Vitamin C serum is amazing for your skin. It can increase collagen production, reduce redness, fade hyperpigmentation, and so much more. This DIY vitamin C serum works just as well as store-bought vitamin C serums plus it’s all natural and costs a lot less!
(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure statement here.)
I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please do not ask me for medical advice. Click here to read my full disclaimer.
Before I really got into non-toxic skincare I was obsessed with this vitamin C powder from Philosophy.
It’s a topical vitamin C powder that you add to your water-based facial serum or moisturizer.
I was obsessed with this stuff! It made my skin look amazing. And ever since then, I’ve been 100% convinced of the skin benefits of vitamin C.
But as much as I loved this product I just couldn’t afford to purchase it very often because it was a little pricey.
So I was thinking about purchasing it again and decided to take a look at the ingredients.
To my surprise, the ingredients weren’t terrible.
But after seeing how simple the ingredients were and that the main ingredient was simply vitamin C powder I decided to conduct an experiment before splurging on this product.
And after a few days, I noticed very similar results.
My skin was clearer, brighter, and more glowy.
This eventually inspired me to make my own DIY vitamin C serum using the same vitamin C powder.
Benefits of Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C serum can help your skin look brighter and clearer. It can also neutralize free radicals and improve aging skin.
Topical vitamin C can also increase collagen production.
It can also help reduce redness and fade hyperpigmentation.
You can click here to discover all the different ways vitamin C serum can improve the look of your skin.
I highly recommend just giving it a try. Vitamin C serum has an excellent safety profile and is considered safe for most skin types.
As I mentioned before, seeing the results on my own skin is what truly convinced me of the benefits of vitamin C.
Is Homemade Vitamin C Serum Effective?
Homemade vitamin C serums can be just as effective as store-bought vitamin C serums. It all depends on the ingredients.
Oftentimes homemade vitamin C serums are better for your skin because they do not contain toxic preservatives.
But with that being said – since they do not contain toxic preservatives, homemade vitamin C serums usually do not have a very long shelf life.
How to Make Homemade Vitamin C Serum
To make homemade vitamin C serum you’ll first need to gather all your ingredients and materials. Everything needed is listed below.
Amber Glass Bottle
You’ll need a bottle to store your DIY vitamin C serum in. I am a huge fan of dark, glass bottles because vitamin C oxidizes very easily when exposed to heat or light.
This recipe makes a little less than 1 ounce of vitamin C serum. I use these 1-ounce amber glass bottles to store the vitamin C serum.
Although you can double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch, I don’t recommend doing so unless you are planning on making some for family or friends.
Vitamin C goes bad very quickly. So I don’t recommend making more than what you can use in about a 2-week period of time.
Vitamin C Powder
Vitamin C powder is the most important ingredient in this recipe. Without it, you’ll be missing out on all the amazing skin benefits that it offers and this wouldn’t technically be a vitamin C serum at all.
The type of vitamin C powder you use matters and you do have a few different options.
I’ve read a lot of conflicting information in regards to which form of vitamin C is best absorbed transdermally.
L-ascorbic acid is derived from natural sources. It’s found in fruits, vegetables, and even in human skin.
This study shows that L-ascorbic acid is the best type of Vitamin C to use topically to replenish your skin’s vitamin C levels.
I’ve had great results with it. It dissolves beautifully and applies to the skin very smoothly.
With all of that being said – L-ascorbic acid is not the same as whole-food vitamin C. L-ascorbic acid is a single molecule and whole-food vitamin C is much more than just one molecule.
Whole food vitamin C has amazing skin benefits when taken internally. I take it every day. So I decided to try it in this DIY vitamin C serum and it works great as well.
My favorite whole food vitamin C supplement contains only 100% natural vitamin C from organic berries including camu camu, acerola, and amla.
It contains zero additives or synthetic ingredients and it comes in capsule form. So I just broke open the capsules and added them to this recipe.
I honestly didn’t notice very much of a difference between the two other than the color. The DIY vitamin C serum made with L-ascorbic acid is clear and the DIY vitamin C serum made with this whole food vitamin C is pink.
Sometimes DIY vitamin C serum made with whole food vitamin C can be slightly grainy but when I make it with this specific whole food vitamin C supplement it isn’t grainy at all.
So you can choose which form of vitamin C you would prefer to use. The whole food vitamin C is more expensive but you can also use it as a supplement which I highly recommend for many different reasons.
I don’t recommend using L-ascorbic acid as a supplement because L- ascorbic acid is missing important properties that are found in whole-food vitamin C.
Consuming vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid can cause mineral dysregulation.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has many different skin benefits. It contains humectants that help to deeply moisturize the skin. Aloe vera gel also contains aloesin and aloin which has been proven to fade dark spots on the skin.
You can check out the studies below to learn more.
Aloe vera gel also contains naturally occurring salicylic acid which can help fight acne.
Aside from the many different skin benefits I also like to use aloe vera gel in this DIY vitamin C serum because it’s what gives it a serum-like consistency.
Whenever I make this DIY vitamin C serum I use fresh aloe vera gel directly from my aloe vera plant but you can use store-bought aloe vera gel as well.
This is one I have used in the past and highly recommend.
Aloe Vera Gel Juice
Aloe vera gel juice is fresh pressed juice made from pure aloe. It has similar skin benefits as aloe vera gel.
I like to use aloe vera gel juice in this DIY vitamin C serum recipe for the skin benefits. But that is not the only reason.
Aloe vera gel juice is what gives this vitamin C serum a true serum-like consistency. The aloe vera gel does as well but without the aloe vera gel juice the vitamin C serum has a little too thick of a consistency.
The aloe vera gel juice also helps to break down and dissolve the vitamin C powder.
So your vitamin C serum may end up with a more water-like consistency rather than serum-like.
I drink aloe vera gel juice daily so I almost always have it on hand which is why I decided to try it in this recipe. But you can definitely use distilled water instead if you prefer.
Vitamin E Oil (Optional)
It’s not 100% necessary but if you happen to have it on hand I would include it simply because it is so good for your skin.
DIY Vitamin C Serum Recipe
Once you’ve gathered everything you need you can begin making your own DIY vitamin C serum.
Mix together for a few minutes until the vitamin C powder has completely dissolved.
Once everything is completely blended you can carefully pour the mixture into the glass bottle. I recommend using a small funnel like this one to pour the mixture.
- L-Ascorbic Acid or Whole-food Vitamin C
- Aloe vera gel
- Aloe vera gel juice or distilled water
- Vitamin E oil
- Add 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel juice (or water) to a small bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon of L-ascorbic acid or whole-food vitamin C to the bowl.
- Mix together for a few minutes until the vitamin C has completely dissolved.
- Add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin E oil to the bowl and mix well.
- Once everything is completely blended you can carefully pour the mixture into the glass bottle. I recommend using a small funnel like this one to pour the mixture.
Store in the refrigerator. Use within 2 weeks.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Vitamin C Serum PH
Vitamin C serum should have a PH of around 2.5-3.5 for optimal absorption. This DIY vitamin C serum has a PH level of 3.
I had some PH test strips left over from a recent science experiment I did with my son so I was able to test the PH.
If you follow the recipe exactly your homemade vitamin C serum should also have a PH of 3. If you want to make sure you can purchase PH test strips from Amazon to test the PH of your homemade vitamin C serum.
Vitamin C Serum Concentration
It’s really important that your homemade vitamin C serum has a vitamin C concentration somewhere between 10-20%. The lower the concentration the less irritating but also less effective the serum will be.
The higher the concentration of vitamin C the more potent and effective it will be but it will also be more irritating to the skin.
A vitamin C concentration somewhere between 10-20% will give you an effective and powerful vitamin C serum that shouldn’t irritate your skin.
This vitamin C serum has a vitamin C concentration of around 14-15%.
How to Use DIY Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C serum should be applied to clean, dry skin. It can be used morning or night.
Although, I have read conflicting information in regard to whether vitamin C serum should be worn during the day.
Some say vitamin C serum shouldn’t be worn during the day if you are going to expose your skin to the sun as this might cause irritation.
I’ve applied store-bought vitamin C serum to my face in the morning for years and I’ve never had any issues. And I am in the sun a lot.
And I’ve also applied this DIY vitamin C serum in the morning and again – I’ve never had any issues.
But with all of that being said – be careful. If you use it in the morning and it irritates your skin stop using it in the morning and try only using it at night.
It should ideally be applied to the skin before sunscreen or moisturizer.
Simply add a small amount to your fingertips and gently pat it into your face and neck area. Make sure to avoid the eye area.
Also, if you have sensitive skin you might want to apply the vitamin C serum to a very small area before applying it to your entire face to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few frequently asked questions regarding this DIY vitamin C serum.
How to Store Homemade Vitamin C Serum
Homemade vitamin C serum should be stored in a cool, dark place – preferably in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Homemade Vitamin C Serum Last
Vitamin C has a very short lifespan. If you store this homemade vitamin C serum in the refrigerator it should stay good for around two weeks.
If you have PH test strips on hand you can check the PH levels to determine if it is still good. As the vitamin C serum starts to lose its effectiveness the PH level will change. If that happens it is time to throw it out and make a new batch.
I really love this DIY vitamin C serum. It’s so effective and very affordable.
In between batches, I still continue to add the vitamin C powder to my moisturizer, and that works amazing as well!
Well, I hope you enjoy this homemade vitamin C serum. Please let me know if you have any questions!
If you like this post you might also enjoy the posts below.