DIY Vitamin C Serum

DIY Homemade Vitamind C Serum for health skin and wrinkle reduction DIY Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C serum is a natural skin care ingredient that is often found in high-end beauty regimes, and Vitamin C serums, creams and lotions are popping up everywhere.


Vitamin C is touted as an anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cream. Many of these products also cost an arm and a leg. Thankfully, there is a natural, homemade and inexpensive alternative (noticing a trend here?) that seems to work just as well. Vitamin C is helpful for brightening and tightening skin (this works if you take it internally too!).

Why Vitamin C? Glad you asked… Vitamin C has been reported to:

Some cautions from experience:

  • Measure carefully and do not add extra Vitamin C as it is acidic and can/will burn skin if the concentration is too high.
  • If you have extra sensitive skin, dilute with even more water
  • This is best paired with a skin care routine like Oil Pulling
  • For dry or aging skin, Vitamin C serum is a good solution. It can be used for acne prone skin too, but it seems that Sea Spray for skin works better.
  • If you are dealing with a lot of wrinkles or very dry skin, extra vitamin C can be added, but work up slowly and test on the inner arm before applying to the face

Ever used a Vitamin C serum on your skin? How did it work for you?

The Recipe:

4.0 from 1 reviews

DIY Vitamin C Serum
Prep time
Total time
A simple and effective Vitamin C serum that boosts skin health with natural ingredients.
Recipe type: Beauty
  • ½ tsp Vitamin C Powder (I use this one)
  • 1 tablespoon distilled water OR 1 teaspoons distilled water to dissolve and 2 Tablespoons vegetable glycerine (I used this one)
  • a dark colored container to store (Vitamin C oxidizes easily) I used this one.
  1. Dissolve the Vitamin C powder in the water.
  2. If only using water and Vitamin C, you are done. This will store for up to 2 weeks or longer in the fridge.
  3. If using glycerine, dissolve the Vitamin C in the smaller amount of water, then stir in glycerine and store. This version will last a month or longer.
Personally, I like the pure Vitamin C and water recipe as a toner after cleansing, though glycerine is moisturizing and softening for the skin and will extend the recipe. DO NOT use glycerine on anything that is used in oral care or in the mouth as it is bad for teeth.


Reader Comments

  1. mar says

    can regular vitamin C powder, not crystals, also be used? Do you know how much is absorbed? I am trying to up my Vit C dose and am interested in learning more about transdermal recipes, especially the most absorbable ones with no harmful ingredients. Thanks.

      • Sotirios says

        yes same proportion. In general L-ascorbic Acid is very unstable, light, temperature, humidity sensitive. So small batches every week or two.

          • Taurus says

            I live in Sweden the health supplies is very pricy here so I buy from the company Iherb. You can find vit c for very good prices there. Just make sure its L-ascorbic

      • davea0511 says

        There are different molecular compounds of vitaminc C, but as it turns out the most absorbable and beneficial is the easiest to make: L-Ascorbic. For that reason all vitamin C powder is composed of 99% L-ascorbic. Beware of those charging you more because theirs is “L-Ascorbic”, insinuating the other cheaper stuff is not.

  2. Ghada629 says

    This awesome!i have to try this as I do lot of aqua aerobic in chlorinated pool and was looking for ways to increase my vitamin c. Would like to all you though, if you don’t mind, which kind do you take orally? Is it the same powder and how much do u take from it?

    • Karen Davidson says

      I take Ester-C tablets (and also L-Lysine) by Solgar to aid in collagen production. They’re both great products to use! It’s great quality for the price & it’s easy on the stomach and releases over time, so you don’t just get a huge dose then excrete it through the urine.

  3. Michelle says

    I have Ester-C powder with Citrus Bioflavonoids by American Health. It is brownish-grey in color. Can that be used instead of the crystals?

    • SaneDonna says

      No it can’t. Google. It will not absorb into the skin as well, although there is some implication it may help over the very long term with the deeper layers of skin. I am looking for immediate results, so perhaps a combo of both Vit C’s would be an option for you.

      • emily says

        i’m very confused by your comment. i googled homemade vitamin c serums and came across a blip on youtube from a dermatologist who advised against making them specifically because regular vitamin c is water soluble and supposedly does not absorb into skin well. he said vitamin c ester is better!

        • davea0511 says

          Then that dermatologist didn’t know what they were talking about. For one Ester-C is just as water-soluble as regular C, and no more fat-soluble, and besides all the research says regular Vitamin C absorbs better than any other type (including fat soluble variety ascorbyl palmitate). Ester C contains partially oxidized C, which doesn’t contribute metabolism boosting electrons. All the pros of Ester C vs regular C is entirely produced by the Ester C industry. All other studies find it’s efficacy no better and often worse than regular c.

  4. Helen Ellsworth says

    I just started using deep sean minerals,expensive (when you buy from the retailer) ebay it. wow wow wow, my skin is softer than it has ever been, I’m in my fourties,My combination skin is now under control, I no longer have servere oily T zone. I take Balckmore’s vitamin C to help from the inside out, my neck skin is improving amculatly. and only after nearly a week of taking VitaminC. :-)

  5. katalind says

    I find glycerine makes the serum very sticky. I currently use the recipe from gorgeously green and her recipe only calls for 1 tsp of glycerine and I can hardly stand the stickiness from that. I’m going to try using aloe Vera with my next batch.

  6. Elizabeth Resnick says

    I have been oil cleansing every since I read your post on it last January and love it. When I am finished there is some oil residue still on my face. Is it ok to use the c serum in top, or will the oil keep it from absorbing? I am anxious to try this!

      • SaneDonna says

        Actually, the answer is no. Well, not ideally, because AA oxidizes the minute it hits the water, and so quickly, unless it is a fine powder that dissolves almost instantly, you will be losing all the healing power as you wait for the coarse powder to completely dissolve. I suppose if you want exfoliation……you could move a bit quicker? :-)

        • davea0511 says

          Actually the rate of oxidation does increase dramatically when it is dissolved (why you really should use dissolved C within 7 days), but oxidation rate is slower when crystalline because the individual crystals are not dissolved.

  7. MicheleStitches says

    Just so your readers know, I have made a similar serum, but had trouble with it being gritty. Then someone pointed out that I should put my C powder in a clean grinder (I have a coffee grinder I use soley for herbs) and grind it finer. That did the trick!

    • Cathy says

      Mine either. I even warmed up the water to dissolve it but then it recrystalised after it cooled down. I’m going to try and grind it like the suggestion above but any other suggestions would be great

  8. Eileen says

    I use the peel from organic oranges, grapefruits and lemons, cut the peel and white into small squares and allow to dry for several days then grind into a fine powder…I add this to vinegar as a natural cleaner, I use it mixed with water for a facial toner, I add some to my breakfast for an extra boost of Vit C…the uses for your own homemade Vit C powder are endless!

  9. Shayna D says

    This is great but ascorbic acid is synthetic vitamin c and usually is genetically modified. I would worry that using this type of vitamin c could do more harm than good. You can buy a pure vitamin c powder that is organic and high quality for just a few dollars more.

    • davea0511 says

      Ascorbic acid is vitamin c and vitamin c is ascorbic acid. They are identical and the process for making it is always the same. Until this process was invented some 90 years ago it was extremely expensive and difficult to manufacture. There are a lot of marketing techniques used to try to make one sound better than another (like “organic”). Don’t buy the hype. Vitamin C is not a compound of substances that can be considered “organic” … it is a specific molecule that is the same whether synthesized or . Look at the vitamin C molecule on wikipedia – this molecule is what all vitamin C looks like that you can buy. Anything with a different structure is not vitamin C. There are buffered versions (ascorbates), and palmitates (bonded to a fatty acid), but what makes it all vitamin C is that 11 atom molecule to which these structures are attached.

  10. Jessica Hartnett says

    My crystals are not dissolving!! Please help. What could I be doing wrong? I’ve tried to mix with just water and with the glycerin.

    • davea0511 says

      crush with a mortar and pestle … do not heat up, if all will still not dissolve you may be at saturation point … pour off the liquid for use and throw out the left over sludge.

  11. Monique Shantel says

    Thanks for posting this recipe! I have been using the serum for about a week now and my skin has never felt better! I made some for my Mom & she loves it too! :)

  12. Angela Navarra says

    am I able to use a natural vitamin c powder derived from fruits? I’m hesitant to use L Asorbic Acid since it is usually derived from corn and genetically modified. Thanks for this post!

    • davea0511 says

      All vitamin C is L-ascorbic, regardless of the source, and all vitamin C supplements are synthesized from the reichstein process regardless what you’ve heard or read. Vitamin C is a specific molecular structure of 11 hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Genetic modification has nothing to do with it’s structure. There is no genetic material in Vitamin C.

  13. Lesley says

    I made some of this. I see nowhere says how to use it. How do you apply to skin, leave on or wash off…instructions are needed

  14. alyssa says

    I make my own facial oil with jojoba, tamanu, and various essential oils. Any tips on incorporating vitamin c? I’m not too sure about how much I should add to my 1 ounce bottle and if I can just add vitamin c powder directly without diluting in water.

  15. Cheryl says

    Hi! Love all your recipes:) I don’t buy synthetic vitamins, but I do have camu camu powder on hand. Any idea if that would work? Thanks!

  16. Sandi says

    I just started using your DIY formula and bought the same ingredients you use. Truthfully I see no difference in the appearance of my skin but it has only been 4 or 5 days and it needs alot of help! My question is, no matter how much I mix the water and powder it does not seem to disolve completely, what am I doing wrong. I can actually feel some of the powder when I apply it.

  17. Priyanka Taj Khan says

    I m From India….So can u pls tell me where do we purchase the Vitamin C powder from???and in which form it is available in??? and also, i have a wheatish complexion but have tanned over the years…so will this help me get a brighter and fairer complexion???? thank u :) :)

  18. nadia says

    hey guys, i noticed a few people are having problems dissolving the crystals.
    add a tiny tiny bit of alcohol to the powder or crystal and it should help it dissolve quickly. It might get a little runny if you add too much so make sure you only add a bit. I used to work at a pharmacy and we used to make prescription body creams for people with skin problems, whenever we added crystal menthol or camphor crystals the only way to dissolve them properly was to add a bit of alcohol. Hope this helps and if anyone disagrees please do your research accordingly.


  19. Vikki says

    This is great addition to my routine! I’m using Eu Natural’s Clarity Vitamin C Serum every other day along with my DIY serum. My friends have noticed my dark spots are disappearing.

  20. Sils says

    Can I use coconut oil instead of Veg Glycerine? Will this extend the shelf life and make it even more effective since coconut oil is good for anti-aging, nourishing, moisturizing etc?

  21. sasa says

    What is the differece between ascorbic acid and L ascorbic acid?? Which one is better for making a vitamin c serum?? Plz reply asap

  22. archana says

    If u cud tell me whether Vitamin c ascorbic acid and L ascorbic acid are same or do they contain different properties?
    Online I m getting more options for Pure Vitamin C ascorbic acid (1000g for INR 3200) and hardly any options for Vitamin C L ascorbic acid except for this one where I m getting 500g for INR 2500
    Which deal should I go with?

  23. nsy says

    Hello I was wondering abt the glycerine if we put it on our face do we have to rinse it bcs i find glycerine is so sweet and sticky. Do reply asap thnk u :)

  24. emily says

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows of an alternative to distilled water for this recipe or just another way all together to make a vitamin c serum? I live in a place where distilled water is impossible to find and its very expensive to have it shipped to me. Thanks!

  25. Nina MC says

    Made it, Tryed it, Loved it, Making more. I justed used the water recipe. I used it on my 6 month pregnanat belly and face. felt great on both I put it on at night and took a shower in morning to rinse off. my face felt great for days. I also did the honey as a mask for 20 minutes a few days before the C. thankyou Katie for all the awesome DIY recipe been needing this in my life. ever greatful

  26. Vickie says

    The link for the one that you use “Vit. c” in the recipe takes me to Royal Camu. is this correct? or is it suppose to take me to an ascorbic acid? Thank you for responding~!!!

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