considering using one of these oils in your serum.

20% squalane
20% soybean oil
20% camellia oil
10% evening primrose oil (20% for very dry skin, reduce the squalane by 10%)
10% borage oil
10% sea buckthorn oil
10% rosehip, carrot, or other oil that looks nice to you

Yes, I know this looks a lot like the oily skin version, but there are differences. We are going with more ingredients to moisturize and with oils containing a lot of Vitamin E for softening and moisturizing. We're also using a lot of GLA to help with barrier repair, because that can be an issue for people with dry skin, and to decrease the transepidermal water loss.

Feel free to play with a serum you like - heck, post it here so you can share it with others! - because everyone's skin is different. There is no one magic oil that works for everyone awesomely (is that a word?) I love borage and rice bran oil - it might make you break out. But try these things for at least 7 days to see if they work (although if you are irritated, stop!)

Join me tomorrow for fun with coconut oil!


Anonymous said...

Rice Oil makes my skin super soft. I also use it when my hair is really dry.

Synaura said...

Aside from Vitamin C, other vitamins that can help clear and smooth the skin are vitamin A, B complex, E and zinc. It will not only promote healthy skin but as well as boosting the immune system.

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webwench said...

I love your articles and recipes. I'm going to try this one - I absolutely love sea buckthorn oil; although spendy, my skin loves it!

Jen said...


Am wondering what I could sub for the Squalene as the only source I've found here in NZ is from shark = Yuck!

Could I use Frac. coconut oil?


PS LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog and really apprectiate the time and effort you put into it.

charmscribe said...


I made this for my sister who has dry and she loves it. She says that her skin drinks it in and there was visible improvement after she used it just a couple of times. I used:
20% Sesame Oil
20% Camellia Oil
20% Evening Primrose Oil
20% Borage Oil
10% Pomegranate Oil
10% Sea Buckthorn Oil
I loved that I made this wonderful, high-end gift in just minutes (not counting the endless hours of shopping for ingredients and days of anticipation waiting for them to arrive). I weighed and mixed the oils and packaged them in a 2oz frosted glass bottle with a black dropper top. I used my label maker to make a simple and neat label. It looked very nice and there was some left over for me. I can use a little at night because even though my skin isn't dry the oils aren't greasy feeling and absorb quickly. A little sea buckthorn oil goes a long way, but even though the serum was a deep orange color, it blended into her fair skin nicely. ~Shannon

Kirsten said...

Label printing has been a big obstacle for me. I want a professional looking finish, and am not sure what sort of label printer would give me that. Or if I should get labels done by a commercial printer. The only problem with that is having to then always use the same ingredients.... any advice? I do want to be able to sell a small amount of my product. PS I love this blog, incredible information and inspiration. thank you. Kirsten

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Kirsten! I've addressed your question here in Sunday, September 14th's Weekend Wonderings. Check it out!

Kathy Grady said...

Hi Susan! Do you heat your oils or just combine them at room temp? Thanks much! Kathy G.