Many expensive cosmetic lines produce what they call a Vitamin C serum – a concentrated and usually hydrating formulation for the skin. With oranges and a few simple ingredients, you can bring the benefits of a Vitamin C serum to your skin right at home.
Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C works in various ways that are beneficial to the skin. As yet, the research is ongoing, but some results suggest a number of benefits.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant. That means that it helps to protect cells from damaging free radicals, which can be caused by excessive sun exposure.
- The body uses Vitamin C to promote the production of collagen, which keeps the skin elastic.
- It is used by the body to help repair tissues.
- Vitamin C may help to lighten areas of hyperpigmentation.
- Some research even suggests it can slow the signs of aging.
- One study suggests it can help reduce the look of surgical scars.
Eating citrus fruits and other good sources of Vitamin C is also important, but dermatologists say applying it topically to the skin via a serum makes it 20 times more potent. It’s also important to note that, to see results, you need to stick to the regimen for at least 12 weeks.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not combine this serum with a preparation that uses retinol or niainamide.
Step #1: Vitamin C Powder
1 orange, zest only
- Using a sharp knife, cut the zest only – i.e. the colored part – of the skin from the orange.
- Break it into small coin-sized pieces, and set them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven at 150F for about 3 to 5 hours. The peel should be very dry and crisp.
- Make them into a fine powder with a spice or coffee grinder.
- You can store the powder in an airtight jar until you are ready to use it, or make a batch to have handy for not just serum but also orange and honey tea with a cup of warm water.
Step #2: Serum
1 tablespoon Vitamin C powder
2 tablespoons distilled water
1 tablespoon organic aloe vera gel
1 drop Vitamin E oil
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
- Combine the Vitamin C powder and distilled water first.
- Add the organic aloe vera gel, and stir until dissolved.
- Add the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- You can adjust the consistency, adding more water to thin it, or more glycerin to thicken.
- Apply your serum after cleansing.
- Store in a cupboard away from the light in a cool temperature if possible.
- The serum will store for up to 1 month.