Um... What Exactly is Pressed Serum?

Weirdest. Texture. Ever.
Publish date:
September 18, 2015
Korean beauty, moisturizer, serum, Pressed Serum

The other day I was scrolling through the new inventory at, which boasts a thoughtfully curated and rotating selection of Korean beauty products, when I happened upon something called a "pressed serum." This, of course, made no sense to me. But ever experimental and hyper-excited about new and bizarre products, I pulled the trigger without any trepidation and had it shipped to my door.

This product is made by Blithe, and aside from their Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum, it's the only "pressed serum" I've come across. The Tundra Chaga version contains 60% of the namesake ingredient, a mushroom that's been used as "a folk remedy in Russia and other North-European countries for centuries."

I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of texture, but I was still somehow surprised when I twisted off the cap and curiously poked at the contents with my index finger.

It's spongey and gelatinous at the same time, and somehow very bouncy (if a product can be bouncy). When you touch it lightly, it presses back against your fingers, allowing you to only pick up only the slightest amount of product. In fact, it requires concerted effort to dip your finger into it and pick up much product at all.

Odd texture aside, I dipped my finger inside and smeared it on my clean face. It glided on smoothly, transforming into a velvety and fatty-like texture, and left my face feeling supple, but not oily or weighed down. I used probably a dime sized amount, if that, to cover my entire face.

So... what is a pressed serum?

Turns out, "pressed serum" is essentially a moisturizer and serum combined into one. It's certainly not a serum in the traditional sense, and its texture does not place it in a cream or moisturizer category. It truly is a marriage of both.

According to the product details, you can actually use the pressed serum after your normal serum, giving you a super-duper boost of moisture. Alternatively, you can consider it a two-in-one and use it to replace both your serum and your moisturizer.

This, of course, depends on just how much moisture you want to slap onto your skin on a given day, and also how much you're into the multi-step skincare routine. For me? The more layers, the better.

  • Have you tried a pressed serum before?
  • Does this product intrigue you?
  • How many steps are in your skincare routine?