I have fair skin, strawberry blonde hair ... & have spent almost all my life in blistering sun. Thanks to my mother's genes, my skin tone is good (hardly any wrinkles around my eyes) but there is no escaping the sun damage on my face - - I have melasma spots, raised blood vessels, blotchiness and generally a ruddy complexion. I was also prone to blushing as a kid and its possible I suffer with mild roscae on my cheeks.
"Conventional" therapy for such extensive sun damage is IPL laser treatment ... tad expensive and, er ... I'm not keen on lasering my face thanks - especially as any positive gains are only temporary.
I investigated other avenues and stumbled across Vit C serums. I find the cosmetics industry is ridiculously over-priced, so I was thrilled to find homemade receipes.
I started with a water/Vit E base mixed with 1tsp Vit C powder ... not so lovely on the skin because the Vit E is such a grainy oil ... so I changed to a water/glycerin base instead. Ooooh ... so much better! My skin responded almost immediately, but then I noticed a tightness and stickiness and I also seemed to be developing minute blackheads.
I limited my usage to every other night, but couldn't stand the tight appearance of my skin, so I stopped the glycerin and just mixed Vit C with water as and when I needed it.
Unfortunately, due to haphazaard work hours, I stopped using the Vit C serum within about 3 weeks. Even in this short time, friends commented on my "fresher" face - altho I have to admit I couldn't see big changes.
From reading I've done, it seems a minimum of about 6 weeks is required to guage any real effects. I've decided to resume use and give it a six month trial, gradually increasing the serum concentration to about 15% - depending on how my skin responds. I'll try to update regularily - especially any effects on my extensive sun damage!
I used to use the Turbo C from Philosophy, but felt it was so expensive and kind of a rip-off. So, I bought an 8 oz container of NOW Vitamin C Crystals - 100% pure ascorbic acid, pharmaceutical grade on Amazon for less than $10. I transferred some of it into a small, shallow jar (an old Kiehl's Creme de Corps Souffle deluxe sample jar) . At least 5 mornings per week, I take a large pinch (about 1/8 tsp or so) from the shallow jar, place it into the palm of my hand and add several drops of warm water from my tap. I then mix it in my palm until it's dissolved (this particular brand dissolves very quickly), rub my hands together and then apply to my face. I let it dry and then apply my When Hope Is Not Enough Serum. I need very little makeup these days, and most days I just apply a light concealer under my eyes, add my eye makeup and I'm good to go. I'm age 60, but most people at work think I'm in my late forties at most. One girl was so shocked to hear my real age that she went back to her office and took a survey to see how old everyone thinks I am. Only those who know me a long time and actually know my age guessed right. I believe it's because I've been using the C and WHINE for years---and protecting my face from the sun as much as I can.
Oh - you can also mix the NOW Vitamin C crystals with the WHINE, but I prefer to apply the C first to let it get into my skin before layering the WHINE on top. I think it works better that way.
I seriously love this stuff. My serum consists of 1 tbsp vitamin c crystals from trader joes, 9 tbsp of distilled water and a few drops of vitamin e oil. I noticed a difference in my skin after a few uses. I use this after cleansing my face and before the moisturizer.I use a cotton ball to apply it all over and then let it dry before moisturizing. Ive been using it for about 2 months now and my face is brighter and my old acne scars are disappearing. Ive had trouble with acne on my jaw line and neck recently and couldn't figure our the cause or how to get rid of it. Using this has kept this problem under control.
The only minor issue i can think of is that you have to make the serum weekly. I keep it in the fridge but if you keep it out in the light and use the same solution for too long it can become ineffective. You have to be careful not to add too much vitamin c because it can burn your skin.
Overall its a great product and can be made for a great price, I believe the products costed me about 15 dollars and will last me a very very long time.
I got a jar of powdered vitamin C from Whole Foods and tried various ways to use it ( teaspoon about quart water in spray bottle; adding to cucumber toner (my favorite is by AnnWebb that you can get at either Whole Foods or www.skinbyannwebb.com), rose water, or other toners I had around). A spritz when it's hot outside did wonders to refresh my skin. Plus, it really added a glow to my skin and got rid of acne. My DH, who get bad cystic acne, stopped suffering from those when I made him use it for a few weeks.
Here the bad part, however: I had to stop using it, because the stuff oxidized and stained my clothes sooooo badly! I didn't notice them at first - but after a few washes and dry cleaning, I noticed 50% of our clothes began to get that icky brown ring around the collar, and I thought …what the h***!! I shower daily, twice daily in fact!! I finally deduced it had to be the vitamin C serum. Ugh! So, no more homemade serum; I will stick to the serum by Ann Webb (expensive but stable and doesn't stain). Too bad, because this really did work miracles on my skin.
I used to make my own vitamin c serum but I found that my own formulations weren't very stable so it wasn't worth the effort. It's a lot easier to just buy one that is professionally formulated. I get one on Amazon that is really nice and has a stable form of vitamin c. Plus it is inexpensive but just as good as the expensive brands. This is the one I like:
http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-Serum-For-Face-20/dp/B00G2TQNZ4 continued >>
I am that girl. The chronic doubter who considers all reviews with skepticism. But I have been using a homemade Vit C solution for 2 months and OMG, it has worked some miracles. I have had long standing milia on nose and forehead finally disappear in . Each kind of turned reddish, flaked for a few days then healed over. To say I was amazed is an understatement. I cant wait now to see how much more my skin can improve over the next months. I use a mix of finely milled Natural Factors Ascorbic acid ( use my Magic Bullet to pulverize the crystals) water and glycerin.
Ok, so I have fair skin and rosacea on my cheeks as well as dry dehydrated skin. Although I have tried a couple of pre made vitamin c serums etc... I always go back to my home made.
I use a tsp of vitamin powder (from Whole Foods) then add a tbsp of distilled water then mix with a plastic spoon. I apply to my face with a cotton ball and wait ten minutes before I add any creams/serums.
I use it under my Dr. Jart Cermidin lotion then I put on the Dr. Jart ceramdin cream.
So far I really like my homemade vitamin C routine. My skin looks more radiant and it seems to make my pores seem smaller(although I am told my pores are really small anyway).
I would recommend it for daily use. I only use this at night.
I don't know why I haven't reviewed this yet, because it's definitely achieved "staple" status. As with most other skincare items it needs time to make it to HG status, but it's definitely getting there.
I heard about this on MUA, of course, and had to see what it was all about. I made a trip to my local organic foods/natural beauty store and picked up a big bottle of ascorbic acid powder, with no added ingredients or preservatives. I don't recall how expensive it was, but it was under 10 bucks for a big bottle. Very inexpensive. I looked at recipes online and settled on a fairly common recipe that included water, glycerin, and 10% of the powder. I stored it in a bottle and used it for a week or so.
I loved the results. It just gives me that "glow" back, even when I've been staying up way too late getting school deadlines met and eating junk food. It minimizes the folds (fine lines? they aren't quite that yet) I have in my mouth area and reduces my hyperpigmentation! Wow. I wasn't expecting that. Not as well as my 10% AHA, but it's much less irritating that using an AHA every night.
I found that it was more convenient for me to make a recipe that didn't include glycerin, for two reasons. First, glycerin and my skin have just a so-so relationship, and secondly, because glycerin tends to slow down the dissolving process. This is from my own personal experience, of course. I don't have the chemical knowledge to really say for sure.
What I've found really works for me is once a morning (or night, since my mornings tend to be chaotic) I'll take 1/8 tsp. of powder and mix it with 1 tsp. of warm(ish) water in a little plastic cough medicine container. This is the perfect size to mix the two ingredients together while I do other steps in my morning or night routine, such as brushing my teeth or washing my face. The warmer water seems to help it dissolve faster. This ends up being more time-efficient than sanitizing a dropper bottle, along with making sure my serum doesn't go bad.
I admit I've gotten lazy with this part of my skincare and cannot say the long-term effects, since my usage of it is inconsistent. I do believe that over time my skin will age much slower in general. I'm only 16, but I believe this can benefit all sorts of skin types. I'll keep updated with my progress with this. Overall, 5 stars for the low cost and effectiveness of this simple, easy-to-make product.
Update: I have stopped using this anymore because I have found a much better alternative.
It is RICE WATER!!!! Yes, you heard it right. I used rice water as my hair conditioner, face mask, face toner and apply it liberally all over my body. Commercial face toner seem to dry my skin no matter how much oil is applied. Out it goes and in comes the rice water and it has cleared my skin and making it softer and diminishes my blemishes. Another benefit of using rice water is that you can apply it around your delicate eye area without reservation.
Please please try it.... What has you got to lose? It cost next to nothing and it is all natural.
I used to swear by this because it was so cost effective and made my face feel good but now that I have a little more money, I much rather would get a high quality product. Yes you may be putting vitamin c on your face but the carrier systems aren't the same as on the high quality products so you don't absorb as much.