Home BEAUTY Box Do you really need a face serum in your life?

Do you really need a face serum in your life?

written by Khushboo Mendonca January 1, 2018

What exactly is a serum?? Isn’t a moisturizer enough?!

Read on to find out…

Serums are moisturizers but lightweight and less greasy – because their DNA lacks ingredients that block our skin pores – like Petroleum jelly or mineral oil, etc. Just like facial moisturizers, you need to use a serum twice a day – depending on your skin type & the intensity of serum used.

Your facial skin is much more sensitive than the skin on your body, so extra TLC is needed. Hair follicles, sweat glands, and oil glands are more dense on your face than on various parts of our body. You cannot be using the same products you do on your face on your body as well.

Yes, there are days when I skip a step or two but that’s out of sheer laziness, but I do manage the following skin routine pretty much RELIGIOUSLY.

Men & Women can both take notes here – this routine is not gender biased!

  • Step 1: Oil-based Cleansing – Crucial if you are wearing even a tiny bit of makeup – Grapeseed oil is a great option here & you may need to use a dedicated makeup remover for waterproof mascara & lipstick
  • Step 2: Water-based Cleansing – Skip to this directly, if you are not wearing makeup. Try this range from faceshop
  • Step 3: Exfoliating – Very important to use a Gentle Daily Scrub. Skip this step, if your cleanser doubles up as a gentle exfoliator, if not use this Scrub loved by Oprah Winfrey too
  • Step 4: Toning – Good old face mists like Rosewater if you are new to toning or Speciality toners, here’s my pick
  • Step 5: Moisturizing – Essence, Serums, Masks, Sunscreen, Night creams (This step needs a whole different blog!)

I will speak at length on another blog about each step in detail and products you can use – I tend to use products that Multitask…Because Ain’t nobody got time for all that jazz! 

Now I did mention earlier that ‘Serums’ are ‘Moisturizers’ but with an Agenda of treating problem areas… Whether it is dull/dry skin, large pores, pigmentation, wrinkles or blemishes, acne spots!

Although there is a serum for every problem available in the market today, I have picked 3 ‘cult’ products (that qualify as serums) & have worked wonders for me.

Let’s begin with my No.1:

The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti Perfection Daily Solution

  • Key Ingredient: Purifying Tea Tree Oil from the foothills of Mount Kenya
  • Retails at: INR 1495 for 50 ml ( Only size available )
  • How to use: Apply directly to areas of concern, using fingertips or a cotton bud and gently pat into skin. Build upon your skincare routine with other products from the Tea Tree range
  • Usage: Lasts up to 3 months if used twice daily.

I know this potion is not very soothing on the price point, but if you can get your hands on it, don’t think – this is a game changer for your struggling, acne-prone skin.

I have Oily skin, but the consistency of this product is mild and light, however, you do feel a refreshing, tingling sensation when you apply it on cleansed, toned skin – which I really like. I usually wear a sunscreen over the serum during the day; I do not end up using this one at night so much, but it is definitely a great practice to use this twice a day.

From this range, I use the Body shop Tea Tree Oil for targeted concern areas especially on days when I feel a possible upcoming zit attack – it is a Holy Grail product for me – honestly I am never out of stock on this one. I happened to use their Cleansing foam a year ago from the same range as well and I was impressed, but I am an ardent Vicco Turmeric Foam Base Facewash fan – It is my ride or die product since over 6 years.

The Tea Tree Oil Collection is hands down the BEST range from Body shop (Read ‘Most Effective’ when I say ‘Best’)


  • Cruelty-free, Authentic, Natural, Organic Ingredients – esp. Tea Tree. Check the link for full list of ingredients.
  • Refreshing Fragrance- wakes you up, while soothing you
  • Safe to use, No side effects noted
  • Dropper provided in the bottle – Hygienic storage & controlled usage
  • Caters to all skin types – esp. Oily skin doesn’t dry skin out because of the perfect concentration of oil used
  • Can be used independently – no need to compliment it with the rest of the range, but best if you can top it up with Sunscreen in the day & a night cream before bed.
  • Affordable, effective treatment for fighting Blemished skin


  • Creates a film on your face, doesn’t affect layering other products on top of this though
  • Price point – not very easy on the purse, but a great investment nevertheless
  • Glass bottle – need to be very careful with storage, not travel-friendly
  • Doesn’t dry out or treat acne, neither does it make blemishes disappear magically – but it is a fantastic product for maintenance and helps keep whiteheads at bay.

I highly recommend this product for the Oily skinned…WCD points: 4 out of 5

Tip – if you have acne & by severe I mean :

  • You have more than 2-3 active bumps on your skin
  • These bumps are sore or they hurt!
  • OR You have whiteheads – bumps on your skin ( not sore as the above )
  • They have been living & growing on your skin for more than 15 days now
  • They don’t have an invitation – random appearance

…Then we have a tiny problem, you’ve got to go see a skin specialist – because the above are symptoms of a skin infection/abnormality, which can be treated with over the counter medication & a few professional clean-up sessions.

Serum no.2:

The Body Shop Drops Of Light: Pure Healthy Brightening Serum

  • Key Ingredient: Red Algae Extracts from the North Atlantic and Vitamin C Derivative
  • Retails at: INR 2245 for 30 ml
  • How to use: Apply 2 to 3 drops onto the face and neck and gently massage into skin every morning and evening before applying a cream
  • Usage: Lasts up to 2 months if used twice daily.

This serum is lighter and thinner in consistency than any other serum I have used so far – It also feels hydrating when applied to cleansed, toned skin. As a treatment for pigmented skin, this is a good addition to your routine. The product claim of reducing the number and intensity of spots is clinically proven and I was pretty satisfied with the results. I do strongly recommend combining the serum with the sunscreen from this range during the day & a heavier cream (retinol based preferably) during the night, over this.


  • Contains Red Algae – It’s a natural antioxidant which conditions, hydrates, detoxifies and nourishes the skin (Multi-tasking)
  • Vitamin C derivative acts as a bleaching agent
  • No side effects, Safe to be used for both day & night
  • Intensely nourishing and plumping – sometimes, I skip a cream topper when I am using this serum
  • Acts as a good primer under makeup
  • Dropper provided in the bottle – Hygienic storage & controlled usage


  • I feel like when I use it after a toner, the product breaks down on my skin – so I take a tissue and wipe off the residue after my skin has absorbed all the goodness
  • Price – one could skip this buy if Pigmentation is not a major concern
  • Doesn’t fully live up to its claim – Instantly skin looks brighter and more luminous… nayyy!! Results will be slow & steady – need to be patient with this one.
  • Glass Bottle with a white cap – tends to get messy & is not travel-friendly…at all. A cute standout on your dressing table though.

I recommend this product if you are looking for an everyday treatment for pigmentation, esp. for combination skinned…WCD points: 3.5/5 ( because it breaks down on me)

Do consult, visit a skin clinic for Hyper-Pigmentation (Skin condition where it produces too much Melanin – a cell substance that gives skin its color). No OTC (over-the-counter) products are going to help transform your skin like Pharma/medicated drugs would.

It is absolutely critical that Sunscreen is used when you step out in the day… esp. by anyone facing skin discoloration, dark spots, excessive tanning, sunburns, etc.

Serum No.3:

The Body Shop Oils Of Life™ Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil

I have a Love-Hate relationship with this serum, okay, let’s be true to its nature… with this Facial Oil ( Tomayto – Tomahto ).

These too – come under the moisturizer/serum/treatment category – hence featuring here. I love to use this facial oil at night – it is almost like a steroid for thirsty skin. It has a sticky, oily consistency in comparison to the other puppies on this list. But with this one around – I don’t need an anti-aging treatment or a specialized night cream or a heavy day cream…

  • Key Ingredient:  Powerful blend of precious seed oils from around the world, known for their revitalizing and repairing properties on skin – Black Cumin seed oil from Egypt, Camellia seed oil from China and Rosehip seed oil from Chile
  • Retails at: INR 2795 for 30 ml & INR 3895 for 50 ml
  • How to use: Apply 1-2 drops onto face and neck and gently massage into the skin every morning and evening before applying a cream. Avoid eye area. You can add a drop of Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil to your daily cream.
  • Usage: 50 ml lasts up to 3 months if used twice daily.

True to its name – It is Oh! so Intense and Revitalising. I also dab a tiny amount on my lips after I have sugar-scrubbed them thoroughly & before I apply a liquid lipstick. It’s an excellent base for makeup, especially for the dry/combination skinnies. We all know even a simple compact powder looks flawless and dewy under a perfectly moisturized clean base – so don’t be afraid to get serum-ed!


  • Made from 99% oils of natural origin & infused with goodness of seed oils – Magic in a bottle
  • You do not need anything else to top it up – it’s a serum & moisturizer, healer – all rounder product
  • Multitasks as a primer for makeup; Can be used as a body & face highlighter, if used with glitter pigments
  • Can be used to contour decolletage (neckline) or even the shin area (front part of the lower leg), if used with a bronzing / slightly darker than skin mineral powder
  • Dropper provided in the bottle – Hygienic storage & controlled usage
  • Award-winning, highly recommended & loved as a product


  • It may burn a tiny hole in your pocket
  • It has a peculiar smell – very herbal but obviously given the ingredients
  • Oily skinned may find this product uncomfortable during humid summer days – which is perpetually 300 days a year in Mumbai!
  • Packaging is premium but not practical for travel – Glass bottle is prone to breakage, dropper cap tends to loosen up & leak on travel escapades. Such a fabulous product to carry around the world because of its multitasking nature – it’s a pity, loses points on that.

I recommend this product if you are want a Multi-tasker for your acne & blemish free combination skin in need of nourishment… This is also a great gift for Mummies, Aunties, Cougars ( You get the drift ). WCD points: 4/5

This is not a sponsored post for Body Shop, but I am a Cruelty-Free advocate so tend to gravitate towards products which are natural in origin. This is where we as a world are headed so hop on to the Bandwagon. 

If you are buying from Body shop India website or Nykaa.com ( check links provided on the blog ), make sure you hang in there for sales and offers. If you become a Body Shop loyalty club member, you can avail a discount on every purchase & more. So go ahead and invest in your skin – it pays back. Love your body 🙂


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