This is the question I get asked more than any other, so this blog is long overdue! Whether you are a newbie to a skincare routine or a serum layering pro, it helps to know when and where to place a product.
Truth be told, when I formulated MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum, I did not realise quite how versatile it was going to be.
As a lover of redbush tea, I have benefited from the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity of rooibos and I’m convinced that it has helped to manage my rosacea. It was the findings from our research with the Nelson Mandela University that put me on a mission to have a skincare line dedicated to this healing herb.
In conceptualising MAYSAMA, it was extremely important to me that my formulations would be suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Most brands don’t go far enough when formulating for sensitive skin. As someone with reactive skin myself, I know that essential oils as well as comedogenic oils can send my skin health spiralling down. So MAYSAMA’s ethos includes formulations free from added fragrance, essential oils and all known EU allergens.
Rooibos, by the very nature of it being a tea and in the food chain, is safe to pair with almost any other cosmetic serum. MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum contains 3% niacinamide – high enough to aid your skin barrier but probably low enough to avoid any irritation if you have sensitivity to niacinamide. The pH of MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is 5.0-5.3, similar to your own skin pH, so as to cause minimal irritation.
Aloe Vera has always been a favourite ingredient of mine for skin healing and I wonder why more brands don’t think to use it as an alternative to water for creating a soothing product base (although the added cost is prohibitive). Phenoxyethanol is commonly used as a preservative in skincare but can also be a skin irritant above certain concentrations. I chose to substitute this for an alternative preservative system just to be on the safe side. Little did I realise at the time that every step I took, was setting my product up as the perfect aftercare for a number of skincare treatments. More on this later.
When should I use MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum?
AM Skincare Routine with MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum
I’m often asked whether MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum should be used in your AM or your PM skincare routine. The answer is both or either, depending on what you already have in your skincare routine and how much you are prepared to layer.
If you consider MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum primarily as an antioxidant serum, then this would suggest that you use it in your AM routine, for daily protection against UV light and pollution. Paired with a silky sunscreen, you may find that you can skip the moisturiser in your routine, unless you have particularly dry skin. The skin conditioning argon and baobab oil, together with the hydrating glycerin, gives a good moisturising base already.
Forgive my soap box for a moment but I strongly believe that green tea antioxidants may serve you better than single component antioxidants, like Vitamin C. You need both fat and water-soluble antioxidants to fight oxidative stress in both the lipid (fat) and hydrophilic (water-based) parts of the cell. Not only that, but the more antioxidants, the merrier! Rooibos has 187 antioxidant phenolic compounds that work synergistically to enhance their antioxidant capacity.
But antioxidants can also help repair cell damage from oxidative stress overnight. So, MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum also fits well into a PM routine. And Rooibos offers anti-ageing benefits, including fat protection to help maintain skin fullness, as well as healing properties (but that’s for another day!)
A fellow Instagrammer, Taliar Shani, contacted me to let me know that her favourite time to use MAYSAMA is the middle of the day after her gym workout. Taliar’s gorgeous skincare line-up includes MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum as part of a carefully crafted hydration skincare routine.
Taliar Shani – Post Gym Workout Hydration Skincare Routine
Can I layer MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with other serums?
But of course, it’s not as simple as just AM or PM is it? As a skincare enthusiast, no doubt you are using several serums already and you are wondering where MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum would fit relative to these products? If you are reading this blog, I’m going to assume that you already know the basics, so we don’t need to discuss that serums are the step that comes after cleansing (and toning, if you so choose) but before moisturising.
Some brands are more specific than others when giving directions for application but do always check what is written on the bottle (or insert) and take your lead from this. And then consider two main rules for layering serums;
From thinnest to thickest (clearest to most opaque)
From low pH to high pH
Serums are generally oil based or water-based. Oils may reduce the absorption of your water-based serums, so always start with the water-based serums. Your skin’s natural pH is around pH 5.5 and ideally you want to end up back at this pH, so always start with products that have a lower pH and work your way up.
Let me take an example; In my AM routine I use the following serums;
MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum
Garden of Wisdom Azeliac Acid
The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid
AM Skincare Routine – Serums
They are all water-based serums rather than oil based, so I can let the pH alone determine the order of application.
|MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum||5.0 – 5.3|
|Garden of Wisdom Azelaic Acid||5.3 – 5.5|
|The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid||6.0 – 7.0|
Taking the lower end of the pH range, the preferred order is MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum, then GOW Azelaic Acid, followed by TIL PGA serum.
Can I layer MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with Vitamin C serum?
MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum contains 3% niacinamide. There is some conflicting information out there as to whether niacinamide can be used with Vitamin C. However, trusted source Cosmetic Chemist Stephen Ko of kindofstephen.com fame, assured us that conversion of niacinamide to niacin (which can cause flushing) is highly unlikely because the reaction needs a substantial amount of heat and a long reaction time.
US Vlogger Jenifer Joyce’s research and recent video, ‘Can I mix vitamin C and Niacinamide Together in my Skincare Routine’ confirms that the niacinamide and Vitamin C do in fact work well together.
So, the short answer is yes, you can use MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with Vitamin C serum. Which way round you layer them will depend on the vitamin C serum you have chosen to use. If your Vitamin C source is an L-Ascorbic Acid serum, it is likely to have a lower pH, between 3.0 and 3.8, so it should be layered first. If it is another Vitamin C derivative, such as Tetrahexyl Ascorbate (pH 6-6.5), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (pH 6.5) or Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (pH 5-7) these have a higher pH than my serum and so should be layered after it.
Can I add L-Ascorbic Acid powder to MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum?
I wouldn’t recommend this. Adding L-AA directly to my serum would likely alter the pH and could render some of the actives less effective.
Can you layer MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with Copper Peptides?
NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum & MAYSAMA GRPS
Yes, absolutely you can. According to Niod, the pH of their Copper Amino Isolate Serum is 4.5 – 7.4, so a pretty broad range. CAIS is also a thinner consistency, which would suggest that layering it before MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum would work better.
Can I layer MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with tretinoin (or retinol)?
Tretinoin, Retinol & REtinal Serum with Maysama GRPS
The pH of tretinoin is 5.0 - 9.0. Evidence suggests that niacinamide can help reduce redness and irritation and we know that rooibos has great healing properties. My recommendation would be if you are prone to any sensitivity with retinol or tretinoin, layer MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum first as the niacinamide it contains may help reduce sensitivity. If you are more hard-core, then layer it after and let the retinol and all its idiosyncrasies play out in full.
Can I layer MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with a Niacinamide serum?
Yes, for sure! the pH of niacinamide serrums is usually between pH6.0 and 7.0. If you were to layer MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with 3% niacinamide with a 10% niacinamide booster, the percentages are not additive. Look at it this way, if you have a cup of tea with one sugar in it and then you drink another cup of tea with two sugars in it, you haven’t had 3 sugars in one cup of tea! i.e. it is not sweeter.
Layering other serums with MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum
Aftercare Treatment with Home Skincare Devices and Clinical Skincare Treatments
I touched on the fact that MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is a great aftercare for many skincare device treatments. For after care, what a serum does NOT contain is almost as important as what it does and may dictate when it is appropriate to use it.
I wanted to show case the healing properties of green rooibos, so for me it was important to choose actives that would sit well alongside this healing herb and support its therapeutic properties, like our high grade Centella Asiatica and soothing Aloe base. And then, to minimise skin sensitization, I omitted any possible skin irritants, including phenoxyethanol as a preservative system. Consequently, MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is a superbly balanced SOS serum, which can be used as an aftercare treatment for several home skincare treatment devices as well as some clinical beauty treatments.
Can I use MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with Micro-needling?
Maysama Green Rooibos Pressed Serum and Derma Roller
Yes, you can. MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum only contains ‘good’ actives that are safe to use with cosmetic microneedling, so you can use my serum in combination with a derma roller at home.
If you are referring to medical microneedling as carried out in a clinic, the best time to introduce antioxidants, as recommended by Penn Smith’s vlog on Best Microneedling SERUMS and protocol for the entire month after microneedling, is Day 5 after microneedling (N.B. Penn’s vlog does not refer to MAYSAMA in this video, but then Penn had not received it at this point!)
Can I use MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Presse Serum after IPL Treatment?
Labotest Faustina IPL Home Treatment Device
I recently purchased the Faustina 3 in 1 IPL therapy device from Labotest and have been using the skin rejuvenation lamp. Whilst the company recommends use of simply a moisturiser after treatment, knowing that Aloe Vera has been used medically to treat burns and Green Rooibos plays an important role in wound healing, together with the absence of any skin irritating ingredients, I am confident that MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is a suitable product to use as an aftercare treatment with IPL therapy. I have tried with and without my serum post treatment and there is a notable difference in the recovery time of my skin when using MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum directly after IPL treatment, together with a moisturiser.
Is MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum suitable for use with Microcurrent Devices?A colleague of mine, Nancy Preston, kindly tested MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with her home Microcurrent device and she confirms that my serum is conductive and so suitable for use with a microcurrent device. The conductivity is likely due to the pure Aloe Vera base (not reconstituted) which will contain a high level of minerals.
Should I use MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum with LED Light Therapy?
Penn Smith Skincare – LED Light Therapy with the best Green Tea product I own – @maysama_beauty.
Penn Smith recently posted about LED light therapy, with MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum on her Instagram.
There is evidence that Green Tea enhances the effect of LED therapy ten-fold in its effect of smoothing facial wrinkles. The 2009 paper that discusses this, shows that the green tea serves as an antioxidant to soak up the free radicals, which are generated by the LED light.
MAYSAMA’s recent collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Institute in South Africa, which is the first research study to look at the cosmetic potential of green rooibos, confirms that our pharmaceutical grade green rooibos is as potent as green tea in terms of its antioxidant capacity. Not only does it scavenge free radicals directly, but it also stimulates and enhances the cell’s own antioxidant defences. This dual antioxidant mechanism appears unique to tea polyphenols and was not seen in other antioxidants tested in our study, including resveratrol and vitamin E.
MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum is also being trialed with a new LED panel from Aesthetic Systems, worth $1800. I'm optimistic about the results!
I hope that this helps to clarify some of the best ways to use MAYSAMA Green Rooibos Pressed Serum and the versatility that it offers.
If you use MAYSAMA in a novel way and think that this might benefit others, please do let me know. I would love to hear from you! If you are new here, please subscribe to my blog and check out MAYSAMA beauty on our social media channels – see icons below for links.
Wishing you all great skin health!