Vitamin C does a lot more than just keep colds at bay. It helps skin recover from sun damage and reverse the effects of aging. It exfoliates and stimulates the growth of new collagen to make wrinkles disappear. It also lightens dark spots.
When we say Vitamin C powder for your face, we don’t mean grinding up vitamins or washing with Tang. We’re talking about pharmaceutical-grade L-ascorbic acid or Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate powder. Some people mix the powder into their moisturizer, or else make their own Vitamin C serums or face masques.
Tripping on Acid
Part of the problem of making your own Vitamin C serum or skin care products at home is getting the formula right. The powder needs to be processed at a pH of 3.5 or less so it’s acidic enough to work. The acidity helps the vitamin absorb into skin. But if it’s too acidic, it will cause irritation. Mixing it with water makes it more acidic. That means you have to be careful that the concentration isn’t over 20%.
L-ascorbic acid doesn’t stay fresh for long once it’s been exposed to water and air, so new batches of serum have to be made on a regular basis. The powder itself oxidizes, turning yellow or brown instead of white. At least Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is more stable and it lasts longer.
Recipes for Beauty
Another problem with making your own skin care products with Vitamin C is crystallization. Mix the powder with water and it dissolves. Apply the mix to your skin and it won’t sink in. It dries out and recrystallizes on the surface of your face. You’ll have to use something other than water to help the vitamin penetrate down to where it will do some good.
Alcohol will dry out your skin. Glycerin works better, but it’s still water-based, and not very effective. Vitamin C also works better when it’s combined with other antioxidants like Vitamin E and Ferulic acid.
Yes, there are many recipes online that will tell you to mix this and that to make your own Vitamin C serum. But it’s complicated to get it right. If you’ve never used a professionally-made Vitamin C serum, you might not have high expectations. It could take you a long time to determine if your formulation is actually working. A branded product recommended by dermatologists will probably give you results much more quickly.
Best Vitamin C Powder for Face
With all that said, someone reading this is still going to be determined to give it a go. We respect that. We’ll try to make it as easy for you as possible. We hunted down the best powder we could find for sale on Amazon and checked their reviews to see how likely they were to be faked. Here are the best.
Vitamin C Powder (L-ascorbic acid) Pure – 1.8oz
Although the package doesn’t look flashy, it contains 100% USP grade ultrafine L-ascorbic acid powder. It has a pH of 3% and it water and alcohol-soluble.
MakingCosmetics recommends mixing it with L-ascorbyl palmitate and/or Vitamin E. They say to sprinkle it slowly into water while constantly stirring. The final pH should be 4-5.
L-Ascorbic Acid Powder USP/FCC Grade (Vitamin C), 6 oz. Jar
This L-ascorbic acid powder is 99.93% pure and comes with a pH between 2.2 and 2.5 when mixed in a 5% solution.
The manufacturer recommends dissolving the powder into water or witch hazel before adding any other ingredients like essential oils. They provide a Vitamin C serum recipe right on their Amazon product page.
Litmus pH Test Strips
You’ll need these to make sure you’ve got the acidity at a level safe for your skin. Who said we’d never use that chemistry class stuff in real life?
Not Breaking Bad Yet
If cooking your own serum doesn’t seem like your thing right now, but you’re still curious, try one of these products. While you wait for your new skin care product to arrive, check out our other reviews and recommendations.