I’ve been planning to make an acne serum for a while now. I’ve had all kinds of great, healing oils in my cupboard for a while now. Oils like tamanu, black currant seed, baobab, and sea buckthorn. I stumbled across a little tip via Pinterest recommending applying sea buckthorn seed oil to zits as soon as they rear their ugly heads (or even earlier than that, if you can manage it). So I decided that sea buckthorn seed oil would be the base for my serum.
As I did more research into sea buckthorn, I realized its a serum all in itself (there’s even an entire product line based around it for acne care). Its loaded with beta carotene, vitamins C & E, and all kinds of great fatty acids. It has a pleasant, nutty smell, and the beta carotene gives it a nice orange glow. Vitamins C & E help heal and repair the skin, and beta carotene has been show to be good for the skin as well. Apparently it is also a mild painkiller, which supposedly discourages picking at things (which I have never found to be terribly beneficial to the healing process).
Since I had tamanu oil (supposedly very healing) and baobab oil (rich in vitamins & fatty acid, said to improve tone & elasticity in skin), I decided to add a few drops of each. I also added some lavender essential oil for its scent (very complimentary to the nutty oils) and antibacterial properties. And then extra Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada) for good measure.
And voila, acne/scar serum for all over. I keep it in a 10mL darkened glass bottle with a dropper top and apply a drop or two to any blemishes and scars after I apply argan oil (USA / Canada)… and I think it’s helping. My skin is better than its ever been, and any zits that dare appear aren’t a problem when I immediately douse them with my handy new serum.
Sea Buckthorn Acne Serum
7mL sea buckthorn seed oil
1mL Vitamin E MT-50 (USA / Canada)
30 drops tamanu oil
20 drops baobab oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
Combine all oils in a dark glass bottle. Cover and shake to combine. Apply neat to blemishes and scars.
Natural acne serum sounds unbelieavably wonderful compared to all the mystery chemicals that I’ve smeared on my face for the same purpose!
If you try it, be sure to tell me how it works for you!
I would like to know the purpose of the lavender as I am highly allergic to it on my skin. If it has a purpose, what could be used as a replacement besides EVOO, which also causes a chemical burn on me? Thanks.
The lavender is there because it’s antibacterial, and because I think it smells pretty 😛 You can easily replace it with another antibacterial EO (geranium would probably be a good replacement).
Do you put it just on the spot or do you put it all over the face? I want a serum that can be used as more of a prevention rather than treatment.
I generally put this just on the spot. To prevent zits I do weekly face masks and use black soap—they work like a charm!
My seabuckthorn oil from NDA is pretty much neon orange. The one time I applied it in any great concentration, I looked like a jaundiced Oompa Loompa. This made me immediately wash it off, thinking it might stain my skin or something. I hear such great things about seabuckthorn for acne, but I’m too afraid to use it now 😛
Yup, LOL, sounds like sea buckthorn! That’s why I always cut it—yipes, is it ever orange. Not as orange as buriti, though! Holy wow, that stuff will turn you into a straight-up oompa loompa, no jaundice at all. I use it to dye soaps bright, bright orange. Anyhow, for sea buckthorn, I bet rosehip would be an awesome thing to cut it with. Rosehip oil is supposed to help with acne as well, and since it sinks in suuuuper fast, it’ll counter the oiliness of the sea buckthorn. If you don’t have rosehip oil I’d recommend grabbing it from Saffire Blue as they sell it in a 100mL size, significantly lowering your initial investment.
Stupid question but I have stearic acid and ewax but no solubilizer. I actually havent even used the stearic acid and ewax – I had a reason when i bought them but forgot it and dont know how theyre used. Anyways – would either of these work as a solubilizer?
Hi RM! Unfortunately no, you cannot use either stearic acid or ewax instead of solubilizer—for a couple reasons. Both would thicken the final product, which is generally not wanted in formulas that call for solubilizer. Additionally, stearic acid is not a complete emulsifier, and ewax requires some fairly specific oil to water ratios to function. Solubilizer is much more forgiving, and doesn’t thicken the final product at all, making it idea for adding small amounts of oils and essential oils to things like room sprays and toners 🙂
This will be the first thing I make when my order from Saffie Blue comes in on Tuesday! I have two questions: What does sea buckthorn smell like? And would argan oil be a good substitute for baobab? Thanks! Xoxo
Hi Sophia! Seabuckthorn has quite a nutty smell, I quite like it 🙂 And argan is also great for acne, so you can definitely include it 🙂
Hi, I only found your site today and am loving it!
As it happens, I bought some sea buckthorn oil earlier this week and found the smell to be quite awful. Not at all nutty. It’s not just me..everyone who came through the front door that day said ‘what’s that weird smell?’
I know that sea buckthorn oil can be made from either the berries or the seeds. I wonder if yours was from the seeds? The nearest comparison to the smell we can all come up with would be that of a compost heap!
I was looking to incorporate some into a leather balm but that colour and smell mean it’s no longer looking like an option!
Hi Pete! Welcome 🙂 The seabuckthorn oil I have is extracted from the fruit. Where did you get yours from? Compost heap doesn’t sound nice at all 🙁 It also doesn’t sound like the oil has gone rancid, either, so… weird!
As for uses—soap is my go-to project for using up funny smelling oils and butters!
Can I store in a clear glass bottle? I do not have a amber tinted bottle on hand ;-(
You certainly can, though the oils will oxidize faster, so perhaps keep the bottle in a dark cupboard or something if possible, or just make it in small batches and use it quickly 🙂
I love sea buckthorn oil! I think it is amazing! For all my face lotions I make I add a few drops to take away some of the more “earth” colours and leaving me with a yummy orange sorbet looking lotion that smells delightful! My Egyptian Magic lotion, my local bee pollen is a kind of dull colour so my lotion kind of looks grayish. So tossed in a colour drops and voila! Happy looking lotion!
And sea buckthorn in serums is wonderful for under eye care too!
I love this idea, Penny! I’m guessing you have the berry oil, rather than the seed oil (which is less orange, though still orange)?
I purchased some sea buckthorn oil online. I guess I didnt pay close enough attention to the product details because it is actually sea buckthorn extract. Its clear and no smell. What did I buy? What can I use it for? I was looking forward to making some of your wonderful creations with it. Darn!
How interesting! Do you have a link to a product page I can look at to learn more?
Yes here it is. LOVE your blog by the way! https://www.brambleberry.com/Buckthorn-Extract-P4930.aspx
Yup, it looks like you can use it! It’s liquid and oil soluble, so I’d probably start at 1:1 swapping. The max usage is 15%, but I find it’s hard to use seabuckthorn oil at more than 2–3% without staining your skin, so I doubt you’ll find any recipes that exceed that usage rate 🙂 Happy making and let me know how it turns out!
Would I be able to add CO2 Extracts to this kind of an oil or serum? I know that they are lipophillic and oil loving, but I am cautious because I know that other extracts are water/glycerin based and would therefore require a preservative? Could you safely add a CO2 etract to a oil based blend like this safely without needing a preservative?
You can safely & easily add oil based/oil soluble extracts to a 100% oil based serum. Be sure to stick to supplier recommendations for usage rates 🙂
My question is what is this oil specifically for?
Completely taking out acne?
To take out acne scars?
Honestly, neither. If this completely cured acne or totally removed acne scars you better believe I’d be selling it for a fortune! It can help prevent acne.