How to Pick a Serum for Your Skin Type

At Ishtar HQ, we are passionate about serums the same way we are passionate about cleansers – A LOT.

All of our products are rooted in nature but backed by science. We design them from the bottom up, which means we use a foundation of natural (organic, if possible) ingredients. To that, we add active ingredients with proven efficacy and at guaranteed potencies. That said – all of our formulas contain a number of active ingredients, and none of our serums do just one thing. If you are looking for a treatment serum based on your skin type, check out our suggestions below. And if you are uncertain which serum would be best suited for your skin, please do get in touch so we can help.


One ingredient that we should all include in our skincare routine is vitamin C. Perfect & Glow is a light, oil-free, hydrating serum that absorbs instantly and leaves no residue on the skin. It is suitable for all skin types.

Star ingredients:

Vitamin C Rovisomes – Rovisomes are second generation liposomes. Liposomes are spheres of skin-identical lipids filled with molecules of vitamin C. In Perfect & Glow we use Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate.
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) – an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress. It prevents photodamage and signs of aging.
Peptide P3 – a non-acidic alternative to skin resurfacing. It improves hydration and fine lines.

Brighten Up Fluid

Brighten Up Fluid is for you if your skin is prone to breakouts and hyperpigmentation.

Star ingredients:

Chromabright – popularised by high-end luxury brands, it is a patented active that reduces hyperpigmentation without negative issues often associated with hydroquinone.
4% Niacinamide – a form of vitamin B3 suitable for sensitive and rosacea-prone skin. It treats hyperpigmentation and helps prevent breakouts.
Bisabolol – a phytochemical with anti-inflammatory properties.


A hydrating serum is a must for all skin types. Hydro-Magic Collagen Catalyst is a triple-action formula. It contains a 72-hours hydration complex for an instant surge of hydration, it protects the existing collagen from environmental damage and stimulates the skin cells to produce more collagen. Hydro-Magic Collagen Catalyst is suitable for all skin types prone to dehydration.

Star ingredients:

Tripeptide-5 (Syncoll) – a peptide that increases collagen production, improves elasticity and firmness of the skin. Clinical trials show it reduces wrinkle depth over a period of 28 days.
Natural Moisture Factors Complex with Beta Glucan – replenishes the skin’s moisture reserves.

Restore and protect

All skin types can be prone to skin barrier issues. If it remains disrupted, it can lead to inflammation and irritation. Our Multi-Ceramide Concentrate is formulated to restore and protect the skin’s natural lipid barrier. It can be used on its own as a moisturiser or layered as a serum with the other products in your skincare routine.

Star ingredients:

Phytosterol complex – with plant-derived, but skin-identical sterols. It soothes irritated skin and reduces roughness.
A complex of plant-isolated ceramides – protects the skin, reduces the appearance of mimic wrinkles, and improves the structure of collagen and elastin.
Glycosphingolipids – soften, soothe, and moisturise the skin and stimulate fibroblasts.
Organic White Tea extract – rich in antioxidant compounds.

Calm and soothe

Skinbiotica Daily Defence serum is designed to help calm and soothe the skin and restore dermal balance.

Star ingredients:

Arabinogalactan & a-glucan Oligosaccharide – natural prebiotics that supports healthy skin pH and protect the skin against environmental stressors.
A complex of botanical isolates – reduce inflammatory cytokines (high levels of cytokines are associated with skin redness and rosacea).
Canadian Rose Bay Willowherb extract – reduces redness, soothes irritation, and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.
Butcher’s Broom extract – contains the compound Aesculin, a glucoside that is used to reduce swelling.
Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans – natural polysaccharides with fantastic hydration benefits.

Treat and exfoliate

Ultralase 10 Mandelic acid serum is your go-to if you need to treat blemishes or hyperpigmentation, or simply have a problem with dull, congested skin. Our formula has a pH of 3.5, and it is suspended in light and hydrating base that includes prebiotics and the stress protection molecule Glycoin.

Star ingredients:

10% Mandelic acid – an Alpha-Hydroxy acid found in bitter almonds. It stimulates deep cell renewal and has antibiotic properties. Because the Mandelic acid molecule is bigger than Glycolic acid molecule, it is not as sensitising on the skin. It is equally safe to use for people with darker skin tones, as it does not cause pigmentation issues.

Trizyme Pore Refining Treatment is an oil-free treatment with botanical enzymes and Aspen Bark extract. It helps to calm inflammation and clarify the pores. It is a gentle exfoliating alternative for people with sensitive skin prone to breakouts and rosacea. It can be used alongside our other exfoliating treatments. In that case, we would advise using it on alternate nights.

Star ingredients:

Botanical enzymes (Papaya, Pumpkin, and Pomegranate) – enzymes scavenge dead skin cells and increase cell renewal, without being sensitising on the skin.
Aspen Bark extract – a Beta-Hydroxy acid (1%) that soothes inflammation and clarifies the pores.


If there is one ingredient that is a true multi-tasker, it would be retinol. A form of vitamin A, it improves skin texture, sustains collagen, and minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Ishtar offers two Bioactive Retinol serums – 1% and 2.5%.

Star ingredients:

Microencapsulated retinol – Rovisomes (a type of liposomes) encapsulate the retinol molecule in a natural phospholipid shell. This way retinol retains its potency and reaches deeper layers of the skin.
Prickly Pear extract – soothes and hydrates the skin.
Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans – natural polysaccharides considered the 2nd generation of Hyaluronic acid. They improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and hydrate the skin.

What do you look for in a treatment serum?

Roberta Striga