Emtalks | Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Which Oil or Serum is for me? A Guide To Serums and Oils

Face oils and serums are something that have been around for quite some time, but they always seem quite scary to use. I’ve had them for ages, but I’ve never really got to grips with how to use them, or used them for long enough to get a good result. Today, I want to talk you through my favourite oils and serums, tell you what they’re good for, why you should add one to your daily beauty regime and also, tell you the results and how much my skin has changed since using them. Cosmopolitan magazine did a section about serums this month and they said that serums work on all your skincare concerns at once, it's like taking vitamins for your skin. They explain that many ingredients cannot be formulated together in a single potion, so if you lather a serum under a moisturiser, it's a quick way to zap more issues at once. Bring on the perfect skin days...

S5 Illuminate Serum - £44.00;30ml - This isn’t as oily as the other oils featured in this post, it's a serum. The texture of this isn't oil at all, it’s quite a thick texture. I don’t think this will ever run out as you only need to apply the tiniest bit. I’ll cry when it runs out. My friend commented on how radiant my skin is, particularly on my cheeks and it must be down to this because I’ve been applying it to my cheeks morning and night for just over two weeks now. I am so impressed with this product. It makes my skin feel radiant and pretty. I feel so illuminated and feel like my highlighted skin could give Kim Kardashians contouring a run for its money, apart from mine is natural and hers is done with make up. 

Recommended if: 
-You have dull skin
-Want to brighten your complexion
-Want to glow
-Want to be naturally highlighted

Nourish Replenishing Peptide Serum - £16.95; 30ml - I’d say that this one is really good for moisturizing, if you have a spot that you want to dry up and actually, usually decrease in size, this is for you. This really does quench your skin, you only need a tiny bit as this one is quite oily. Personally I wouldn’t use this every day, but if I have a spot or really bad dry areas I will apply this before bed. You don’t need moisturizer if you apply this. It is really oily, but your skin drinks it up.

Recommended if:
- You want to protect your skin
- You have dryness
- Your skin lacks moisture

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Oil – £38.00;50ml -  So this one is what I've been using every day, morning and night. I feel that it works really well together with the S5 illuminator. It’s rammed full of antidioxidants so it repairs your skin and it’s just oozing with goodness. It’s quite a thick oil, so it doesn’t actually make your skin too oily, it gives you such a gorgeous glow though. I love applying make up over this as it really does shine through your make up, not in a sweaty shiny way, in a bright, fresh and glowing way. I feel like this is an all rounder. So many people have been commenting on my skins new-found radiance lately and I put it down to using this all over my face morning and night and then using the S5 illuminate on my cheeks and along my nose. A match made in heaven. Trust me.

Recommended if:
- You want to soften lines on the skin
- You want to target moisture loss
- To target the first signs of ageing
- If you want to get rid of dryness
- If you want to protect
- If you want to get rid of dullness

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Face Oil – £41.00;15ml - This is really does what it says on the bottle, it really hydrates your skin. Much like the Nourish one, it’s good for dry skin. I do feel like this isn’t as thin and oily though, the texture is similar to Jurlique’s oil which means that you can put a bit more on your face. Your skin does literally drink this right up.

Recommended if:
- You need hydration
- You want to moisturise
-If you want to stimulate circulation
-You want to soften the skin
-You want to look youthful/refreshed

Erno Laszlo Anti Blemish Control Treatment - £50.00;100ml - This isn't a serum or an oil as such, but it is in a way as it's still a treatment. This is a daily preventative treatment which combines anti-bacterial ingredients (those things which get rid of spots basically) with soothing botanical extracts to stop breakouts and pimple formation. The multi-level treatment interrupts the acne cycle and speeds healing which is just fab really. Put this on your spots on an evening and they will have gone by the morning, trust me.

Recommended if:
- You want to exfoliate away the nastiness
- You suffer from breakouts regularly or even occasionally
- You want to heal the skin and reduce re-infections

L'Occitane En Provence Iris Angelica Sublime Essence - £39.99;30ml - This one is described as a skin-perfecting Sublime Serum which visibly leaves skin looking and feeling flawless. I do agree, this feels more like a thick gel, but it feels silky. It almost feels like a primer when you put it on your skin. The aim of the subline essence, with its fresh, sheer texture, is to correct skin irregularities and reduce redness. The skin’s texture is visibly refined; pores immediately appear tighter. It moisturises and helps to plump the skin, making it look and feel softer. I love this and find it different to the others as this is made with  organic extracts from two angelic flowers: white iris and angelica. (How pretty do they sound?!) This is what they say about that: 'A symbol of pure beauty, the velvety and luminous white iris offers its powers of sublimation. Known for its incredible hydrating properties,angelica gives the skin vitality.' Another great thing, is that this is silicone-free. I'd really say this works exactly like a primer, but better. It just smooths everything out and works deep within your skin whilst your make up is covering up any impurities.

Reccommended if:
-For any Ideal for all skin type or tone, 
- Want to reduce redness
- Want skin to be soft
- Want the skin to be visibly refined
- Want the pores to look smaller
- Want this to double up as a primer

Radical Skincare - Youth Infusion Serum - £110;30ml - This is expensive, but when I asked about it, I was basically told, in every day terms, that if you put this on before your moisturiser etc, it really helps your skin properly absorb it. This is created to radically boost the hydration of skin but it also firms the skin. It's full of plant based stem cells which again, protect and extend youthful skin. An exciting thing which none of the others do, it has repair ingredients in it which reduce wrinkles up to 57% and firmness by 19%. Well, I should never get wrinkles then when I'm older. I love how sleek the packaging of this is, for the price it is, it must be incredible so I just keep applying it, I feel weird if I don't put this on after cleansing now. 

Recommended if:
-You want to boost the hydration of skin
- You want to firm the skin
- You want to protect and extend youthful skin
- You want to reduce wrinkles, a lot
- You want something that will help your skin to absorb moisturisers etc

Institut Esthederm Paris, Intensif Hyaluronic Concentrated Formula Serum - £44.55;30ml - This one is for severe dehydration. It is long-lasting but gives an immediate relief for the skin and helps to restore the 'hyfrolipidic film on the skins surface' which helps the skin to regain it's natural water level. This leaves the skin soft and supple.  I have noticed how good this is for dehydration, particularly at times like these when the weather is always changing from hot to cold, which means that the skin gets dry. 

Recommended if:
- You have severe dehydration
- You want to put water back into your skin
-You want to leave the skin soft and subtle

Ah, I know that's a lot to take in, but I realised that I have SO many serums and I thought I'd make a simple guide about why you should use a serum on your skin and which serum is perfect for you skin type. But, also this ultimate guide to serums highlights that you don't just need one serum in your life, you really can rotate them depending on your skin concern, plus, because you hardly use any of them, a serum is for life, not just for Christmas haha. I hope this helped but yeah, a serum/oil is more of an investment.

Do you use a serum? Would you like to start using one now? Can you recommend any good ones? Lots of love, Em x

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  1. I need a serum so bad! my skin is so dry!! I'm going to buy the Hydraluron Moisture Booster when it's back in stock in boots! :)xxx


    1. I keep hearing people rave about this?! Gonna google it now and have a nosey! My skin isn't dry at all anymore after using this, some foundations really dry it out but these serums just inject like health back into your skin! xxx

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  3. I usually use a serum - but I'm ancient therefore need one. I've used a few anti-aging ones from Elemis and Strivectin. I still look the same age so maybe it's working..

    Oh I don't know - serums are good for delivery into the skin - how much they can actually achieve also depends on environmental factors such as how much water you drink, your diet, sun exposure and whether you smoke.

    I'd pick the Institut Estherdem one out of your list - French skincare at its finest.


    1. Haha! i'm sure you're not ancient. I dont think anything will immediately make you look younger they do take a while to have an effect. Yeah you're right, that's the same with everything though, lifestyle plays a huge role xxx

  4. This is a great post because there are so many Serums to choose from it boggles my mind!! I am eyeing up a Ren one at the moment x

    1. Thank you very much. Yeah I agree, but at least you know you can use more than one, it's fine to mix them for more benefits. Ooo I need to try some Ren skincare! x

  5. What a fantastic post! I love ones that inject moisture but don't leave a greasy feel to the skin.


    1. Thanks so much:) Yeah me tooooo, the S5 serum is very much like that xx

  6. I'm dying to try S5 products! I'm torn between the Illuminate Serum and the Replenish Serum though!

    Gem x

    1. I want to try some more now, they're great. I haven't tried the replenish but the illuminate is unreal! x

  7. There are so may different serums and the concept is still a little strange to my combi/oily skin, but after reading your reviews i may have to try at least one out! http://chictravel.co.uk/primp/summer-skin-care-edit/

    1. Yeah but you're meant to still put them on oily skin so hopefully that helps out a bit! x

  8. Such a helpful post... I don't currently use a serum but would have a better idea of what i'd need/ want now. Thank you!



  9. the S5 serum looks cool. great post! might have to try one!

  10. This is such a useful post so thank you!


  11. Very nice products!!!


  12. Your product is very nice!! My skin very dry so I would definitely try S5 Illuminate Serum.

    obagi nu derm starter kit

    1. Yeah S5 illuminate is gorgeous! x

  13. Great post! I did a post on Radical Skincare recenty and those products are fantastic! x

    www.madeinmarylebone.me | A his & hers blog entailing adventure of food, fashion & London lifestyle


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