DIY Homemade Facial Serum for healthy glowing skin

It’s time to share a recipe I’ve been secretly hiding in my bathroom, holding back from sharing here at Live Simply.

Not in a mean holding back kind of way. Oh no, I would never do that! More like “It’s finally time to face the reality of aging” holding back.

DIY Homemade Facial Serum for healthy glowing skin

Growing up, I remember listening to the wiser (older) ladies in my life discuss aging topics–wrinkles, mature skin, and changing hormones. As a preteen with perfect skin and size 0 jeans, the discussions always intrigued me, but the reality never sank in that one day I might be sharing in the very same concerns. “I won’t ever need fancy creams, serums, or running shoes. Nope, not me.”

Fast forward a good eighteen years and a few swallowed words. Words that gracefully went down with a big aging gulp.

In 2014, my vocabulary expanded along with my age. Creams, ultra-moisturizing lotion, facial masks, serums, and  collagen (not the injection stuff, this one is natural and added to water when I don’t have a cup of homemade bone broth available) became part of my regular vocabulary.

Defeating the aging process certainly isn’t my goal. In fact, I look forward to the gray hair and well-earned wrinkles. Both are beautiful tokens of wisdom and a life well lived. While I fully embrace the aging process (and yes, I’m still incredibly young), each new season of life brings changes, and learning to adapt to those changes is important.

With aging skin in my future (okay, maybe my present too), I have focused on creating simple homemade products that benefit and nourish my skin.  Homemade moisturizing lotion is still my go-to lotion on a daily basis. During the day, I love my homemade foundation powder, a bit of blush, and mascara (a product I don’t make at home, yet). At night, I cleanse my face with oil and then moisturize with ultra-moisturizing lotion. Twice a week, I treat myself to a homemade clay mask and serum treatment.

I’ve shared all my favorite beauty recipes with you, so it’s time to come clean, stop holding back, and share my favorite DIY homemade facial serum. You’re going to love it!

DIY Homemade Facial Serum for healthy glowing skin

Homemade facial serum sounds incredibly sophisticated and complicated, but it’s one of my favorite DIYs. Homemade serum is relatively inexpensive to make compared to the expensive cost of single-use serums (with many questionable ingredients) found in stores. This homemade facial serum combines two nourishing skin oils, argan and squalane, and essential oils.

Argan oil is produced from the kernels of the argan tree. It’s an edible oil from Morroco that is also known for personal-care benefits. Argan oil is known for moisturizing, healing, and softening properties; making it the perfect oil for the skin and hair.  Thanks to the moisturizing properties of argan oil, this serum may also be used as a daily facial moisturizer.

Squalane oil was first discovered in shark livers (I know, yuck, but the story gets better).  After investigating squalane and its healing properties in sharks, scientists also found squalane in olives (the good news!).

Squalane contains some amazing properties, but is often overlooked by more common nourishing oils (jojoba, almond, etc.). Squalane is known for many beneficial properties: antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-phlogiston (fights against inflammation).  Squalane also penetrates the skin better than any other nourishing oil available. This simply means squalane oil doesn’t just sit on the surface of the skin, rather it penetrates the skin layers, making it the perfect oil for a facial serum.

DIY Homemade Facial Serum for healthy glowing skin

Essential oils (geranium, bergamot, lavender, and tea tree) are added to help improve tired, aging, and even acne-prone skin. Geranium may help the skin contract (hello, tighter skin!) and regenerate, amongst many other beneficial properties. Bergamot may tone the skin and reduce infection (a key for acne-prone skin). Bergamot is light-sensitive, so during the summer, when I spend many hours outside, I skip this ingredient. Lavender and tea tree are two of my favorite “everyday” oils because they are so versatile. I use both for house cleaning and homemade beauty products.

DIY Homemade Facial Serum for healthy glowing skin

My DIY facial serum is moisturizing and nourishing. It may be used as a special serum once or twice a week, or as a daily moisturizer. Thanks to argan oil’s moisturizing properties, lotion is not needed after applying this serum.

DIY Homemade Facial Serum for healthy glowing skin
4.93 from 14 votes

DIY Homemade Facial Serum

Homemade facial serum sounds incredibly sophisticated and complicated, but it’s one of my favorite DIYs. Homemade serum is relatively inexpensive to make compared to the expensive cost of single-use serums (with many questionable ingredients) found in stores. This homemade facial serum combines two nourishing skin oils, argan and squalane, and essential oils.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course DIY
Cuisine Beauty, Body
Servings 3 oz


  • In a dark amber bottle (pictured), carefully add the nourishing oils: squalane and argan. I recommend using a small funnel.
  • Add the essential oils.
  • Secure the lid on the bottle and gentle shake to combine the oils.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


Note: You’ll need to use teaspoons (and decrease the bergamot, geranium, and lavender to 3 drops each) for a 1-ounce amber bottle . My bottle for the tablespoons measurement is larger than 1-ounce. The important measurement is 2 parts to 1 part. 

Aging doesn’t seem like something to hold back on after all. With a few drops of this homemade serum, I feel like a new, younger woman, but with the wisdom and grace (and a few swallowed words) that come with age. A win-win.

DIY Homemade Facial Serum for healthy glowing skin

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  1. i love this stuff! dont go a day withg out it and i sweat my wrinkles are less? smoother? i look great and have even been asked alot for my ID! doesnt get better then that

  2. hello kristin

    can i use
    2 tb squalane
    1 tb argan
    1 tb apricot kernel oil

    and skip the ratio 2:1?
    love your recipes
    thank you

  3. If we don’t have all these oils, do you have an etsy account or something where you could make the serum and we buy it from you?

  4. 5 stars
    I love how this feels on the skin. I’ve been using this (at night time together with the Honey Face Wash and Homemade Facial Astringent) for a year now and it’s great to use for any season. This leaves no greasy after feel at all.

    I did measurements in teaspoons and added some frankincense to the essential oil mix.

    Thank you so much, Kristin, for sharing all these wonderful DIY recipes!

  5. Is this good for dehydrated combination skin? I have been fighting with severe dehydrated skin for years (dry on the cheeks but oily t-zone that gets dry and flaky as well). Right now I am using your Honey Aloe facial cleanser (started last night) followed by ACV toner(last week) then a small amount of your ultra moisturizer with a glycerin spray on top at night(last couple of days. Then in the morning I just wash with water and put on again a tiny amount of moisturizer with a light spray of the glycerin spray. I found the moisturizer wasnt doing much for the dehydration and my skin was very flaky still. The addition of the glycerin has helped but I worry about the glycerin as the dry winter months approach(i live in canada) and I heard glycerin needs humid weather or it will pull water out of my skin which would definitely not be good for me. I am hoping some of these DIY products will help me as I feel the chemical ones from the store are not doing me any favors.

    1. Hey Jeff, This serum should work for all skin-types. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the honey cleanser, too–I’ve found that’s very helpful for hydrating my skin.

  6. 5 stars
    I love all your fabulous recipes! Thanks for all your hard work. I would love to try this serum, but wondering why you put tea tree essential oil in it? I have dry, mature skin, and I thought tea tree oil was for acne, etc. Would like your reasoning behind this. Thanks!

  7. Hello Kristin,

    First, thank you for making all of these recipes so easy! You make it so straight forward I have no problem diving in and enjoying these wonderful products.

    I am trying to create a scar lighten serum for my 5 year old daughter and was wondering if you had any suggestions for that? We have been using neroli oil and shea butter, but one of the scars is on her lip and she doesn’t like to let it soak in.

    1. Hey Sarah, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog and the recipes!

      I’m thinking lavender would be a wonderful product to use on your daughter’s scar. This homemade boo boo cream might be the best option: You could probably skip the tea tree in this case, and stick with the soothing lavender and calendula. I bet you could shea butter in the recipe, too. Maybe sub some of the coconut oil or olive oil for some shea butter. And you could also add some neroli oil, too.

  8. Hi Kristin! I am so eager to make this serum! Having just turned 40 I need something to make me feel young and vibrant! Wondering, however, if there is a substitute for the geranium….not a big fan of the smell…some far back bad olfactory memory!

      1. Hi there! I am new to your blog and totally love it. Thank you for your time and efforts 🙂
        I made this serum with tamanu oil instead of the squalane, only because I couldn’t find the squalane locally. I have noticed changes to my skin within 24 hours of using it – tighter and smoother, less blotchiness, and more glowy. (I skipped the bergamot because it’s the summer.)
        Thank you!

      2. Confused; you used “squalene” and “Squalane” interchangeably in this article, and they’re not the same. Which is it you use in the foundation?

        Have you used both? Do you like one. Better than the other? If so, which one? Is the squalene fishy-smelling?

      3. *serum, not foundation

        (Don’t type while watching TV, kids! We tend to type words we hear.)

      4. Hey Binky, I use Squalane, which today is usually plant-derived (made from olives) and good for all skin types. In the past, it was animal-derived (shark), however, I don’t think it’s easy or common to find this source today. I’ll make sure this is fixed in the post so there’s no confusion.

  9. Hi! Congratulations for your site..nice work!!!! Can I use:
    2 tb pumpkin or black cumin seed oil
    1 tb neem oil
    5 drops each geranium, maleleuca,frankincense essential oils
    3 drops tea tree oil
    Thanks for your time!

    1. 5 stars
      Neem oil has very different properties – it’s much thicker and stickier. it’s better suited to a think Ointment-like cream, for example an excema cream (is especially good for that). Making certain substitutions is ok as long as one ingredient is similar to the one you’re subbing, especially in consistency. Another thing to bear in mind is purity of an oil. For example, an oil that’s extracted using a solvent is not something I personally would use on my face. The face is too sensitive to rush doing damage. Same goes for an oil that’s not fresh enough. For example, putting a spoiled oil on your face will have the same effect as eating a spoiled oil Just saying this for the benefit of the group. If you have some oils that you’re concerned have sat around to long, and you want to use them up before they spoil, you’re better off looking for a hand cream or something like that preferably something you’ll be sure to use up quicker. Hope this helps. Cheers.

  10. Hi, Kristin,
    Wanting to make this serum and know where to buy the products but the links in the recipe aren’t working. Thanks for all that you do and share. Love your site!!

  11. 5 stars
    I used teaspoons and I love it! Combined with your awesome cleansing cloths (I am so lazy you have no idea how much I have been loving these) and the homemade powder I am one happy camper! Thanks so much.

  12. 5 stars
    Hello! I have made several of your awesome diy ideas and have been so pleased! Thank you so much for all of your hard work! I have a question about the amounts here. I just got everything out to make this and realized that this recipe won’t fit in a 1 oz bottle. That is what you say you used so I was wondering if you meant teaspoons instead of tablespoons in your recipe? Thanks again!

    1. Hey Joy, As long as you use two parts to one part the recipe will work. If you decrease the recipe to teaspoons I would also decrease the essential oil amount called for by a couple of drops (three drops each of the bergamot, geranium, and lavender). The tea tree can remain the same. The 1-ounce bottle is the size I ordered on Amazon, but I’ll double check and report back.

      1. Hey Joy, Okay, I just checked. For the 1-ounce bottle I recommend using teaspoons. My bottle for the tablespoons was slightly larger. I would love to send you one of the larger bottles (never been used ;)). Please feel free to email me: [email protected] and I’ll send it your way. I made a note of this in the recipe…thank you for commenting! Enjoy the serum!!

  13. 5 stars
    I love the DIY beauty recipes and would like to try some out for the family. My family are sensitive to nuts and nuts oils. What can be used to substitute Argan oil etc?

      1. Hello Kristin

        Can I mix rosehip, jojoba,argan, frankincense and vitamin e oils together?
        Would I need vitamin c oil or would the oils contain enough ?

        What is squalane and would I need to add to the mix?

        Looking forward to your reply

        Thank you


      2. Hey Nafeessa, I apologize for the delayed comment. There’s been an issue with comments going to spam. That combo sounds lovely, no vitamin C. The post above goes into squalane–let me know if you have any more questions about it.

  14. Hi, I’m really interested in trying this, as well as your moisturizer! But I’m wondering, do you think this is safe to put on/around the eyes? It’s never clear to me what can actually be applied to that area that won’t ruin the delicate eye skin.

    1. Hey Amber, I apply this around the eye area as I apply the oil to my face. Bergamot and geranium are actually used in some eye serums to help reduce dark circles and tighten the skin. Both argan and squalene are very gentle oils. Of course, I wouldn’t put this in the eyes, but around the eyes should be just fine :). Enjoy!

      1. Hi! I absolutely love this combination of did you decide and proceed in creating your business? I would like to follow some of your suggestions and insights