Easy (5 Minute) DIY Vitamin C Serum | Lab Muffin Beauty Science

Easy (5 Minute) DIY Vitamin C Serum | Lab Muffin Beauty Science

Manager: Just wear it.
Michelle: But why?
Manager: You’re a scientist. Try to look like one. Michelle: It’s really hot! And not all scientists wear lab coats anyway. Manager: How do you expect people to trust you if you’re not wearing a lab coat? Michelle: Well people can listen to what I’m saying and
use their critical thinking skills to work out whether or not what I’m saying makes sense… Michelle: OK fine. [whining noises] It’s Michelle from Lab Muffin Beauty Science here, chemistry PhD and
hyperpigmentation prone skin care nerd Today I’m going to be talking about how
to make your own DIY vitamin C serum that will actually work if you like this
sort of video give it a thumbs up subscribe to my channel and click the
notification bell so you don’t miss any videos
What does vitamin C do? I’ve
talked about vitamin C before in my video on hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C is
a superstar anti-aging ingredient vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which
means that it soaks up free radical damage this can happen as a result of UV
exposure, pollution or just natural aging I have a video that talks a bit more
about how antioxidants work it also fades hyperpigmentation such as the
brown spots that you might sometimes get on your skin after acne as well as sun
spots but the big problem with vitamin C is that it tends to be really unstable
this is especially the case with L-ascorbic acid the main type of vitamin
C that’s been shown to work in anti aging products when L-ascorbic acid is
in a water-based product it tends to decompose really easily it turns into
yellow dehydroascorbic acid DHAA or DHA and other products really quickly at 25
degrees in pH 3.5 in amber glass which is light protective about 50% is gone in
a week DHA can convert back into l-ascorbic acid on your skin and there’s
no good evidence that it’s bad for your skin but there’s not really much
evidence that it’s good for your skin either and it can turn it to other
products too you can stabilize L-ascorbic acid by combining it with
some other ingredients a lot of products take this approach they usually combine
it with vitamin E and ferulic acid this is done in a
lot of popular vitamin C serums such as the ones from skinceuticals Paula’s
Choice timeless and drunk elephant but if you want to DIY this combo then it’s a
bit more of a hassle you’ll have to buy extra vitamin E and ferulic plus
vitamin E doesn’t dissolve well in water that means that you’ll have to use an
emulsifier so that will sit well with your water-based vitamin C if you’ve
gone to this trouble then on top of that you’ll probably also want to use a
preservative so that you can keep the serum for a longer time the price of all
these ingredients can add up quickly and if you’ve ever done any DIY before
you’ll probably know that you end up accumulating lots of ingredients that
you never quite use up if you do want to go down this more complicated route then
holy snails has a nice recipe which I’ll link to in the description you can also
stabilize L-ascorbic acid by changing its structure so turning it into a
derivative some examples of these derivatives are magnesium ascorbyl
phosphate ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate or ATIP and tetrahexyldecyl
ascorbate or THDA however these tend to be quite expensive compared to plain
L-ascorbic acid plus it’s not well established how well these convert back
into L-ascorbic acid in your skin so that’s why I think a simple DIY vitamin
C serum that you remake every week or so is a nice solution to some of these
problems I generally find DIY a bit of a pain you have to buy all these
ingredients you have to mix them together you have to play around with
the formula and there’s all this washing up that you generally have to do
afterwards but this DIY serum doesn’t have a lot of these drawbacks all the
ingredients are quite easy to get and inexpensive it only takes about five
minutes to make it once you get the hang of it you also have a better idea
of how fresh it is compared to a store-bought product you don’t have to
think about how long it’s been sitting on the shelf
how long the delivery is whether it’s gone through any massive temperature
fluctuations while it’s sitting in water you can also easily adjust the amount of
vitamin C in your serum you can just add a bit more or a bit less L-ascorbic acid
if you want more effectiveness or less irritation it’s also cheap enough that I
can use it on other parts of my body without feeling bad about using an
expensive product to make a vitamin C serum which matches what’s been used in
studies that have found positive effects you want something that’s generally
between 5 and 20 percent at a pH of about 3.5 so here’s what you need for
this DIY vitamin C serum first you need L-ascorbic acid powder as a dry solid
L-ascorbic acid is reasonably stable and cheap you can find this at most
supplement stores or you can order it off iHerb like I did there are also
lots of options on Amazon you also want some distilled or deionized water metal
ions in your water can speed up how quickly L-ascorbic acid decomposes you
can also use tap water and just make sure you remake your serum more
frequently you’ll also need some baking soda the pH of L-ascorbic acid by itself
in water is going to be a bit too low it’s a bit too acidic which means that
it will cause unnecessary irritation baking soda is alkaline which is the
opposite of this and so we can use it to adjust the pH back up closer to skin pH
you’ll also need some pH strips it doesn’t need to be really really precise
so any indicator strips should work I generally prefer four-square indicator
strips so I don’t have to second-guess my color matching abilities you’ll also
want a quarter teaspoon measuring spoon a quarter teaspoon
translates to about one and a half grams of ascorbic acid but it does depend on
your particular powder ideally if you weigh it out it’s a bit more accurate
but because there’s so much leeway in the percentage of vitamin C that we can
use in this serum then it isn’t a massive issue for this specific recipe
of course you’ll also need a suitable container to store your vitamin C serum
you want an airtight ish clean container it doesn’t have to be truly airtight
because you’ll be remaking this quite frequently if you have an old container
you can clean and reuse that you can also use some aluminium foil to protect
your vitamin C serum from light so here’s how you make your DIY serum your
first step is to work out your recipe start by working out how much serum you
can fit into your container in milliliters you should be able to find
this out from the place you bought the bottle from or from the packaging if
it’s a reused container if you can’t work it out you can use a teaspoon and
measure how many teaspoons you can fit into your container next you need to
calculate how much L-ascorbic acid you need you divide the percentage you want
by a hundred then multiply it by the volume of the container and that will
give you the mass of L-ascorbic acid you need in grams for example if I’m making
20 mL of a 10% L-ascorbic acid I’m going to need two grams next you need to
clean your container I recommend washing it out thoroughly
with soap and water then rinsing it with alcohol a few times then rinsing it with
distilled water and letting it dry it doesn’t have to be completely sterile
because again we’re going to be remaking this quite frequently plus it’s a quite
a low pH which microbes will have a hard time surviving in then you put your
L-ascorbic acid into your container add about half of the distilled water
that you’re going to use into the container and shake it until it
dissolves we’re only using half of the water at this stage because it’s a lot
easier to shake a container that’s not completely full then you add the rest of
the water and turn it upside down a few times to make sure it’s thoroughly mixed
next we need to adjust the pH put a drop of the serum on to your pH strip and
look at what the pH is then add a tiny bit of baking soda
recheck the pH and keep doing this until you get it through somewhere between
three and four finally you can wrap your container up
in foil to protect it from light this is the easiest and cheapest way of
protecting something from light and so this will slow down how quickly your
vitamin C serum decomposes with light protection I found that this DIY serum
lasts about one week before going a little bit yellow and then two weeks
before it goes really yellow the pH is low enough that microbial growth
shouldn’t be a big issue and you’re not keeping up for very long once you’re
used to this process it probably takes less than five minutes
to remake so even someone who’s pretty lazy like me can remake up quite
frequently I hope you enjoyed this video and found it useful if you do click the
like button and subscribe to my channel you can also follow me on Instagram at
lab muffin beauty science and check out my blog for more nerdy beauty
science see you next time Manager: Are you a scientist or a scientisn’t?
Michelle: I am SO SWEATY



  • Bass Town Ncs

    lovely stuff

  • Damn Business

    Why are you dressed like Clinique staff? ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Trap Town xyz

    Great content. Keep it up! Would you like to be YouTube friends? :]

  • Reenawna

    4:30 : "First you need L-Ascorbic Acid powder."
    Me: Haha nope. * clicks on next video *

  • Marianne

    How do you feel about The Ordinary's L-ascorbic acid powder?

  • Gea Sol

    WOW! A dream come true! Should I keep it in a fridge?

  • Mariana Rodrigues

    Michelle this was the best intro ever ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I love when your humour pops out

  • Daniela Lutea


  • Gargee N

    James will be here soon๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค—

  • Luigi Love

    Hi can you also use the aluminium foil technique on store bought vitamin c serums?

  • Lady Frances

    This is quite handy. Thanks Michelle โค๏ธ

  • Remy Vu

    Awesome video Michelle! What do you think about dissolving l ascobic acid powder directly into a water based moisturizer/ serum?

  • kxep

    How did you know my Vit C just expired?

  • evie

    love u michelle!!!!!

  • SaucerJess

    Loved this!

  • fokid1

    Nice, I bought the ordinary l-ascorbic acid powder and don't really use it because the instructions are quite lame and I find it weird to just mix everything together and not know what exactly I put on my face. So I'm really sure I will try this to finally use up the product!

  • lupescupe

    OMG this is amazing. Thank you. I've been thinking of trying vitamin C and this is a great, affordable option.

  • John

    Could you in theory use a toner or ha serum as a base and ph adjust with baking powder? Love the video

  • Carol Laurence

    If you want to add Ferulic acid and vitamin E, how much do you add? Thank you.

  • Rene Mason

    For the record I already know you know what you're talking about even without the lab coat ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’–โœจ

  • Rene Mason

    Also you're amazing btw ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’–โœจ

  • Tajda Beznik

    Can you maybe make a CeraVe products review? I saw a lot of reviews, but not one from scientific point of view.

  • tracey murphy

    this is cool!

  • Craig Smith

    Always thought ATIP and THDA were the same, but just googled and discovered they weren't, though both are fat soluble derivatives of mvit C. Do you have an opinion on ethyl ascorbic acid – looks promising but not much research available yet. I have been trialling the Ausceuticals pure vit c serum which has a great formulation but, unfortunately, I think it is too irritating and makes my face red for some time (one person asked if I had been running because my face still looked flushed about an hour later.) I think I'll try making a 10% solution and add some of the ordinary resveratrol/ferulic. Also, since you use tret do you only use vit c in the am and, if so, does it have any collagen building properties or mostly just antioxidant properties – just thinking that most collagen production occurs during sleep rather that during the day. Cheers

  • Miss Alice

    This is great. I've found Vitamin C helped with the keratosis pilaris on my arms, but you need so much that I was going through so many bottles. Even the cheap brands added up, and all those containers felt wasteful. I'll definitely give this a go.

  • Kamloops Cruise

    Terrific video, thank you!โค๏ธ

  • Ana Maria Rasheva

    Hey, I love your videos! I was wondering if you could do something on dermarolling/ micro needling. I am finding a lot of conflicting information on whether it's safe and if it even works for scars and hyperpigmentation. Thanks for always approaching skincare in a scientific way ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Em A

    I'm a great fan! I love the way you bust the cosmetic myths! One quick question: can I add vitamin E to this serum? If so, how much? Thank you in advance!

  • Cintia Cin

    Thanks for this video!!!

  • SusanneFlora

    Yes! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ™ŒI have been waiting for this in video form! I tried making one based on the blog post a few weeks ago. I ended up using tons of baking soda! ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ didn't seem right but the pH strips disagreed with me.. I also got some powder residue in the container that didn't seem to dissolve – maybe the baking soda? Did anyone else get this? Was I using crap baking soda or something? ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ™ƒ


    I couldn't get my eyes away from that pink/orange colored owl/kitten/bird staring cutely/creepily in a glass in the back.

  • MonsefMA

    You're doing the most.

  • kreempouf

    Fun video ! Next , can you discuss diy Copper serums

  • Cielo Betancur

    Thank you Michelle ๐Ÿ˜
    I already made my DIY taking the recipe from your blog. It works perfectly and yes, 5 minutes later I put it in my face.

  • Carrie

    LOVELY, thank you!!!

  • Joaquรญn Ramรญrez

    But does it work? Omg! This is so cheap and fun to do and as a biochemistry student (thanks for being my inspiration) this sounds as the perfect experimentation to begin with. โค๏ธ

  • FaceOn NailsDone HairDid

    Love your intro, you're so funny and quirky. Can I add a little suggestion to the mix as an alternative? How do you feel about The Ordinary's L'ascorbic acid powder and the resveratrol & ferulic acid serum and creating a "fortified" vitamin c serum like that. Just a thought as that's what I use together with some hyaluronic acid every morning and I've been seeing some great results.

  • DD Green

    Really, Can't we just get an easy recipe? Who cares about the bottle. We can put in in anything.

  • Tanya Harrison

    As a fellow PhD scientist (who never wears a lab coat in her line of work), I loved this intro!

  • Bailey Wagner

    Could I mix TO LAA and their ferric acid serum?

  • Talkative

    Can the ordinary l-ascorbic acid powder work with this?

  • Ana Verran

    What a great video! Thank you!

  • Raymond Li

    Can you talk about how ascorbyl palmitate is the most stable form of vitamin c since it is oil soluble.

  • Anonymous

    I have so much respect for you and I've learnt a lot from your videos but I can't believe you'd promote a preservative free formula and say it lasts two weeks. A preservative is a must in anything with water in it that won't be used immediately. Yes I know the pH is low, but why risk it? This is so irresponsible.

  • jcjccmz

    You should rock those sexy glasses & red lips more often! So, I'm just going to say that about 5 years ago, I found an identical DIY Vit C serum recipe and I bought a gigantic tub of L Ascorbic Acid. I believe I made my "serum" about 2 weeks in a row, then that giant tub just sat there, pretty much COMPLETELY full until about 6 months ago when I realized it was long expired, and then I laughed and threw the whole thing away. I have bought and used up the Timeless serum which I kept in a fridge, and in the 3-4 months I was using it, absolutely nothing changed on my skin. I use max rx tretinoin microspheres gel at night, max rx azelaic acid gel in the morning, and SPF 50 daily, so I'm basically not wasting my time on vitamin C ever again. There ARE other antioxidants and other good skincare ingredients out there in delightful products that I love to buy and use; I'll focus my time and money on those. I am just not DIYing anything to put on my skin again, ever.

  • chicnocturno

    Ivan Lam brought me here! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • sha oo me

    love this! iโ€™ve been doing your recipe for months ๐Ÿ˜€ i usually mix vitamin e and aloe vera gel (so it emulsify) before mixing it with ascorbic acid. also i changed water to hadalabo hydrating toner because it has hyaluronic acid in it, is it okay? iโ€™m afraid i will mess up the preservative in the hadalabo toner :/

  • Hanami 16001

    I love that first 30 second scene ๐Ÿคฃ
    That red lipstick and black glasses thoo๐Ÿ‘

  • Joel & Katelyn

    Youโ€™re so fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Daria P.

    psst, any oversized white blouse (or mens shirt) would do as a prop lab coat in this framing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • cosmonaut80

    Great video! Very straightforward DIY. I used to just mix ascorbic acid powder some with toner and apply it. Unfortunately, I found that the collar of my white clothes got orangey brown spots from it (from the oxidised product, I assume), so I dare not use it again. Does anyone have similar problems with using ascorbic acid powder?

  • sumi siyad

    Can u please do a video on diy vitaminB3 serum? . Its powder is also available โ˜บ

  • Renzokuken

    Hmmm without any delivery ingredients or ingredients that help absorption. I wonder how much of the Vitamin C really gets into the skin. I was using L-Ascorbic Powder on my face (i mix it with serums) and I always find a yellowish residue on my face at night when I wipe my face with a cotton pad (w micellar water).

  • Happy Goat


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