I made it a bit of a mission/treat this year to book in for a monthly facial.
I’ve always loved a facial and a fully aware of the skin benefits that come from a thorough salon cleansing and targeted moisturising but I’d always been a bit ad hoc with when I had them. Yep, #firstworldproblem right there.
So aside from just after Easter when I had a nasty flu and could not think of anything worse than lying down and having someone work in close proximity to my face while I couldn’t breathe through my nose, I kept up the monthly treatments.
My therapist always asks how my skin in. I always answer it’s old and dry.
Not because I’m being self-depreciating but because it’s true.
Apart from the odd hormonal breakout (what is it with that?) my skin has turned the ageing corner and with that territory comes dryness.
I know it. I deal with it. Hence the commitment to facials.
My at-home secret weapon in the anti-dryness department is a simple one. Apart from my cleanse and moisturise twice-daily routine I always use a face oil or serum.
And I suggest you do too.
A face serum or oil has the ability to really work on a cellular level in your skin. You can feel that there is almost an immediate effect after you apply it. For me I’m looking for hydration and I feel that right away. I’m also looking for the long-term benefits that come from boosting antioxidants on the skin.
At this time of year when conditions are cold and windy, it’s an extra insurance policy against the elements. My moisturiser over the top can be an added protective bonus knowing that underneath is a serum is working away at boosting my skin from the top down.
How to choose a serum to suit
Like I discussed when it comes to choosing a lip balm, choosing a skin serum is a personal and subjective choices.
These are the things to take into account:
1. What kind of formula do you prefer – an oil, a gel, a cream? I mix it up. I love an oil for night-time goodness and prefer more of cream/gel during the day. The oil seems to “feel” more nourishing and at night I’m happy to use a bit extra as it won’t matter if my face looks in any way oily.
2. What’s your budget? It’s not necessarily a case that the bigger the budget, the better the serum but there are some benefits to paying a bit more for higher quality ingredients. I would spend more on a serum than on a moisturiser in the skincare budget carve up.
3. Are natural ingredients are priority for you? You’re in luck. There are so many serums around that fit this priority. Good old rosehip oil will never be out of my skincare arsenal. Check the ingredients list on the bottle and buy certified organic if it is an option.
4. Are you looking for a serious, results-driven product? Then yes, you may pay more. It’s at this point that it’s also worth getting some good advice on which way to go via a skin therapist who knows his or her stuff and aren’t just about the product sell.
5. What’s your biggest skincare issue? Break-outs, dryness, fine lines/wrinkles? Work out what your main priority is and choose a serum that addresses that priority.
5 serums to check out
1. Palmer’s skin Therapy Oil Face $19.99: This is a blend of nine oils (sweet almond, apricot argan, rosehip, sesame, camelina, grapeseed, coconut and macadamia) with retinol and vitamin C to create a value-for-money anti-ageing serum. It’s free of parabens and phthalates. The inclusion of retinol may make your skin more sensitive to the sun so use a sunscreen and cover up when outdoors. But you do that anyway, don’t you?
2. RosehipPLUS Cold-Pressed Australian-Certified Organic Rosehip Oil $19.95: Also value-for-money, this is a straight rosehip formula. The oil is imported from Chile, is 100% pure and Australian-certified as organic. Rosehip is a wonder oil because it contains omega 3,6 and 9 essential fatty acids, the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene, vitamin E and anti-ageing vitamins A and C. Great for hydration.
3. Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum $70: Rosehip oil features again in this product but in a light lotion form as opposed to an oil. This might be a preference for some – particularly during the day. Evening Primrose Oil has also been included to help with dryness and Green Tea extract to protect the skin from environmental damage.
4. Sodashi Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Elixir $274 (currently out of stock): I know. Big bucks. I was introduced to this power pot of goodness at Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort. Like all the Sodashi Samadara products I’ve tried, I really shouldn’t as they’re so addictive but definitely at the luxe end of the skincare scale. Unlike other luxe skincare products, however, these are chemical-free and created in Australia. I know I will cry when this elixir runs out and so will my skin. It’s my night serum of choice and feels like I’ve given my skin a goodnight smooch every time I apply. It’s a pure plant formula of an light oil consistency with 15 ingredients that combine for a power-packed truly natural punch that gives skin a more lifted, firm and more refined appearance. The bottom of each bottle also contains rose quartz crystals to give the elixir a stabilising energy.
5. Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Concentrate $90: This serum launched last year and has become the best-selling product for the brand worldwide. One bottle is bought every 30 seconds. It contains 20 anti-ageing plant extracts in a clear, light oil formula. Skin gets a boost of hydration that lasts, it works on healing at the skin cell level to regenerate skin and protect it from the elements. It’s a double serum in that the two formulas sit side by side in the bottle – this is done because if they were combined in the bottle there would be a possibility of the formula not being stable or requiring emulsifiers.
Over to you … do you use a serum or face oil? If so do you have a fave?