Expensive Vitamin C... for cheap at home=)

This is L-abscorbic acid... the good stuff !
When I went to the skin place they told me to use a vitamin C serum under my moisturizer during the day and a retinoid at night.   That little vitamin C serum was expensive... so I started researching online. I found us a recipe to get to good expensive stuff... for incredibly inexpensive! SOOOO for all those people who wanted to rush out and buy the expensive stuff... you can make it at home for cheap cheap cheap.

Nerdy moment: some molecules go left... so go right. the L and D are opposites... so while L-abscorbic acid is good for your skin... D-abscorbic is not so much (actually not at all). Not all molecules have a left or right... but when they do the L and D are usually very different functioning/reacting molecules. I say all that to hammer in the fact that you can't get vitamin C power/tablets. You have to get L-ascorbic acid... sold often as Ascorbic Acid... because that is the version that has the properties that are good for the skin.

What does it do?!?! It is the one antioxidant that has repeatedly been proven to help fade dark spots and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Basically, it helps repair the damage you've done already and ward off the future problemos.

I got the ingredients at  Good Earth in Broad Ripple (for the Indy people) but you can get it at any vitamin/earthy store... or you can order it online. What I bought will last me a year or more... so waaaay more cost effective=)

I found the recipe on this . It's very simple.

  • 1/4 tsp L-ascorbic acid (powder form) = about $10 for a big jar
  • 1 tsp glycerin = under $2
  • 1 tsp distilled water (I used rose water... it smells pretty=) at room temperature!!! = about $3
  • dark brown or blue vial
  1. Clean your vial and mixing container (I used a small Tupperware for mixing). I learned back in organic lab that acetone (nail polish remover) cleans and evaporates quickly. Water that is left in the container could react in the solution (especially since this stuff is oxygen sensitive)... so acetone works better. A little goes a long way. Blow on it to dry it out if necessary.
  2. Mix 1/4 tsp L-ascorbic acid and 1 tsp distilled water (rose water) in the mixing container. Make sure it becomes completely dissolved before moving forward. I had to warm it up just a touch because my water was still chilly... 5 seconds in the microwave. It's better if you are just patient and let it dissolve. This will take a minute... I am not patient. You don't really want to heat it though because this causes the L-ascorbic acid to break down... no bueno.
  3. Mix the ascorbic acid/water solution with 1 tsp glycerin.
  4. Pour mixture into dark vial.
  5. Store in the fridge to help keep it longer.
***If it turns a yellow color after time... it has oxidized... meaning it is not gonna do anything for your skin. Dump it and make a new batch. I've been making one batch that last me a couple of days!

The benefit of making it yourself is that you know it's fresh... and you know you are getting the right amount of the active ingredient (L-ascorbic acid).

Why Vitamin C Serums are so Expensive
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) isn't stable. It has a short half life... meaning it spoils quickly.  While it's easy to make at home... in order to package and sell it in a store it needs to be preserved. Doing that is expensive. Even with all the technology... it still has a short life (and notice the dark vials you buy it in... same issue you have with your at-home... gotta block the light).

What causes it to spoil?
  • Oxygen... so just opening up the vial allows the little O's in.
  • Light/heat... creates a reaction which causes oxidation... makes it spoil faster. heat/light speeds up the reaction time... no bueno for our Vitamin C serum.
Good luck... hope you love it as much as I have=) Turns out the at-home stuff isn't as irritating on my sensitive skin, so I can actually use this one every day!!! yay!!!

***DISCLAIMER!!! I am not a skincare or chemistry expert. This is simply me sharing my personal experience with making at-home skincare products. Using too much active ingredient could be harmful... causing burning and damage to the skin.  The amounts on most at-home recipes are listed to allow a safe product, but every person has a different reaction so proceed with caution. Be careful. I've found working with what's worked well for others is best... but not fool-proof. Always test a small patch on your arm or neck first... and realize... if you make it at-home... you take the risk.



I'm so going to try this!! Thank you!

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