Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS

Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Here comes post 3 of my new skincare series, where I’m discussing the different categories of skincare I use, and my top products of all time in each one!  So far I’ve talked about CLEANSERS & MAKEUP REMOVERS, and TONERS & FACE MISTS.  Today, the topic is my top serum and facial oil products.

I love serums and facial oils as intensive skin treatments.  This part of my routine is used after cleansing and toning, and before applying a moisturiser.  On the odd occasion, I’ll use a facial oil and give the moisturiser a skip if it’s enough for my skin.  Serums and facial oils contain much more concentrated actives than your moisturiser.


Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% & B5

Honestly my all time favourite hydrating serum.  It packs such a wonderful punch for such an affordable price.

I’m sure by now we all know that hyaluronic acid is the ingredient you need to look for if you’re on the hunt for something that will hydrate the skin and plump up any fine lines.  I find that my skin is very quick to get dehydrated, and the main places that this happens for me are around my nose and my chin.  When these areas get dehydrated (usually in winter it’s the worst), the best way I can tackle this is a super hydrating serum and good day cream used during the day, and the same serum layered with a good face cream and even a facial oil at night.

I know it sounds crazy, but I can feel and see a difference after just a day or 2 of using this serum.  It’s so intensely hydrating! I’ve gone through multiple bottles and plan on repurchasing as soon as I can.  It’s an absolute staple all year round.

The way that The Ordinary manages to keep their products so affordable is that they aren’t packed with higher amounts of MULTIPLE actives – they’re plain and simple, with only one or two like this one.  You can layer the different products because of this.

100% recommend for any skin type!

Previously mentioned in: –

TESTED: The Ordinary


Best of Skincare 2019

Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Pixi Hydrating Milky Serum*

Even though this is still a newbie in my collection, I’ve been impressed from the first use.  It has a delicious fresh scent to it, and leaves my skin feeling both comforted and hydrated.

I love the milky, runny consistency of this and how soothing it feels on my skin.  It’s very quickly become my go-to day time serum, and I’ll use it on nights where I don’t feel the need to pump my skin with stronger anti-ageing actives.  The serum contains aloe vera (to calm and soothe), jojoba oil (for light moisturising), vitamins C and E, rose flower water and glycerin.  A hydrating gem for our drier months!

I also love that the Pixi products aren’t tested on animals – so if you’re strictly cruelty free, then you’ll LOVE the brand.

Previously mentioned in my February and March Favourites Live on Instagram.


Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Filorga HYDRA-HYAL Intensive Plumping Hydrating Concentrate*

If you love a higher end brand when it comes to skincare, then I cannot recommend this Filorga hydrating serum enough.  It has a consistency very similar to that of The Ordinary one, however it has a ton of extra actives in it.

Rather than just being a simple hyaluronic acid formula, this one contains 4 types of hyaluronic acid, making it SUPER concentrated.  On top of this, it also has 2 plant-based boosters that help to stimulate the skin to produce it’s own hyaluronic acid, as well as Filorga’s patented NCTF complex for extra anti-ageing goodness.  All of this combines to make a powerfully intensive hydrating and plumping serum!

I found this serum to be absolutely beautiful.  A little truly goes a long way (and spreads easily too, which is a nice bonus).  When I used this consistently each day, I noticed a definite improvement in dehydration lines around my chin, mouth and nose, as well as around my eyes.

Previously mentioned in: –

June Favourites 2019

Winter Skin Saviours

Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules*

I’ve only REALLY just begun using these capsules consistently (as in almost on a daily basis), whereas before I was using them a couple of times a week.  Even then, the morning after I used these (yes, I used them at night as they do contain an oilier serum, but I’ll probably use them during the day now that we’re  going into the colder and drier months), I’d notice my skin looked visibly brighter and glowier.

Now that I’m using them more often, I’ve noticed a difference in the evenness of my skin tone and how my skin just looks perkier and feels softer.

You guys have heard me mention their retinol-based counterparts before (which you’ll read about again a little further down), and now I’d LOVE to try out their OG Ceramide Capsules, especially now my skin feels the need for a more intensive moisture treatment!

Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Pixi Glow Tonic Serum*

You saw I mentioned the infamous Pixi Glow Tonic in my Toners post.  So I OBVIOUSLY needed to mention it’s serum counterpart!

This is a gentle exfoliating serum that also serves to hydrate and nourish the skin.  By layering this with the Glow Tonic, you increase your concentration of glycolic acid, and you wake up with genuinely glowing skin.  I love how you need only a couple of drops and it spreads easily over the skin.

I experience no tingling, no irritation at all, yet my skin feels smoother the following day.  You are able to use this morning and/or night, but I do prefer to use it in the evenings for the most part.

If you’ve not yet started trying out AHAs I can honestly recommend this and the Glow Tonic as a starting point, as they are a lot more gentle.

Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Mario Badescu Peptide Renewal Serum*

YOH!  When I first received this serum, I used it a couple of times and really enjoyed the consistency, but didn’t really dedicate myself to it fully.  What a mistake!

The second I truly dedicated myself to using it, I noticed the biggest difference.  The lines I have on my forehead, between my brows and my smile lines around my mouth started to soften after a week of using it nightly.

The consistency is lightly oily, and it melts into the skin and doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy or sticky.  I try to use it every 3 nights, where I alternate between a retinol, a vitamin C and then this gem.  Since I’ve run out of my retinol-based products during the lockdown, I’ve switched this up to alternating between vitamin C, this peptide serum and just a hydrating serum and my overnight hydrating mask, and it means I’ve gone through the seasonal transition with minimal irritation and lovely hydrated skin.

If you’re looking for something to smooth and firm the skin, and just generally leave your skin looking fresher and more youthful, this one is for you!  I’ve only got about a quarter of a bottle left, and you get bet your bottom dollar I’ll be repurchasing this one.  I want to try and keep it in my routine for good!

Previously mentioned in: –

July Favourites 2019

Best of Skincare 2019


Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules

These pretty pink capsules were my first foray into the Elizabeth Arden capsules, and I couldn’t be happier to have started with them.  A great way to start on retinol-based skincare, they’re incredibly gentle and don’t bring with them all the negative side effects of retinol use (skin that’s red, flaking and slightly sensitive).

All they do is make your skin BETTER.  Filled with encapsulated retinol, ceramides and peptides, they help smooth and nourish the skin, while leaving my skin glowing and clear.  The texture of the serum is also gorgeous – a thick, gel-like consistency that feels so luxe on the skin.  I honestly find that my skin just looks beautiful the morning after, to the point where I love using these the night before a function.

Previously mentioned in: –

Instagram review HERE

January Favourites 2019

Best of Skincare 2018


Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex ii

I was excited to try out this infamous Estee Lauder product, as it’s said to be the original hyaluronic acid serum.

A deliciously hydrating nighttime serum, it helps repair skin while you sleep using the aforementioned hyaluronic acid and their patented ChronoluxCB technology (to be honest I have no idea what this is or what it involves).  I always use this when I’m not using my retinol, vitamin C or AHA based serums, and I love how it’s a hydrating, soothing product that will still work hard during the night to repair damage, hydrate, firm and help my skin look beautiful and glowy the next morning.

The serum is also oil-free and won’t clog your pores while it’s doing all this work!

Previously mentioned in: –

August Favourites 2019

Best of Skincare 2019

Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I think this was one of the very first facial oils I tried?

Designed for nighttime use, it contains a beautiful blend of lavender essential oil, evening primrose oil and squalane, so it’s not only light and hydrating, but it is the most perfect final, calming step in your skincare routine.  I absolutely adore taking a few drops of this, pressing it into my skin, and then taking my jade roller and giving myself a facial massage.

This is actually my third bottle of this precious elixir, and what can I tell you about my experience?  Well, it absorbs beautifully, it gives my skin a gorgeous glow the following morning, and it genuinely helps to heal up current breakouts, and speed up the healing of marks left behind by previous breakouts.

Previously mentioned in: –

Best of Skincare 2016

Best of Skincare 2019

Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Nikel Evening Primrose Oil*

Guys, this stuff smells insanely good!  It smells of sweet oranges, and is just a gorgeous, light oil.  Perfect for both dry and dehydrated skin, it helps restore moisture in the deepest layers of the epidermis.

Absolutely beautiful applied before moisturiser, after moisturiser or mixed into a moisturiser to up it’s nourishing properties.  I’ve even used a little under makeup when my skin has been dry during winter, and it left me with the most beautiful dewy glow.

As with all the other Nikel products, it’s packed with natural actives and is cruelty free.

Previously mentioned in: –

Winter Skin Saviours

Best of Skincare 2017

Serums & Facial Oils – SKINCARE SECRETS, Sugar & Spice

Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil*

This facial oil is incredible for dehydrated skins, and an amazing oil to start with if you’ve never used one before.  A lot of people are nervous to use a straight up oil on their face (I have no clue why, as I have combination skin and oils are LIFE), so starting with a very light, non-greasy oil would be best.

Rose hip oil is full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants, so it’s a beautiful addition year-round.  I couldn’t believe how light the formula is, how genuinely non-greasy it is and how quickly it sinks into my skin.  It’s just DELICIOUS!

I’ve taken this when I travel and it’s just beautiful, as I can use it on my cuticles as well.  It’s also great to soothe irritated, chapped skin around your nose when you’ve had a cold!

Previously mentioned in: –

September Favourites 2018

Best of Skincare 2018



What serum and/or facial oil is your favourite?

*DISCLAIMER – while some of these were PR gifts, all of my opinions are honest and my own.


Beauty and Lifestyle blogger, wine addict and all-round lover of all things beautiful and sparkly!

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Shan Fourie

    Loved this post and the run down of all your serums thanks for sharing my lovely ! I was already excited to receive my Advanced night repair I’ve ordered 🙏🏼🙏🏼 And you’ve made me even more excited !!

    1. Siobhan

      Ah thank you so much my friend!! You’ll love it, it’s not greasy at all, just a lovely, light hydrating serum. Honestly makes a big difference to my skin! xxxx

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