The Best {Natural} Face Serums of 2013: LPN’s Picks

After last week’s feature on the best facial oils of 2013, I promised a follow-up post on best in facial serums. After months of testing, I give you LPN’s definitive guide to the best in natural (and organic) serums for face. These were selected much along the same lines as my facial oils, with a few deviations:

  1. Quality and purity of ingredients
  2. Quality of processing / extraction
  3. Star ingredients
  4. Effects on my skin over 3 – 4 weeks of use
  5. Sourced from ethical companies
  6. Overall texture/consistency/viscosity and scent

***If you’re curious to dig into the differences between facial oils and serums (which can be made of oil), check out last week’s post on the best facial oils, which gives a little blurb on the differences.***

And the Winners are…

*Please note, the numbers are not meant to differentiate the products in terms of 1st place, 2nd place etc. These made it on my Top 7 list, and they are all wonderful products. Wondering about the differences? Read the descriptions below.

The Moisture Queens

These two serums were brilliant for a multitude of reasons, but what put them apart was their moisture retaining properties. I was able to wear these without any additional facial moisturizer (cream or oil) as they were hydrating enough to get me through the day. That being said they were also packed with powerful ingredients that worked little miracles on my skin each morning and night.

1. Lina Hanson Global Face Serum (Oil Format)

The Global face serum is the best of both “worlds”- literally. Made with luxurious oils – which have been sourced from all over the globe – it could equally have made the Best in Facial Oils feature last week. Some of the star beauty ingredients include Baobab (a tree I spoke about after returning from my trip to Senegal earlier this year) which is a dry-skin saviour, as well as another African sourced ingredient Marula, which is Vitamin C-potent (i.e. antioxidant rich and protects from free-radical damage). The Camellia seed acts as a brightener (helping to tone down pigmentation irregularities) and the Argan oil is of course both moisturizing and protective. I absolutely love Lina Hanson’s Global Serum and here are a few reasons why:

  1. The scent was intoxicating – a combination of ylang ylang, frankincense and neroli make it a powerful aromatherapy blend too (these three essential oils are all said to uplift mood)
  2. The serum was moisturizing, so for travel it was perfect as I had one less bottle to tote around for those weeks
  3. The serums’ key ingredients are harvested by local farmers and women’s cooperatives in the countries from which they are sourced
  4. My skin was left ridiculously smooth and moisturized; that being said I would recommend this for drier skinned beauties

Where to Buy:

$85 for 30 ml

USA – Lina Hanson Online & Spirit Beauty Lounge
Canada – Fresh Faced
UK – Content Beauty 
International –  Amazon

2. Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics: Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum (Oil Format)

Like Lina Hanson’s serum, Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organic’s serum could have made the Best in Facial Oils list too. It is a brilliant moisturizer and serum – needless to say, this Active Moisture Vitamin C Serum effortlessly did double duty. Packed with antioxidant rich ingredients, this beautiful bottle both protects and replenishes. The high concentration of Vitamin C banishes free radicals, while the Omegas help to disguise the look of fine lines. Some star ingredients in this serum include organic camellia (which is antioxidant rich green tea) helping to brighten the skin tone, as well as supercritical seabuckthorn and shea seed oils helping to minimize fine lines. Why Elizabeth Dehn for OLO’s serum made it on the list:

  1. The serum did double duty effectively – sinking in like a serum (wonderful under makeup) while still moisturizing like an oil
  2. Its proprietary blend of essential oils was both fresh and sweet – never overpowering
  3. The serum is brilliant for all skin types (yes, it is moisturizing but it is light enough for normal and oily skinned babes too)
  4. During the weeks of usage my skin seems brighter and more even (less redness in the bottom of my cheeks)
  5. A little dab will do ya’

Where to Buy:

$68 for 24 ml

USA & Canada –  Eco Diva Beauty 
EU – One Love Organics EU

The Brighteners

Good morning sunshine! Even as we move into the colder months, and less sun is upon us, there is no reason for our skin to start looking dull. These two brightening serums will help you beat even the biggest of doldrums.

3. Kahina Giving Beauty’s Brightening Serum (Serum Format)

In a gel-like consistency, this serum is WONDERFUL. Best used for brightening and reducing hyper pigmentation, this is perfect for anyone who has suffered sun damage or hormonally caused discolouration (not uncommon during pregnancy and while on the the birth control pill). Packed full of super powerful ingredients (sensitive skin lassies, beware) this completely natural serum is a freckle-face’s number 1. Kahina bases their entire line on pure Argan oil, so it is no surprise you’ll find their star ingredient here, but it doesn’t come without some powerful partners including wakame (seaweed) which helps treat skin discolouration and spirulina (yup, the green stuff a lot of us wellness junkies drink the morning) that is packed with antioxidants. Why Kahina’s Brightening serum made it on the list:

  1. Powerful ingredients actually lighten dark spots and keep things even (I’m working on a particular spot that I’ve noticed tone down since 3 weeks of usage)
  2. The serum’s absorption is bar-none, it gets in your skin without any hard work
  3. Kahina donates a percentage of their profits to the Berber women who extract their argan oil
  4. Gel-like consistency goes on smooth and is great for under moisturizer

Where to Buy:

$72 for 30 ml

USA – Spirit Beauty Lounge
Canada – Eco Diva Beauty & Fresh Faced
UK – Naturisimo
International: Amazon

4. One Love Organics Morning Glory Brightening Complexion Booster (Oil Format)

Light and perfect for toning up the skin, a combination of raspberry leaf and lemon balm help to tighten, tone and brighten and de-puff. This magical little serum is a protector, given that it is jam packed with antioxidants galore. That being said, what I really found it did well was brighten up my skin – anytime. I packed this one in my purse for a mid-day pick-me-up while at work (you know how 3 o’clock rolls around and suddenly things aren’t looking so fresh anymore?); in a few drops I felt (and felt I looked) renewed. If you have problem prone skin, this one is for you. The lemon balm acts as a natural astringent and the serum itself is light, so it doesn’t feel like you’re putting oil on your face, even though it is an oil base. I used this under a facial oil, since I have skin on the drier side. One Love Organics’ Morning Glory made this list because:
  1. Super light and absorbant – great for under moisturizer/facial oil
  2. Ingredients were top notch in terms of their brightening power: peppermint and lemon balm, plus raspberry leaf for some tightening action
  3. Very light fragrance (of the beautiful ylang ylang essential oil) makes it great to combine with other products
  4. Everything is plant based, and organic wherever possible

Where to Buy:

$48 for 30 ml

USA & Canada – Eco Diva Beauty
UK – Love Lula
Scandinavia: Pure Skin
International: Love Lula

The Anti-Agers

5. The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Face Repair Serum (Oil Format)

Another lightweight serum makes LPN’s list after a trial of 3 weeks. The Organic Pharmacy (based out of London but with locations all around the globe) is worth a post on their own (and will have one in a not so distant future) but before we get there, I’d like to feature one of their star products: the Antioxidant Face Repair Serum. Putting on my face I got a “pow” of citrus fruit, no surprise here given that key ingredients include grapefruit, sweet orange and lemon – but it is all combined with rosehip oil. So for those lovelies with oilier or problem prone skin, yet are still focused on wanting to fight this signs of aging, this one is your go-to.  Why The Organic Pharmacy’s Antioxidant Face Serum made LPN’s list:

  1. The citrus ingredients combined with rosehip oil are great for combatting sun damaged skin – something I unfortunately have from my younger days of negligent sun block application
  2. You can add it to any other oil or moisturizer you use to give it an extra “boost”; however, I used it directly on my skin
  3. The scent is a powerful citrus blend which I particularly enjoyed
  4. The serum absorbs very well and is great for most skin types, either alone (for oily skin) or in combination with a facial oil/moisturizer (for drier skin)
  5. All extracts are organic, so there are no less than glamorous pesticides lurking in this golden bottle

Where to Buy:

$105 USD for 35 ml

USA – Barneys NY & Organic Pharmacy Beverly Hills
UK – The Organic Pharmacy Online or Shops
Norway –  Gimle Parfymeri
International – Find a Store or Online Shop

6. Amala Rejuvenate Facial Serum (Serum Format)

This little bottle of magic truly is one of the reigning Queen’s in the natural anti-aging category. Similar to her facial oil counterpart, the Rejuvenate Facial serum is packed with age-fighting ingredients such as the cacao bean, a mega-antioxidant which helps protect the skin from further damage, but also a stimulant to the top layer of skin which increases microcirculation. The green-algae component is one phenomenal ingredient you should look for when it comes to collagen production (keeping the skin plump is key to decreasing any lines in your skin) and acerola (a fruit I drank the juice of many a time here in Norway) is jam-packed with vitamin C which is an anti-ager as well as a lightener (so it helps with hyper pigmentation). The ingredients in this beauty are bar none. Amala Rejuvenate Facial serum made LPN’s list for a few reason:

  1. The ingredients are powerful and hard to find in other products due to their cost
  2. Their clinical studies of 28 days gave 100% of users noticing a decrease in fine lines and wrinkle-depth
  3. The scent is light and it comes in a serum format, so it is great to use with the facial oil (if you wish)
  4. It’s luxe – everything from the quality of ingredients, to the packaging is pure natural luxury

Where to Buy:

$182USD for 30 ml

USA – Spirit Beauty Lounge
Canada – Amala Online
International – Amala Online

6. Annmarie Gianni Anti Aging Facial Serum (Oil Format)

It’s no secret that I love Annmarie Gianni’s perfectly pure skincare line – anyone who frequents LPN will know her products are top notch when it comes to quality and purity, while also being quite affordable.  Again for those with drier, more mature skin, this product will stand tall in your bathroom cabinet at your defence against fine lines and wrinkles. One of the key ingredients is a sunflower called Life Everlasting. It is responsible for skin cell regeneration, while the echinacea works on firming up the skin. There are additions of flaxseed as well, which is great for calming, making this great for beauties with sensitive skin. Why Annmarie Gianni’s Facial Serum made LPN’s list:

  1. You only need a tiny bit to get great results – this means a longer lasting product, which is good when you’re spending a pretty penny
  2. Can be used by even the most sensitive of skin-types as the blend is gentle, while still being effective
  3. The Life Everlasting flower is a collagen promoter, which I felt helped reveal a youthful glow with each application
  4. There is an aromatherapy component of this oil that is intoxicating – I love the rose and frankinsense blended with rosemary and sweet myrrh – beautiful

Where to Buy:

$49 USD for 15 ml

USA – Annemarie Gianni Online
UK & Europe – Monaturel
Canada – Gayas
Asia Pacific / Australia – Be Good Organics
International: Annemarie Gianni Online

There you have it, gorgeous!
I hope you enjoy one (or more) of these natural facial serums in your nontoxic skincare journey.
Each is beautiful, with its own spectacular ingredient lists and properties; you won’t be disappointed.
***Did I miss your favourite natural serum? Tell me about it below! 
Tried some of these out? How did you like them? ***