4.10.2013

The Eyes Have It | DIY Face + Eye Serum


Yeah I could make prettier labels but I'm not exactly 'crafty' like that.  Metallic sharpies will have to do.

Since turning 30ish, I've been searching for an anti-aging skin regime that doesn't cause my skin to freak out.  I have fairly sensitive skin and the slightest change in my routine really makes it angry.  A few years ago, I tested out some very expensive products that are supposed to be great for your skin and, after about 4 days, I looked like I fell asleep in a tanning booth.  My skin was red raw, tender to touch, and just straight up p!ssed at me for changing up the routine. 

Even sticking to a brand I know works for my skin hasn't proven successful.  Normally I use Aveeno products for face wash, eye cream, and daily moisturizer/SPF.  I thought an Aveeno night cream for anti-aging would be fine, right?  Wrong.  So, so wrong.  Within three days of using it, my skin broke out everywhere - chin/jaw line, forehead, cheek area, basically my whole face.  So naturally I'm a bit hesitant to try something new.

All that experimenting with no success was all fine and good in my 20s but I'm not in that lovely decade anymore.  I'm older, wiser, more mature.  Okay, maybe just older.  Whatevs.  I still need some anti-aging business over here.  I have learned quickly that finding the best anti-aging serum for you isn’t the easiest of tasks.  So when I read Bonnie's post about her homemade, all-natural skin serum, I was intrigued.  Could this be the answer I've been searching for?  Is it too good to be true?  There's only one way to find out - test it for myself.

At the time, I was using Aveeno's anti-aging eye cream.  It's fine.  I didn't notice too much of an improvement in the fine lines that are already there, but I definitely did not get more lines and wrinkles while using it so I assumed it was doing its job at prevention.  Plus, it's not crazy expensive but at $20 for a bottle that lasts about 6 weeks, the costs can add up over the year.  I was using absolutely nothing on the rest of my face.  I know . . . how shameful.

So I checked out the link Bonnie listed and quickly became lost in the site.  After reading up on all the different carrier oils and essential oils, I came up with a recipe that would fit all my needs - minimize the fine lines and wrinkles, encourage collage production for that youthful plump look, balance out the oily/dry combination of my skin, and even out the overall tone of my skin.  I came up with a recipe for an eye serum and separate skin serum, then perused Amazon for the best deals I could find.  I was able to get all the necessary ingredients to make enough serum for over a year, plus two little glass bottles for storing my magical fountains of youth, for under $70.  That's equal to about 3 months' worth of the stuff I was using just on my eyes alone!

I know what you're wondering now.  Was it worth it?  Well -

After Day 1:  My skin was much less oily than usual when I woke up the next morning and it felt very soft.  I'm surprised there could be a difference already but the skin under my eyes did look healthier and smoother.

After Day 4:  The skin under my eyes is noticeably . . . plumper?  That's the only word I can think of to describe it.  The fine lines are starting to smooth out already and they're not nearly as deep as they used to be when I smile or crinkle my eyes.  Much better results than with the store-bought eye cream.

After Week 1:  I can definitely tell a difference in the skin under/around my eyes, much more so than I ever noticed with my previous eye cream.  Even the dark circles seem to be a bit lighter (though I doubt they'll ever go away completely).  My skin overall is less oily in the morning and stays that way throughout the day.  I haven't noticed any shiny spots or oil build-up on my forehead or nose/chin area, which used to always be an issue for me (I usually carry oil absorbing sheets with me everywhere but haven't used them at all in the last week!)  I'm hoping that, with continued use, I'll start to see a reduction in pore size, too.

So what's in this magic, you ask?  Here are my recipes for face and eyes:


Face (makes 4 oz):
- 10 tsp. Jojoba Oil
- 2 tsp. Apricot Kernel Oil
- 30 drops Lavender Oil

Eyes (makes 4 oz):
- 5 tsp. Apricot Kernel Oil
- 4 tsp. Grape Seed Oil
- 1 1/4 tsp. Avocado Oil
- 1 1/4 tsp. Wheat Germ Oil
- 1/2 tsp. Cranberry Seed Oil

Combine the ingredients for each serum in a dark glass bottle with a dropper top then shake or roll bottle between your palms to mix well.  (Use a separate bottle for each serum.)  I let mine sit for 24 hours before using to make sure everything was fully combined.  You only need a few drops each night so a little goes a long way.  The best part is, it's all completely natural (and organic, if you order the right oils) so there are no fillers or preservatives to irritate your skin!

Would you ever try homemade beauty products?

Update:  I've had a few questions about how this fits into my overall routine so I thought I'd answer that by posting it here.  I basically use the serums in place of moisturizer.  Here's what my nightly routine looks like:

1. wash with Aveeno facewash

2. organic rosewater toner all over face and neck (found it at Target, all natural and organic)

3. eye serum around eyes (underneath and on eye lids - the cranberry seed is a toner that helps firm the skin so you don't get droopy old lady lids)

4. skin serum on the rest of my face and neck (and occassionally on the back of my hands since they show age too)

The only thing I've changed is adding the serums in place of moisturizer.  That's it!

Update No. 2: So it's now been six months since I started using the homemade serums.  The verdict?  I freaking love them.  I haven't even thought about looking into other products since I started using these serums.  My skin is all nice and even now without any oily patches or that horrid Shiny Strip Down The Nose Syndrome that appears in basically every picture of me pre-April 2013.  I haven't had any breakouts since using the serums either, which is awesome.  I've also noticed the lines around my eyes are much smoother and finer.  I don't even notice them when I look in the mirror, and they used to be one of the things I was most self-conscious about!  Basically, I feel like my skin just looks overall healthier, plumper, and more youthful and I have no intention of changing up my products at this point.

If you're having trouble finding the products,  you can get many of them here.  For the specific products I used, here are the links to Amazon.  They are not affiliate links and I will not make any money from you using them.  This is purely to help you find your own oils for a homemade serum. :)

Apricot Kernel Oil
Avocado Oil
Cranberry Seed Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Jojoba Oil
Lavender Oil
Wheat Germ Oil

xo


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12 comments

  1. I've been using L'Oreal Revitalift ever since I was 25. I really haven't seen much a difference in my under eyes at all so I'm willing to try anything. That's my biggest problem area! =) That's amazing that after a week you can tell solid results!

    Ergo - Blog

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  2. I use Garnier eye lift and Pond's night cream (cold cream?) before bed.

    My face is also dry/oily so I have a hard time finding products that work.

    I'd be happy to try something with natural ingredients, though =)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thanks for sharing Stephanie! So, do you use these in lieu of facial moisturizer/cream and eye cream? What do you wash your face with? I'm so intrigued & want to try this out!!

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  4. Awesome and very intriguing! As I'm in my late twenties now, skin care and anti-aging are finally on my brain. (Not getting any younger and all that, haha.) I've gotten more particular about what I'm using on my skin, too -- especially when it comes to chemicals. Thanks for the inspiration, may have to try something similar sometime!

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  5. I have become obsessed with natural skin care products recently (I've also become rather about chemicals as of late) so this post is my dream! However, my husband may be mad at you since I'm now going to spend hours perusing that site and probably a lot of money coming up with the perfect serum concoction :)

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  6. Stephanie...I love this! I also have super sensitive skin that freaks out when I change things up, but I also want to start putting more natural products on my skin. I will have to give this a try...you have me very intrigued.

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  7. whoop whoop! AWESOME! It's kind of amazing and fun to take control of what you put on your face! Hope it keeps working well for you! xoxo

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  8. I'm going to have to try this! Lately I've been using Mario Bedescu eye cream and a Garnier moisturizer and I just feel like they're not moisturizing like they should be. Natural oils I'm sure are the best way... I might just have to buy all of these! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I'm having trouble finding some of these oils in acceptable grades. Would you please post the Amazon links to them or sent it to me?


    Thanks! And really appreciate you sharing this!

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  10. Just updated the post with links to the different oils I used, and a like to another online shop for some oil options. :) Hope it helps!

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  11. Love this - I make all my own facial serums (wrote natural home made skin care recipes) and I love using these oils plus sea buckthorn and carrot seed for their regenerative and healing properties. I'm going to make this and try a few variations :)

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