I would like to thank everyone for writing a review on this. I purchased the NOW brand and make a 10% solution in a base of Chinese green tea. (that has soaked for about 2-8 hours) and cooled downed. Green tea is also a powerful antioxidant.
5grams in 50ml
I have noticed that my face is brighter, my darks spots have faded. It is even helping the active acne. The active acne have all went away. Which is great because I dont have to use another product to treat that. My fiance told me not to stop using it. Its amazing. Thats means alot because I have had acne since I was 11, I am now 32. Our weddign is in four months and this gives me hope.
I was usign this solution (10%) with my La Roche Anthelios sunscreen and it was fine. I switched to the Mary Kay sunscreen because its lighter and now its reacting with the 10% vit C toner.
I will use the toner at night before I use my Mary Kay night solution. I do not want to change anything. I hope it does not affect the efficacy fo the night solution which is awesome! ( will write a review fro that to)
I have been usign this for one 2 weeks, but will write an update every month.
01May2012: OKAY So i reduced the concentration to 7%. I think it was to strong. It works great. My colleague said my face was so bright and tight like I had work done. I can feel the collagen building effects. My face feels firmed. Its weird. I use it during the day before my sunscreen. I can't wait to see it full effects in three months. I have made it for my sister and my colleague. Thank you MUA. I will keep you posted.
03May2012: I went to get a facial today, and my esthetician told me that my face felt full. She has been giving me facials monthly for the past two year. No I did not put on any weight. I actually lost 6 pounds. Its the vitamin c actually building collagen. This stuff is amazing.
14May2012: My face is awesome. Something drastically happened in teh past two weeks. I have had only 2 pimples in the past two weeks which is awesome. My face is golden. The spots are 90% goen and constantly flaking off everyday. I love this stuff. My friend that works in my company told me that My face looks gorgeous. At this rate I might not need make up for the wedding. THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE THAT POSTED A REVIEW. IM SO INDEBTED TO YOU ALL. 7% seems to be my magic number for the concentration of toner. I will keep it there. I also take about 2500 mg of vitamin in divided doses daily. I think this helps the inflammatory process inside the body.
23may2012: Okay so I noticed that since I changed to the 7%, I did not notice the glow in my skin anymore and the rate of scar removal was very slow. My skin is not reverting, but it not on that steady incline of improval that I saw previously. When I used the 10% solution, I soaked my cotton in it, and gently padded it on my face. When I used the 7%, I had to wipe it 2-3 times over, which is not good. Also the collagen building effects is not apparent at the 7% concentration. I went back to the 10% and it did not burn.
*****The key to not burning or stripping your skin with this is to pat it, and not wipe it. YOu will remove skin if you wipe. I will update you in one month**
07June2012: The 10% was burning so bad. My skin was so red.So made a new serum. 5ml glycerin, 5ml vitamin distilled water, and 1 gram vitamin c. Thats a 10% solution
12June2012: I broke out in 4 pimple. I knew it was due to the glycerin. My skin was so supple though. Now I understand why people rave about mixing glycerin. I have never had moisturized skin like that, but I have to stop. I stopped the vitamin c solution all together for my skin to heal. My skin is so sensitive and I know its because of the vitamin c. I am using retin a, so the combined effects are crazy. I was not using retin a, I would be able to tolerate the vitamin c more. I dont know about 10%, but more.
25July2012: So my skin is doing very very very well. I just needed to give it time to repair itself. I stopped using my retin a since 12June2012. I started mary kay night solution on 18June2012. My skin is so healthy with no acne. I think I was OVEREXFOLIATING WITH VITAMIN C AND RETIN A. PLEASE DO NOT OVEREXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN- CHEMICALLY OR PHYSICALLY.
01July2012: So I started a biweekly vitamin c mask. I started on 23July2012. It 1/3 of an aloe plant (just pulp), 1/2 cucumber (pulp), blended together and make 1% solution vitamin c separately. I wash my face, put the 1% toner on. then put the pulp paste over it. leave on for 30-1hr. This brightens my skin, shrink my pores, and refines my face. Its just enough vitamin C I need.
Lesson learrned: LESS IS MORE. BE GENTLE WITH YOUR FACE.
05/24/2013: SO I am about 9.5 months pregnant and have been using this toner. It is amazing. Because I stopped my retinol regimen due to the pregnancy, I did not have much to use. I broke out bad between months 5-8. I started using just the vitamin C toner at 1-5% solution and my face is clear again. I love this toner. I really helped treat my melasma and tighten my pores. My face is so smooth and clear. So ladies that are pregnant, this is something that you can use on your face. Remember its fine, because its use vitamin C. The same vitamin c found in your multivitamin.
Updated 18th June 2012:
My recipe has changed to a simpler, but no less effective one I found on MUA. Here it is:
1/4 tsp L-Ascorbic Acid (purchased from bulkactives.com)
1 1/2 tsp rosewater (Heritage Store Rose Water)
1/8 tsp Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion
1/8 tsp glycerin
Note: lasts two weeks in dark drawer, same as Kassy's recipe below.
My DIY Vitamin C + E + Ferulic is formulated by the wonderful and amazing Kassy (Kathy) who is often on skincaretalk.com forum. I'll post a lot of links in this review to help anybody seeking more information on how to make their own, variants and where to source for L-Ascorbic Acid (it really IS cheap!)
Here's the recipe I use:
Kassy's 15% Vitamin C + E Ferulic
http://www.skincaretalk.com/diy-skin-care/7596-diy-vit-c-serum-recipes-ingredient-sources.html (thank you Fawnie for posting it!!)
Read the recipe thread to see where you can find Ferulic Acid, Sea Kelp Bioferment and other invaluable tips. I learned so much from there.
I have rosacea, so I lowered the L-Ascorbic acid to around 10% to start off with. It still stung and my face turned slightly pink after use so I made a new 7.5% batch. Just half the amount of L-Ascorbic Acid. That works nicely.
Here is a whole slew mind-boggling number of other DIY recipes, scroll down a little to find C Serums.
Tips on making your own Vitamin C + E + Ferulic serum:
Always do Ferulic Acid in Vodka (or non-denatured alcohol) first, as this one takes a fair amount of time to dissolve, and if you make the L-Ascorbic phase first, it will oxidize a fair bit before you can mix it all together. Use ICE COLD alcohol to dissolve Ferulic Acid better. Pop your bottle of vodka into the fridge first before starting this.
Warm up (not boiling) distilled water used to dissolve L-Ascorbic Acid powder, and use ultra-fine powder if you can get your hands on it as it will dissolve faster. Lotioncrafter sells the ultra fine version. I didn't know about this and bought the regular version, which works fine, just needs slightly more time stirring.
Sea Kelp Bioferment is a wonderful addition and along with Ferulic Acid, this formula can last for around 1-2 weeks in an amber/blue bottle stored in a dark place. No need to refrigerate, unless you want to prolong its shelf life even further. Important: When you see that your mixture has turned yellow, throw it away immediately. Oxidized Vitamin C will do more harm than good on your skin, because instead of being antioxidant, it becomes pro-oxidant.
This formula without an emulsifier will not mix well. Meaning you have to shake it to mix the oil and cream together before applying. If you don't want to do that, you can add Polysorbate 80 to emulsify.
Edit to add: I discovered with Kassy's recipe, only 14 drops (3% of Polysorbate 80) is needed.
Do not use a metal spoon to mix - Vitamin C oxidizes with metal. Use plastic or glass instead.
For those who wants a video to watch how it's done, here it is:
Note: This is a different formula, not Kassy's!
For those wishing to find out more about other different forms of Vitamin C used to make serums, namely Ascorbyl palmitate and Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), see here:
PS: If you like this DIY business, buy a good digital kitchen scale that goes as precise as 0.01g. Many sites selling actives sells one, I know BulkActives sells one, as does Skin Essential Actives. You can even formulate your own recipe using this tool:
And as you browse for recipes, you often come across recipes that calls for "a teaspoon of this", "a quarter teaspoon of that" but if you want to break it down into percentages to tweak your own, and also this technique is useful if you want to make a different finished amount each time (say, you want to make 4 oz of Vitamin C to give to your friends), learn how to break it down here:
My advice is to read up and prepare yourself as much as you can. You can always "wing it", but it's always risky and even more so for those with sensitive skin. We don't always have to pay high price for beauty.
Still the business! I've played with different moisturizers and foundations and creams and powders but THIS has not changed. I tried to jump on the Obagi Professional C bandwagon and had to come right back here in less than a week, my face was falling apart.
My formula hasn't changed. Water and l-ascorbic acid spritzed twice a day and gently rubbed in like a serum.
Original 2010 review:
VIT C/L-ASCORBIC ACID *is* the business, folks.
It's been about 4 weeks. I use ONE part l-ascorbic acid to FOUR parts distilled water. Disslove to clear liquid, dip cotton pad and spread to entire face each night after makeup removal and toner. After vit c, add moisturizer if needed. That's it. Essential oils were giving me white heads, so I'm off those. I do micro scrub routinely in mornings.
Results: My middle age acne had cleared up (after three years of this battle, that alone is amazing), the dark spots from acne have faded dramatically.
Firm believer in the collagen factor (no pun intended): I was staring in the mirror wondering what was different with my face. The *shape* was different but I couldn't identify the different part/thing. Until I first heard it, and then again, several people I see on a routine (business) basis had suddenly mentioned 'you have dimples'.
I haven't noticed my cheek dimples in years. One side had completly gone away, I suppose due to slackening skin. Well, both sides are *very* obvious again: plumper and deeper than I have seen in years.
Amazing trip with DIRT CHEAP l-ascorbic acid. I will *always* keep powdered vit c in the stash.
Highly recommend for aging skin!
This is so easy to make and so much more cost effective than buying expensive serums and vitamin c treatments that may give you glowing skin but do a major number on your pocketbook. My mother kept prodding me to start using vitamin c products as it was so beneficial, no "crucial", to the health and look of skin. I'm all about taking care of my skin, but scouting for a good inexpensive vitamin c product started proving to be difficult. Either products were too expensive, irritated, broke me out, or just plain didn't work. I came across the homemade vitamin c serum and I was ecstatic. Not only is this much cheaper, but I like that I can control the concentration of the vitamin c. I have sensitive skin and some vitamin c treatments were very strong and greatly irritated my face. This is controllable and just so much more straightforward. Water plus ascorbic acid. Two simple ingredients and you get the same benefits as those high end "miracle" vitamin c treatments in unnecessary costly packaging.
I bought a little amber glass bottle to store my mixture as sunlight depletes the effectiveness of the ascorbic acid.
Distilled water (I use distilled rose water as it has soothing benefits for my sensitive skin. I get this at the local grocery store in the international food aisle. It's cheap and you can get it at any grocery that sells middle eastern food ingredients.)
Ascorbic acid powder or crystals. You can find it at Vitaminshoppe or Whole Foods. I got mine at Whole Foods, their generic kind.
My vial is 1 ounce, so I add about less than 1/8 of a teaspoon. I have sensitive skin so I can't go too crazy on the ascorbic acid. I apply with a cotton pad. It's working amazingly well. My skin looks so healthy, bright, and youthful, and it's helping with the sun damage I recently got from sitting in the sun for hours (ineffective sunscreen).
To see even more benefits add a product that contains hyaluronic acid to your skin care regimen. The vitamin c and hyaluronic acid work really well together and boosts each others benefits so I've read.
This does all the good things already mentioned by all the other MUA members, but the one thing that has me especially happy with this serum is that it has really improved my cellulite! I've been using it once a day, after my bath, and although I haven't been as regular with it as clockwork, after 2 months I've seen at least 60% reduction in my cellulite .. yay!!!
UPDATE: Still using this and I've noticed even more of an improvement in my cellulite :)))))
FYI, when I emailed a rep at Whole Foods...this is what she had to say.
hello- the product you purchased was not L-ascorbic acid, it's just ascorbic acid or vitamin c. L- ascorbic acid is primarily used as a whitening agent in cosmetics products. we do not stock this product and our vendors do not offer it either. please bring the vitamin c powder you purchased in for a full refund. sorry for any inconvenience.
P.S. I emailed NOW Foods and they told me their Ascorbic Acid, Powder is L-ascorbic acid. You can get it at Amazon or iHerb.
5% Serum-1/4 tsp Powder-4 & 3/4 tsp base
10% Serum-1/4 tsp Powder-21/4 tsp base
15% Serum-3/8 tsp Powder-2 1/8 tsp base
20% Serum-1/4 tsp Powder-1 tsp base
I have only used this for five days and can already see an improvement in my skin (although it could also be the shea butter that I started using at the same time). My skin is more even, pimples heal quickly and occur less frequently, my BB cream applies smoothly, skin has become firmer and wrinkles less noticeable, and I think my acne scars are lightening. My face hasn't looked this great in years. It has brought back my confidence and I'm hoping I can someday go without any makeup.
Note that there have been reports of pigmentation recurring after discontinuing use of this serum. You have to be consistent with it. I use the following recipes and only use this once a day (because I only wash my face once a day).
Increase potency slowly (like every week or every other week). It will burn, but tough it out and it will be worth it! You can fan your face to help with the burn too. Also, dabbing rather than swiping helps prevent some of the burning. In case anyone is wondering, my skincare regimen is as follows:
*wash face with ground oatmeal (you can let it sit as a mask for a few minutes before washing it off)
*apply vitamin C serum w/ cotton ball (I only mix mine with room temperature distilled water and nothing else)
*apply homemade whipped shea butter (I love the healing properties of shea butter and even if I accidentally apply too much, my skin soaks it up and won't break out)
I only wash my face at night because doing it twice a day dries it out and causes me to produce more oil (and I'm already really oily as it is). I've saved a lot of time too by just washing at night. In the morning, I rinse my face with water.
This has made my skin look the best it has in years, and it has only been a few days. Good luck!
I started using my DIY Vitamin C serum last week and it's proving to be the best treatment for my dark hyperpigmentation spots from zits I had ages and ages ago. My skin scars very easily and it takes a long time for the scars to fade, the worst ones I've had for almost a year. I've tried so many things to help speed up the fading. Licorice extract, niacinamide serum, lactic acid, glycolic acid, and the list goes on. So I looked into Vitamin C and tried making a half ounce serum with vitamin E and glycerin. Broke me out and oxidized within days despite being stored in an opaque bottle. And I don't want to risk putting oxidized vitamin C on my face, so the powder just sat in a drawer for 6 months. Then last week I found it while cleaning out my drawers and thought "What the heck." I scooped out a tiny sprinkle of the vit C in the palm of my hand and mixed it with maybe a little less than a teaspoon of distilled water, then patted that on my face and neck. Tingled a little bit, but it wasn't bad and didn't last long. I followed that with a few drops of rosehip seed oil. The reasoning for that is because vitamin C works best in combination with other antioxidants, specially vitamin E, which rosehip seed oil contains abundantly and naturally. And it also has one of the highest naturally occurring concentrations of vit C, so I feel safe in combining it with my slap-dash vitamin C serum.
There's an instant gratification, because your skin looks visibly brighter the very next day. And after a week of using it nightly, my scars are fading much faster than anything else I've tried. Last night I didn't apply the oil right away and I let my skin dry out after the vit C serum, and I could see dry outlines of my scars as if they were separating from the rest of my skin. Not a pretty look or thought, but comforting, knowing that the vit C is making an actual difference on my scars, which have made a real dent on my self-confidence. I haven't been able to leave the house or face people other than my family without makeup on for years, and I just don't feel beautiful if I don't cover my scars up with concealer. I don't like being held hostage by stupid scars. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks and if there are any more improvements or if it's just a placebo effect and wishful thinking.
I stumbled upon this accidentally when I was looking for Vitamin C serum reviews. Dr. Oz had on a couple of dermatologists on one day a few weeks back and both doctors stated that every woman should be using a C Serum for the anti-aging and antioxidant properties. But man are they expensive! I am so glad I found this - it is truly miraculous. I cannot get over the change in only a week. I got all my ingredients at my local health food store. I mix mine as follows - 1T distilled water, 1t L-ascorbic acid crystals, 1t glycerin and shake. It lasts about a week in an amber dropper bottle. Couldn't be easier OR CHEAPER. Initially, I was using it in the morning since that's what the doctors on Dr. Oz recommended but it's a little sticky and I didn't like what it did to my foundation so I switched to a nightime application. My forehead lines and crows feet are softening and my pores are getting visibly smaller. It's almost shocking. Really genius. I'm looking forward to trying some of the other recipes found on this thread. UPDATE: I found that I didn't like the sticky texture form the glycerin and it also eventually caused some milia on my chin. I found the easiest way for me is to just put some Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel in a 1 oz. amber bottle and add 1 teaspoon of the AA crystals; apply with a cotton ball after cleansing in the a.m., followed by sunblock. It doesn't mess with my make-up doing it this way and allows me to use a retinoid at night.
This homemade serum is a major life-savor! I was using milk of magnesia suggested from the acne.org website, which while making my skin matte, also seemed to give me tons of little under-the-skin bumps + major blackheads along my jaw + only slightly faded the post-acne dark marks. Using the homemade vitamin C serum has cleared up everything other than a couple totm cystic pimples! I feel a lot more confident with my skin, though not enough to go without make *yet*, but hopefully soon. My skin is soooo smooth that some days after washing my face I just keep touching my cheeks. The post- acne scars/marks have faded drastically, and it's evening out my skintone. To top it off I've only been using this 2 WEEKS!
My formula consists of tablets of the generic vitamin C brand from walmart (blue and white label, ~$3) into about 12-14mL of distilled water. The first week I used only 3 tablets, but the second week I used 4 and I seem to be getting a better response (faster fading of the marks, better smoothing of my skin). I break up by hand, added to the water and let dissolve on its own. Before use I shake thoroughly because not all of the tablet dissolves - you get almost like a slurry with the undissolved stuff laying on the bottom. I put on a generous layer before bed - it does make the skin feel slightly tight, and leaves a kind of powdery layer in spots, but that's okay considering the dramatic results. On days that I don't go out/wear makeup I put it on in the morning as well. I use up everything in a week - I think to keep it longer isn't good from what I've read in other posts. I also store it in a small bottle wrapped up and out of the light - ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is light sensitive. I don't seem to be having any problems with it not being pure ascorbic acid, since the tablets contain other things like preservatives, fillers, etc.
I know you can buy bulk ascorbic acid. I am planning on making the serum with this soon - I plan on having an exact formula (amounts, percents, etc.) for a week's supply, and I'll post it when I do.
I can't stress how amazing this stuff is! If starting out I would suggest maybe trying maybe 2-3 tablets in 15mL water first for a week or so, and then maybe increasing by one tablet for the next batch (don't go too high, maybe up to 5-6 tablets because then the concentration might be too much for the skin to handle) until you find something that works. But for those who have been looking for a cheap remedy with fast and effective results should definitely try this!
EDIT: I am still only using the vit C tablets because it's definitely working! My face is still amazingly clear and baby-butt smooth, most of my post acne marks have faded and I can now leave the house with just concealer topped with a loose powder foundation! I'm super happy because I haven't been able to do that since about grade 8-9. This stuff is definitely staying in my routine, and I've been suggesting this stuff to anyone that will listen to me :)