DIY 10% Vitamin C Serum

I’ve wanted to make my own Vitamin C serum for years, but science has never really been my forte and the thought of ruining expensive ingredients or giving myself a rash didn’t appeal. However, after reading about Jen’s exploits over at MyFunnyValentine with DIY serums, I was encouraged to try some mixing for myself.

If you are unfamiliar with Vitamin C serum, let me briefly fill you in.

Vitamin C serum is one of the few areas of skincare that actually works and has proven scientific benefits. Vitamin C boosts collagen production, softens lines, refines skin texture, repairs sun damage, and helps to contol acne.   I love it.  The catch is that some cosmetic companies try to get away with very small amounts of Vitamin C in their product, as it’s an expensive ingredient.  If you find yourself looking at a Vitamin C product and the percentage of Vitamin C is not boldly proclaimed on the bottle, be afraid. If they do put a decent amount of Vitamin C into their product (something hovering around 10% is a good benchmark), it’s usually incredibly expensive (Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, I’m looking at you). So you see, it’s a difficult situation.

There are two types of Vitamin C that you can use in a serum: L-Ascorbic Acid and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate.  L-Ascorbic Acid is most commonly used in Vitamin C serums, but it’s trickier to mix, more unstable, and can be irritating to the skin. Thus, even though Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is more expensive, it is very stable and non-irritating. That is why I chose to use it here.

From LotionCrafter.com I purchased:

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Vitamin E, Covi-Ox T50

Airless Pump Bottle

Tri-Corner Beaker

Mini-Measure

Funnel

Measuring Cup

I purchased the Jojoba Oil from my local pharmacy; it made a good ‘carrier oil’:

Pure Australian Golden Jojoba

Below is a picture of my order of raw ingredients and tools from LotionCrafter.com. You can see that the Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is the most expensive ingredient, but everything else is quite inexpensive (except the shipping!):

The first order of business was to sterilise everything in boiling water:

Then I left everything to air-dry. Quite easy when it’s chilly and you have the heater on!

Below is the combination of ingredients I used. As you can see, it’s quite a simple recipe.  You just mix everything together and stir it really well:

I used the funnel to pour part of the serum into the airless pump bottle, but the bottle started leaking! I had to pour everything back into the beaker:

The Jojoba Oil bottle came into its own, and I put most of the serum into that, and a smaller amount into a dropper bottle.

The finished product!

My DIY Vitamin C Serum works as well as any $200-a-bottle Vitamin C serum I’ve purchased. My skin looks clear, fresh, and smooth. I’m addicted! I certainly want to try my hand at other DIY recipes.

For other Vitamin C and DIY recipes check out Jen’s blog at MyFunnyValentine.

Edit: I still really like the Tetra form of vitamin c – it’s gentle and effective. You could probably cut back to 2ml of Covi-Ox in the recipe though and still get the preserving and skin benefits. Just fill in the gap with more oil :)

Also, I’ve gone off Jojoba Oil. After some research I found that it is actually a wax at room temperature, rather than an oil, which is why I found it would sit on my skin a little.  I’ve since used this recipe with a number of oils I’ve purchased from Skin Essential Actives and Garden of Wisdom and prefer the results. For a brief rundown on oils, their heaviness/ lightness, and skin healing properties, see this page and this page at Point of Interest.  Tetra will happily pair with any oil, it just depends what you prefer.

I have also tried Jen’s addition of CoQ10 (an antioxidant) to this Tetra recipe and love it! See her recipe here, and read about Jacie’s interpretation of the same recipe here.

Lastly, after speaking to a few people, I’ve found that many people who have ordered airless pump bottles from LotionCrafter have also found that they leaked on the first use. I’ve since been using the airless pump bottles from Skin Essential Actives. They always work, and can easily be cleaned with a bottle brush and detergent.

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34 Responses to DIY 10% Vitamin C Serum

  1. Jen W says:

    Mazeltof!! and welcome to the DARK SIDE :)

    It looks great, very clever of you to recycle the Jojoba company bottle!

    Make sure you keep it away from sunlight as it will increase oxidation of the C.

  2. Dempeaux says:

    I love the dark side! I’ll be sure to keep it away from sunlight – thanks for the tip! :)

  3. jeanie says:

    That’s incredible! I wonder if you cover the outside of the bottle with brown or black paper it might help keep the light out too. I really want to try this! x

  4. Dempeaux says:

    Oh that’s a good idea Jeanie – I might try that. You should definitely try it. It’s so simple and extremely effective :)

  5. cclarebear says:

    that’s it… i’m going to do this.

  6. Dempeaux says:

    @Cclarebear Yaaayy!! You won’t regret it :)

  7. Wow, kudos to you for going to all that effort. Have you considered making up and selling to other bloggers who are keen. I’d be one?

  8. Stacey says:

    So clever my dear… If only I wasn’t so very lazy, I’d give this a whirl too :) X

  9. Michelle says:

    You clever DIY-ers have really got me interested in making my own potions and lotions. (:

  10. ketoglutarat says:

    i will definitely try it!!! thanks so much!

  11. Tara says:

    Wow. This is a great idea. You and Jen are onto something here! I’d love to hear how the serum performs for you. xx

  12. Dempeaux says:

    @MeMyBestAndI Thankyou! I hadn’t thought about selling to other bloggers, as it’s so easy to make! I can send you a sample if you like? It’s seriously so easy to put together :)

  13. Dempeaux says:

    @Stacey Haha! It’s so easy, even for a scientific klutz like me ;)

  14. Dempeaux says:

    @Michelle You should give it a go! It’s lots of fun too :)

  15. Dempeaux says:

    @Ketoglutarat That’s great to hear! Yay! :)

  16. Dempeaux says:

    @Tara I’ll definitely keep you posted, but I love it so far :)

  17. My gosh you two are so good at this kind of thing! I simply don’t have the patience but if this DIY works so well well then I need to get myself into gear because I cannot abide spending a lot of money on creams…. perhaps when you are involved in the process of making your own you trust the cream more because you are clear what is in it. I want to give you and Jen some sort of top effort award!

    http://www.styleonthecouch.wordpress.com
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  18. Dempeaux says:

    @StyleOnTheCouch You’ve summed it up really well! Not only is it cheaper, but you know what’s going into the product you put on your face, and it’s so much more effective. My skin is looking so much better :)

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  22. xx says:

    would this serum be too oily for oily skin?

  23. Dempeaux says:

    @xx You could always sub in a lighter oil like hemp and use it at night, but I would probably started with the CE Ferulic or MAP if you have oily skin :)

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  25. Mandeep Kaur says:

    Hi! I know you posted this quite a while ago, but after reading this, I tried to find Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate in the UK and came across this product on ebay:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Natural-Vitamin-C-Serum-Tetrahexyldecyl-Ascorbate-Most-Sought-After-Vit-C-form-/110961768134?pt=UK_Health_Beauty_Skincare_PP&hash=item19d5d636c6

    It says it contains Vitamin C and Jojoba oil. I was wondering, would you mind having a look and see if it seems legit?

  26. Dempeaux says:

    @Mandeep Hi! I’d be a bit weary of buying any skincare ingredients on Ebay – best to buy from Skin Essential Actives or similar. Don’t take any chances with your face! :)

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  28. Snazz says:

    Hi,

    Regarding using Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), do you have lots of blackheads after you use the serum? I started making my Vitamin C using L-ascorbic acid but it gives me lots of blackheads that it took days to get rid of it.

  29. Dempeaux says:

    @Snazz The oil is probably too rich for you. Perhaps try a simple L-ascorbic acid formula instead.

  30. Stella says:

    This is great! I used to make my own CE Ferulic…however I got lazy and started buying it instead. I wasn’t very happy with the texture, I think the problem was the Ferulic.

    I have a question tho, I was JUST about to go and buy the Skin Ceuticals one as I heard so many good things about it…however..I noticed that they don’t sell it in ar air pump bottle, but in a dropper bottle, is that good? Wont it oxidize?? I am also currently finishing my Medik 8 Tetrahexyldecil Vitamin C Serum and its also in a dropper bottle! So it is no good like that since it cant have any contact with air… I have had it for 6 months now, so obviously its way past its date…. can someone help me and email me or send me a message here? if we opt to buy vitamin C serum, shall we absolutely look for an airpump bottle? Thanks ! I would definitely try this recipe out !

  31. Dempeaux says:

    @Stella Definitely. Get it in a pump. Vit C is extremely unstable and needs all the help it can get. However, with this one, as it’s encased in oil, it should be fine. With the L-AA version (or MAP) and pump is essential.

  32. Stella says:

    Thank You Dempeaqux! So why is everyone raving about the CE Ferulic from Skin Ceuticals, and it is not in a pump? Does the Ferulic make it ok to make contact with air, does it make it more stable??

    As I said I currently have the Medik8 CE Tetra. With tetrahexildecyl and Vitamin E. It is also in a dropper bottle. Do you think it is table cos of vitamin E? I really need to know…

  33. Dempeaux says:

    @Stella I have no idea. I do remember buying vit c commercially *many* years ago, and it had little to no effect whatsoever, but I can’t speak for Skinceuticals. LAA is the most unstable of all the Vit C varieties, and Tetra is the most stable. My own experience is that vit c works far better on my skin when I make it. Perhaps because most commerical skin care has no effect whatsoever, when it has even *some* effect people rave?

    Your CE Tetra would be more stable because it is in oil.

  34. Stella says:

    Dear Dempaeaux, thank you so much for your answer. I think mine has become old now anyway, and should not keep any Vit C serum after 3 months…especially the ones not in an airtight pump. In the meantime I found some info on the internet about Skin Ceuticals one, would be happy to share it if I can share the link here..
    In the meantime, I hope I will start to make my own again! I will keep your recipe:)

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