I always used to be afraid of putting oil on my skin. As someone who's suffered from acne for around a decade, I've tried a lot of stuff to get rid of it. And I learned that oil-based serums are actually wonderful for all types of skin ailments, including acne. The best part is: it's really easy to create your own custom DIY face serum.
Oils protect our skin. It's important to keep it clean, of course, but don't feel like you need to scrub your face till it's tight and keep it as dry as possible to avoid breakouts. In fact, that really does much more harm than good. Face oils & serums are a wonderful way to cleanse, heal, moisturize and protect your skin.
All you need to make your own DIY face serum is a carrier oil (or oils!) and essential oils (or oil!) of your choice. I've written about the properties of different carrier oils before as well as a few essential oils, but I'll summarize a bit!
First, choose your carrier oil. The oil you use will depend on your skin type and what you're going for. You can also blend as many carrier oils as you want as the base for your serum! There are so many to choose from, but here are my favorites:
Properties of Carrier Oils
Grapeseed Oil: A very light, nongreasy oil that absorbs easily. It's odorless, making it great for blending with essential oils. It's slightly astringent, meaning that it helps tighten and tone skin. Suitable for all skin types. (Get it here!)
Avocado Oil: Perfect for dry and aging skin. It's super hydrating and contains all kinds of yummy fatty acids and minerals to repair damaged skin. Sun damaged skin seems to react well to avocado oil too. (Get it here!)
Jojoba Oil: Jojoba is actually a liquid wax. It forms a super protective barrier on the skin so icky environmental crap like smoke and toxins have a harder time getting to your sweet skin. Inner-city chicks, take note! It's really amazing for ALL skin types and issues, so if you're not sure where to start, go with jojoba oil for your carrier. (Get it here!)
Sesame Oil: It has oil-pulling properties so I love it for broken out skin. It's also wonderful for soothing irritated, inflamed skin. If you're struggling with acne, sesame oil is where it's at. (Get it here!)
There are so many others, but these are the ones I love best. You can experiment with blending more than one oil if you think your skin would like it – mine, for instance, gets pretty glowy when I use a combo of sesame and jojoba.
JUST SO YOU KNOW, carrier oils can be really helpful just on their own. Don't be afraid to skip the essential oils if you want to keep it simple!
But I like to play around and mix em up, so here are my favorite skin-saving essential oils. It's important to remember that you don't need to use much of these at all.
Properties of Essential Oils for Skin Care
Eucalyptus essential oil is good for acne, too and it's quite a bit gentler than tea tree oil.
Ylang Ylang: Ylang ylang essential oil is soooo soothing. If you have irritated skin from breakouts or sun damage, try ylang ylang. I have yet to overdo it with ylang ylang, but 5 drops in 1 oz is a good place to start.
Rosemary: Rosemary essential oil is an all-around great oil for skin and hair, so it's another good one to start with if you're not sure, or if you're making the face oil for someone else and aren't quite sure what their needs are. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it's good for fighting acne. It's also beneficial for healing blemishes, improving skin tone and antiaging.
Lavender: Lavender essential oil is good for fighting acne and also for healing scars.
Carrot Seed: Amazing for people with eczema and aging skin.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means but Aroma Web has what looks like a list of every essential oil made if you want to scope some more out. I can help, too! Leave a comment below & I will be happy to answer any questions. This list is simply of a few of my favorites that cover a range of skin types.
DIY Face Serum
Put your oils in a bottle and shake it gently for 30 seconds or so – you're good to go! It's really that easy.
Any bottle that seals tightly is good. Store your serum out of light to prolong nutrient content. Amber or blue glass bottles are especially good for keeping light out and keeping your serum fresh longer.
That's really all there is to it! Apply a small amount to damp skin each time you wash your face.
If you want to move beyond making an oil based serum, you can learn all about working with different types of facial serum ingredients here (oils acids. and more!)