DIY Vitamin C+E serum

Vitamin C is valued as a cosmetic ingredient for its powerful antioxidant properties. To actually work, a product must contain a minimum of 5% vit C. Here I present a Vit C + E serum that you can make yourself.

     Before using anything with Vitamin C -- whether store-bought or the recipe I give below, do remember to follow these rules:
  • DO NOT combine vitamin C with BHA acids. If you wish, you may use BHA at night and vit C during the day.
  • Do use sunscreen ! Vit C exfoliates the skin, and makes it more susceptible to UVA and UVB rays. For the some reason, do not use this treatment if you plan to tan. If you ignore this rule, your skin will end up looking worse instead of better.
  • If the skin is sensitive, do not apply after exfoliation.

DIYvit C + E serum


Results of using vit C + E serum

  • This serum in combination with sunscreen helps to protect the skin against harmful external factors that bring about aging.
  • It helps the microcirculation of the blood, which in turn helps the skin get more oxygen and nutrients.
  • The mechanical strength of the capillary walls is increased
  • The skin is gently exfoliated and lightened, it's colour brightens.
  • Discolourations fade
  • Helps the production of collagen which smoothens surface wrinkles and makes the skin more elastic
  • Healing of sun burn caused by UVA and AVB rays is quickened

DIY vit C + E serum recipe

Basice recipe: Serum with vit. C - 5% for normal skin


What you will need:

  • Distilled or deionized water (NOT filtered, mineral, or tap water)
  • Vitamin C -- pure L-ascorbic acid (acidum ascorbicum) in powder (not in tablets, powder with aroma, foaming tablets) -- this is usually available in apothecaries, without a prescription.
  • Vit E capsules -- in the form of d-alpha-tocopheryl (that´s the best kind)
  • Soy Lecithin in capsules (optional)
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Measurement containers (like the ones for medicines)
  • Bottles of dark glass, best with a dropper. Since vit C is very sensitive to light, it is a good idea to additionally wrap it in tinfoil or something similar. The bottle must be carefully cleaned, rinsed with hot water, then cleaned with alcohol and dried !


- 10 ml distilled water
- 0,5 ml ascorbic acid powder 
- 1 capsule vit. E 200 IU, which gives us 1,34% 
- 2 drops of lecithin from the capsule 
- 3-4 drops of alcohol, which gives us around 1% 

Preparation method:

  1. Pour 10 ml of distilled water into a nonmetal container.
  2. Add Vit C powder, mix till it dissolves.
  3. Pour mixture into the dark glass bottle.
  4. Add alcohol, soy lecithin and vit E.

The serum can be kept in a fridge for up to one week.
After that, wash the bottle carefully before pouring the next batch of serum into it.

Recipe variations:

For oily skin or skin prone to blocked pores: omit vit.E or add only a drop.
For dry skin: use two capsules of vit. E
For undereye areas: take apart of the serum that you have made, and add the same amount of distilled water. That is, if you take 3ml of the serum, add 3 ml of distilled water. You an also add a few more drops of vit. E
For very sensitive skin: you can use 1 drop of alcohol
Stronger serum: if your skin tolerates it, you can add up to 1.5 ml of ascorbic acid. Do not try this the first time, you might end up with irritated skin !

How to use:

Apply on cleansed skin on the face, neck and decollete.
If using it in the day, wait 10 mins before applying sunscreen
You don't have to use the serum every day, since vit C is stored in the skin. So, you can alterate it with other products.
A slight pinching of the skin is normal. However, if your skin is irritated, then discontinue using this serum.
Do not combine vit C with metals in cosmetics (for eg copper) or plant extracts (for eg grapes) which may also contain metal traces. They will deactivate the ascorbic acid. And do follow the rules for vit C creams on top of the page !

How the ingredients work:

Soy lecithin is a natural emulgent
Alcohol helps the serum to penetrate the skin. For concerns about alcohol, read my post explaining that not all alcohols are harmful.
Vit E helps vit C to work, besides being a great moisturiser and having other great skin-caring properties.

Important: do use sunscreen if you are applying anything with vitamin C on your face, since it makes the skin sensitive to UV rays !

Photo by peter bowers   

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