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A Pair Of Unconventional Serums That I Can’t Get Enough Of

Pressed serums in jars? Serums that come in a squeeze tube? Droppers and glass bottles are fancy, but don't you underestimate these rule breakers.

My obsession with serums is real. Very real. As someone with oily skin especially around the prime regions of the nose and its sides, I stay far and away from creams, gels and oils in the day. They’re great for my skin routine at night, but under makeup and Singapore’s thick humidity,  I’ll never make it back alive without looking like a swamp thing. Slippery makeup, greasy nose. You don’t want the details.

Serums are hence a big draw for me. They’re moisturising but watery, which means they melt into the skin very quickly. I can layer one over another and not have to worry about creating too thick a layer under my primer and foundation. Plus, serums typically focus on a single ingredient, which means I know exactly what to cloak my skin in according to the day’s needs.

However, if I were to be honest, a good part of the serum’s appeal lies in the packaging. I just love a good dropper, even if they don’t really have much use beyond giving a sufficient dose with each pump and protecting the rest of its contents from bacteria. The dropper makes me feel like an adult, like a scientist. Like I know what I’m doing to my skin.

Of course, unlike day and night products, serums are not entirely defined by the way they’re packaged. It really is all in my head. Ever on the look-out for more ways to flood my serum shelf – I actually have one, not even exaggerating – two unconventional serums have caught my ever-fleeting fancy: Blithe’s Pressed Serum and Pixi’s Rose Caviar Essence, which is labelled as an “encapsulated moisture serum”.

With the track records of both brands, one can hardly expect these two products to be gimmicky. The Rose Caviar Essence, which comes in a tube, feels like a watery gel at first, but melts into the skin very quickly. With its thicker-than-usual consistency, the serum is far more moisturising than any I’ve ever tried. Even the pounded rose bits “dissolve” very quickly. The rose scent is hardly overwhelming as well. (Is the lovely scent of roses ever a bad thing, anyway?)

The Blithe Pressed Serum is more intriguing, because every version of it has a different texture. Blithe has four to date: Tundra Chaga, Crystal Iceplant, Gold Apricot and Velvet Yam. Stored in jars, the pressed serums are denser and thus more hydrating, but still very light compared to conventional creams and gels. They soak into the skin in under a minute. Gold Apricot, which feels like a cross between jam and jelly and leaves a featherlight layer of oil on the skin, is the most unique of the quartet. Even the crowd-favourite Tundra Chaga left no residue despite its initial brown-grey colour.

The conclusion? If you’re looking for something that is right between the lightness of a serum and the strength of a gel or cream moisturiser, these unconventional serums fit right in. They take a bit more work to work into the skin than watery serums, but if extra hydration is what you need along with a side of boujee – “I use a pressed serum” – that is a small compromise to make.

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