This article was written by a dear friend, assistant and natural beauty lover, Coco Noel.
When it comes to DIY, I’d rather someone else do it for me. Sew a dress? Hang a picture? Make homemade greeting cards? Not happening. In fact, I’m so against DIY that I quite like the idea of laying poolside while someone else feeds me grapes…and chocolate…and cheese…and to heck with it! All my meals for the rest of my life.
Because I can make a DIY vitamin c serum that’s cheaper, more effective, and way better than any fancy serum you can buy. And I’m going to tell you how you can make it too!
DIY Vitamin C Serum
The serum consists of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. Let’s talk about why these are so great:
HYALURONIC ACID: We’re born with skin full of it – it’s what gives babies plump, taut skin and we lose it as we age. It’s the main ingredient in injectable fillers like Restylane which doctors use to add volume to lips and to smooth out lines and wrinkles. It works well topically, too. It lightly moisturizes and softens all skin types and may help prevent UV damage. It also mixes well with many different ingredients and makes a fabulous “base” for more active ingredients, like water soluble vitamin C. Speaking of which…
VITAMIN C: The best anti-aging vitamin for your skin! This potent antioxidant promotes collagen formation, helps even out skin tone, brightens your complexion and it is beneficial in all stages of wound healing. This isn’t just me speculating – numerous scientific studies back these claims up.
So what’s wrong with purchasing a serum that combines the two? Well… a bunch of stuff:
- The most effective topical form of vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid. Unfortunately, this form is highly unstable when exposed to liquid (like when it’s put in a serum) and easily breaks down and loses potency.
- Vitamin C is prone to oxidation, which also means it won’t be as effective. When it oxidizes, it goes bad and turns orange. It’s no coincidence that many vitamin C serums come colored orange. This disguises oxidized vitamin C and means that you can’t tell whether or not there’s even any beneficial vitamin C remaining in the serum.
- Vitamin C is only effective in concentrations at or above 10%, and maximum absorbency occurs around 20% concentration. Very few bottles will even list the concentration of vitamin C – and remember, even a high concentration of vitamin C doesn’t guarantee that the vitamin C hasn’t already oxidized.
- Most hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serums include a lot of unnecessary ingredients. These can range from DMAE and retinyl palmitate, which can actually damage your skin, to preservatives called parabens, which have been found in breast cancer tumors.
- They’re expensive! A once ounce bottle of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum can cost anywhere from $30 to over $100 – and that’s without any guarantee that the vitamin C is even potent!
This is one of those cases when doin’ it yourself is not only cheaper, but actually more effective. By mixing pure L-ascorbic acid (the best form of vitamin C) and hyaluronic acid yourself, you’ll be guaranteeing a product that’s super fresh, super potent, and super-duper effective!
Step 1: Grab yourself some pure L-ascorbic acid Vitamin C powder, about $13 including S&H. To give you some perspective, skincare brand Philosophy charges for $37 for 1/8 the amount of powder, and theirs isn’t even pure vitamin C.
Step 2: Either buy a hyaluronic acid serum with a simple ingredient list, like this one here, $22 OR get ten times as much by making your own for $25 (including a reusable container). This will make enough hyaluronic acid to last you about one year.
To make your own hyaluronic acid serum, you’ll need:
100ml (or just under 7 tablespoons) of very cold distilled water
- Pour the water and 1 gram of hyaluronic acid powder into the bottle, screw the lid on and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Refrigerate and shake every 5-10 minutes for about 2 hours, which is how long it should take to completely dissolve and form a gel.
Every morning and/or evening, mix 1/8 tsp of vitamin C powder with 1/4 tsp of hyaluronic acid serum in the palm of your hand until the vitamin C dissolves. This will create a hyaluronic acid serum with a 20% vitamin C concentration. Although this should take you all of 30 seconds, if you’d rather not play chemist every day, you can make a larger batch using the same ratios and store it in the fridge for 7-10 days.
Apply daily to your face, neck, upper chest and backs of hands. If you notice any skin sensitivity, decrease the amount of vitamin C powder in your mixture or only use every other day. Any vitamin C applied during the day should be followed with a good natural sunscreen, as vitamin C breaks down in the presence of UV light.
Making this fabulous anti-aging brightening serum is one task I will always leave to the pro…me!
About the Author:
Coco Noel is studying holistic nutrition in Berkeley, California. Her passion is exploring how nutrition relates to anti-aging, beauty and the brain. She likes hot weather, adventures in cooking, other people’s dogs, and everything pink. Check out her website at CocoKnows.com and follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/