Homemade Vitamin C Serum

4.4

170 reviews

89% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

INGREDIENTS



Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

This is something that I really hoped would work and be effective. Commercially-produced vitamin C serums are horribly expensive!

Also, once you learn how unstable and short-lived even the best commercial formulas tend to be, this becomes an even more tempting solution. I mean, it makes sense to buy the ingredients yourself and then just whip up a fresh batch every few days or so, right? Plus, vitamin C is supposed to be one of the most beneficial anti-aging ingredients out there.

After reading so many positive reviews, I decided to try making some DIY vitamin C serum myself. I even ordered cosmetics-grade vitamin C powder online (from the vendor that's recommended in the Reddit recipe) as it's supposed to be much easier to dissolve. Bought some glycerin and distilled water as well, and also of course purchased an amber bottle to store the serum correctly.

Unfortunately, even using cosmetics-grade powder, it's actually really hard to get it to dissolve thoroughly. Like, really, really hard. I don't know how you people are doing it, but no matter how much I mixed things together and shook things about, the powder never once fully dissolved in the water but instead kind of drifted about in a little cloudsea of partially dissolved particles. Okay, then. I guess that'll have to do.

Still, I made sure to shake the bottle as hard as possible each time I deposited the solution onto my hands to apply to my face. While my skin is basically bulletproof and doesn't react to *anything* I throw at it, the exception turned out to be this stuff.

So far, I've made two separate batches of 15% solution. And also experienced, yes, two separate incidents where I ended up with major welts somewhere on my face (though most applications were fine). Not zits; just really inflamed areas, like getting bitten by a really mean and potent mosquito. Hurt like hell. My skin recovered quickly enough both times but still...I can't say for sure exactly what happened, but I'm guessing that the powder was more concentrated during the two times I had reactions even with all of my efforts to dissolve it.

I've used commercial vitamin C serums before with zero ill effects, so I don't think I'm particularly sensitive to the stuff; I just don't think that the DIY method is as safe as it's made out to be, at least for this particular ingredient. I also didn't see any skincare benefits, objectively-speaking, even when I didn't experience any reactions (which was the majority of the time).

So many positive reviews and I feel like a weird outlier, but I also can't help but wonder if people are hesitant to share less than stellar outcomes. For now, I'm not going to make it anymore, unless someone comes up with a truly bulletproof, safe and effective recipe (and by "effective", I mean I'm gonna need more science to back up the claims of effectiveness for the DIY version). Either that, or I'm just going to sit tight and wait for the Skinceuticals patent to expire, after which hopefully the market will be flooded with much cheaper commercial dupes.

NOTE: Someone suggested using boiling-hot water to dissolve the powder into the base; unfortunately, vitamin C is very temperature-sensitive and is destroyed by heat (and oxygen, and who knows what else, really).



on 5/27/2015 1:55:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

For those having problems getting their vitamin C powder to dissolve: I use the reddit recipe other reviewers have refererenced, the one attached to an essay about Vitamin C and links to places to purchase items. As I am in Europe, however, I just use the next available LAA vitamin C powder I can get over the counter, which is intended for consumption and has really, really huge, not at all finely ground crystals.

In order to get it to dissolve completely and in this lifetime, I simply boil my distilled water immediately before mixing it into the powder. This seems to have no ill effect on the lifespan of the serum I make. I put the powder in a glass bowl (I have made from 5-20% this way), pour the freshly boiled and measured water in, mix with a plastic spoon, pour that into my amber bottle when everything is dissolved, and then add glycerin and one vitamin E pill into the bottle as well and give it a good shake.

It still takes a lot of stirring to get the powder to dissolve, but with the boiling hot water, it does dissolve completely, in about 3-5 minutes maximum. Hope this helps someone!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on 5/23/2015 5:05:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

If you don't mind the fact that you will be making little batches of these every few days, the time spent is worth it. Anyway, it only takes about 2 minutes to put together.
Within 2 months, my blotchy, acne-prone skin turned smooth and even-toned. I no longer have to wear foundation. Clogged pores and blemishes rarely surface and I can get away with only concealer under my eyes.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


on 5/3/2015 9:07:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

Ive finally figured out the best DIY C recipe yet for my skin. Very very happy. Ive been using it for a month and my serum has not turned yellow yet.
What i do is I take Cerave moisturizer, and Nuskin Na PCA (ingredients: Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Fructose, Glycine, Inositol, Lactic Acid, Niacinamide, Urea, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Sodium Lactate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Benzoate)... I mix these two together with L-ascorbic acid crystals by shaking everything in a Yves Rocher facial serum bottle (a serum i used once and just happened to keep the empty bottle).

The preservatives in the NUSKIN solution keep the vitamin C much longer. I store it in a cool place (my bathroom is always freezing).

I have been complimented on my complexion a lot ever since using this solution. My results have been remarkable. My skin has a really dewy glow to it, and I use it once a day. This works as well if not better than the La Roche Posay C serum that I used to use... And that stuff is fantastic!

Finding the Nuskin stuff was a total game changer. Both the Cerave and the Nuskin are reasonably priced and will last me a very long time for the purpose of making this C serum. I love doing it this way... it doesnt require constantly making new stuff all the time because it lasts! Its super easy. And the Nuskin has everything I need... its got HA, Niacinamide, and Napca. The Cerave has ceramides.
Ive read that niacin and C shouldnt be put together in one serum (because of different PH's, the Niacin will supposedly immediately oxidize the vitamin c (turning it yelllow instantly) rendering both useless)... But honestly, this recipe is working very well for me, and I will keep doing it. The results have been way too good. As I said before, my serum still has not turned yellow and its been a month. Go figure.

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.


on 4/28/2015 10:22:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I'll join the raves and agree with everyone here that DIY Vit C serum is cheap, easy and I'm liking the results. Most difficult part is getting the PH right. Should be below 3.5 or at 3 to be ideal. Too low and is harsh, too high and doesn't work because won't penetrate the skin. I make 20% formula from a recipe found on reddit and all ingredients together usually end up ph 2, so I raise with a touch of baking soda (and I mean a tiny amount, less than 1/8 tsp) to ph 3. The Lotioncrafter ultra fine Vit C crystals are a must, because otherwise takes forever for the Vitamin C to dissolve, and their PH test strips are cheap and easy. I also bought the NOW glycerin and dark bottle (at Wholefoods). My serum lasts about a week before begins to oxidize.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on 4/22/2015 11:16:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Black

I started my foray into Vitamin C Serums with the OST/C20 Pure Vitamin C21.5 Advanced Serum - this was after I read rave reviews of their original C20 serum and they had just upgraded the formula to C21.5 (21.5% of Vit C and a non-sticky finish). I LOVED it - it faded my hyperpigmentation spot, and it cleared my acne up. The only downside (and it's a very small one I would say) is that my fingernails turned yellow from the serum (only the fingers that were used to apply). It got better once I made the effort to ensure any residue serum was washed off after application.

I decided to try making my own Vitamin C serum after I ran out of the OST/C20 - making your own is wayyy cheaper and I didn't have to wait 2 weeks to receive my replacement (I can't live without the serum in the mornings now). I have problems dissolving the Vitamin C powder entirely in the distilled water/rose water mixture that I use from Heritage Products. Anyone has tips of how to dissolve it completely without having to stir for an hour straight? I use 1 tsp Vit C with 3 tsp rosewater. I also add some glycerin. The first batch I did, I added too much glycerin and I hated it. Slippery, slimey and my sunblock would just SIT on top of the serum. Not a happy feeling. Half the amount of glycerin later, I'm much happier with the concoction.

Whether this outperforms the OST/C20, only time will tell. I have ordered backups of those (just because it's my Holy Grail and Wishtrend was having some crazy sale), but I do plan to use this home formulation inbetween.

I am thinking of adding Ferulic Acid - does it make any difference or justifiable difference for me to hunt the raw ingredients down? I live in Asia and it may be a tad of a hassle and not to mention expensive.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I just started doing my own DIY Vitamin C Serum, and so far so good! I use a 5% solution with 1/4th vitamin C powder from NOW solutions, 4 tsp distilled water and 3/4 tsp vegetable glycerin, also from NOW Solutions. I also got a few amber glass bottles from The Container Store, which were relatively cheap. I boiled and washed over my bottles, dropper, and measuring spoons with distilled water to get the tap out, and leave it to dry, before dissolving the powder into the water completely. I add the glycerin in last. It's been about 4 days of using this after I wash my face day and night, and my skin is smoother, plumper, and acne scabs peel off faster leaving brand new skin underneath...and that's only with 5%! Tomorrow I will be moving up to 10%, since i haven't experienced any stinging thus far. The only qualm I have is that the serum sort of rolls up or balls up when I rub it onto my face, and it gets all over my fingers. I've remedied that by just tapping it into my skin lightly...that seems to help some. Hopefully when I use less glycerin in the 10%, that won't happen anymore! I will update as I go up in dosage and report back with results when I get to 20%!

Update: I stopped using the solution for a little while (about a week or two) because I went back home and forgot it, then got too lazy to make it lol. I started up on the 10% a few days ago and it didn't sting upon application at all. So far the results are similar to the 5%, my skin is glowy and smooth. I apply twice a day without moisturizing over top (haven't felt the need to). My acne marks are less visible and a lot of redness has faded.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.


on 4/7/2015 9:57:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Edit-scars totally faded (on hands)

Miraculous. Used on my hands and arms (whole body actually) and within 3 days the cooking scars are fading and my hands don't look old and wrinkly. Today is day 4 and I just use the vit c recipe withsome avocado oil or body cream on top - have used oils creams n specific treatments inc glycolic acid n nothing has made my hands look so good. My skin is also improving n there is less milia/bumpiness. Edit I checked the pH of fresh squeezed mandarin juice and it is 3.5 ...does anyone know whether this can be a good replacement for the V it C powder?

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.


on 2/17/2015 1:58:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

This is the 3rd time I've made the C Serum - I use Kassey's 15% C and Ferulic Acid recipe (found here: http://www.skincaretalk.com/a/15-c-serum-with-tutorial - I omit the Optiphen, the polysorbate 80 and the xantham gum - I like mine thinner, and I just make fresh when it starts to turn)

The only thing I did different this time was I bought some ultrafine LAA from lotioncrafter.com, and it dissolved in less than a minute, as opposed to the "regular" LAA that took literally hours to dissolve! Seriously, if you are going to make this stuff, do yourself a huge favor and get the ultrafine LAA. I even tried putting the regular stuff in the food processor and pulverizing it, and it still didn't work nearly as well as the ultrafine (the food processor was my 2nd attempt - still took forever)

I use this in the AM under my moisturizer - it takes only a moment to sink it, and I don't even know it's there, but it does keep my skin brighter and firmer. And it's mondo cheap, plus you get the thrill of being a mad scientist! :D Love it to death.

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.


on 1/22/2015 2:32:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I cannot believe I am just now hearing about making my own vitamin c serum!!! As soo. As I read all the reviews (and I do mean all of them), I ran out to get some vitamin c powder to whip up a batch as I already had all of the other ingredients. I added carrot seed oil, lavender and geranium essential oils to it and OMG!! I saw a difference after the first use and now 4 days later I cannot believe the difference this has made in my face! At 37, I was getting laugh lines that stayed even after I was done laughing or smiling and they are almost completely gone after 4 days using a 10% serum!! I can't wait to see what happens when I up the dosage in a few weeks!! I will NEVER be without this again!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.


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