Homemade Vitamin C Serum


168 reviews

89% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$


on 7/25/2014 6:34:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I'd say this is my HG skin product, and it's really cheap to make. If I run out and don't get around to mixing up more for several days (...or weeks...), I WILL notice a difference--in the form of blackheads AND cystic acne! Ugh and OUCH. I think this is because the vitamin C's antioxidant properties keep the sebum in my pores from oxidizing and that its anti-imflammatory goodness keeps the deep cyst-forming processes from growing those giant, painful lumps.

And speaking of cystic acne, I've had a lot of it, and my face has borne the scars. Using a vitamin C serum morning and night has faded those scars significantly, and my version uses humectants to provide some kick-ass hydration as well. When it's humid enough out, I don't even need to use an additional moisturizer.

I've played around with percentages and hit on the exact formulation my skin loves best:

74.5% distilled water (22.35 g)
15% L-ascorbic acid (4.5 g)
10 % glycerin (3 g)
0.5% hyaluronic acid (.15 g)

I make it in 30-gram batches, because that amount fits perfectly into 1-oz amber glass dropper bottles and I can use it up in about 3 weeks to a month, so it doesn't oxidize and turn orange before I can use it up (provided I refrigerate it).

I know some people like to use vitamin C powder as they go, adding it to their morning moisturizer or other serum or something, but my sensitive skin and my engineer's brain prefer a more constant amount of vitamin C-- times when I've tried to mix it up on the fly haven't turned out well. It's far too easy to use too much vitamin C powder for a single use, which can be irritating to my skin and is also is a waste of my precious ingredients. I have to do all kinds of math and science to keep my skin happy. :)

I find that the vitamin C dissolves best if I don't just use crystals. I grind it up with mortar and pestle to get a finer consistency, but in the future I might just buy an ultra-fine powder to start with, even though it'll cost more.

Back when I first started making the serum, I didn't have the hyaluronic acid yet, and my recipe used equal amounts (by volume) of water and glycerin. That worked fine, but it was SO STICKY! I still like glycerin (it's really good for your skin!) but adding the HA makes this more potent in the hydration department and also helps to thicken the formula up, which I prefer. BTW the HA I use comes as powder, but you could also use a pre-made 1% HA serum here. That half-percent is the highest amount of HA powder I've been able to fully dissolve when other ingredients are included.

The dropper bottle I use does allow air into the serum when I use it, so it's not perfect. Ideally I'd have either an opaque glass airless pump bottle for this, or a broad-spectrum preservative (that could do well at such a low pH) but I haven't had any trouble with anything growing in it and subsequently on my skin (knock on wood).

22 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

on 7/20/2014 6:40:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

So I've been applying my homemade Vitamin C toner along with Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM for about 3-4 weeks now. After reading a bunch of benefits deriving from vitaminc C and niacinamide, I decided to give it a try. This time around, I've managed to use my old vitamin C pump bottle and put the mixed solution in there instead of of some random lid and spread it on my face daily, which btw is a bitch to do. I use about 1/4 tsp of ascorbic power and 1 tsp of plain old tap water, sometimes a bit more or less. This mades a roughly 20% vitamin C solution. People say to use distilled water but I keep forgetting about getting it from the store. I've put in an empty toilet paper roll to give it extra light protection and put it in the fridge since it's summer now and the heat can ruin the solution quicker. I find making this much amount of vitamin C toner is perfect because it typically lasts me about 4-5 days and vitamin C loses its efficacy quickly anyway. Also, when I apply the vitamin C with it being well-mixed, the doesn't leave my skin feeling dry and grainy like before.

I don't know if it's vitamin C itself, the Cerave lotion, or both but ever since I've been applying vitamin C serum in the morning along with applying Cerave lotion at night, I've been noticing my skin getting smoother and freckles less noticeable. My face's been feeling slightly fuller as well. Even the redness around my nose is getting a lot less noticable. My skin's been looking brighter and reflecting light better, and not because it's oily. And my skin doesn't break out from this, which is definitely a plus.

I haven't worn makeup in a while and my boyfriend told me I look great waking up in the morning. And I do notice my skin looking better without makeup as well. And just last week, some guy hit on me, even though I wasn't wearing any makeup and had horrible messy hair. I imagine the new skin routine has something to do with it.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Dry, Medium Brown, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

lightened my skin, got rid of my breakouts from. I have a nice glow, only use it at night.
I replaced glycerin with grapeseed oil. Use this link get me credits and get yourself $4 on 450g of vitamin c powder. Note that all forms of ascorbic acid are the same, just because there's no L does it diminish it's vitamin c powder.

on 6/29/2014 11:33:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

PROS: Lightens skin, helps with pores and even wrinkles a bit. SO inexpensive.

CONS: Can irritate if the percentage is too high for you (I start at 5% and work upward.)

ALTERNATES: NuFountain has one with ferulic acid which is nice but much more expensive.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 6/21/2014 11:09:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I started making this because every commercial Vit C product that I tried was so expensive and too moisturizing. I just mix a generous pinch of the L-ascorbic acid (bought thru Amazon.com) with 99% pure aloe vera gel (Vitamin World brand purchased thru Puritans Pride) in my cupped hand until it dissolves and use a dollar store makeup brush to apply. I use mild soap to wash my hands and the brush afterwards b/c it can stain. This is cheap, natural, fresh and very effective for my face! It tightens my pores, dries up zits, lightens dark marks, heals any popped zits (I know, don't judge me) and tames my oiliness. It's strong, so I only use it 2 or 3 times a week before bed. It really Increases my photosensitivity, so daily sunscreen is a must.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 6/16/2014 10:15:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

Dear Ladies, thank you for reviewing so many items here on MakeupAlley..you cant imagine the experience I had just going over what you all had tried bc I only recently begin a skincare regimen amd I wanted to buy good stuff, but it was really confusing. I don't want to try every product out there ..I was going to get caught in the hype of many ads. but reading your reviews made me think for a while.Luckily, I found out about PAULA's Choice reviews and I was STUNNED..most of the advertised creams are pure RUBBISH..I even related reviews of products in her site with reviews of the same products here in Makeup Alley..God they results are so similar like if a product is rated average in PC then 50% of people here would recommend and if it is poor in PC then maybe less than 30% would buy the product again( beautipedia reviews--> brand reiews)
I know some of you do know about PC reviews but for other ladies ..I highly recommend u read ALL REVIEWS
I decided to try and make my own Vit.C serum before I read your reviews I was going to buy Skin Cuetical AOX vit.C but I thought I would try this first..ONE thing : Ladies who are making their VIT.C serum NEVER EVER use vodka or any alcoholic beverage for your skincare recipes, NO FRAGNANCE OILS: rosewater, lavender IT IS EXTREMELY HARMFULL AND IRRITATING FOR YOUR SKIN( read Paula's Choice reviews on alcohol and fragnance in skincare products)

I would try to use vitamin c capsules with rosehip and tell you about it next time...

on 6/15/2014 7:35:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

My skin: Very oily, ice pick scars, large pores, hyperpigmentation here and there

I tried homemade vitamin c serum for about 3 months. It was super good initially. No breakouts and my skin was even toned. After a month or so, I noticed breakouts. I didn't change my skincare regimen except for this addition. I still stuck it out and thought it's probably just my hormones.

Unfortunately, this was the culprit. I started on a low concentration, 5% and made my way to 7.5%. Both concentrations didn't work for me. My face became red and prone to breakouts. I also have whiteheads that popped up from nowhere.

Please be careful for anyone who tries this. It didn't work for me. Sad day :( At least I learned my lesson. Anyone want a jar of vitamin c powder, let me know!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I used to spend so much money on skin care products that didn't even work or made my skin break out. I've tried everything from drugstore brands (olay, neutrogena, etc.) to high end brands (Estee Lauder, Clinique, etc.), but didn't get the results I wanted. A lot of the companies source their ingredients outside the U.S. (because it's cheap) and use fancy packaging to sell their products. I felt like I was being ripped off. I finally, after tons of research, decided to make my own serums and moisturizes. I've been using l ascorbic acid mixed with filtered water on my face morning and night under my moisturizer for a while and noticed dramatic improvement in my skin. My skin looks brighter, tighter, and more youthful. It's cheaper and it's more effective. I recommend making a fresh batch of serum/toner everyday because Vitamin C oxidizes easily.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 6/9/2014 11:11:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Black

My vitamin c powder was bought at at Whole Foods. I mix 1 pinch of the powder to 4 parts Glycerine with rose water. I mash the powder in the liquid right in my hand and then pat my whole face and neck in the morning. Then I start my sunscreen and makeup. This is so cheap and highly potent. Sometimes I put a few drops of jojoba oil for my acne prone combo skin.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 4/24/2014 10:15:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I LOVE my new DIY Vitamin C Serum! I purchased the vitamin c powder at Whole Foods along with some Glycerine and an amber glass bottle. I made a 10% serum and I keep it in the light safe glass bottle. I prefer not to add the glycerine, I made two batches to see which texture I liked better and the glycerine just felt too sticky. The powder and distilled water feel like nothing on the skin once dry. Benefits! My skin is plumping up, it feels tighter and more bouncy and My acne spots have lightened tremendously. As far as wrinkles, I'm not sure yet. I've one little forehead wrinkle I'm working on now, will update on improvement! This stuff is the bees knees to keeping that plump skin plump. And it's very affordable! I'm thrilled! Good luck!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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