DIY plum serum is an anti-aging facial serum that restores and refreshes the skin. Plum beauty oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nourishing fatty acids that will leave your skin hydrated and supple. Fragrant plum oil, moisturizing Hemi-squalane, and rejuvenating ceramide make this one of the best homemade face serum recipes for mature and dry skin.
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DIY plum serum
Tired of a dry, lackluster complexion? Then my DIY plum serum is for you! Plum beauty oil has become hugely popular in the skincare world, and there are some fantastic plum serums on the market. But if you want to save some bucks or are just looking for a DIY version, you can totally make plum serum at home yourself.
I fell in love with plum oil when I first used it in my sugar plum body scrub. The oil has a rich, sweet fragrance and feels incredibly nourishing. I’ve been testing this DIY face serum for glowing skin for a few weeks now and love how dewy and plump my skin looks.
While you can surely use pure plum oil, my plum face oil includes a few other ingredients that boost the skincare benefits and take this DIY face serum to the next level. Let’s find out more!
Benefits of plum face oil
This DIY face serum for mature skin is one you want to have in your skincare routine. The possible benefits of the homemade anti-aging serum include:
- alleviate dryness and increase moisture in dry skin
- help to restore and maintain the skin barrier
- reduce fine lines and signs of premature skin aging
- firm and repair aging skin
Homemade plum serum ingredients
This homemade plum beauty oil is made with just 4 ingredients:
- Plum oil (plum kernel oil) nourishes with an abundance of nutrients and restores elasticity and suppleness.
- Hemi-squalane is a lightweight emollient that leaves a velvety after-feel and feeds back moisture into the skin. You can also buy it at Lotion Crafter.
- Ceramide liposome (optional) helps to restore the skin barrier and reduces transepidermal water loss.
- Vitamin A palmitate (aka retinyl palmitate, optional) is the mildest form of vitamin A and comes with many benefits. You can either order a sample of liquid vitamin A palmitate or use the powder version. The powder dissolves perfectly in plum oil. I used retinyl palmitate from Making Cosmetics but that’s probably too much if you make beauty products only occasionally.
I describe each ingredient in more detail below. The exact measurement can be found in the DIY box at the end of the post.
If you live in the UK, try these links to buy the ingredients:
- plum oil
- Hemi-squalane or squalane
- vitamin A palmitate
- I couldn’t find the ceramide liposome I used, but these lupine peptides are a wonderful alternative.
You also want to get the following supplies:
- small glass beaker or jar
- glass stirrer or spoon
- dropper bottle or small pump dispenser
Plum oil benefits
What is plum kernel oil made of?
Time to talk about the star in this homemade anti-aging serum: plum oil (aka plum kernel oil or plum seed oil, INCI name: Prunus domestica seed oil). The beauty oil has a long tradition in Asian cultures. It is extracted by cold pressing the kernels of the French Ente plum, which grows Gascony region of France, and other plum varieties in California and Australia.
What does plum oil smell like?
Plum oil has a deliciously sweet scent with woodsy undertones that reminds me of marzipan, bitter almond, or macarons. Yum!
What does plum oil feel like on the skin?
Plum oil is lightweight, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t feel overly greasy.
Is plum oil good for your skin?
Yes, plum oil is a wonderful skincare ingredient, believed to be 8 times more powerful than argan oil and 6 times more potent than marula oil. The fruity oil is stock-full of skin-loving nutrients, such as omega fatty acids, vitamins A, C, E, carotenes, and squalene.
Plum is said to have many skincare benefits:
- hydrating: The omega fatty acids 6 and 9 provide excellent hydration and make the skin feel supple, hydrated, and glowing.
- antioxidant: Antioxidant-rich plum oil is effective to fight environmental stressors and free radicals.
- anti-inflammatory: The polyphenols and vitamin E in plum oil lend the oil anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial to soothe minor skin irritations.
- rejuvenating: Thanks to vitamin A, plum oil promotes cell renewal and improves skin elasticity.
- restoring: The antioxidants and vitamin C encourage the production of elastin + collagen and repair the skin, lending plumpness to aging skin and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
- regulating: The oil is mainly composed of oleic and linoleic fatty acids, which help to regulate sebum production. While linoleic acid is excellent for oily skin, oleic fatty acid isn’t the best choice for acne.
Touted as a plant-based silicone alternative, Hemi-squalane is a non-greasy and fast-absorbing emollient that provides hydration + conditioning and helps to lock moisture in the skin.
Hemi-squalane also enhances the sensory profile of the serum. It mitigates the greasiness of the plum oil, and its ultra-light texture leaves a silky, dry skin feel.
In case Hemi-squalane isn’t available, simple use squalane oil.
Ceramides make up about half of the lipids in the outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum). As the skin ages, these ceramides are lost, and the skin’s protective barrier is weakened.
But aging isn’t the only factor. Harsh cleansers are responsible for stripping ceramides and lipids from the skin, leading to dryness and irritation.
To protect and strengthen the skin barrier and replace lost lipids, I added a ceramide liposome complex containing ceramide 3 and milk lipids to the plum serum.
The ceramide liposome complex creates a thin lipid film and can restore a disrupted skin barrier. Ceramide 3 is also said to improve hydration levels, boost collagen production, and prevent transepidermal water loss. (source)
Vitamin A palmitate (retinyl palmitate)
Vitamin A palmitate (aka retinyl palmitate) is a potent antioxidant that is thought to improve the skin’s texture + tone, unclog pores, and boost cell turnover collagen production, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Retinyl palmitate is a combination of pure vitamin A (retinol) and palmitic acid (a fatty acid). Being part of the retinoid family (vitamin A derivates), it’s gentler and less irritating than retinol, making it more tolerable for sensitive skin.
To learn more about retinyl palmitate, have a look at this article from Byrdie.
Extremely sensitive skin types should avoid vitamin A palmitate as it can be irritating.
And if your skincare already includes other products with vitamin A, retinol, or retinoids, omit the vitamin A palmitate from the serum. There is some concern that overexposure to vitamin A can potentially lead to vitamin A toxicity (source). However, other sources insist that it’s perfectly safe for skin care (source).
And in case you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, skip the vitamin as well.
How to make plum serum
This DIY face serum is really easy to prepare, even if you’re new to homemade skin care. The result is a nourishing, lightweight face serum that quenches dry skin with moisture. Here are the easy steps for making plum oil serum:
- Mix face serum. Add the plum oil, Hemi-squalane, ceramide liposome, and vitamin A palmitate into a small glass beaker or jar. Stir until the liquids are well combined, for about 2 to 3 minutes. The ceramide and vitamin A take a little while to dissolve, which is fine.
- Package. Pour the plum serum into a dropper bottle or small pump bottle. Optionally, apply the printable label to the bottle.
Tips for packaging
To prolong your products’ shelf life, and protect the light-sensitive ingredients, fill your easy face serum recipe into an amber or cobalt blue glass dropper bottle. A small pump dispenser is also a suitable option for keeping your DIY facial serum.
I spray painted an amber bottle with a gorgeous metallic finishing spray, which might be a little over the top, but I adore beautiful packaging.
The printable face serum label can be downloaded at the end of the post. It comes in 2 sizes and features a pretty plum blossom print.
How to use plum serum
How do you use plum serum? It’s super easy:
- First, cleanse, tone and dry your face.
- Then gently pat on a few drops of serum on to your face and neck. The plum serum is highly concentrated, and a little goes a long way. Tip: Don’t rub the serum in with your fingers. Instead, wait a few minutes until your skin has soaked up the serum.
- Follow-up with a moisturizer and the rest of your skincare routine.
- You can also mix a few drops into your night cream or moisturizer.
Can you use plum beauty oil every day?
Yes, you can use the DIY plum serum daily. If any irritation or skin sensitivities occur, pause for a week and re-introduce the serum once or twice a week.
If you’re using a retinol product for the first time, don’t apply the serum daily, to begin with. Instead, use it every other day so your skin can adapt to it gradually.
When is the best time to put on plum serum?
It’s best to incorporate the plum oil into your nighttime skincare routine, as the retinol in plum oil and vitamin A make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Storage and shelf life
How to store plum serum
Store the plum serum in a cool, dark, and dry place out of direct sunlight. Sunlight and warm temperatures can cause the ingredients to oxidize and degrade over time. If you live in a hot, humid environment, keep the serum in the fridge for the best shelf life.
How long does plum serum last?
DIY plum kernel oil has a shelf life of 1 year. While plum oil and Hemi-squalane last 2 years, ceramide liposome and vitamin A palmitate expire after 12 months.
Homemade plum serum FAQ
Is plum serum suitable for every skin type?
Plum kernel oil is suitable for most skin types, especially mature skin.
This easy natural facial serum provides care and moisturization for normal, combination, dry, and aging skin. The serum is also suitable for sensitive skin. Still, you may omit the vitamin A palmitate if your skin has reacted sensitively to retinol products in the past.
Plum kernel oil rates 1-2 on the comedogenic scale, which means the oil has a moderately low likelihood to clog pores. That isn’t to say you can’t use plum serum if you have oily and/or acne-prone skin, but a water-based product or argan oil serum might be better options for you.
Can I add essential oils to my plum serum?
Yes, you can enhance the natural face serum recipe with essential oils. Be sure to stick to essential oils that you know your skin handles well. 4 to 8 drops are sufficient for the recipe.
I sometimes add a few drops blue tansy essential oil to my plum serum and enjoy the calming effect the EO has on my skin.
That being said, the plum face serum is pretty effective without essential oils, too.
Does DIY plum face serum need a preservative?
No. This homemade face serum is oil-based, so a preservative isn’t necessary.
More face serum recipes
If you like this plum beauty oil, you might enjoy some of my other face serum recipes, too:
Printable Plum Serum Label
Click the button to download the free printable plum serum label!
HI! if I am using the powder version, how much I add?
Hi Jennifer! Thank you for trying my serum recipe. You only need the tiniest amount, 0.25 g or less than 1/8 tsp. Happy making and please let me know if you have more questions!