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DIY vitamin C serum ...

edited February 2014 in Ask the Beauty Brains
Last summer, after checking out prices on Amazon, I went for a 20% C E Ferulic serum that worked well for me.
The price was $25 , which wasn't heart attack territory but still, so I thought I'd check out a few do-it-yourself formulas.

I get that vitamin C serum needs to be protected (store in fridge, protect from light, use a vacuum bottle) but there seems to be an on going to campaign against DIY serum.
It's not like my DIY serum needs to be made in a batch for more than a few weeks, I'm thinking I'll freeze any excess, but have I gone off the rails here?
This looks like it should work but will it?


  • Pam the Brains had a post on the old blog detailing why it might be unwise to try to make your own cosmetics. I won't be able to remember all the details, but I can share some drawbacks:
    1. Preservation, just keeping something refrigerated won't be enough to keep it from attracting bacteria. Food in the fridge can go bad too.
    2. Formulation expertise, the average person at home wouldn't be able to figure out the complex emulsion chemistry required to make a pleasant product, in addition to measuring quantities effectively (sometimes it's very minute).
    3. ingredient quality is also a factor. Professional chemists have access to large scale ingredient distributors who are required to maintain certain quality standards. You or I wouldn't be able to purchase from these companies because we can't purchase large quantities, nor are we part of a company which could provide a long term business contact.
    4. It might actually wind up far more expensive than you thought. I used to try to mix my own masks and body lotions when I was younger. Not only was it more complex than I thought, but it frequently turned out to be more expensive than many commercial products. 
  • Pam, sorry we haven't addressed this yet. We're planning on doing an depth discussion on Vitamin C once we get caught up on some other things. 
  • L-ascorbic acid serums are really tricky to make properly. I'd argue one of the biggest obstacles for one without a chemistry background would be the pH and keeping it stable (just from my experience with hanging around with DIY-people; they'd constantly mess up on the pH).
  • edited March 2014
    My apologies for not getting back to you guys sooner.
    I went ahead and mixed up some serum (I have no problem with including preservatives) and it is working.
    I may not be quite average, it seems knowing what a digital scale is and how to use it (I can't be the only female in existence who ever took chemistry but sometimes it seems that way) is unusual,this is not about mixing L-ascorbic acid into some water an adding glycerin .
    There are formulas out there that are detailed and correct and have the proper pH.
    I'm really looking forward to the "Brains" weighing in all I ask is that they remember that not all of us think stirring Camu powder into some water is where it's at (and don't get me started on that guy on YouTube with the carrots and the juicer for making retinol serum!).
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