Doctor’s orders: Dr Organic Rose Otto Facial Serum

Dr Organic – now there’s a carefully crafted name. ‘Organic’ for the planet-loving earth mother in us; ‘Dr’ for the part of us that craves the “science part” delivered by a bespectacled, white-coated figure with a prescription pad, telling us exactly what we need to do for the good of our health.

Dr Organic is stocked in Holland & Barrett, which is where I found it. £12.99 seemed a reasonable price for a serum, putting it in the mid-range bracket. Until I got it home and removed it from the packaging. I’d assumed it was a 30ml bottle; the average size for a serum. But it’s 50ml, which is good value. Although, looking at the list of ingredients, I can see why they need a bigger bottle. There’s a lot to fit in there, including the polypeptides, phospholipids, ceramides, antioxidants and omega 3, 6 and 9 that Dr O highlights on the packaging.

I’m torn on this because I can be a bit of an ingredients purist and it’s hard to believe that every single one of those ingredients is serving an essential purpose. If I have one real criticism it’s that the rose and argan oils don’t appear higher up the ingredients list, and I’d like to see the ‘parfum’ removed. I’m also unsure about using the word “serum”. My expectation of a serum is something very light and silky in texture. This is really a facial oil and, as that, it stands up well and is very pleasant to use. But don’t expect instant absorption, a matt finish or a barely-there, slippery texture or you will be disappointed. 

To quote from the packaging, this is ‘the most advanced, balanced combination of anti-ageing, restorative and protecting oils ever formulated’. Organic Rose Otto oil is certainly renowned for its skin-renewing properties and its versatility for all skin types. Argan oil is the latest wonder ingredient, produced from the ground kernels of the Argan tree in Morocco; and the product also contains jojoba oil which is similar in composition to the sebum found in our skin and easily absorbed and passionflower seed oil which is rich in linoleic acid.

The bottle includes a handy ‘dropper’ in the lid which makes it easy to use just the right amount without wastage. To apply, put a few drops into your hand, warm between your palms, then press gently onto your face for a few seconds. This should deliver the right amount of product, although you may want to add a little extra in persistent dry zones. Many people find facial oils heavy, spot-inducing or greasy but this is usually a sign of artificial barrier oils, like mineral oil, or a sign that you’ve applied too much. Natural oils, in moderation, should absorb easily into the skin.

Even oily skins can benefit from facial oils although they can be tricky under make-up. I chose to apply this oil in the evenings only, layered under my usual moisturiser. Remember though that, when applying facial oils, you should stay well away from the eye; keep your application just outside the eye socket. Otherwise the oils will migrate into the eye (I reckon they use those fine lines as little motorways…). By day this can leave your eyes blurry or cause make-up to run. By night, it can cause puffiness, leaving you looking plumped up in all the wrong ways.

Applied in moderation, with due care around the eyes, I found that after a night’s sleep I was waking up with plump, soft skin that still felt very moisturised. Given that I’ll need a good few years(!) to use up the very generous bottle, I reckon I’ll have a brilliant idea of its anti-ageing efficacy by about my 45th birthday.

£12.99, 50ml from Holland & Barrett, in stores and online.

Ingredients: Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, rosa canina (rose) fruit oil, glycine soja (soybean) oil, gossypium herbaceum (cotton) seed oil, oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, dicaprylyl ether, dicaprylyl carbonate, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, passiflora incarnata seed oil, parfum (natural and food grade), argania spinosa (argan) oil, calendula officinalis, arnica montana flower oil, tocopheryl acetate, lecithin, ascorbyl palmitate, tocopherol, helianthus annus seed oil, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) oil, eugenia caryophyllata (clove) flower oil, rosa damascena (rose) flower oil, citronellol, geraniol, eugenol, linalool, citral, limonene.

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