Homemade Vitamin C Serum


173 reviews

89% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$


on 6/11/2013 10:52:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

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:

*remove makeup
*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!

36 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

on 6/4/2013 5:49:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

This is instant skincare gratification. Right after using homemade vitamin c serum the first time my skin looked a lot brighter. It's one of the few products I have ever used that's given me immediate results plus long term benefits. I have used DIY c serum for 4 years and it's made my skin smooth and even-toned.

Making vitamin c serum yourself you save money but still have all the benefits of an expensive product. Plus you can assure its fresh and customize it.

I make a vitamin c + e + ferulic acid serum by mixing 1/2 tsp L-ascorbic acid from the Vitamin Shoppe, 2 tsp distilled water, a drop of glycerin, a drop of water-soluable vitamin e (I cut into a capsule and squeeze some liquid out) and a pinch of ferulic acid. I combine it all in a small opaque container and shake to dissolve. Then I shake before using it.

23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

on 5/29/2013 2:29:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I was looking for an alternative to the Obagi line, which I LOVE but is pricey. I went to Whole Foods and got some some glycerin and some L-Absorbic Acid (Vit C) and hyaluronic acid, both in caplet form. I followed the basic recipe for a strong serum, opening the caplets to get to the powder inside and mixing with glycerin and hot water to dissolve the powder. I had been without the Obagi C serum for a couple of weeks and had a little break out, which did not go away when I started my homemade serum. In fact, I would say it got worse. Now, whether it's b/c I had been without for so long or b/c of the homemade stuff, I don't know. But I suspect it was the glycerin. So I made a new batch yesterday, using just the Acids and water to make a toner spray. We'll see.

Also, my skin has felt VERY oily since I started using this stuff. Again, I think it's the glycerin.

A few things:

I read that heat is bad for the Vit C. I used heat both times to dissolve the caplets, so my Vit C may be not good. Instead of heat, someone suggested grinding the caplets to make them dissolve better. I'm going to toss both batches tonight (by "toss" I mean "use as a foot scrub") and make a new toner - without heat or glycerin. If this new batch of homemade stuff doesn't work, I'll just take the caplets orally, use the glycerin for my tea, and buy the serum from Amazon

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 5/25/2013 8:36:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

Okay, I have used this for 2 weeks. I make a fresh batch everyday. Here is my regime. I wash with Queen Helene Mint Julep Scrub (FAV), glycolic solution (got it from my dermatologist) for toning down my skin pH to acidic skin. I take a PINCH of my NOW Foods Ascorbic Crystal onto my palm, add 2-3 sprays of rose toner (Nubian Heritage without glycerin), mix them up, massage it on my face. Then, wait for 5 mins (morning) or longer for night, top up with my carrier oil (either tamanu oil or emu oil) + a pinch of MSM powder (no fillers!) with another spray of rose water.

Morning: wash - glycolic toner - DIY C serum - wait - DIY MSM serum w/ tamanu oil/emu oil - sunscreen,
Night: wash - glycolic toner - wait longer - DIY C serum - wait longer - DIY MSM serum w/ tamany oil/emu oil (or together when skin feels drier)

Skin type: combination towards normal skin, easily clogged (whiteheads) on cheek/jaw, cystic only on TOM, clear T-zone
Concern: PIH / post pimple red mark / red scar, rough skin texture
Former regime BEFORE adding C serum: wash - glycolic toner - DIY MSM serum w/ tamanu oil/emu oil
C serum recipe: Ascorbic acid crystal dissolve with Nubian Heritage rose water

Result after 2 weeks:
PIH has actually faded and I can see the result within 2 days (2x a day usage)!! OMG! Can't believe I just start it now! Such simple, cheap and easy DIY can make HUGE difference. The other benefit I see is my skin is sooooo much smoother. I used to have bumpy whiteheads underneath the skin (around low cheek/jaw) but it actually clears them! No more bumpy and it feels so hydrated (like using hyaluronic acid) and soft to touch and tighten my cheek! I'm only 21 but my cheeks have a bit of sagging.

Day by day I can see my skin has a "glow" to it, although I still have pinky PIH (from those reddish) and light brown (from those dark brown hyperpigmentation), but really, my skin looks so much healthy. Ah, I am a pimple-popper, yes, I can't bear to see those whiteheads, I like to pop them, but they always left red marks aka PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation), since using this combination, even if they leave red marks, they will go away on 3 days max. It will need more time for old dark red/browny marks so patient is the key!

Unexpected result: remove my "tan"! I am fair (NC15) on face, but my neck is having permanent tan so while I'm removing my neck tan, I tried to tan my face a bit for these past 4 months (now is NC20) to match my neck, but heck! The face is trying to revert to NC15 again, in JUST 2 WEEKS! Perhaps I use this on my neck next time

Cons/Side effect
I am not the type to get blackheads, even if I get them, it will only be around the nose. Since starting this, I see more blackheads on the nose. There is a theory that the C oxidizes on the skin, mix with our sebum hence the blackheads. But, it only occurs on my nose, nothing big. I seldom (and hardly) get pimple/cystic on T-Zone. So far there is no blackheads/whiteheads/cystic on my cheek/jaw, YET! *pray*
What I do is don't apply the C serum on the nose, I apply Effaclar Duo (BHA) on there.

Okay, this is a long post, but I tried to be as helpful as I can!
Hope this review helps you!

Update 8/18/13:
I'm still using it 2x daily. Except I now add Olay Intensive Brightening serum (a niacinamide and MAP serum). I read that LAA can't be mixed with niacinamide because of pH issue, so I just give minimal 10mins wait time between this LAA serum and that Olay (niacinamide). The reason I add is my skin is getting drier so I need light moisturization since I have pretty normal-combination skin. Still loving this combination!
Ah, my tamanu oil is mixed with my olay serum now. Heaven.

23 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

on 5/21/2013 6:40:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Olive, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I make a very basic vitamin C recipe - involving only distilled water and ascorbic powder. I then apply it like a toner with a cotton face pad. I make a new batch every night and on weekends when I am at home, I will use it in the morning. I have found a HUGE improvement in my skin texture. I know it is very difficult for those who are time-poor to make a batch every night before bed, but I find that this is the easiest for me and so I do not need to worry about the quality of the vitamin c product breaking down. The only annoying thing is that when I am on holidays, making a vitamin c batch is just not possible (annoying to carry all the ingredients, glass bottles, etc.).

I live in Australia, so finding a vitamin c product that will not break the bank is extremely difficult. The choices are limited and the serums that are available (which are good quality) are exorbitantly priced. So this is not only the most cost-effective, but also the best option.

I have found a massive improvement in my skin tone. I have olive like skin and my face just glows. I work in a high pressured environment where sleep is a luxury - I have found that despite days of stress, little sleep and no exercise, my skin still looks well rested and 'happy' (as strange as that sounds). My recommendation however is to make sure that the vitamin c serum has dissolved into your skin before you apply your other products. This only takes about a few seconds (that is if you are using a water-based solution - not sure about the other bases). Immediately after that I apply a BHA, retinol product and then my moisteriser. This has worked a treat!

I highly recommend everyone tries it!

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

on 5/21/2013 12:51:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Red, Straight, Other

Eyes: Green

MUA Reviewers, I adore you!
Without all the rave reviews of this, I wouldn't have ever tried it.
I started out using Philosophy's Turbo Booster C Powder w/ their When Hope Is Not Enough serum. I loved it, it was great! It just wasn't cheap.

So I went to Whole Foods Market, got my jar (227 grams - fist sized) of high potency Vitamin C crystals, vegetable glycerin, a bottle of distilled drinking water and a small dark blue dropper bottle. I think all of these things cost me just a little over $25. How cool is that? The Vitamin C alone will last me at least 6 months.

So I tried this and the first time I made it, it didn't work so great.
The Vitamin C crystals didn't dissolve so well, and the serum made places on my face red & break out.

So I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and got myself a Mortar & Pestle from the kitchen section for around $17 and used it to make my next batch. It ground the crystals into fine powder, I simply added the distilled water into the mortar bowl with the powder & mixed it in there before pouring into my dropper bottle. (I added the vegetable glycerin into the mixture once it was in the dropper bottle.)

I only put this on my face before bed. My moisturizer goes on after this has dried.

This was my key. I've been using this for a week and my skin is great. Soft as a baby's.
I have freckles & the beginnings of rosacea on my cheeks. The rosacea appears to be fading. I have the beginnings of a frown crinkle between my eyebrows. I've been trying to use Frownies, but they needed some more help. This stuff is reducing my frown crinkles!!

I hope to update this with more positive results in a couple months. Thanks for all the recipe variations ladies!

Question: Has anyone tried Camu powder mixed in with their serum? I'm tempted to try it, but I've read that it can be sticky.

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

on 5/14/2013 5:11:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

This is by far the best skincare treatment product I've ever tried. Within a week or two my skin became more clear, even toned, glowy and my acne scars have started to disappear. It is a miracle product and you can make it yourself.

1) To start, I purchased NOW brand absorbic acid powder (i emailed the company to make sure this was l-absorbic acid), NOW vegetable glycerin, distilled water, a 50ml beaker, a glass rod (to stir), pH strips and plastic measuring spoons (I read somewhere that vitamin c reacts with metal). I purchased these items from amazon.

2) Then I hand washed the beaker, stirring rod, plastic measuring spoons and a amber colored dropper bottle I already had with dishwashing liquid, rinsed with tap water then poured boiling water over it. I let it all dry before pouring distilled water over it to get rid of any residue from the tap water.

3) Next, I used the measurements in the following link to make the vitamin C serum and mixed with the glass rod before pouring it into the amber colored dropper bottle. I started with 5% vitamin c for a week, moved up to 10% vitamin c for a week and now I am applying 15% vitamin c on my face AND body and will stay at this percentage.


4) I test the serum with a pH strip to make sure it is below 3.5 or lower (which it has to be to be effective).

5) I store the amber colored bottle in the refrigerator covered in foil.

6) I make a new batch every week for freshness.

It sounds complicated but it's pretty easy. And the reward will be super cheap serum that will make your skin GLOW like nothing else.

32 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

on 5/14/2013 2:24:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Ive moved on from L-ascorbic acid which loses potency fast. It oxides in light, water, heat. Sure, the skin can recycle LAA but why make it work so hard?

I use Ascorbic Acid 2-glucoside, a stabilized form of LAA that doesnt oxidize immediately, so its more potent in your skin. It doesnt need the ultra-acidic pH of LAA so its better tolerated. Easy to work with, it dissolves instantly. You need to rework your formula, since only 2% of AA2G is needed instead of 10-15% of LAA.

I put my serum into an airless pump bottle and store in the dark cool closet.

I get mine here:



You will need pH strips and NaOH solution to bring the pH of the AA2G solution up to 5.5 where it is easily tolerated by the skin. Otherwise you will have a solution like LAA that is way too low and is extremely irritating for most. AA2G tolerates pH between 5-7 which is the beauty of it, so you can add niacinamide which otherwise doesnt tolerate a low pH. continued >>

17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

on 5/14/2013 2:20:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

My first week into this homemade vitamin c serum, and it's going great!
Been mixing pure ascorbic acid 1/4tsp with 2tsp distiller water, 1 tsp rose water ,1 tsp glycerin and it makes a perfect toner for my face!

One thing I'm a little more curious about is - is ascorbic acid powder more effective than ester? I watched a YouTube video about a dermatologist reviewing DIY vitamin c serum and he mentioned that ester form is much more effective as it can be delivered to the underneath skin area... Hmm

Anyways, there is no stings burns yet as I'm starting slowly...
It's best applied with shiseido cotton pads :) so smooooooooth
And I just store it in little glass jars I bought from dollar shops here - 10for $2...
And keep it in fridge max days: 2 days... And make fresh ones every second day.

Hope it works for you too! Xo

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 5/13/2013 9:16:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

So soooo happy with my vit c mist!

I make mine with green tea. It instantly soothes and calms red inflammations on my face.

I boil 3 teabags of green tea
Add vit c crystals i bought at GNC ( lesser granules when wet)
Mix and shake together.

You have to know and adjust how much vit c your skin can take. I have high tolerance so i usually add higher dosage of vit c. But for starters i suggest mixing green tea with low dosage of crystals. I also used old spray bottles which i thoroughly cleansed. A drop or two of essential oils are optional too. My personal preference is a drop of rosemary. Like the clean scent and it's also good for skin. I make new batches weekly.

I love spritzing my face with this which means i don't need to use cotton balls. I just let it dry before i moisturize.

It made my skin look glowy, lightened my sun spots, made my complexion look more even toned and my pores smaller. My honey loves this so i also make one for him.

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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