DIY Vitamin C Serum: MAP 10% Serum

I’m working harder than ever on my thesis at the moment, but I just thought I’d quickly write up my latest DIY discovery for you all.

I’ve been playing around with yet another vitamin c serum.Β  MAP, or Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, is a water soluble form of vitamin c which doesn’t have the potential irritation of L-Ascorbic Acid. I’ve been really happy with the effect it has had on my skin. Great stuff!

This recipe is adapted from the Skin Essential Actives website for the dry Australian climate.Β  If you live in a humid climate, you may find the Skin Essential Actives version more comfortable for you.

You will need:

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 3.5 grams
Distilled H20 14.3 grams
Borage Oil (or whatever oils you prefer) 14.4 grams
Vitamin E 0.35 grams
Emulsifying wax 2 grams
Glycerin 0.35 grams
Preservative 0.15 grams

(pH should be 7.7)

Here is the recipe presented in percentages, so that you can adjust the amount you make easily:

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%
Distilled H20 41%
Borage Oil (or whatever oils you prefer) 42%
Vitamin E 1%
Emulsifying wax 4%
Glycerin 1%
Preservative 1%

nb: I like to take 2.5% away from the H2O and add 2.5% N-Acetyl-L-Hydroxyproline in its place. It will give you the softest skin imaginable, and it’s amazing for building collagen! Just dissolve in the water and continue as usual.

1. First dissolve the MAP in the water, and put it aside, stirring every now and again (it takes a while to dissolve).

2. Add Glycerin.

3.Β  Add Borage Oil and Vitamin E in a separate pot.

4. As I don’t have a double boiler, I stood the Borage oil + Vit E in some water from the kettle, then heated the wax on a spoon over a candle.

5. Once the wax is liquid, pour in the wax into the Borage solution and stir. Keep stirring and add the MAP solution GRADUALLY and DON’T STOP STIRRING.

6. Stir vigorously! It should start to form a lotion consistency.

7. As it cools, keep stiring, and it will continue to thicken. Add Optiphen.

8. Test the pH – it should be 7.7.

9. Place the MAP serum into an airless pump container or cobalt jar. All my containers were due for washing, so I put mine in a glass jar to be stored in a dark cupboard in the bathroom.

I’ve been using this serum for a few weeks now and have been really enjoying it. It’s taken me some time to get the recipe just right, but I’m very happy with the result!

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41 Responses to DIY Vitamin C Serum: MAP 10% Serum

  1. Suzanne says:

    ha! who would have thought that heroin problem would come in handy when you had to melt some stuff into a spoon!

    Real answer: this looks awesome. as stupid as it sounds, I’m in awe of your teeny tiny little measuring cup.

  2. Dempeaux says:

    @Suzanne Haha! Chris calls it my ‘meth lab’ πŸ˜‰ Something practical to take my mind off words for a bit!

  3. Sam says:

    Indeed. This post does have something of the crack den about it! Oh well, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!!

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @Sam Yes, the double-boiler would be more elegant πŸ˜‰

  5. Dain says:

    Good luck on your thesis!

  6. Michelle says:

    Haha meth lab. d:

  7. Dempeaux says:

    @Dain Thankyou so much! πŸ™‚

  8. Dempeaux says:

    @Michelle πŸ˜€

  9. Witoxicity says:

    I gotta say, you’re so clever with your DIY skincare concoctions! You and Jenny make a great team. πŸ™‚ I enjoyed reading your DIY posts. The easiest one has got to be the hair volume serum. Haha, just add and shake! I like that.

  10. Dempeaux says:

    @Witoxcity Thankyou! The hair serum is certainly easy, and very effective too! Jen has great knowledge – she’s very talented πŸ™‚

  11. Jen W says:

    Squee just got your serum in the mail thankyou thankyou!! I’ve just rubbed some onto the back of my hand and the skin now feels SO SILKY. Can’t wait to try it on my face tonight!

  12. Dempeaux says:

    @Jen That’s great! I’m glad it reached you safely. Yay! πŸ˜€

  13. Nancy says:

    No need for a double boiler. Just put some water into a small saucepan and sit your glass measuring cup inside the saucepan. You can heat your oils and waxes together in the same measuring cup. Of course you wouldn’t want to heat the borage oil too much, but less fragile oils would be fine. Making teeny tiny batches can be fun. Love your blog.

  14. Dempeaux says:

    @Nancy Thankyou πŸ™‚

  15. Megan says:

    This sounds really lovely.
    I find it better to make 100g of any product when I’m experimenting. Then, it’s easier to work in % (Everything should add up to 100%) and you’re sure to have the correct amount of emulsifiers and preservatives etc.

  16. Dempeaux says:

    @Megan Yes, but I’m always too worried that I’ll waste ingredients if I make a few batches of 100g products that didn’t work out! πŸ™‚

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  18. alania says:

    whats the ammount of finished product?I mean how manu oz bottle shoul I use for your recipe?

    thank you!

  19. Dempeaux says:

    @alania 30ml = 1oz πŸ™‚

  20. SEA says:

    Lovely recipe Dempeaux!!! Hope you are well!

  21. Violet says:

    This seems lovely! Thank you for taking the time to post a tutorial and for sharing your experience making and using serum. I see that you’ve added some preservative. How long does it keep when placed in a dark glass container in a dark and cool cabinet? Also, can I halve the amount of MAP to 1.7 grams when making this the first few times so that my skin can get accustomed to using Vitamin C?


  22. Dempeaux says:

    @Violet I usually keep my serums in the fridge to keep them nice and fresh. I’ve never really test out their longevity, but I’m guessing it would be fine for a few months at least. You can definitely half the amount of vit c, though you’ll probably find MAP far more gentle than L-AA πŸ™‚

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  24. Kathy says:

    Could you use grated bees wax instead off emulsifying wax?

  25. Dempeaux says:

    @Kathy Emusifying wax would be easier to use, I imagine.

  26. Aysel says:

    I’m just starting out with DIY, and am trying to stay away from coconut derivatives because of an allergy. I know that emulsifying wax contains some of these derivatives, so do you think the MAP serum would work with lecithin as the emulsifier? Is there another non-coconut emulsifier you’re aware of?

  27. wannabe says:

    What form of Vit E did you use? Could I open a Vit E capsule or is there some other form that is better?

  28. Sophia says:

    May I skip the Optiphen? Or will that change the consistency? Thanks!!

  29. Jenna says:

    Have you noticed any separation in the serum over time? Thanks!

  30. Kris says:


    I know this reply is way late, but hopefully you’ll still see it…

    I have sensitive skin & it’s not fond of emulsifying wax. This is a great recipe & I was wondering if there’s something else I could use in lieu of the E-wax? Beeswax perhaps?


  31. Carla Tullis says:

    Want to make it for my friend,she as very acne prone skin,the only thing is I didn’t see how much preserved to put in,and which one should I use,Thank you for a lovely recipe

  32. Dempeaux says:

    Use a preservative like this Very cheap and effective. Use 1% of the total.

  33. Dempeaux says:

    That’s a fair request, but MAP is a really touchy active to work with, and it’s one of the few (perhaps only) actives that you need to use EW with to bring the serum together. Perhaps try AA2G instead? &

  34. Dempeaux says:

    Sometimes, but only if I haven’t left it to completely cool before putting it in a pump bottle πŸ™‚

  35. Dempeaux says:

    You can skip the preservative, but make sure you sterilise EVERYTHING well. You need a preservative to stop it from going off. I don’t trust my ability to sterilise everything 100%. I can do most, but not all.

  36. Rose says:

    I’d like to add MAP to my existing creams, can I just dissolve the correct amount to make up 10% in distilled water and combine? I have distilled water, oils and glycerin to hand, but no preservative or wax…

  37. Dempeaux says:

    Hi Rose! It’s always more effective (ie dermal penetration is better) if you make a cream from scratch. Emulsifying wax can be purchased inexpensively from Ebay (eg and preservative from SEA ( MAP is a gorgeous active, but touchy, so I would recommend both πŸ™‚

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