Serums are extremely powerful concentrates crafted with active ingredients that target specific concerns. Natural serums are a beautiful and magical part of your beauty arsenal. If you struggle with any skin issue- redness, sun sports, big pores, wrinkles, blemishes, dryness- then there is a serum for you. The serums you will discover today will work hard to get to the root of your most annoying skin problem and fix it. The results? Radiant skin you’ve always dreamed of.
Here’s the thing though, serums are expensive (at least 70% more expensive than your other skincare products) so you want to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for. Conventional serums contain junky ingredients that are not worth your dollar. In this article, I’m going to steer you away from cheaply made serums and point you towards the best organic and natural face serums. Radiant skin, we’re comin’ for ya.
Problems with Conventional Serums
Conventional serums are overflowing with chemicals and crappy fillers that do more long-term harm than short-term good (if any). Hazardous toxins like propylene glycol, butylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, mineral oils, ethoxylated ingredients, and synthetic fragrances and colors are just the start. These ingredients are a hoax. They may offer the initial feel and look of a serum, but they couldn’t be farther from the real thing. Not only are these chemicals known irritants, but they are also extremely toxic to our bodily systems and overall health.
Below are some of the most common ingredients found in your commercial serum. I hope that understanding a little more about the toxins we come into contact with every day will empower everyone to make the switch to natural products.
Many serums contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, allergens, respiratory irritants, and neurotoxic chemicals- and a lot of these said ingredients will not be listed on the product. Instead, they are hidden behind the ingredient “fragrance”.
There are over 3,000 chemicals that can fall under the alias fragrance, and not one of them has to be disclosed to the consumer because the combination is considered a trade secret. That’s a bunch of bogus to me. Especially since the FDA does not require safety testing of personal care products before they hit the shelves. And the worst part is that when actually tested the majority of these chemicals have been associated with increased risk of disease, weight gain, fatigue, and more.
So when you see “fragrance” or “perfume” labeled on a product- don’t put it in your cart. Maybe you’re thinking that if you ditch fragrance then nothing will ever smell good again. Don’t worry- there are essential oils and wild crafted botanical ingredients that offer real scents that smell more wonderful than the synthetic stuff.
A natural face serum will have organic ingredients and essential oils that will not only provide powerful healing botanicals but the scent will also provide therapeutic benefits. Do I smell a bonus? Yes. That’d be aromatherapy.
Parabens are a lot of the reason why your skincare products have an expiration date way off in the future. This is not necessarily a good thing. Actually, it’s not a good thing at all. Parabens like methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben are used in self-care products as a form of preservation, and they have a host of adverse health effects.
The kicker? Parabens are endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors mimic estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer. The worst part about having parabens in your skincare products is that they easily penetrate the skin and travel to the blood.
The European Union has already implemented restrictions on the concentration of parabens in cosmetics as a result of the adverse effects they have on the human body. Since we’re not in the European Union, we must be conscious and avoid products containing parabens at all costs.
Dimethicone is used in personal care products to create a soft and smooth feel on skin and hair. Widely used in facial serums, dimethicone may give you the false belief your skin is smooth and hydrated but this ingredient actually inhibits pores from drawing moisture and releasing toxins.
This results in clogged pores, acne, irritation. Dimethicone will sometimes show up on the ingredient list as methicone, phenyl trimethicone, dimethiconol, dimethicone copolyol, and cyclomethicone.
Propylene Glycol (PG) is a product of crude oil. I am not kidding. Companies use PG in their personal care products to give you a false coat of smooth hydration. Here’s some more truth: PG creates a seal over your skin and prevents water from escaping. This does not mean it adds any moisture to your skin it just means that for a short period of time, your skin looks and feels good. What actually happens, is this chemical contributes to skin dehydration over time and you’re left with a dull, lackluster complexion.
Not only that but PG is a penetration enhancer. This means that all of the other toxins and chemicals lurking in your serum are going to be enhanced, do more harm and are more likely to end up in your blood. Not good.
Propylene glycol has also been associated with contact dermatitis. According to it’s Material Safety Data Sheet, PG is a strong irritant that can disrupt skin cell growth, damage cell membranes and cause dry skin and rashes.
Phthalates are sometimes disguised as “fragrance” but deserve their own section of warning because they are present in more than 70% of personal care products. Similar to parabens, phthalates are also associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
Potential health problems include endocrine disruption, organ toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, cancer, birth defects, neurotoxicity and neurological disorders. Phthalates are also linked to bioaccumulation in the human body, which means the more you use them, the more your body becomes toxic. And it’s not just our bodies wreak havoc on, they’re also hazardous to the environment.
How to Choose the Best Natural Facial Serum
Let’s be honest-we really love serums because they are superheroes when it comes to aging.
Aging: It’s like we’ve reached the peak of our beauty and then suddenly we’re free falling from a 100 story building to the depths where wrinkles and sagginess rule and then WHOOSH- serum comes to scoop us up and carry us back up the beauty building. But remember, not all serums are superheroes. Conventional serums are superhero wannabes while organic and natural serums are the real heroes.
If you want a real hero, here are anti-aging ingredients to keep your eyes peeled for in your natural serum. Spoiler: these will all be ingredients in my recs below!
- Antioxidants: vitamin C, E, A, Green Tea etc.
- Essential oils: boost collagen production and cell regeneration, hydrate, heal, soothe, improve discoloration
- Fruit and Plant Stem Cells: think fruits! Citrus, apple etc.
When looking for a natural serum keep your eyes on the prize. What is the prize, you ask? Organic vitamin C serum. An organic serum with vitamin C is going to make your skin visibly younger, firmer, and smoother. Vitamin C helps reduce discoloration and increase that bright glow we crave.
It’s important to note that vitamin C is naturally found in our skin. When were out sunbathing on the beach, vitamin C protects us from UV damage. When we reap the topical benefits of vitamin C face serum, we brighten the skin, reduce inflammation, minimize discoloration, and increase collagen production. The best part? Vitamin C Serum is not exclusive to one skin type- it can benefit oily, blemish-prone, sensitive, and dry skin types.
This is why when purchasing a natural serum we want to make sure that it has organic ingredients derived from powerful botanicals AND that it has a high vitamin C concentration. If you want to enhance the properties of vitamin C (of course you do) then find natural face serums like vitamin E and ferulic acid.
You’ll know you’ve hit the jackpot when you find a natural vitamin C serum with antioxidants like green tea, beta-carotene, and grape seed extract. You’ve shut down the casino if hyaluronic acid is in the ingredient list as well. These bonus ingredients shield your skin from stress and protect it from seasonal damage.
The Best Natural Facial Serums
The serums below are chemical-soup free! These serums are formulated with only the best of the best beautifying botanicals- and they really work. Don’t take my word for it- take all the other praising ladies reviews for it!
I absolutely love this serum. Annmarie’s Citrus Stem Cell Serum tones, firms, and brightens. Just like a good serum should. With a special citrus stem cell complex, wrinkles will visibly fade and plumpness will rise! Say cya later to lackluster skin, this serum will give you the radiant glow you crave. Crafted with killer ingredients like licorice root, uva ursi, and alma berry- get ready to shine.
Packed with antioxidants, this natural face serum is scientifically proven to protect. With the ability to clear skin, The Youth Dew will get to the root of chronic dryness or excessive oil and restore your skin back to its natural beautiful balance- making it a great serum for oily skin and dry skin. Plump, protect, and hydrate! A great natural serum for acne prone skin as well.
This Vitamin C serum is full of anti-inflammatory ingredients that are great for redness and rosacea. Rosehip seed oil, rosemary leaf, jojoba oil, and seabuckthorn oil will tamp down inflammation, reduce discoloration, and brighten the skin!
True Botanics created a powerful powder facial serum that is crazy effective at brightening the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and boosting collagen. All you have to do is add a little water at application and voila! A beautiful glowing complexion in no time. This is one of the best vitamin C serums for hyperpigmentation.
For beauty from the inside-out, check out our Beauty Collagen Complex.