DIY Vitamin C Serum


Vitamin C Serum 2

Vitamin C is a very powerful substance and it is found in many commercial products for the skin because it is a strong antioxidant, it has lightening properties and, last but not least, it boosts the production of collagen (therefore you are left with a firmer skin).

Vitamin C is “ascorbic acid” (you could also find “L-ascorbic acid”) but in the creams you buy, if you read the ingredients, you will never find “ascorbic acid”, probably you will find “sodium ascorbyl phosphate” or “magnesium ascorbyl phosphate” (there are also other forms of Vitamin C, this is a mere example). What is this?
Well, Vitamin C has great properties but it doesn’t keep stable: it oxidizes even in contact with air, with light… (this is why if you make fresh orange juice you should drink it immediately after), so in order to be able to add this vitamin in our face creams, cosmetologists use a stabilized form of Vit C: if in the ingredients of your cream you read an ingredient which contains the word “ascorbyl”, to make it very simple, that is the stabilized form of Vitamin C.

These stabilized forms are many and they are growing in number all the time. They are not something negative (and even I use them in the making of Vitamin C creams… maybe I will post a recipe soon about it :) ), however their properties are not 100% the same of the pure Vitamin C.

Today I am going to show you the easiest and most effective way to make at home a special Vitamin C Serum which is much more powerful than every cream you ever bought :D

The only way to use pure Vitamin C (therefore “L-ascorbic acid”) effectively is to use it right away and make a new serum all the time.
This is why the recipe of today, unlikely all the cream recipes I have shown before, is not in 100 gr but it is in very small amounts: because you will have to make it anew every time you want it :)
But don’t be scared: it is made of three ingredients only and it is divided in two parts ;)

(first part)
1 teaspoon demineralized water 
1/8 teaspoon L-ascorbic acid (you can easily buy it in pharmacy; ask for the powder of vitamin C or ask for Ascorbic acid, simply ;) )
(if you wish to, you can add also a drop of glycerin)
You mix these two ingredients in a bowl and measure the pH (you can find pH strips even in pharmacy: buy those from 0 – 14 so you can use them also for the other homemade cosmetics in the future. They should look like THIS in order to show you exactly the correct pH of the solution).
WARNING! Measuring the pH is important!
Ascorbic acid is obviously an acid (and it is also very strong) so you don’t want to apply on your skin something of pH 2… however Vitamin C is well absorbed (and used) in your skin only at a pH range of 3.5 or lower. Therefore check the pH of the solution and if you see it is lower than pH 3.5 adjust the pH by adding a little bit more water. Now check the pH again and keep adjusting until the result is pH 3.5.
This is really important and I am not responsible if you ruin your skin. 

At this point you can apply this water on your skin using a brush or even your own fingers, keep applying even in multiple layers until the water is finished.
WARNING! Do NOT apply on the eye area or too close to your lips or nostrils.
It is normal if it stings a little, but it should not be painful and it should not last more than 2 or 3 minutes.
WARNING! If you feel pain wash off immediately! If after 3 minutes the stinging hasn’t stopped yet, wash off immediately! Some people have a very delicate skin and this acid might be too strong for them. If this is your case, rinse off immediately and avoid using acids on your skin. They could damage it!

If instead your skin didn’t react badly to the Vitamin C boost :D, wait for the skin to be dry (wait approximately 10 minutes) and now it’s the part two ;)
(second part of the “recipe”)
2 drops of Vitamin E (Tocopheryl acetate or Tocopherol – you should be able to find it in pharmacy very easily. It is a very dense liquid. The Tocopheryl acetate should be transparent or slightly yellowish. Tocopherol, instead, is dark brown).
Put these two drops on the tips of your fingers and tap it all over your face.
This time it shouldn’t sting anymore.
Let it sit on your skin for 20 minutes and wash off (you will have to wash your face vigorously, because Vitamin E is quite sticky :D ).

This is the easiest, most effective Vitamin C serum.
After applying the ascorbic acid, you apply Vitamin E because these two Vitamins work in synergy, boosting the antioxidant properties of them both! :)

I wouldn’t suggest to apply this Vitamin C serum everyday because it is quite aggressive. Once a week should be enough.
It is better to make this treatment in the evening before sleeping (so the skin has time to “recover” all the night) and I would suggest to avoid making this treatment in summer or late spring (it is always negative to use acids on the skin in summertime! They weaken the barrier of the skin and they can make more disasters than positive things if your skin receives direct sun rays in the period of an acid treatment).

Now, after having done a little bit of “terrorism” about this Vitamin C Serum… I can say that I have not misused it and I am very happy about the results!
I used to have some red signs on my skin, left from an old acne, and they are finally gone! :)
Also, my skin looks more fresh and firm! :)

So don’t misuse this DIY and have a great day! ;)



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13 responses »

  1. Why do you recommend not to apply it around the eye area? what do you call around the eye area?
    You said it is well absorbed on a Ph of 3.5 or lower , however you also mentioned that is lower than 3.5 add more water?

    • Because the eye area is very very delicate and applying something acid as 3.5pH is too much for the skin there! :)

      It is well absorbed on a pH which is lower or at level of 3.5… the reason why you should use it at pH 3.5 is that a lower pH would be too aggressive to the skin. In fact the pH of our skin is approximately 5, 5.5, therefore a pH 3.5 would be “bearable” for our skin but lower would be too aggressive: so we want the vit C to be absorbed well, but not to burn our face! :D
      I have done the silly thing of using this serum at a more acid level (2.5 pH) and my skin reacted badly so I had to stop using this serum for a month before my skin would be fine with it again ;)

      Hope this helped :D

  2. Lovee your article. I wanna ask about pH. So, does your recipe (1/8 tsp l ascorbic plus 1 tsp dist water) show exactly pH 3,5? Or does it more acid or base than 3,5? Please let me know. I cant find any pH strips in my local drugstore so it will be more efficient and effective if i just do the exactly same recipe with you without burning my face. Thankyou :)

    • No no no :)
      pH can vary very much depending even on the water you use so please buy pH strips online! You could be able to find them also in pharmacy! Try ordering them to the pharmacy. I am sure they will be able to purchase it for you! Request those in the picture (brand doesn t matter but at least different color to be more precise).
      Please don t try this without pH strips! It could be dangerous!!

  3. I have used this serum a while back and it works! I could see a positive difference even in just a couple of days,It is so much more effective and cost efficient when DIYed. Thank you for putting this up. Reminds me to start using it again.

  4. I’m so glad that I came across your website today, and even more ecstatic about the recipes! Okay, I have a question about vitamin C used in serums, creams, treatments, etc. I just happe to be allergic to high acidity citrus fruits, mainly oranges, lemons, strawberries and grapefruit and wouldn’t ya know, even vitamin C supplements, so do you know of any other form of a vitamin C that I could replace it with that’s still in the vitamin C family? I know that there’s various types of fruits with vitamin C so my thinking is that I could possibly use an essential oil or another form of a vitamin C powder such as a fruit powder (that’s not from the fruits listed above that I’m allergic to) and possibly make up a serum, cream, etc. but of course it would need to be used at night due to photosensitivity issues. If so, could you please share an easy recipe with me? I say easy because I’m new to the whole diy cosmetic thing but I am familiar with essential oils. I really hope that my question is coming across the way that I’m thinking of it in my mind because I really don’t want to sound like I’m half crazy! Thanks again for sharing your recipes and wisdom with the rest of the world, including to us newbies! Oh, I really like that you include pictures because that just helps to know that we’re on the right track and what it sold look like at each phase!

    Blessings and peace,

    • Hello Tanja! :)
      Unfortunately I am not sure how to help you :(
      In essential oils there is no vitamin C (vitamin C is very difficult to stabilize), the only fruit that comes to my mind full of vitamin C that you didn’t mention above is kiwi!
      However! Kiwi powder or any fruit powder won’t work because I don’t think that in fruit powder there will be that much of vitamin C left at all.
      You should ask a doctor exactly what are you allergic to, because on the market you can very easily find pure Vitamin C powder which you could use to make a daily serum (so it wouldn’t need to be stored and preserved).
      I mean: is your allergy related to Vitamin C or to something else inside these citrus fruits?
      Because if it is related to Vitamin C itself I am not sure you could use a different form of stabilized vitamin C and not have an allergic reaction.
      Did you understand what I mean?
      I really think you should first find out WHAT (inside of those fruits) exactly you are allergic to :) in order to be sure you won’t risk anything at using pure vitamin C.
      Cause if you are allergic to fruit acids… well, vitamin C IS a fruit acid and I don’t see a way to get away with it :(

      Sorry I couldn’t be of help :(

    • Hi Tanja. If you buy pure l-ascorbic acid, it is just a bio-available chemical processed in a lab and has no DNA of fruit or other organisms in it, including GMO material, even if it is derived from GMO corn. Although I’ve found most of it isn’t, possibly due to consumer demand. ‘Now’ Foods do an ascorbic acid powder that is definitely non GM, too, which you can get from, though I get a bulk powder from ebay. Shop around, just make sure it’s pure ascorbic acid, and powder is best to dissolve. Also, I use distilled water, which has a ph of around 5.5, so I’ve just made some serum using 1g of c powder and 15ml distilled water, and that has turned out to be around 3-3.5, although it’s quite difficult to tell exactly as the colours never match the card exactly, but it tingles slightly and doesn’t burn, so I think I’ve got it about right. I keep this in a brown dropper bottle in the fridge. Hope this helps.

      • Thank you Paula. Just to be sure: it is ok that you make a small batch and keep it in the fridge… However it won’t last more than 2-3 days. It would be better to keep it in a transparent bottle so you would be able to tell the slightest change in color.

  5. Hi there! I really liked the way you explained everything :) I had read about this serum in other websites and I am quite confused because in some of them they said that the vitamin c serum was good for leaving in the face throughout the day to help with the free radicals. So that would be a bad idea? Also, I was thinking about using this serum all days, would that be too much on the skin? If yes what other serum would you recommend? Thank you so much!

    • Hello Paulina,
      Yes it is definitely too much to use it everyday.
      And yes I don’t suggest using it for many hours. You should wash it off: what happens is that the serum oxidizes on your skin if you leave it there too long and this is NOT GOOD.
      This serum works great every couple of days but only on short period of time (one or two months). Then you need to let your skin rest for a while.
      You could use another serum that works differently: for example hyaluronic acid serum. :)

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