Glycerin-free vitamin C serum

Sorry for the infrequent posts everyone. I've been busy with home renos, gardening and a new job. But I've been working on a ton of personal care diy that I want to share over the coming months. I've researched, tried, modified and used as much homemade products as I handle (I even got Craig to try some too). My standards are strict. I want something that benefits my skin. I want it easy to make and be made with natural ingredients.

Today, Vitamin C serum. (tomorrow the world!)

One of the products I'm using every day...and seeing results from using (it's been 6 weeks) is topical vitamin C. In the past, I purchased one from Paula's Choice Skincare which was quite nice but quite expensive at $48 for 0.67oz! But it got me hooked on the power of vitamin C.
To specifically target signs of aging on your face, topical vitamin C is best. In fact, applying vitamin C to the skin can be 20 times more effective than taking it orally. 

Glycerin-free because most diy recipes you'll find have it. I made my first batch with it and was super annoyed. Glycerin is fine and moisturizing, but it sits on top of the skin and stays sticky! It just never absorbs. Plain water & C is an option, but it's a little boring and hard to apply, being watery.

The best way I've found to make it is using aloe vera gel. I got the idea is from Gorgeously Green.

  • for best results the concentration of Vitamin C should be around 10-20%
  • a tiny bit of stinging is normal
  • make a fresh batch once a week: after mixing with water, the vitamin C will oxidize over time and not be effective
  • store in a dropper bottle or small spray bottle for ease of application
  • store away from heat and light-best in the fridge if it's convenient or a dark drawer in the bathroom
  • Maximum results achieved after 6 months of use, keep using to maintain results

Yield: enough for 1 face/neck area for 1 week

  • 1/2 tsp vitamin C powder (I bought at a health food store: it should be a powder and have no added ingredients-just straight vitamin C)
  • 2 tsp water (used distilled if you have it, room temperature boiled water seems to do the trick-that's what I use)
  • 3 tsp aloe vera gel (look for a good quality one without colours and additives)


Dissolve the vitamin C powder in the water. Mix it well, some dissolve faster than others. There should not be any white bits floating around. But if you've mixed for a while and it's still a little granular, that's ok. Add the aloe vera gel and mix again. Pour it into your bottle, ideally a glass bottle with a dropper (I've reused a cosmetic one and lately, one that held stevia drops). If there are any un-dissoved bits of C, they'll dissolve as the mix sits. Just be sure to shake well before using.

This recipe makes a concentration of 10% Vit C.  I started off a little too strong thinking 'go big or go home'. But my skin needed time to adjust (it tingled/itched like crazy). So, I lowered the Vit C. I use 10%. I know pH is important, but I haven't checked mine. It seems to do something to my skin though. Results I've noticed after 6 weeks of use: fresher looking, smoother skin, less flakiness.

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