Do you use a face serum? Many women do.
They help nourish and hydrate your skin with an infusion of vitamins and other natural ingredients, and many specialty serums claim to help with everything from aging to acne.
A good all-natural face serum can be very beneficial for your skin, but there are some things that you should keep in mind when shopping for one.
Since you’ll likely be using it daily, it’s very important to choose a product with natural ingredients because a large amount of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. This means that you should avoid toxic ingredients that could cause harm to your skin, hormones, respiratory system, or other bodily systems.
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Skip to the list of the best natural face serums.
There are Toxic Ingredients in Many Face Serums
Artificial fragrances may smell great, but they can actually be quite harmful to your body. Many people find artificial scents irritating to the respiratory track.
Some fragrances also cause headaches and eye irritation. And they can cause some pretty serious health issues too, like cancer and reproductive system damage. With so many natural ways to gently scent skincare products – you shouldn’t settle for the fake stuff.
Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)
Although it sounds benign on the surface, this highly popular synthetic vitamin is actually very harmful and toxic to the human body and skin.
According to the EWG’s ingredient database, Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate are some of the worst things you could expose your skin to, earning a rating of 9 on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the most toxic).
Risks include reproductive harm, skin damage, and increased cancer risk due to the production of free radicals that damage DNA.
The most commonly used forms of alcohol in skincare products include Denatured Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol. While not particularly harmful or toxic to the skin, alcohol interferes with your skin’s natural oils and can contribute to dryness.
So if you see alcohol on the list of a facial serum’s ingredients, especially towards the top (indicating a larger amount used), you may want to put it back on the shelf.
Parabens don’t belong in any product you put on your skin, and they should be in anything that claims to be a natural face serum!
Research shows that they can disrupt the endocrine and immune systems and cause severe allergies and skin irritation too.
They even mimic estrogen which can upset your body’s natural hormone balance – potentially impacting fertility, puberty onset, and breast cancer risk. It’s a wonder that any company still chooses to use them.
Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil
This ingredient is another one that sounds innocent on the surface but may cause issues for some people.
Allergic reactions and skin irritation are common with this oil, and the EWG rates it as a moderate health concern for issues such as organ toxicity and cancer.
It can also be harmful if accidentally ingested.
Exposure to propylene glycol can cause skin and respiratory irritation, allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness. Research also shows that it can disrupt the endocrine system, cause reproductive harm, and possibly cause cancer as well.
In fact, the European Union banned Propylene Glycol from use in skincare products.
Mineral oil can clog your pores, making it harder for the body to eliminate toxins and lead to skin issues such as blackheads and acne.
How to Find a Natural Face Serum
For the best selection of natural face serums, look for online retailers that sell clean beauty products such as Amazon, Grove Collaborative, and Thrive Market. You can also find high-quality face serums at your local health food store such as Sprouts or Whole Foods.
To research the ingredients of specific face serums and discover how natural they really are, you can check the products and their ingredients on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.
You can also look for seals on the label of your face serum such as the EWG VERIFIED™ seal, the Leaping Bunny seal, or a 100% organic label.
The ingredient label should be full of ingredients that you can both identify and pronounce such as vitamins (but not Vitamin A, as discussed above), essential oils, plant extracts, and other natural or plant-derived ingredients.
The Best Natural Face Serums
Clove + Hallow is fairly new to the facial serum game, but their H2Glow Serum has wildly great reviews from customers.
It uses hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to hydrate the skin, vitamin B3 and licorice extract to soothe redness, and a variety of antioxidants to soothe fine lines and protect your skin from UV rays.
Clove + Hallow has a “Clean15” philosophy with all of their products. They use 15 or less ingredients, and they’ve banned over 1,500 ingredients from their formulations (including parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances).
SheaMoisture creates some really terrific natural products at a great price point.
This daily hydration oil has nearly 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, and it really hydrates your skin. It’s good for all skin types too! You can use it at bedtime to wake up to fully rehydrated skin, and you can also use it in the daytime if you have extra-dry skin.
The price can’t be beat either. It’s the least expensive serum on our list!
Valentia’s Vitamin C Serum formulation is one of the cleanest on the market.
The brand uses a load of all-natural ingredients in its facial serum, in order to smooth and balance your skin. It can also help reduce the appearance of dark spots and aging.
The owner of Valentia, Jamie Morea, is dedicated to creating 100% clean and natural beauty products that are safe for all skin types.
Additionally, Valentia supports Change for Women, which helps remove barriers to equality for women around the world.
*Full disclosure, I used to work for Valentia’s parent company, Hyperbiotics.
Rated as a 1 by the EWG, Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum uses a stabilized form of Vitamin C that is not suspectable to oxidation.
This serum is fantastic for reducing discoloration, scars and blemishes. The natural formula also includes Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid to improve skin tone, smooth skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Other plant-based ingredients such as Chamomile Extract and Konjac Root Powder work to soothe and protect your skin.
THENA’s plant-based ingredients help renew your skin’s natural youthfulness and beauty.
The formula is lightweight and easy to apply, and it encourages brightness, giving your skin a healthy, dewy glow without an oily or sticky feel.
You can use it in the morning, under your makeup, and at night too.
It’s made in the U.S. with organic and all-natural ingredients, and the natural scent is incredible.
Honey Girl Organics Regenerating Face Serum is also made with all-natural, plant-based organic ingredients.
It focuses on restoring and repairing damaged or aging skin. The formula is both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial while promoting collagen production and cell regeneration.
Anyone wanting more youthful skin will enjoy the results.
That being said, the formula does contain rosehip and orange peel oil, which can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some people, so we recommend testing it on a smaller part of your skin before putting it on your face.
Specifically formulated to boost moisture levels and reduce wrinkles and fine lines, Mychelle’s Hydrate face serum is a great addition to your daily beauty regimen.
Its nourishing humectant blend helps moisturize and soothe dry skin to create a youthful glow. It’s lightweight and easy to wear under your makeup during the day, and you can also wear it at night.
The formula is EWG-verified and cruelty-free too!
W3LL PEOPLE carries a ton of terrific natural beauty products, and this one is no different.
It’s powered by organic botanical ingredients that help brighten and correct uneven skin tone and doesn’t contain any unnecessary fillers. That means you have a 100% all-natural face serum that’s working overtime to give your skin a healthy and youthful glow.
The formula goes on smooth and doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily or greasy.
The right facial serum can be a powerhouse packed full of natural and organic nutrients that are nourishing and beneficial to your skin. Just make sure you aren’t slathering on a poor-quality product that is chock-full of toxic chemicals!
We hope you find this guide helpful in your search for natural products that won’t harm your health.