“Not from fruit juice? Fruit juice is awesome!” This is my 13-year-old daughter’s reaction when I showed her the title of this blog article.
She is right.
Vitamin C is one of the most effective anti-aging skincare ingredients. It improves your skin texture and reduces fine wrinkles by helping skin to make more collagen. It also slows down skin aging by reducing free radical damage to your skin.
Such a good thing comes with drawbacks. Vitamin C might irritate your skin, and it is easily oxidized by air unless it stays in a very dry state. Chances are, you vitamin C–containing lotion is partially oxidized or even mostly oxidized after being opened and used for a few weeks. Details of this can be found in Vitamin C in Skincare – The Good and the Tricky
A friend then asked me a question: “I can make my own vitamin C serum from fresh fruit juice, such as lemon juice, right?” Wrong.
Fruit juice does not contain enough vitamin C to make an effective skincare serum. Take lemon juice as an example, it contains mostly water, and 5 to 6% citric acid. The amount of vitamin C in lemon juice is only 0.05%. You need 10% vitamin C in skin lotion for it to be most effective, 200 times the amount presents in lemon juice!
Other common fruit juices such as orange, apple, pear, banana, and grape either have similar amounts of vitamin C as lemon juice or even less.
Lemon juice doesn’t have enough vitamin C for anti-aging skincare, and it also has a relatively high chance of irritating your skin. Why? The high amount of citric acid in lemon juice makes it very acidic; the pH of the lemon juice is 2 to 3. This is lower than the minimum pH value of 3.5 recommended by the FDA for skin contact.
If the all natural fruit juice is not good enough, then what is?
An easy way to ensure you have enough vitamin C in your homemade anti-aging skincare serum or cream is to buy pure vitamin C powder from a health food store or on the web, and add it into your favorite facial lotion. Since vitamin C is water-soluble, the base lotion you use cannot be too greasy.
How to Make Homemade Vitamin C Serum
Materials needed: vitamin C powder (also called vitamin C crystals, L-ascobic acid), measuring spoons, and your favorite moisturizer (as a base lotion). Mix this up in a container or vial capable of holding at least one table spoon (15ml).
1. Add ¼ teaspoon of vitamin C powder
2. Add one teaspoon of water (filtered water preferred)
3. Put the vial containing the vitamin C and water in a bath of warm water for a few minutes to help the vitamin C powder dissolve. Periodically shake the vial to speed dissolution.
4. Make a mark on the vial, and then add your favorite moisturizer into it until the height is doubled. (i.e. add an amount of moisturizer equal to the total volume of vitamin C and water already in the container)
5. Close the vial tight, shake the vial for a few seconds until you get a uniform lotion. You have just made yourself about 10ml of fresh vitamin C serum. It will last you a week. One example of a base lotion that can be used in this recipe is Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Daily Moisturizer, SPF 15. It comes with a pump, and it takes 10 full pumps to get the right amount of bases lotion (~5ml).