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Make Your Own Vitamin C Serum

If you pay any attention to skin care ingredients, you'll know that the "it" ingredient is vitamin C. It's in nearly every exfoliating and anti-aging treatment you can find. It happens to be one of my personal favorites after seeing the positive change it made in my skin.

Vitamin C does a lot of great things for the skin. When applied topically, vitamin C can boost collagen production and can reduce sun damage. Sounds fabulous, doesn't it?

Most OTC vitamin C creams and serums are expensive.  And, because vitamin C is relatively unstable, those products start to lose their effectiveness just days after being opened. Besides, making your own vitamin C serum is so easy!

If your local store doesn't sell the powdered version, I've also used vitamin C tablets and just crushed them with a mortar and pestle.  This seems to work too, just make sure they're crushed very fine.

I've been using l-ascorbic acid, which is water soluble.  But I just recently learned about the ascorbyl palmitate form of vitamin C that is oil soluble.  Some sources credit this form as being more effective when used topically because it is more easily absorbed by the skin.  I'm going to experiment with both and let you know what I find.

In the meantime, this is the recipe I've been using.  It works great, is inexpensive and ascorbic acid is easy to find at drugs stores and health food stores.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum
1/2 teaspoon powdered vitamin C supplement (l-ascorbic or ascorbic acid)
3 tablespoons water or witch hazel
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon glycerin (you can get this at the drug store too)

In a small bottle, dissolve glycerin in the water or witch hazel.  Add vitamin C powder and shake very well until completely dissolved.  If you're using crushed tablets, I've found some small pieces settle to the bottom of the jar.  That's OK.  You can leave them or strain them out.

This recipe makes an approximate 10% solution.  Start with this and if your skin responds well, you can make it a bit stronger (i.e. add more vitamin C!)  Glycerin is nice and softening, but not needed.  If your skin is dry you can add a bit more glycerin, but too much can make your serum sticky.

Remember, measurements don't have to be exact.  Experiment to find what works best for your skin.

To use:  Pour a small amount onto a cotton ball and apply like a toner.  Start off using only at night, but you can progress to using in the morning too.  Just don't use before spending any long period of time in the sun.

Yield:  Approximately 1 fluid ounce

Shelf life: This will last about a week on your shelf.  It doesn't take much time to make, and works a lot better fresh.  If it turns yellow, time to toss it out. 


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