This Cacti Q10 Anti-Aging Facial Serum features a base of beautiful plant oils spiked with some potent Coenzyme Q10. It’s rich in antioxidants, has rejuvenating properties, and leaves your skin positively glowing. It’s also a rather pretty orange colour, and comes together in a flash. Despite the name, you certainly don’t have to be looking for an anti-aging facial serum to enjoy this DIY—its got something lovely and pampering for almost any skin type!
I will happily admit to feeling a bit indulgent as I designed this serum. I wanted to include some beautiful skin-pampering ingredients from my pantry that I hadn’t yet had a chance to use. First off—some “Coenzyme Q10 Q-MAX” from Lotion Crafter. This product is a liquid active featuring 7.5% Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone. Coenzyme Q10 is a wonderful antioxidant that naturally occurs in the body. When applied topically it can help protect from and reduce the damage caused by UV exposure. This particular product from Lotion Crafter also contains 10% tocopheryl acetate, further upping the antioxidant factor. I included the Coenzyme Q10 Q-MAX at 3%, which gives us end concentrations of 0.225% Coenzyme Q10 and 0.3% tocopheryl acetate.
Another ingredient I was positively itching to use was some stunning organic prickly pear seed oil from Essential Wholesale. It’s a carrier oil I’ve been eyeing for a while, so I was incredibly excited and grateful when Essential Wholesale gifted me a bottle! It is undoubtedly one of the pricier carrier oils (it takes approximately 1 ton of fruit to produce 1L of prickly pear seed oil!), so I have kept the usage amount fairly low. I’ve also included an extensive list of suggested alternatives in the encyclopedia entry for prickly pear seed oil. Prickly pear seed oil contains beta-carotene and vitamin K, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a wonderful, silky oil that works beautifully as an emollient.
Up next—some sea buckthorn seed oil. Part of my reason for including it was wanting to amp-up the orange note from the Coenzyme Q10—between the two of them we get a really pretty orange serum. Sea buckthorn seed oil is also great for irritated skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties, and it’s rich in vitamin E. Antioxidants galore!
With all these pricey ingredients I figured it was high time to introduce something a bit more pocket-book friendly—some olive squalane. It creates a beautiful base for our more precious ingredients. Squalane is a lovely lightweight emollient oil. It’s quite thin, smooth, and colourless. While it’s less expensive than the other ingredients we’ve covered so far, it could be cheaper—I’d recommend fractionated coconut oil or medium chain triglycerides as a less spendy alternative.
The final serum is a gentle orange colour and has a slight nutty scent. It applies easily and smoothly to the skin, with a few drops vanishing quickly, leaving the skin supple and soft. I’ve been blending a couple drops in with a pump of my Soothing Facial Lotion (side benefit: it eliminates the soaping effect!) and really enjoying it.
Cacti Q10 Anti-Aging Facial Serum
To use, smooth a few drops over your skin after your watery serums and actives.
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this serum is 100% oil based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 12g.
- If you have powdered Coenzyme Q10 I would try gently warming 0.225% Coenzyme Q10 and 2.775% squalane to combine, and including that in the end product instead of the Coenzyme Q10 Q-MAX. If you have a different liquid Coenzyme Q10 you can use that instead; compare the concentration of Coenzyme Q10 in what you have with what I have and the final concentration in the end product (discussed in the blog project) and consider adjusting if allowed by the upper usage limit of the product you have.
- To learn more about the carrier oils used in this recipe, including what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. I’ve made sure the four key ingredients in this formula are in the encyclopedia, complete with substitution information.
The prickly pear seed oil was gifted by Essential Wholesale. The sea buckthorn seed oil was gifted by SIBU.