Here’s a little truth to start with today… I’m not really a big fan of DIY personal care products. Pretty much everything I have tried has been a big fail. It doesn’t help that I also tend to be a bit of a snob when it comes to these types of products. If it doesn’t live up to my expectations it never really makes it past the stage of making it.
In my pre stay at home mom life I was a medical aesthetician and worked in plastic surgery for about 10 years. So having access to ALL the BEST products has really ruined me for anything lesser. Being hooked on certain products has actually been a bit of a problem in regards to trying to switch to healthier, all natural ones. I just can’t get past the fact that I think a product should perform and the unfortunate truth is that a lot of “natural” personal care products just don’t live up to their chemical counter parts.
I know, that’s like being sacrilegious. Hah! I know that a lot of people will think either I’m hypocritical or burying my head in the sand. But, again, I’m trying to be real here. AND I am still on this “journey” to healthier living. So even though I’m not there yet, I am getting there. One step at a time.
Who knows if I will ever FULLY make the switch to EVERYTHING all natural… I have a feeling there will be a few things that I will just never give up. Ahem… Retin-A… shhhh. Again, I know, naughty, naughty. Oh well. 😉
With all of that said I have been able to make the switch to a few natural personal care products. I found two great all natural body lotions, an all natural deodorant, and a great toothpaste. Still, these are products I buy. So here is my first success with a DIY personal care product! A DIY anti-aging vitamin-c serum! Exciting, I know!
So first a little behind the scenes on this product…
I have a lot of experience with topical vitamin-c. I’ve personally been using it for YEARS. I use it on pretty much everyone when I do a professional treatment, chemical peel, microdermabrasion, etc. Also, every client I have ever seen, unless they had cystic acne, or were under 25, I put on a topical vitamin-c as part of their home care regimen. So I’m sure the big question is, “Why?” Why is it so great? Well here are a few of it’s wonderful benefits:
- Increases your skin’s natural collagen production. Which helps maintain your skin’s elasticity, or tightness.
- Helps to lighten brown spots, without harsh chemicals.
- Boosts your body’s natural SPF ability. This is due to it’s antioxidant, free radical scavenger activity. (Technical, I know.)
- It is a natural skin softener and skin brightener.
All of this translates to softer, smoother, brighter, younger looking, skin! Now with this DIY serum, that’s all available to you at a fraction of the price. NICE!
So here is what you need:
- .5 oz. amber or cobalt blue dropper bottle (I got mine at the local health food store in the essential oil section.)
- 1/2 tsp L-ascorbic acid powder (This is your vitamin-c. And yes it must be this form. You can open a vitamin-c capsule and use that. Or you can special order one online specifically made for cosmetics. They are the same except for texture, which isn’t really an issue here.)
- 1/2 tsp distilled water (Yes it must be distilled because of the pH.)
- 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine (I already had this on hand from a failed lotion experiment but I’m sure it’s available from a variety of health food stores. I think a craft store that sells soap making supplies would also have it.)
In a small bowl stir together the L-ascorbic acid and distilled water till dissolved. Once dissolved stir in vegetable glycerine. Once thoroughly mixed, carefully pour it into the dropper bottle. If you have a small funnel, that will make it easier. If you are using a larger dropper bottle, feel free to double the formula.
Here is a printable version:
- .5 oz. amber or cobalt blue dropper bottle
- 1/2 tsp L-ascorbic acid powder
- 1/2 tsp distilled water
- 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine
- In a small bowl stir together the L-ascorbic acid and distilled water till dissolved. Once dissolved stir in vegetable glycerine. Once thoroughly mixed, carefully pour it into the dropper bottle. If you have a small funnel, that will make it easier. If you are using a larger dropper bottle, feel free to double the formula.
- It works best on clean, freshly washed skin. Even better on freshly exfoliated skin. Put 4-6 drops in your hand and apply to your face. You can use it once or twice a day.
A word about the bottle size I chose. Vitamin-c oxidizes when exposed to air, meaning it will go bad and turn brown/ orange. I chose the smaller bottle size because of this. If you can’t find that small of a bottle don’t use one larger than 1 oz. It will allow your product to last longer if you keep the bottle small, decreasing the amount of air it’s exposed to.
Now how to use it. It works best on clean, freshly washed skin. Even better on freshly exfoliated skin. Put 4-6 drops in your hand and apply to your face. You can use it once or twice a day. If you have oily skin you probably wont need to apply moisturizer over it. It is very moisturizing on it’s own and actually can feel a bit oily.
Some people can have some burning or irritation when first starting to use vitamin-c or if using it after exfoliation. This is normal and it is not harming your skin. If the burning sensation is too much for you, start by mixing a few drops in with your moisturizer for a week at first. You can also just reduce the number of drops you are using.
Here is a professional tip that we used to use in the treatment room. If you don’t have all the items available right now to make the serum you can quickly measure some up in your hand with the L-ascorbic acid and some spritz water. We used to use a special thermal spring water spray, similar to Evian Brumisateur, but you can just put some distilled water in a spray bottle. Here’s what you need to do for this method:
- Sprinkle a TINY amount of L-ascorbic acid into the palm of your hand from a vitamin-c capsule. With this you just have to use your judgement. Think about 1/16 of a teaspoon.
- Spray 2 sprays of distilled water into your hand also to mix and make the serum. You want around 1/4 tsp of the water.
- Mix with your finger and then apply to face.
This method is obviously NOT ideal, or as elegant as the serum, but it works! You will get the same results with this method and it may even be preferred if you have oily skin.
That’s it! EASY PEASY! Now you have one of the best anti-aging products on the market that you have created yourself! I hope you enjoy it. Don’t forget to tell me what you think!