Without a doubt, skin serums are at the top of my list of beauty obsessions, and the more hydrating and nourishing, the better. For year-round moisture and anti-aging benefits, I always use serums after I cleanse and tone (but before I apply my moisturizer and/or sunscreen). Each day, I use one serum at the minimum as part of my morning and nightly beauty routine. And more often than not, I layer two to three serums for a variety of benefits.
Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Hydrating Serum ($39.95) first gave me a feeling of being one with nature and enmeshed in a fragrant citrus-inspired spa-like experience. The serum is light to the touch (but not runny) and moisturizing without feeling greasy or sticky. The serum absorbs easily on contact and works well as the finishing layer over my growth factor-based serum. My skin feels supple and smooth, but I haven’t noticed any significant outward changes just yet.
Being in my 50s has brought about multiple changes in my skin’s quality and its ability to regenerate from the inside out. My trademark combination, blemish-prone skin has retreated into permanent hibernation, and I now am left with the normal to dry variety besieged with enlarged pores, crinkles and wrinkles, expression lines and dullness. Granted, my skin is always on the road to improvement from using the best in skincare products, and I look pretty good for my age, but I am always fighting the uphill battle of turning back the clock.
So while I have been thoroughly enjoying using this sea buckthorn hydrating serum — both the way it feels on my skin and the way it agrees with the rest of my skincare regimen — my second impression is one of puzzlement and skepticism. I love the fact that the sea buckthorn fruit extract and oil dominates the base of the serum and is derived from the sea buckthorn berry that is found in the Tibetan Himalayas where it grows and thrives in a harsh high altitude climate condition. This almost magical berry is comprised of over 190 bioactive compounds, including Omega-7 fatty acids. Thus the power to be able to repair, revitalize and beautify the skin would seem to be an inherent no-brainer.
What I don’t love and endorse is the use of two forms of alcohol, which make up the top tier list of product ingredients. Alcohol can be so drying and skin unfriendly, so I am wondering why these are necessary components in the formulation. It seems to me that the alcohol would counteract and diminish the effectiveness of the moisturizing elements. So I am uncertain as to whether or not this serum would remain a continuing active member of my skin care regime. I do like the fact that the serum is paraben and sulfate-free, but the alcohol is an overriding factor that unfortunately is a deal breaker for me.
I will continue to use this bottle of the Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn Hydrating Serum, but I will likely pair it with another alcohol-free moisturizing serum rather than using it on its own. The one-ounce bottle retails for about $39.95, so the price is middle-of-the-road reasonable as serums go. It has an easy to use pump applicator, and one to two pumps adequately cover the face, neck and décolleté. As to whether I will commit to using a second bottle hereafter is questionable.