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Simplifying Facial Serums

Are you totally overwhelmed by the number of facial serums on the market these days? I am, and I'm a natural skincare formulator! I can only imagine how confusing it would be to sort through it all as a consumer, even an educated one. So, let's simplify things. First, I'll explain some basics about serums. Then, I'll break down our three serums by function and skin type.

What is a facial serum?

The actual definition of serum is this: "the watery part of blood that contains antibodies and fights disease." A secondary definition is "any watery animal or plant fluid." Are you grossed out yet? Sorry! But, I want you to understand the real definition so we can see how it segues into the world of skincare.

You'll find water-based, gel-based, and oil-based serums, making it hard to know exactly how to incorporate a serum into your routine. A water or gel-based serum will bring added hydration and water-soluble vitamins to the skin, while an oil-based serum might bring antioxidants or anti-inflammatory nutrients, deliver oil-soluble vitamins, and help the skin retain water. (Note: did you know that oils are not hydrating? Any word with "hydr" needs to be about water. Oils have no water. They're basically the opposite of water. They soften. They deliver nutrients. They help skin retain water. But they do not HYDRATE. Only water does that. That's why you must use oils on wet or damp skin. Rant over.

The best way to think about a facial serum is to consider the medical definition: it's a liquid, either oil or water, with concentrated ingredients designed to target specific conditions, just like antibodies in our serum target certain disease processes. Regarding how to use a serum, I recommend water-based products before oil-based products, but your skin will let you know if you're doing it right. Our three facial serums are oil-based, so I recommend cleansing the skin and applying the serum to very damp skin or on top of our Purely Calm Gel Toner in order to add hydration.

What do Osmia's facial serums do?

I formulated Balance Facial Serum serum to reduce oil (sebum) production and soothe overactive skin. It penetrates all layers of the skin, reducing the inflammation and overproduction that lead to acne, clogged pores, and excessive oiliness. I sent this to a dear (dermatologist) friend of mine from medical school, and his exact words were "My face has not been this clear and greaseless since pre-pubescent days."

Skin Types: Normal, oily, combination, and acne-prone skin. Also excellent for chest and upper back acne.

Star Ingredients: 

  • Black cumin seed oil, which has very high levels of vitamins A, B, and C, as well as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound called thymoquinone 
  • Schisandra and acai fruits are soothing to inflamed skin and extremely high in antioxidants
  • Olive squalane, kukui, and macadamia nut oils to penetrate quickly and leave skin soft but not oily
  • Essential oil blend chosen to balance the skin's sebum production, including lavender, geranium, green myrtle, and sandalwood

What customers love most about it (in their words):

  • The scent (herbal, spicy, unisex, fresh)
  • Evens skin tone
  • Decreases oil production
  • Diminishes shine
  • Fewer breakouts
  • Absorbs quickly with no greasy residue


Restore Facial Serum

Restore Facial Serum was formulated for skin that has been damaged by UV exposure over time to help restore elasticity. It’s also amazing for skin that’s acutely inflamed by dermatologic procedures like peels or laser treatment, or by retinoid use (may be used in conjunction with retinoids).

Skin Types: Dry, mature, or damaged skin. Use for sun-damaged skin or post-procedure healing. 

Star Ingredients: 

  • Lavender-infused olive oil, organic shea oil, and rosehip seed oil penetrate deeply and speed skin healing
  • Pomegranate, amaranth, calendula, and sea buckthorn bring incredible levels of antioxidant activity and strengthen skin's collagen structure, restoring elasticity
  • Borage and evening primrose oils provide concentrated essential fatty acids to nourish and restore skin health
  • Lavender, helichrysum, and carrot seed essential oils work to relieve discomfort from inflammation, and repair damaged or peeling skin 

What customers love most about it (in their words):

  • Evens complexion
  • Preserves and protects the skin
  • Absorbs quickly with a great smell to it
  • Non-irritating, even to sensitive skin
  • Helps heal scars and scabs
  • "The only thing I could use after a peel—healed my skin so quickly!"


Brighten Facial Serum

My goal with Brighten Facial Serum was to smooth the texture of the skin and increase cell turnover, resulting in a brighter, fresher layer of skin cells at the surface. The texture was tailored for application under makeup, or alone for a glowing, dewy look.

Skin Types: Dry, dull skin, or discolored that needs a brightening boost, as well as skin that can't tolerate retinoids.

Star Ingredients: 

  • Prickly pear, pumpkin seed, and broccoli seed oils give a silky smooth texture and load the skin with vitamins E, K, and A, and zinc
  • Camellia, cranberry, and green tea provide antioxidants to protect skin against oxidative damage
  • Spirulina and wheatgrass detoxify the skin
  • Rice, quinoa, and amaranth proteins nourish and strengthen skin cells
  • Pumpkin, mushroom, and papaya enzymes provide a gentle exfoliation and increase cell turnover for a radiant complexion

What customers love most about it (in their words):

  • Lightens dark spots
  • Wake with clear, glowing skin
  • Light and non-greasy
  • Soothing
  • A little bit goes a long way
  • Amazing under makeup!


Hope this helps you find the perfect serum for your skin! Email us at with any questions! 


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