DIY vitamin C serum

Updated April 17, 2017

Vitamin C is a popular ingredient in skincare products, due to its ability to stimulate collagen production and protect the skin from free radicals. However, most skin products with a high concentration of vitamin C (5 to 20 per cent) are expensive, and oxidise very quickly. Once vitamin C oxidises, it's ineffective. You can make a cheaper, more effective version of a vitamin C serum with only three simple ingredients.


Although commercial products may have ingredient lists full of unpronounceable names, you only need three simple ingredients to make your own vitamin C serum: 1/4 tsp powdered vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid; you can find it at most drug or health stores), 1 tsp pure vegetable glycerine (available at health stores) and 1 tsp distilled water.

You can play around with this recipe. If your skin is particularly sensitive, reduce the amount of vitamin C to 1/8 tsp. For drier skin, increase the glycerine. For a soothing, scented serum, substitute rose water for the distilled water.


Dissolve the vitamin C in the water. You may need to use a whisk or a blender if the powder refuses to dissolve. Stir in the glycerine.

Pour the mixture into a small, coloured glass bottle (blue or amber glass works wonderfully). Dark glass prevents the vitamin C from oxidising. If the powder hasn't quite dissolved, simply shake the bottle vigorously until it does.

Application & storage

Use a cotton ball or your fingers to smooth the serum all over your face. A little tingling sensation is fine, but too much tingling means your skin needs less vitamin C. It's very important to follow this with an application of sunscreen, since vitamin C leaves your skin sensitive to light.

Thankfully, when you make your own vitamin C serum, you have complete control over the serum's shelf life. Instead of whipping up a month's worth of serum and having to throw it out when it begins to oxidise, you can make a few days worth at a time. Try to make a new batch every five days to guarantee that your skin is getting the freshest, most potent treatment. Store your serum in the refrigerator for extra protection against oxidation.

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About the Author

Autumn Jones has been working as a freelance writer since 2007 with work appearing on various websites. She majored in creative writing at Vassar College and continues to pursue her passion for the written word as much as possible.