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Facial Serum: Expectations vs. Reality

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Facial serums deliver powerful ingredients directly into the skin and carry the most potent dose of anti-aging ingredients because the fluid (ex: water) is generally eliminated. Moisturizers like creams and lotions form a barrier on your skin to lock in moisture, but at the same time can lock out beneficial ingredients. Alternatively, serums penetrate the skin’s barrier and ingredients are transported directly below the skin (all the more reason to ensure your serum is all natural). Since serums are made up of mostly oil, many people are afraid to use them when they have oily skin, but contrary to belief this actually helps to decrease the amount of extra oil the skin makes. The oils in serums work to mimic the natural oils of your skin, therefore when you apply the serum, your skin thinks that it has enough oil so it doesn’t need to produce any more. Where you run into problems is when you start using harsh chemical face washes that strip your skin of its natural oils telling your body to produce more. 

Serums aren't for everyone. People with chronic skin conditions like eczema or rosacea, which weaken the skin barrier, may not be a good match for an oil based serum because they may penetrate too quickly, causing irritation. You will have to be the judge on how what your skin needs and where it thrives. Others need the hydration that a rich day or night cream provides. Those with mature or dry skin need a little extra love and may find the perfect balance with applying serum followed by a facial cream on top to lock in moisture. The benefits of serums are hard to reproduce in any other formulation due to their highly concentrated ingredients that work at combating fine lines, age spots and cell renewal. Make sure you look for a serum that doesn't have added water/aqua in it to dilute the mixture. At Mama Bare Naturals our serum is 100% oil based to provide you with the maximum benefits and ensure you are getting the most for what you pay for. An oil based serum lasts longer because you don't need as much as you would with one that incorporates water into it. Water based serums will also require a preservative to keep them from spoiling. 

When choosing the right serum for your skin care needs it is important to read labels to see what ingredients are being used. Be mindful of the price point, whether there is added water, if ingredients are too acidic, and exactly what your goal is to start with. Just because a serum is expensive doesn’t mean it is more effective. Companies can charge whatever they want and it's a common misconception that price plays a factor in value within the beauty industry. This may be true elsewhere but when it comes to an unregulated industry such as the beauty industry, this doesn’t always translate. Keep in mind though that in general, serums are going to be the most expensive product in your cupboard because they are super concentrated with high quality and expensive ingredients (if you read your label right), but factor in the length it will last you because a little goes a long way. Think about whether you are trying to combat acne, aging, dry skin, or something else? The ingredients will help you to determine what might work best for your skin type. A little research goes a long way!

The ingredients in our facial serum were carefully chosen to be safe for all skin types, but directed at mature skin. The oils are lightweight and noncomedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores making it a great choice for acne prone skin or an alternative to other serums that are too heavy or greasy. This serum is potent and powerful - seriously! We didn’t add any water to dilute the benefits, so you only need 2-4 drops for your entire face. Each ingredient was added due to its powerhouse ability to heal + prevent damage or reduce the signs of aging. 

Although the oils in our serum won’t clog your pores, your natural dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria can. We recommend washing your face with an all-natural cleanser (Pro-tip: our children’s foaming body wash works excellent for washing your face or our "gritty one" bar soap has added exfoliant pumice in it to help you get rid of dead skin cells). And don’t forget to exfoliate about once a week if you can. For us, our facial serum is a daily regime that we can’t go without! We love our toner, but we love our serum more because of the benefits it provides for preventing and healing UV damage and the signs of aging. Our ideal routine looks like this: wash face with our Lullaby Body Wash, spray with our toner, apply serum and follow with facial cream. In a crunch, it looks like this: wash face with Lullaby Body Wash and apply serum!  


Apricot Kernel Oil is rich in Vitamin A and resembles the natural sebum produced in human skin, therefore it is noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores). It moisturizes dry, sensitive skin and smooths out blemishes, wrinkles, fine lines, and other symptoms of maturing skin. It is known to protect skin against damage caused by UV radiation, stimulates the production of collagen, slows the appearance of aging, stimulates cell regeneration, facilitates faster wound healing, protects the skin against toxins and bacteria, lightens unwanted blemishes and dark spots, and even clears pores by slowing the production of oil in the skin and thus preventing acne breakouts. It's no wonder we chose apricot oil as the main ingredient in our serum!

Rosehip Seed Oil has naturally occurring beta-carotene (provitamin A), fatty acids and retinoic acid. Retinol in many skincare products is synthetic and has to be converted to retinoic acid in order for it to be beneficial to the skin. If you want anti-aging properties, retinoic acid is something you should look for in a serum. It’s ideal for mature or dry skin that needs to be revived. Retinoic acid boosts collagen and causes your skin to speed up its normal cell-turnover process. That means it will help tackle issues like fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to retinoic acid, rosehip oil contains additional antioxidants such as vitamin E and carotenoids, supports skin barrier function, improves hyperpigmentation, and helps with acne. Rosehip happens to contain 40-56% Linoleic acid (an omega-6), 20-30% Linolenic acid (an omega-3) and 14-20% oleic acid (an omega-9), making it a potent anti-inflammatory for inflamed skin. We chose rosehip oil as the second ingredient in our serum due to its powerful health benefits and the fact that it’s retinoic acid is completely natural and not synthetic.

Jojoba Oil
You can also use jojoba which is amazing both for skin and haircare. Jojoba is a temporary occlusive moisturiser or humectant, which means it has the ability of reducing water loss from the skin and actually drawing water to the top layer of the skin helping to keep it hydrated and firm. It has a composition which is very similar to our sebum making it awesome for skin and haircare. It is antimicrobial, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants. These factors can help your skin fight oxidative stress caused by everyday exposure to pollutants and other toxins and also assist in collagen production and to soothe the effects of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Also, jojoba oil is noncomedogenic, meaning it’s less likely to build up on your skin and clog your pores because it’s so similar to your natural sebum (oil your body naturally produces) that your skin can’t tell the difference. Due to it’s similar nature to our sebum, it controls sebum production leaving your skin hydrated and moisturized, yet not oily from an overproduction of sebum. Perfect for everyday use!  


Squalane is an excellent emollient and safe for all skin types, mimicking your skin’s natural oils. It boosts hydration of your skin so when applied topically, your skin appears more vibrant and healthier. Squalane is high in antioxidants to help fight skin damage and free radicals, which both lead to pre-mature aging making it a great tool for strengthening the skin’s barrier and protecting it from environmental stressors and pollutants. The antioxidants in Squalane have antitumor properties, protecting your skin from carcinogens. Regular use of Squalane can also boost collagen production, resulting in firmer skin. Squalane is breathable, lightweight and noncomedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. It will penetrate the skin at the cellular level, but doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin. Another benefit of Squalane is it’s ability to lessen the appearance of temporary redness and swelling of the skin due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Historically, Squalane has been used in the medical field to treat wounds and skin problems. Using Squalane regularly can help to reduce scarring, reverse UV damage, lighten freckles and skin pigmentation, while fighting free radicals! 

Evening Primrose Oil

It has yellow flowers that open at sunset and close during the day. The oil from evening primrose seeds contains omega-6 fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). It may be beneficial for atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema), rheumatoid arthritis, acne and other skin inflammatories. Due to its rich properties of GLA, which the skin can’t produce on its own, evening primrose oil is touted to increase moisture, elasticity and firmness of the skin. 

Carrot Seed Oil 

s a skin protecting and anti-aging ingredient, rich in antioxidants which protect from oxidative stress and cell damage. It is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and promotes skin and hair health. 

Vitamin E 

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects skin from damage. It has also been linked to helping minimize the appearance of scarring. Vitamin E may be anti-aging because it has been found to help with lines, elasticity and an uneven skin tone. 


Geranium Essential Oil is reputed to effectively eliminate dead cells, tighten the skin, promote the regeneration of new skin, and diminish signs of aging. A 2017 review of studies on geranium essential oil indicated that its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties make it beneficial for reducing acne breakouts, skin irritation, and skin infections when applied topically. Geranium essential oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it beneficial for a number of inflammatory conditions, including those affecting skin. Emotionally, geranium helps to restore confidence, release anger, and manage overwhelming emotions by creating a calming and grounding effect on the body. 


Frankincense is an antiseptic and disinfectant agent that has antimicrobial effects. Frankincense benefits include the ability to strengthen skin and improve its tone, elasticity, defense mechanisms against bacteria or blemishes, and appearance as someone ages. It may help lift skin, reduce the appearance of scars and acne, treat wounds and heal dry or cracked skin. A review published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine indicates that frankincense oil reduces redness and skin irritation, while also producing a more even skin tone. Studies suggest that it’s the pentacyclic triterpene (steroid-like) structure of frankincense oil that contributes to its soothing effect on irritated skin. Frankincense helps to decrease negative emotions and stress reactions, while promoting feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction and overall wellness. It has also been found to decrease blood pressure and heart rate.


Palmarosa helps to lock in hydration and reignite your skin's radiance, while balancing the sebum production in the skin to help maintain oil levels. One of the its main components is geraniol, which is the same as in rose. Geraniol has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-ulcer and neuroprotective activities. A bonus is that it has beautiful floral notes! 

There you have it! A little bit of information about the reality vs expectations of facial serums, what a facial serum is and why we chose the ingredients we did. 

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