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So Easy DIY Vitamin C Serum for Collagen Boosting!

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Learn more
 
In the skin care world, Vitamin C serums are powerful anti aging tools that have been known to smooth and even skin tone, fade sun spots and boost the natural glow of skin. With all these benefits it seems like being able to make an effective vitamin C serum at home is too good to be true but luckily it’s not as long as you know how to properly make it! Read on to find out how easy it is to take charge of your skin!
DIY Vitamin C Serum

Topical vitamin C is possibly the most effective anti aging ingredient you can use. It promotes collagen synthesis, fades hyperpigmentation and is a powerful antioxidant! This super simple homemade Vitamin C Serum recipe has easy to find ingredients that are going to give your skin that boost you’re looking for for little effort and little money! This DIY serum can improve skin health dramatically with regular use and making sure your serum is at it’s upmost freshness.

Benefits of Vitamin C Serum:

  • Encourages the production of collagen. As we age, our collagen levels dramatically drop, therefore collagen production slows. Collagen is a protein that makes the skin have elasticity which keeps fine lines and wrinkles from forming.
  • Has the ability to correct hyperpigmentation from UV damage
  • Protects against dark spots caused by sun damage
  • Powerful antioxidant which means it fights age causing free radicals. It reduces the number of sunburned cells as well as reverses age-related damage to skin. 
  • Calms inflammation
  • Regenerates new skin cells
  • Sloughs off dead skin cells
  • Improves skin tone and skin texture
  • Increases hydration in the skin
  • Reduces Redness
  • Reduces the appearance of under eye circles.
  • Has very mild side effects if any
  • Speeds up wound healing

Vitamin C is such an effective ingredient in skin care that I wrote an entire post solely on it’s benefits. 

The Problem w/ Store Bought Vitamin C Serums

You can buy a “vitamin C” cream or serum at many drug or department store but what they don’t tell you is that once vitamin C is added to a serum or cream, it loses it’s potency. Vitamin C is incredibly unstable. However, you probably know-this doesn’t stop many skin care companies charging 100s of dollars for a small bottle of vitamin C serum! Not to mention, in order to extend the shelf life, many commercial products contain harmful ingredients like propylene glycol.

This being said, whether you’re a DIYer or not-making your own DIY vitamin C serum is the best way to reap all the incredible benefits of vitamin C. Not to mention-it’s very affordable and takes minutes. 

**To boost even more vitamin C in your routine, try out my coQ10 Seabuckthorn face oil. Seabuckthorn is the perfect companion to a vitamin C serum due to it’s extremely high vitamin C content.

Also, check out my Licorice Root Skin Brightening toner recipe for even more sun spot fading action!!

What Can I Mix Vitamin C Powder With?

There are many answers to this question.

You can simply mix your vitamin C powder with distilled water! However, I love to use more nourishing ingredients.

The one rule is that the ingredient you choose needs to be water based not oil based.

Aloe vera gel is a fantastic option for sensitive skin. It is hydrating without being heavy and has loads of skin benefits.

Rose water is another great option. Rose has highly effective properties that can help all skin types. It’s gentle yet can pack a punch when it comes to slowing down the aging process.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Can I use vitamin C tablets to make serum? I have not and don’t recommend it.

What skin types shouldn’t use a homemade vitamin C serum? Sensitive skin types can become irritated. However, adjusting the strength of your vitamin C powder can make it doable.

Can I use lemon juice instead of vitamin C serum? No. lemon juice can cause photosensitivity and will highly irritate the skin.

Can I use aloe vera gel and vitamin C serum together? Absolutely! Aloe is a fantastic ingredient for a vitamin C serum.

Can I mix vitamin C with coconut oil? No, vitamin C powders don’t mix with oil based products.

Will dehydrated orange peels or other citrus fruits work as vitamin C? Maybe. However, there’s no way to know how potent your serum would be. I do love the idea of using dehydrated citrus peels in a cleansing grains recipe!

Can I add Vitamin E Oil to my homemade serum? I don’t recommend it simply because water and oil don’t mix. The vitamin E will set on top of your serum.

DIY Vitamin C Serum Ingredient List:

DIY Vitamin C Serum white pump bottle on a green dish.

DIY Vitamin C Serum Recipe

Yield: 1 ounce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Brighten, tighten and smooth skin with this super easy to make DIY Vitamin C Serum recipe! Vitamin C is possibly the most effective anti aging ingredient you can use. It promotes collagen production, fades hyperpigmentation and is a powerful antioxidant!  This super simple serum recipe has easy to find ingredients that are going to give your skin that boost you're looking for for little effort and little money! 

Tools

  • 1 ounce dark glass bottle
  • Small Funnels
  • Measuring Spoons
  • pH Strips

Instructions

    1. Mix ingredients in a small bowl until the powder is dissolved.
    2. Transfer to a 1 ounce dark glass bottle with a small funnel. 
    3. Place your serum in the fridge overnight or at least for a few hours to allow the powder to completely dissolve. 

Notes

  • It is important to store your DIY Vitamin C Serum in a 1 ounce dark glass dropper bottle or treatment pump. This will help your serum stay effective longer. 
  • This recipe should be used in no more than 7 days. You must remake your serum weekly. It is some extra work, but trust me, the benefits are worth it.
  • Feel free to use this on the backs of your hands as well. As most of us already know, sun spots show up on the hands first.
  • Vitamin C can cause your skin to be irritated at first. When you apply it, a small amount of tingling is normal. If it is burning, remove it immediately. Don't worry - you can just add more Aloe Vera Gel to your mixture. This will dilute the Vitamin C so it is more suited for your skin. This recipe makes a little under 1 ounce so you can easily add more to your 1 ounce bottle if you choose.
  • An easy way to make sure your Vitamin C is in the perfect form to get the most benefits is by using a pH test strip. Your serum should be right around 3.5.
  • Too much glycerin can feel tacky on your skin.
  • If you are having trouble with the feeling of this serum, omit the glycerin and add more Aloe Vera Gel. I find that it gives me a very dewy look which I love but I also feel like my hair can get stuck to my face after using the serum. 

Did you make this product?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

How to Adjust the Strength of Vitamin C Serums:

You can add between one half to two tablespoons of Bos Essentials Vitamin C Powder to four tablespoons liquid

  • ½ tablespoon = approximately a 5% solution
  • 1 tablespoon = approximately a 10% solution
  • 1 ½ tablespoon = approximately a 15% solution
  • 2 tablespoons = approximately a 20% solution

My recipe is a 10% solution. If you would like to increase your percentage, do so cautiously. Vitamin C can burn and irritate the skin. 

Bos Essentials Vitamin C Powder is really easy to work with. It’s very powdery rather than grainy. I find that after a few hours it completely dissolves which never happened with any other vitamin C powder I’ve used. 

If you want to get really excited about the effectiveness of this powder, read the reviews on Amazon!

Also, this vitamin C powder works great in my DIY Vitamin C mask recipe!

pH and Vitamin C:

pH is important to consider when it comes to a vitamin C serum. Your serum can easily be checked by using a pH strip. Simply drop a drop of your serum onto a pH strip. 

We are wanting our serum to be between 3-4. 

If you serum is too low, it will irritate your skin and cause more harm than good. If it is too high, it won’t be effective. 

You can raise the pH of your serum by adding small amounts of baking soda at a time. 

DIY Vitamin C Serum

How to Use a DIY Vitamin C Serum:

  • Vitamin C serums can be used daily.
  • After cleansing and toning your skin, apply a thin layer of vitamin C serum to your skin.
  • Allow the serum to penetrate the skin.
  • Follow up with a moisturizer-I recommend a face oil like my coQ10 Seabuckthorn face oil.
  • Use this serum in the evening unless you are also using a retinol or AHA/BHA.

Precautions When Using a Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C serums should not be used at the same time as glycolic, salicylic or lactic acids. These AHAs and BHAs will throw off the pH palace and cancel the effect fo vitamin C. Niacinamide could also counteract vitamin C’s benefits.

Retinol should also never be used at the same time as vitamin C.

If your skin can handle using both Vitamin C and the acids mentioned above or retinol, you can use a vitamin C serum in the morning and another acid in the evening. 

I recommend using a sunscreen during the day since these products can cause your skin to be extra sensitive to sunlight. 

DIY Vitamin C Serum

How Often Should You Make A Fresh Batch of Serum?

This recipe should be used in no more than 14 days. You must remake your serum at least every 2 weeks. You might even want to make it weekly since it is so fast and easy. It is some extra work, but trust me, the benefits are worth it. If you don’t make a fresh batch of serum weekly, your serum will oxidize and be useless.

Making a new batch biweekly is a small price to pay for healthy skin! Luckily, this vitamin C serum is an easy recipe and takes minutes to make.

A vitamin C serum will turn yellow once it’s gone bad. Using a dark colored bottle makes it impossible to really tell if your serum is off. I don’t personally do this but you can put your serum in a clear glass bottle and cover it with foil. This way it’s protected but you can still check on it’s color. 

Using a skincare fridge can help your vitamin C serum from oxidizing as quickly. 

A preservative is not necessary since we are making fresh batches weekly. Plus, a low pH makes it hard for bacteria to proliferate.

I love using this natural vitamin c serum for several reasons. The biggest reason is that it is so effective and results can often be seen quickly. I also love that how soft my skin is upon just one use. Plus, after using a vitamin C mask or the vitamin C serum, my skin sucks up my facial oils. 

It can take 4-12 weeks to see results after regularly using vitamin C. However, immediate results are often seen such as brightening, smoothing and hydrating! 

The original recipe is on the Primally Inspired blog. However, it has taken much time and much research to perfect this recipe so it was necessary to write this new and improved update.

xx, Jenni

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

90 thoughts on “So Easy DIY Vitamin C Serum for Collagen Boosting!”

  1. Hi, I was wondering why the directions say to make in small batches and use in 3-5 days, is it perishable? Also is it ok to use daily?

  2. Hi Jenni,
    I just made your Vit. C serum and tried it tonight. I followed the instructions, but couldn’t get the vitamin C powder to dissolve completely in the solution. When applied it felt granular still. It also has a slightly uncomfortable burning sensation. Is this normal?
    thanks!
    Stephanie

    1. Stephanie-unfortunately it is normal. I have found a brand of L.Ascorbic acid that is water soluble though-I haven’t tried it but I will as soon as mine runs out. https://amzn.to/1fjxVYg The burning is normal but if it’s too much you should reduce the amount of l.ascorbic acid next time you make it. A little burn is fine, but not too much. Since it’s an acid there’s no way around a little burning. Thanks!!

      1. Hi Jenni, Just seen this post and I know it is 4 years old, but I have found a company called Deciem and they do a range of beauty products called The Ordinary and they have recently launched a Vitamin C powder which is soluble in oil and water and it is brilliant. I just add it to my facial oil and apply to my face.. They are a Canadian based company but they have stockists in a few countries including the U.K. Hope this helps. https://theordinary.com

      2. Hi Jenni!

        I love your products! I was wondering….I’ve seen others that say if you store this serum in the fridge it lasts a lot longer. Is that true? I love using this but making it every 3 to 5 days is a bit much. Thanks!!

        Gayle

          1. Ok, thanks so much! It’s hard to know what’s true when there are so many “experts” saying different things. But I trust that you know!

        1. This sounds amazing, if it works on sun damage, I’ll be using it on my chest and hands as well as my face! You mentioned the water soluble L.Ascorbic acid, have you used it yet? What do you think of using Rosehip oil and Frankincense for an added boost for repairing sun damage?

          1. Hi Jenni, can I know if I can use the L-ascorbic acid to the Vitamin C serum? and also the same glycerine for both recipe? or does it have to be different? and after apply the serum and the mask on back of arms, do I need to moisturise further? Thanks!

            1. Mel-I’m not sure I understand-The serum has l. ascorbic acid. You can mix just about anything you want with the l.ascorbic acid-aloe, almond oil, water etc. Glycerin was my suggestion. If your skin feels dry and tight after applying the serum/mask you can use a moisturizer but otherwise, you don’t need to. Thanks!

              1. i’m so sorry! I thought that I was in the VIT C MASK page. it seem that the ingredients are quite similar and am wondering if I can use the same glycerine for both the serum and the mask. anyway, I have ordered the ingredients for the serum! excited! ^^

                  1. Thanks again Jenni. I hv tried out tonite. Vit c dissolved,added half of glycerine ratio to water (0.5 : 1). the serum feels watery bt after application its really sticky even when i put very little glycerine. Is this normal?

                  2. Hi jenni!
                    I would like to congratulate you for your blogg and your knowledge.
                    I would like to know the difference between the vitamine C mask and the vitamine C serum.
                    Do they have the same effect?
                    If I use the serum, how often should I apply it on my face? Should I left it during the all night?
                    I have a mixed skin, what type of tonic do you recommend me?
                    Thank you for your help and professionalism.
                    Best regards,
                    Tamara

                    1. Hi Tamara! Thank you so much! I created the Vitamin C mask for people that didn’t want to commit to using the Vitamin C serum daily. The results are the same, they will just come quicker if you use a serum daily.
                      If you do the serum you apply it at night after cleansing your skin-you do not remove it. Hope this helps!

                    2. Hey, J! Just found my way to you and this serum a week or so ago. Very excited to get into it and the rest you have to share! 2 questions: I saw you mentioned coconut oil could be subbed for glycerin. How do you get around the coconut oil being solid? I’ve been trying to mix up my recipe but the coconut oil won’t dissolve. AND with this recipe, how much should one apply? A whole dropper full? Thanks! Jennifer

                      1. Jennifer-It won’t stay solid, you’ll have to scoop it out unless you use fractionated coconut oil-it stays liquid. I would apply enough to cover you face lightly. Don’t use too much since it can be sticky and also too strong. Hope this helps!!

                        1. Thanks for responding…. I’m a little confused though. I use organic virgin coconut oil – for cooking and many other things….. It’s always solid in the jar unless it’s super hot. Are you saying there’s a coconut oil I could get that stays liquid? Thanks!

                            1. One last question! 🙂 Can I use the Macadamia nut oil in your anti-aging serum recipe as the carrier oil for the Vitamin C serum? It smells and feels so good. Thanks!

                                  1. J…. Me again, with (hopefully) one last Vit C serum question! I used the macadamia nut oil but the serum was much drier. The Vit C crystals were just kind of sitting there on my skin. I used the macadamia nut oil alone. Should I be mixing it with the glycerin or something else? Thank you…AGAIN! J

                                1. I bought the Health Force brand of vitamin C today but noticed that it doesn’t list L-absorbic acid as an ingredient. I’ve read on other sites that is the important ingredient for this serum to work. Should I buy a different brand or will this work? Also, can I used rose water instead of distiller water? Thanks so much and I love your blog!

                                  1. Lisa-I would purchase only pure L.Ascorbic acid. It is not a synthetic gmo vitamin C like ascorbic acid and comes in a powder form. I have linked what I specifically used on the recipe. I’m not sure if what you have will work since I’ve never used it but I wouldn’t take a chance. This isn’t the most enjoyable serum so if you are using it, you want to make sure it’s effective! Thanks!

                                    1. Hi Jenni,
                                      Thanks for the reply! The Health Force brand of vitamin C that I referenced in my last comment was the one that you linked to at primallyinspired.com. Should I return that bottle and buy L.Ascorbic Acid instead? If so, what brand would you recommend? Thanks again 🙂

                                    2. hii.. im a newbie in this DIY thing.. i’ve tried different kind mixing (all easy one though) for vit C (ferulic+sea kelp,vit e) and now i want to use this ingredient but i dont know how many i should use.. pls help
                                      -vit c powder
                                      -vit e
                                      -aloe vera
                                      -almond oil
                                      -(should i use?) distilled water

                                      thanks so much

                                      1. KeeKee-I’m not sure I would make this recipe this complicated. The thing is, Vitamin C is very unstable so you only want to make enough to last you about 5 applications. Otherwise it’s pointless. If you need some nourishment along with your vitamin C (which you will bc vitamin C is an acid and can be drying), I would make a serum to use after you have removed the Vitamin C serum. Something like almond oil, vitamin E and lavender oil. Your skin would appreciate that after the vitamin C serum! Does this make sense? Also, be careful not to mix waters and oils. You will have bacteria issues, big time. Aloe is water based so I wouldn’t mix it with oils either.

                                    3. Could this be mixed at each application rather than every few days? Would it work in a hyalauronic acid carrier? I currently use philosophy vitamin c powder and add it to my serum in my palm each morning. Easier for me than mixing batches every few days.

                                          1. Gina, You should be using a small amount and leave it on. If it is uncomfortable then you should reduce the l.ascorbic acid. If it’s sticky then I would leave it on as long as you can, then remove when you need to. Hope this helps!

                                        1. I have made the Vitamin C Serum with ascorbic acid and Vitamin C powder – followed the recipe very carefully but
                                          it is granulated – is it still efficient – the vitamin C I used is CAMU POWDER organic 100% – but I keep grinding it and it is still granulated – should I still use it – Looking forward to hearing from you – Thank you

                                        2. Hello Jenni! I love the idea of a homemade C serum, especially considering how expensive and unstable pre-mades are. However you mention using pH strips to make sure the serum sits right around a 3.5- I have checked mine and it’s about a 2! Do you know of any way to adjust the pH up to 3.5?
                                          Thank you!

                                              1. I recently made a small batch. Can this be used every day? Also if I don’t have ph strips and it happens to not be in the range you suggest, is it just not effective at all? Or will I get some benefits?

                                                1. Hi Lisa! Yes, you can use it daily. The thing with pH is that if it’s too low it could burn and be too strong. If it’s too high it won’t be effective. You can tell what proportion you need by how your skin feels. Tingly is good-burning is bad and nothing could be ineffective. Hope this helps!

                                              2. If you place the vitamin C serum in a one ounce roller ball container, will this help it last longer? The theory is the roller ball prevents air from oxidizing the Vitamin C.

                                              3. I’m 63 and now face the horror of a crepey neck and jowls (thanks Dad). Thankfully I don’t have crows-feet or other aging signs to deal with. I’ve purchases organic rosehip oil and vitamin c serum and wanted to know if I can mix the two somehow, and use nightly. What would be the proper ratio? Could I use coconut oil with these as well?
                                                Thanks for any advice!

                                                1. Yvonne-Hi! Well, vitamin C is water soluble so it has to be dissolved in a water based substance such as glycerin, aloe vera gel, witch hazel or distilled water. I’m afraid in order to use both Vitamin C and rosehip, you would have to do to different products. I just posted a recipe with rosehip-it’s a super easy serum that you could make and apply after you vitamin C serum soaks in. Find that serum HERE. Hope this helps!

                                              4. Hi! The Vitamin C on the link says that it contains 270mg of Vitamin C per 7.5 grams of the powder. Basically, it contains 3,6% of vitamin C per 100% of powder. Is this correct? What if I use some other form of Vitamin C? How much Vitamin C in mg or grams should I use per 1 tsp water? Thanks 🙂

                                              5. If I get rid of the glycerin and distilled water and replaced them with aloe vera gel, would it still work? And would the shelf life for it be any different?

                                                  1. On a whim today I bought a bottle of liquid V C (500mg). Then went to the internet looking for a way to use it on skin and ended up here. Any suggestions for using the liquid in lieu of the L ascorbic powder?

                                                  2. Hi Jenni,

                                                    I have mixed Acerola Cherry Extract powder (can this be used for the Vitamin C?), glycerin and distilled water using the amounts you stated. I must say that it smells awful and is extremely sticky! When I first applied it, I had to wipe the excess off my hands as it was so sticky. Is this, (and the smell) normal?

                                                    Many thanks
                                                    Mary M

                                                    1. Mary-Sticky is normal with glycerin. You could cut the glycerin amount in 1/2 and use aloe or more water in it’s place. The smell is not normal with L.Ascorbic Acid so it might be your extract. Does it fade after a time? You might check out the L. Ascorbic acid instead. Good luck!

                                                  3. Hi Jenni-

                                                    I got my L. Ascorbic Acid from Lotion Crafter. It mixes great but do you think it’s an acceptable product?

                                                    Thanks!
                                                    Lisa

                                                    1. Lisa-I think so. I like that company-they aren’t the most natural with everything but I’m not so sure we can get super natural L. Ascorbic Acid.

                                                  4. Hello Jenni!
                                                    I’m going to attempt your recipe using Camu Camu powder because I already have it. But I’d like to know in case I do need to purchase the vitamin C powder, if vitamin C (L. Ascorbic Acid) is so unstable, how can it be sold in quantities? If only 1 tsp is needed for your recipe and only good for up to 5 days, wouldn’t the remainder of the powder have lost potency as well?

                                                  5. Dear jenni,I’m solange living in the caribbean islands,lots of sun and hot weather year round,its been approx 1 week that ive been making and using your vitc serum,i use,glycerine and water,added to the powered vitc,i absolutely love it,very easy to make,3-5days usage,i no longer see sleeplines all around my face in the morning,my features are more plump and firm as well,i highly recommend trying this super eacy c serum,thxs jenni.

                                                  6. Hi Jenni,
                                                    I’m trying to make your vitamin c serum and I am using everything you suggested but the powder. I purchased this vitamin c powder before I found your blog. I cannot get it to dissolve enough to use it. I read a comment some body else left that was having the same problem and you said you were going to try another kind of powder your self. I was wondering if you found a vitamin c powder that works better as my funds are very limited?

                                                    1. Debbie-I have not found another Vitamin C powder that dissolves better. It seem to me that this is a problem with all vitamin C powders. I have ended up adding a pinch to my face cream and that seems to help. Plus it’s easy and isn’t sticky. I wrote about it HERE.

                                                  7. Hey there I was just wondering can I use the age old powdered orange peel instead of l ascorbic acid in the vitamin c serum.
                                                    Thank you

                                                  8. Hi Jenni, I have seen your August 31, 2021 revised Vitamin C serum. So glad to have it.
                                                    But I am confused about your section above about adjusting the strength/percentage of Vitamin C. You listed various percentages as diluted in 4 Tablespoons of water. Is that for people who just want a water/Vitamin C only serum?
                                                    You said your recipe is 10% Vitamin C assuming you are referring to the new August, 2021 recipe with the base of glycerin and aloe vera gel? I was trying to figure out how to get 20% for that latest version. Is it just a matter of doubling the amount of Vitamin C powder in that 8/31/21 version to get 20% Vitamin C? Your recipe liquid base doesn’t match the percentages per 4 TB water in the adjusting strength of Vitamin C section unless I am just not calculating it right?

                                                    1. Hi Elizabeth-Sorry to be confusing! The strengths I have listed are from the actual Vitamin C powder company. 4 tbsp. of water is their recipe but what I meant was 4 tbsp. of anything water based. This entire post has been redone so all the info. is new. Yes, you can just double to vitamin C from my recipe. My recipe turns out to be just a pinch under 10%.

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