Combining ascorbic acid and hyaluronic acid into a serum can be challenging due to the instability of ascorbic acid. In addition, ascorbic acid has the potential to degrade the effects of hyaluronic acid. When two chemicals seem incompatible, it typically takes a chemical mediator to bring two beneficial ingredients together. The benefit of ascorbic acid in skincare is that it helps skin rebuild collagen, while hyaluronic acid offers skin plumping and lubricating benefits. Creating a serum with these two ingredients packs quite a punch for coveted anti-ageing benefits.
The only absorbable form of vitamin C for skincare is L-ascorbic acid. As a highly unstable ingredient that oxidises quickly, L-ascorbic acid requires special care when formulating a serum. If you want a do-it-yourself serum that contains L-ascorbic acid, then you will need to store the serum in an amber coloured bottle in a cool, dry location. Expect the serum to last no more than one week. Amber bottles work well to reduce light and keep this skincare ingredient from oxidising. L-ascorbic acid is proven to help stimulate collagen in the deepest layers of the dermis.
Determine what strength of hyaluronic acid you would like to use. It comes in several strengths that can be diluted with other aqueous ingredients. It is found in the body's joints and tissues, and has been noted to provide exceptional hydration. It penetrates the dermis to hydrate and plump the skin, thereby reducing wrinkles and acne scarring. Young skin is plump and smooth, and has abundant amounts of hyaluronic acid which helps to bind water. As we age, production of hyaluronic acid begins diminishing. Dry, thin skin can be caused by the depletion of this acid.
Ascorbic acid can cause hyaluronic acid to degrade; therefore, creating a serum that combines these two beneficial ingredients is problematic. If DIY skincare is the goal, then this combination can be achieved for short term use at home. In fact, doing it yourself is much more beneficial, because there are no added chemicals to irritate skin or cause allergic reactions. In order to make a serum containing a stabilised form of L-ascorbic acid, you must use a buffering agent such as glycolic acid, lactic acid or citric acid.
Use aloe vera gel as an aqueous carrier agent, giving a gentle base. Aloe vera gel is beautifully absorbed by the skin, and can assist the hyaluronic acid and ascorbic acid in reaching the deepest layers of the dermis. A successful combination of l-ascorbic acid and hyaluronic acid serum would contain an aloe vera base, and glycolic/lactic acid as a buffering agent.