Homemade Vitamin C Serum


173 reviews

89% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$


Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Fine

Eyes: Green

Im not sure if i bought the 'right' kind of ascorbic acid. I got mine from Trader Joes and it was a huge container for about $10. The packaging just says ascorbic acid and nothing in regards to L-ascorbic acid. Idk if that would have made a difference if I bought LAA but my results haven't been that great. I feel like my hyper-pigmentation have become more visible? Hard to describe. 3 lippie rating because it does make my skin very soft and smoother! My recipe: 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid, 1 tablespoon of distilled water, and 1/2 teaspoon of pure glycerin. Stored in dark container.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 10/21/2012 8:36:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I've been using this for several weeks and am very impressed. I had used commercial vitamin c serums in the past, but stopped because they were expensive and oxidized very quickly (turned yellow or brown) - it's not fun to pay quite a bit for something and then have to throw it out.

One thing I think is key is to use distilled water only, as there many be impurities in other sources that will interfere with the vitamin c. I use only distilled water and L-absorbic acid (LAA) powder. A good source is the vitaminshoppe.com, where you can purchase a large container for only about $10 bucks - probably enough to keep you in vitamin c serum for a year. I've also read to avoid LAA capsules because they may contain binders. You should also optimally use a colored, not clear, container.

This is definitely worth trying. Just remember, if you see your formulation turning yellow or brown, throw it out, as it will do more harm than good at that point. This formula has great collagen-producing effects, I'm thinking even more perhaps than retin-a at this point, at least for me.

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

on 10/15/2012 6:01:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

This is the best thing ever! I've always had hormonal acne due to PCOS and my love of junk food for years now. However, I started using Vit C Serum about a month ago and the change has been drastic. I've gone from a face full of whiteheads and blackheads with regular cystic spots and horrible acne scars to an almost completely clear face. I'm in love!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

on 10/1/2012 6:35:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Started using this a wekk ago and I LOVE THIS.
I bought the pure absorbic acid (NOW brand, fast shipping and on amazon) and every night I take a half tablespoon of warm water and a pinch of the powder and mix it. Makes it easy and fresh every night. Then I take a thin cotton pad and spread it over my face after it is clean.
I LOVE it so far, it has cleared up my acne and I have had no new major breakouts since then and my skin tone is better! If it continues I will update but so far so good :)

So after a while it didn't work great EXCEPT on my forehead! That has stayed perfectly clear! And I also switched my solution to a more long term one. I take a dark brown glass bottle (what i got my rose water in actually) and take one teaspoon of the powder and 5 teaspoons of COLD WATER (Don't make it hot! It will change the vitamin C) And I keep it in the fridge! Keeps GREAT (also cooling feeling is very nice) and I just switch it out if I notice any color at all in the solution. I am trying it out with an aspirin mask now and so far getting better again! No new acne and what I have is fading fast!. :) I have reviewed that also on the aspirin page!
I decreased a lippe because I did not work on my cheeks and jawline!

9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

on 9/21/2012 9:44:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

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.

26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

on 9/6/2012 4:21:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I make a 20% vitamin C serum using only distilled water and L-ascorbic acid powder as I find additional ingredients to be somewhat inessential for my purposes. Like the reviewer directly below me, I apply my serum using a fine mist spray bottle, which I purchased on Amazon for about $5. I previously applied the serum using the more common method of a pump container, but for whatever reason, when I apply the serum directly with my fingers, it causes significant pilling of products that I apply afterward (moisturizer and sunscreen). I'm certain the vitamin C serum is responsible, given that pilling does not occur with any of the other products I use when used alone. Pilling would also occur regardless of how long I waited for the serum to absorb into my skin before applying other products (typically 20 minutes). After trying a fine mist spray bottle to apply the serum, I no longer experience any pilling (hooray!). I simply spritz a few pumps of the serum all over my face and wait for it to air dry (usually 5 minutes) before proceeding to sunscreen.

While I can't say that I've noticed any significant improvements in the appearance of my skin since I began making my own vitamin C serum a couple months ago, I can say that it's made a significant improvement in my wallet! Previously, I would spend about $20 on an Avalon Organics serum, which seems exorbitant now that I know how inexpensive the ingredients are that it contains. My primary reasons for using vitamin C serum are to keep my skin healthy and to prevent early signs of aging. I hope that with continued use, I will be very thankful for my decision! For the price, you haven't much to lose.

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

on 9/2/2012 3:36:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I started making my own Vit C serum about 1 month ago. I use 1 teaspoon crystalized vit c from Trader Joes and 1/2 cup rosewater. I put everything into a cobalt glass spray bottle. Shake until vit C is dissolved. I apply a thin spray on face, neck, upper chest and back of hands AM and PM, followed by CeraVe moisturizer. I do not rub/pat the serum in my skin, I just allow it to dry. To be honest, I haven't seen any miraculous changes in my skin. Nothing bad either. I must admit, I have pretty nice skin (thanks to using ProActive about 10 years ago), so I am using this for maintanance. I am going to test on cellulite on one thigh, I'll use it for 2 months and report back on my findings. If this stuff works on cellulite...I'm going to make batches in barrels!
Edited to say, I am now using plain distilled water instead of the rosewater and have noticed a tad more stinging, but in the a.m. my skin looks radiant. Will continue to use distilled water, which is nice because its much cheaper than the rosewater. Not noticing any difference in celulite yet, but going to keep applying for a few more weeks.

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

on 8/20/2012 12:36:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Black

I wanted to share a way to make a big batch of the base serum - with preservative (I think this helps the serum overall stay stable) - without a scale, so every week you just add some LAA.

The final concentrations of my serum would be: 20% LAA, 15% propylene glycol, and 1% Optiphen (water is 64%).

Step 1: You want to make serial dilutions of the Optiphen. (To those who are not math-minded, this just means - first you dilute the Optiphen by 10%, then you use this diluted Optiphen at a 10% strength. This is equivalent to using Optiphen at 1% overall, a way to measure out small percentages without the use of a scale.) So you add 1/8 tsp of Optiphen to 1 tsp of water. This is approximately 11% Optiphen.

Step 2: finish the base serum. add 2 tsp PG, 8 tsp water to your 1+ tsp diluted Optiphen. Voila, you have 11 tsp of the base serum, 10-11 batches' worth (it may not be enough for 11, because you always lose a little via pouring and stuff).
To make 5.5 tsp, or 5 batches' worth, use: 1 tsp PG, 4 tsp h2o, and 1/2 tsp the diluted 11% Optiphen. Keep the rest of the diluted optiphen for your next batch.

Step 3: every 1-2 weeks just measure out 1 tsp of base serum + 1/4 tsp LAA. If you want 10% LAA, use 1/8 tsp (this will of course change the overall ratios so that PG and Optiphen %age are higher, but it's not a big deal). I keep my serum in an amber glass pump bottle in a drawer in my bathroom.

I like this method because it's less work (every week you have less measuring to do, what with the PG and water and stuff), plus the preservative overall helps stabilize the serum.

And for those of you who really want to save time/steps, just find a toner you like - preferably one that has no actives and is glycol-based, and just mix 1 tsp of that with your LAA every week. Seriously, couldn't be easier. With that little effort, and the huge savings cost, I don't see why anyone still purchases their C serums!

A one-ounce bottle of pre-made, LAA serum is at least $30, usually $50+. But let's just say for arguments' sake that a $20 one existed. On the other hand, the amount of LAA you use in a DIY serum, for a 20% serum, comes out to $1/oz. PG and Optiphen are so cheap, that it comes out to mere cents per ounce. So it costs ONE DOLLAR to make one whole ounce of serum, completely DY. Even if you used a store-bought toner, that's maybe $1-3 per oz. So there you have it, you're spending a max of $4 per ounce, compared to $20, 30, 50, 100...

12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

on 8/13/2012 3:11:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Dark, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I had been wanting to experiment with this for a long time since the brand I used changed formulations and increased price. I finally took the plunge and have been very happy. I can now tailor my serum to meet my skin's requirements using several of the recipes found here and on the internet. The information I have found here on this site gave me the courage to do it, so thank you to the ladies (and gents?) of MUA. My skin is happy and my wallet is happier.

For you ladies who say it won't dissolve, try warming up the crystals in your hand first and then add your liquid. That has helped me. Also, there is bound to be a little grittiness left over. It seems to smooth out instantly on my skin if I rub in gently.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 7/30/2012 1:44:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I tried making a vitamin c toner a couple times using recipes/guides of the internet a while ago... I remember it working out fine the first couple times--and by "fine" i mean that it didn't burn bad--but I remember the last one I made I kept it in a dark glass bottle and the third day I used it, it burned like a bad sunburn all day long and my skin looked like complete crap...I was really scared it had damaged my skin, because it looked so inflamed and irritated for a while (shit, maybe it DID damage it. I mean, my skin has never been the greatest, so who knows?).

So i gave it a one because it didn't seem to do much for me in the first place, and really, I was just writing this review to caution people to be careful when making stuff like this, as vitamin c is notoriously unstable and ironically, it can actually cause free radical damage to your skin once it degrades (and it degrades fast). If you do make it, it seems like it's probably best to make it one-time-use style.

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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