Homemade Vitamin C Serum


177 reviews

89% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$



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.


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.

33 out of 33 people found this review helpful.


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.


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.


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.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I tried a 5% solution of Whole Foods Vitamin C powder in distilled water for a few weeks, but had to stop because it made me break out. (There's no doubt this was the cause - my skin only broke out in the two places I used the serum.) Another reviewer here had the same problem, and it seems that this just doesn't agree with some skin types.

I'll cut back to using it for only 15 minutes (down from 30), and only once a week, and see if that makes a difference.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I've only been using this for 5 days, so this is just an initial review that i'll be updating periodically.

-- Heritage Rose Water & Glycerin (http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemId=151638/Rosewater-&-Glycerin---Heritage-Brand/Unlisted-Brand/Moisturizers) Bought mine at Natural Grocers for about 8 USD for 4oz. Their Rose Water (minus the Glycerin) can be bought at Natural Grocers for ~5 USD for 8 oz.
-- Pure Vitamin C Powder (Ascorbic Acid) from Natural Grocers as well, 3.08 USD for .505 lbs CHEAP!
-- Plastic spoon for measuring out the powder and RW
-- Tinted Bottle (I used a blue tinted small spray bottle from walmart, was ~1 USD, and sprays a fine mist)

1 tsp powder
4 tsp Rose Water & Glycerin
-- put both in bottle and shake well. DO NOT HEAT, as that can change the properties and effectiveness of the vitamin c. I shook for not even a minute and most of the powder was disolved. I left it to sit in a cool dry place and after a few hours the rest of the powder was completely disolved.

I'm no expert, but from what I've read, this is what I've decided is best for me to do.
In the am I use Stridex pads (in the red box) and wait ~ 10-15 minutes. The I spray on the Vitamin C solution and gently rub it all over my face, neck, and arms.
In the pm I take a shower and wash with Dove bar soap for sensitive skin (it's unscented), use Alphy Hydrox Skin Lightening Cream with 10% Glycolic acid every other night, and then wait 10-15 minutes before applying the Vitamin C solution again, but to face only.

After 5 days of use:
As of the 2nd day I could already tell that my skin felt softer. I was suprised, as I already use an AHA and BHA and I thought that would have made my skin as soft and exfoliated as I could be. The forst few times I used this I made sure to wait a bit after washing my face. etc to apply it, and had only the VERY tiniest big of stinging right upon application, and then it went away. If I'm not wearing lip balm, etc this will sting my lips a lot, as they are always dry and somewhat peely. If I lick my lips I can taste the vitamin c, although it not particularly unplesant. One time I applied this immediately after washing my face in the shower, and it stung a LOT more than usual, to the extent that it made my face feel itchy. The feeling went away after maybe 10 minutes or so. I've noticed no dryness or peeling skin, and I haven't been moisturizing any more than usual. I had been thinking of using this after dermarolling, as then it would REALLY penetrate and do some good, but I think that would be far too uncomfortable and potentially irritating. The only negative I have so far is that the Glycerin makes the formula feel sticky. For that reason I'm going to try just plain Rosewater in the future, although I wonder if it will make the solution more drying, as I've heard that Glycerine is quite moisturizing. For the record, stickiness and all, this does well under my ss.

My Skin:
NC10ish, neutral undertones. Prone to freckling and acne. I live in TX so I sweat often and wear ss every time I go out. Normal/Combination. Recntly got rid of acne pigmentation, but still have the pitted scars. I dermaroll with a 1mm needle roller on a monthly basis.

05/03/13 (2 weeks of use):
05/17/13 (4 weeks/1 month of use):
06/14/13 (8 weeks/2 months of use):
08/09/13 (16 weeks/4 months of use):

Final Verdict:

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Ive been using vitamic C crystals mixed with distilled water for the past 3 weeks. I cant tell you what the percentage is or whatever but I just mix half a teaspoon in a little spray bottle with distilled water , spray it on my face in the morning, Then after it drys put on my sunscreen and bb cream. and replace every day. All I can say is WOW! Honestly i look better without makeup now. Redness is dramatically reduced and the overall texture of my skin is way nicer and smoother. I get lazy some days but apparantly I found out that vitamic C stays in the skin for over 2 days so its not really necessary to use this everyday.

edit: july 2013, still using every other day and still loving the results

edit August 2013 I added a few drops of glycerin and rosewater (pharmacy brand) and I like how smooth this goes on. I called the company to make sure it was vegetable glycerin

One thing I need to add is that this will stain your clothes!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I stumbled across a vitamin c recipe while looking on the beautysnug skincare forum. It was simply vitamin c and distilled water... well simple equals effective! - at least for me.
Its cleared my skin up and brightened my complexion. I dont leave it on all night, but wash it off after half an hour, This way the vitamin c has time to absorb.
A great little recipe!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

How much more natural, economical, fresh and long-term goodness can you do for your skin than a homemade Vitamin C Serum? Since 1999, I've been using a homemade Vitamin C preparation. Back then, it was considered a tad outlandish and something that not many people did at all. No one talked about the benefits of Vitamin C for their skin, much less would they go to a health food store and make homemade preparations and spend time on themselves. Research for homemade skin preparations were difficult to find.
Years ago, I used pure Vitamin C liquid. Now, I can't find it anymore. If any MUA ladies know where it can be found, kindly shoot me a message, please. This review will be for the crystals, because lately, that's all I can find. The liquid was the absolute best. You had to be very careful in how much you used, because using too much could be detrimental to your skin, and it had to be facial quality, also.
Vitamin C has so many properties it's amazing. It boosts collagen production, exfoliates, increases skin firmness, lightens hyperpigmentation, the list goes on and on.
Vitamin C Serums on the market are much more expensive but if you make your own, the cost is substantially reduced. The added benefit is absolute freshness. All you need are the crystals/powder, water, glycerin, and moisturizer. It's your choice if you'd like to make a toner, a serum or a moisturizer with Vitamiin C. You can also make a mask with Vitamin C. One of my favorites masks is to crush the crystals with a teaspoon of yogurt and spread it on my face. I've used plain yogurt and even strawberry yogurt. You can crush the crystals with a mortar and pestle if you'd like to make them into a powder consistency. The reason I've used strawberry yogurt is because strawberries contain salicylic acid which helps to remove impurities and dead skin cells. Whatever you do, always use 1/4 teaspoon of Vitamin C along with the other additive. If you like a toner, just use water. If you like a serum, use glycerin and water. If you would like to just add some to your moisturizer, do that. The choice is yours. But most importantly, make it fresh daily. If you find that your skin is becoming too reddened, then back off and reduce your Vitamin C applications to 3 times weekly. You'll know if you're doing too much by how your skin is reacting. I found this list of percentages for those that have never used Vitamin C. Start with 5% and then go up to 20% gradually. Your skin will love you for it.
The following are guidelines for mixing your own bases.

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

You can use a mix of water and glycerin , moisturizer, yogurt, etc. for the base. Always start with the 5% to see how your skin reacts, use that strength for a week or so, if your skin is reacting well, go to the next strength. At 20%, you're at the highest.
I recently stopped into my local Sephora and one of the SA's asked what I'm using now. I told her what line I'm gravitating towards and we talked about it, but she told me my skin was definitely brighter and looked terrific. She said my skin had such a brightness to it, the kind that when someone has such good news, etc. that they're glowing. I finally broke down and told her I've been doing a lot of home-made recipes. She became very interested and wanted to know exactly what I was using. I told her about the Vitamin C. She asked how did I use it and where did I get it. I also told her about my shea butter/oil concoctions. She asked me to bring her in a container so she could try some. Now that was a huge compliment to me. I swear by natural products, too. They must be making a difference if my Sephora SA asked me for a sample of what I'm using...(smile). Now that's turning the tables!
Now that summer is nearing, I've been using real strawberries for my mask, btw. I crush a small strawberry, mix it with the appropriate Vitamin C and apply it to my face and neck, leaving it on for 30 minutes or so. I rinse well with tepid water and my skin is unbelievably hydrated and smooth. Inexpensive but one of the best masks I've ever created.
I don't pre-mix my Vitamin C serums ahead of time, but always make them fresh. It only takes a few minutes of my time. But if you do want to make a few days worth, make sure you put it into a dark or opaque container that won't see the light of day so the mixture doesn't break down.
I've increased the amount of Vitamin C for my own personal usage but you must be able to decide for yourself what your skin is able to handle. My daughter recently commented to me that my complexion looked brighter to her when I asked her about the color of my foundation. I'd say you know it's working when those around you comment about your skin. Take the time to invest in yourself, because it's you're well worth it. And the price can't be beat.

109 out of 112 people found this review helpful.

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