3 DIY Vitamin C Serums You Can Easily Make At Home
There’s no doubt about how effective vitamin C serums are for your skin. However, because they are not very stable, you may need to replace your bottle often.
And since vitamin C serums don’t always come cheap, frequent replacement can surely burn holes in your wallet. If you’re on a tight budget, this idea isn’t anything close to good news.
But, hey, this doesn’t mean that there’s no way you can give your skin the goodness of vitamin C. This is exactly the reason why this list of easy-to-do homemade vitamin C serums is here.
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Creating your homemade vitamin C serum is easy peasy. It’s just a matter of throwing all the ingredients together.
But what exactly are those ingredients?
There are several forms of vitamin C but the best one to use for your skin is L- Ascorbic Acid (LAA) since it is in its purest form and water-soluble.
Compared with Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, which is another form of vitamin C, L- Ascorbic Acid can permeate the skin better. One specific study has also established that LAA has the best antioxidant effect among the other forms.
If you’re unsure where to start, we have a list of the best vitamin C powders you should definitely try.
Glass or plastic utensils
For your DIY serum, you should avoid using metal utensils. Pick a clean glass or plastic spoon to mix everything together.
Amber glass dropper
Vitamin C is highly sensitive to light. To prolong its shelf life, you should store it in an amber or a blue tinted bottle.
For easier dispensing, you can choose a container that comes with a dropper. It also makes dispensing a lot more hygienic.
You also need to include a funnel and some measuring spoons for accuracy.
When it comes to vitamin C, knowing your serum’s pH is very critical.
Ideally, you need to have your serum at around a pH of 3.5. Having it any lower or higher can cause reactions in your skin.
A lower pH, for example, can make your skin red and irritated. This happens more often to serums that are near to oxidizing, such as those serums that were exposed to unfavorable conditions during processing and delivery.
A higher pH, on the other hand, renders the serum practically useless.
The base is primarily the agent you add to dissolve your vitamin C powder. You can either use distilled water, glycerin or both.
Using distilled water can result in a thin mixture. That means your serum will be too watery or runny to apply.
A better idea would be to use a combination of glycerin and distilled water. Glycerin, aside from thickening your mixture, can also give your skin moisturizing benefits.
Essential Things To Know Before Starting
I know I said that making a DIY vitamin C serum is as easy as combining the ingredients. However, for it to work as it should, there are a few things you have to consider.
- A homemade vitamin C serum should be made according to your preference and skin’s needs.
- Although you can throw in additional ingredients, it’s still best if you use fewer ingredients to preserve the potency of your serum.
- Its consistency and strength will depend on your skin’s tolerance. If you feel that your solution is too weak, make sure to wait for a few days or weeks before increasing its strength.
- Dissolve the L- Ascorbic powder thoroughly, particularly if you’re buying them in crystal form.
- Because vitamin C serum degrades quickly, it’s important that you create a fresh mixture as often as necessary. Watch out for signs of oxidation, such as changes in color, smell and consistency.
- You may or may not add glycerin.
- Wear your sunscreen, SPF 30 and up, before heading outdoors as the serum can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
- Do a sensitivity patch test first before applying the serum on your entire face.
- Always shake the bottle before using your serum.
- Allow the serum to completely dry before applying anything else on your skin.
The strength of your serum is generally represented by percentages.
A 5% solution, for example, has 5% LAA and 95% base. If you want to make a 10% solution, you need 10% LAA and 90% base.
For your base, you can choose to have more glycerin than distilled water or the other way around. Just remember that although glycerin can moisturize your dry skin, too much of it can make your solution very sticky.
1. The Basic Vitamin C Serum Recipe
For a 10% solution, you need:
- ¼ teaspoon LAA
- 2 teaspoon distilled water
- ¼ teaspoon glycerin
For a 20% solution, prepare:
- ¼ teaspoon LAA
- ¾ teaspoon distilled water
- ¼ teaspoon glycerin
If you don’t want to add glycerin, simply replace the required glycerin amount with water. But remember, doing this will make your solution runny.
After preparing all the ingredients, you need to:
- Dissolve the vitamin C powder with distilled water. Mix until there are no more lumps or solid parts.
- Once the powder is completely dissolved, you can add the glycerin.
- Use the pH strip to determine if your solution is in the right pH level. Aim for a pH of 2.5 to 3.5.
- If the mixture is too acidic or lower than 2.5pH, you can add more distilled water. Do the adjustment slowly to avoid over diluting the solution.
- Use the funnel and transfer the serum to a tinted bottle Make sure it’s airtight and stored in a place without direct sunlight.
2. Vitamin C Serum With Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is frequently added to skin care products because of its ability to retain moisture. It can also help tame inflammation which means it’s a great addition to your serum if you are suffering from acne.
For this 20% vitamin C serum, you’ll need:
- ½ teaspoon ascorbic acid
- 1 ½ teaspoon distilled water
- ½ teaspoon hyaluronic acid
Dissolve your vitamin C with the distilled water first. Once it has turned liquid, you can add the hyaluronic acid slowly and mix them well.
3. Vitamin C Serum with Jojoba Oil
Using the same procedure as the listed above, take:
- ¼ teaspoon LAA
- ½ teaspoon jojoba oil
- ½ teaspoon distilled water
Jojoba oil is a good alternative to glycerin given that its chemistry closely resembles human sebum or your skin’s natural oil. It is also very stable and provides excellent moisture.
Adjusting the strength
The consistency of your serum will depend on how you tweak the ingredients.
For example, if you use more oil than water, the mixture will turn more “serum-like” and a bit thick. However, if you increase your water to oil ratio, you’ll get a mixture that’s runny.
In case you want to adjust the portions, make sure that the total amount of liquid remains the same. Otherwise, you’ll be decreasing the potency of your DIY serum.
Another key thing to remember is to be accurate with your ratio of LAA, water and base. As much as possible, do not go beyond 20% as it can be too harsh for your skin.
In case you’re planning on increasing your LAA percentage, I suggest you don’t do it quickly. Take the time to allow your skin to get used to your existing solution first.
Ideally, that should be around two weeks.
If you are currently using 10% vitamin C serum, you should transition to 12% or 15% first before trying out the maximum 20%. If there are signs of redness and irritations, take a step back and return to 10%.
When Can You See Improvements?
One of the most common reasons why people quit using their vitamin C serum is because they’re impatient.
Vitamin C serums, whether they are homemade or from high-end brands, can’t give you great results right away. It will take around 3 or even 6 months before you can see any improvements in your skin.
And that requires consistent use as well as the application of a quality moisturizer after to negate any drying effects of the serum.
How To Prolong Your DIY Vitamin C Serum
After creating your serum, transfer it to an airtight tinted container. Keep it inside your refrigerator to prevent it from spoiling too soon.
Another good idea is to add a stabilizer to your formula.
One good example is ferulic acid. Aside from stabilizing your serum, it also has potent antioxidant and photoprotective benefits.
Vitamin C serum can degrade as quickly as 2 days or as long as 2 weeks. However, I still think its degradation depends on a lot of factors.
This is where pH strips come in handy. Before you can even see signs of oxidation (orange or cloudy color, pungent smell and cloudiness), you can use your pH strips to test the serum.
A DIY vitamin C serum is a good option if you’re trying to save money but still want to pamper your skin. However, although vitamin C, in general, is great for your skin, this type of serum is only as good as your preparation.
With the wrong base, pH or storage, the serum might not work as it should. Worse, it can cause severe negative reactions.
If you are feeling unsure about mixing your own homemade vitamin C serum, we have a list of the top vitamin C serums you can check out.