I am a huge believer in the antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C and encourage its use systemically and topically. Vitamin C (also known as l-ascorbic acid), is fantastic for lightening up brown spots of all kinds, and also enhances the integrity of the skin, making it firmer by boosting collagen production. Vitamin C is also a great exfoliator and leaves skin with a healthy glow.
There are a myriad of cleansers, toners, serums and moisturizers available these days, but many of these products can be quite expensive. One example is Obagi-C Cleansing Gel which is fantastic but which costs about $34 for 6 ounces, so I use Earth Science Clarifying Facial Wash which is about $7 for 8 ounces. I have been using the Eaarth Science brand for years and I absolutely love it!
The vitamin C serums tend to be the priciest of the vitamin C skincare products, so many people will omit this product when I honestly think it is the most important type of product for aging skin. In an effort to help people achieve great skin while on a budget, here is a do-it-yourself vitamin C serum formula you can mix up at home. Some people use glycerin when mixing up vitamin C serum at home, but I find this substance to be troublesome for oily skin, and I am not a big fan of essential oils because they can often cause irritation on sensitive skin. I personally like the formulation below because it is good for oilier and reactive skin types. If you have severely reactive skin, you can use distilled water instead of rose water.
Make sure to purchase a dark glass (either dark amber or cobalt blue) container, perhaps one with a dropper tip or a spray nozzle, to store your serum. The dark glass container is essential for preventing breakdown of the unstable vitamin C molecule. I also advise storing this in the fridge to maximize potency.
Dr. Naito’s DIY Vitamin C Serum:
1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C (aka l-ascorbic acid) powder or crystals (you can find this at most health food stores)
1 teaspoon hyaluronic acid
1 tablespoon rose water
If you use crystals instead of powder, make sure to pulverize the crystals well with a mortar and pestle before adding the other ingredients. Mix all ingredients well. This yields about a 6% strength serum. Apply to cleansed skin at night. This supply should last about ten to fourteen days.
If you want a stronger concentration, you can mix the following ratio of ingredients for a 10% concentration of vitamin C. If you experience stinging or burning, return to the lower potency.
Dr. Naito’s DIY High Potency Vitamin C Serum:
1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C powder or crystals
1 teaspoon hyaluronic acid
1-1/4 teaspoon rose water ***note that the amount of rose water used is smaller than in above formulation.