DIY Vitamin C serum - water soluble stabiliser

I am trying to create my own basic vitamin c serum. I plan on making it weekly. Instead of making an emulsion with ferulic acid and vitamin e. Are there any other water soluble antioxidants that can stabilise the vitamin C for just a week.


Comments

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    If you are going to be making Vitamin C serum weekly and using it within that week, you really don't need to worry about stabilizer.  The Vitamin C won't degrade that quickly to really affect the performance.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • mikeylamarmikeylamar Member
    edited October 2021
    If you are going to be making Vitamin C serum weekly and using it within that week, you really don't need to worry about stabilizer.  The Vitamin C won't degrade that quickly to really affect the performance.
    I heard on Perry's podcast that all the vitamin c essentially degrades completely after 8 hours at room temperature.

    As I plan on using it underneath my sunscreen, I'd prefer to add another water soluble antioxidant that will also make it more photostable too. 


  • I'm not sure how to edit my original post but I copied and pasted the wrong text haha

    -
    I am trying to create my own basic vitamin c serum that I plan on making weekly. Instead of an emulsion that contains ferulic acid and vitamin e, I want to cut down the ingredient list to 3 - vitamin C, an antioxidant and baking soda. Are there any other water soluble antioxidants that will stabilise the vitamin C for a week.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    Why Baking Soda?
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • If you are going to be making Vitamin C serum weekly and using it within that week, you really don't need to worry about stabilizer.  The Vitamin C won't degrade that quickly to really affect the performance.
    I heard on Perry's podcast that all the vitamin c essentially degrades completely after 8 hours at room temperature.

    As I plan on using it underneath my sunscreen, I'd prefer to add another water soluble antioxidant that will also make it more photostable too. 



    Is this correct?
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited October 2021
    No other antioxidants are evidence based for stabilizing C as far as I know.

    You don't really have to make an emulsion, though.

    You can use a small amount of Polysorbate, or even something like Olivem 300 to solubilize a small amount of Vitamin E (in Vitamin C serums, E is used at 0.5% or 1%.)

    The bigger problem is Ferulic Acid. In my experience it's almost impossible to solubilize. This is why I've personally given up on DIY Vitamin C. I buy commercial formulations that stay stable/unoxidized/effective for a stunning amount of time (the ones I use limit water content and switch out large quantities of water for glycols. That's the trick.) 
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @mikeylamar

    You should consider using some combination of Water, Ethoxydiglycol or Propanediol, Ascorbic Acid, Ferulic Acid.  If you find the pH too low, L-Arginine is a more elegant base than sodium hydroxide.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • Why Baking Soda?
    This will be a DIY serum and the baking soda will be used to lower the PH
  • emma1985 said:
    No other antioxidants are evidence based for stabilizing C as far as I know.

    You don't really have to make an emulsion, though.

    You can use a small amount of Polysorbate, or even something like Olivem 300 to solubilize a small amount of Vitamin E (in Vitamin C serums, E is used at 0.5% or 1%.)

    The bigger problem is Ferulic Acid. In my experience it's almost impossible to solubilize. This is why I've personally given up on DIY Vitamin C. I buy commercial formulations that stay stable/unoxidized/effective for a stunning amount of time (the ones I use limit water content and switch out large quantities of water for glycols. That's the trick.) 
    So I probably wont have any luck with plant extracts such as green tea extract, rosemary extract or ginger extract?
  • suswang8 said:
    If you are going to be making Vitamin C serum weekly and using it within that week, you really don't need to worry about stabilizer.  The Vitamin C won't degrade that quickly to really affect the performance.
    I heard on Perry's podcast that all the vitamin c essentially degrades completely after 8 hours at room temperature.

    As I plan on using it underneath my sunscreen, I'd prefer to add another water soluble antioxidant that will also make it more photostable too. 



    Is this correct?
    I heard him say it on the beauty brains podcast. If I remember correctly, it was episode 236 ''how effective are DIY vitamin C recipes''
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    sodium metabisulphite is good at slowing down oxidation of vitamin C, and in principle, benzophenone-4 could act as an efficient radical trap for oxygen
    (disclaimer: I've not actually tried the latter)
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    edited October 2021
    Why Baking Soda?
    This will be a DIY serum and the baking soda will be used to lower the PH

    Baking soda is never used. There are much better ways to adjust pH. I would seek greater understanding. In addition "Baking Soda" (NaHCO₃) will RAISE you pH, not lower it.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • emma1985emma1985 Member
    edited October 2021
    emma1985 said:
    No other antioxidants are evidence based for stabilizing C as far as I know.

    You don't really have to make an emulsion, though.

    You can use a small amount of Polysorbate, or even something like Olivem 300 to solubilize a small amount of Vitamin E (in Vitamin C serums, E is used at 0.5% or 1%.)

    The bigger problem is Ferulic Acid. In my experience it's almost impossible to solubilize. This is why I've personally given up on DIY Vitamin C. I buy commercial formulations that stay stable/unoxidized/effective for a stunning amount of time (the ones I use limit water content and switch out large quantities of water for glycols. That's the trick.) 
    So I probably wont have any luck with plant extracts such as green tea extract, rosemary extract or ginger extract?
    What percentage of Vitamin C are you using? If you're using anything more than 10% (it's evidence based at 15-20%) you'll need to raise the pH, not lower it. I use Triethanolamine in my Lactic Acid serum. Aim for 3.5, it's the least irritating while simultaneously effective and bioavailable. I would not go over 3.5.

     My understanding is green tea extract is almost impossible ro stabilize in cosmetic formulations. 

    If you're making it weekly, especially if you're reducing water content a bit by replacing water with glycols (if it's for personal use and you're not that worried about elegance I would do 10% Glycerin,) then it'll be fine without another antioxidant.

    Give it a try for one week. You'll know it's oxidizing if it starts turning yellow.

    Sorry for double post.
  • Why Baking Soda?
    This will be a DIY serum and the baking soda will be used to lower the PH

    Baking soda is never used. There are much better ways to adjust pH. I would seek greater understanding. In addition "Baking Soda" (NaHCO₃) will RAISE you pH, not lower it.
    I think I mean citric acid, excuse me
  • emma1985 said:
    emma1985 said:
    No other antioxidants are evidence based for stabilizing C as far as I know.

    You don't really have to make an emulsion, though.

    You can use a small amount of Polysorbate, or even something like Olivem 300 to solubilize a small amount of Vitamin E (in Vitamin C serums, E is used at 0.5% or 1%.)

    The bigger problem is Ferulic Acid. In my experience it's almost impossible to solubilize. This is why I've personally given up on DIY Vitamin C. I buy commercial formulations that stay stable/unoxidized/effective for a stunning amount of time (the ones I use limit water content and switch out large quantities of water for glycols. That's the trick.) 
    So I probably wont have any luck with plant extracts such as green tea extract, rosemary extract or ginger extract?
    What percentage of Vitamin C are you using? If you're using anything more than 10% (it's evidence based at 15-20%) you'll need to raise the pH, not lower it. I use Triethanolamine in my Lactic Acid serum. Aim for 3.5, it's the least irritating while simultaneously effective and bioavailable. I would not go over 3.5.

     My understanding is green tea extract is almost impossible ro stabilize in cosmetic formulations. 

    If you're making it weekly, especially if you're reducing water content a bit by replacing water with glycols (if it's for personal use and you're not that worried about elegance I would do 10% Glycerin,) then it'll be fine without another antioxidant.

    Give it a try for one week. You'll know it's oxidizing if it starts turning yellow.

    Sorry for double post.
    I will be starting off with 5% and progressively get higher. Yeah I got confused for a second, I will be using citric acid to lower the pH.

    You mentioned that green tea extract is also hard to stabilise. Will this be the same for every other plant extract too?

    That's very interesting, I didn't realise that lowering the water content and using glycerin will increase stability. So I assume that vitamin c retains all of its stability in glycols then. 


  • Bill_Toge said:
    sodium metabisulphite is good at slowing down oxidation of vitamin C, and in principle, benzophenone-4 could act as an efficient radical trap for oxygen
    (disclaimer: I've not actually tried the latter)
    I'll definitely take a look at sodium metabisulphite but ideally I'd add another antioxidant that will synergistically increase the antioxidant affects, not just slow down the oxidation
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Metabisulfite, dithionite, and a few thiols are the only cosmetical antioxidants which are stronger than ascorbic acid and are capable of recycling/reducing oxidised ascorbate. Phenolic antioxidants such as tocopherol will not rescue vitamin C but show in vivo synergism. The former are also better at capturing the causing agent (oxygen) and don't just 'remedy' damage or quenche chain reactions.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @mikeylamar

    When you dissolve Ascorbic Acid in water, the resulting pH will be a bit below 3.0, so you are going to need to raise the pH with a base if you want to get it to pH = 3.5.

    No, plant extracts will do absolutely nothing as antioxidants.

    10% Glycerin is going to be an unbelievably sticky mess ... very unpleasant on the face.

    If you are only using this for one week, add in 20% Ethoxydiglycol or Propanediol ... it will feels much more pleasant on the face.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    Pharma said:
    Phenolic antioxidants such as tocopherol will not rescue vitamin C but show in vivo synergism. The former are also better at capturing the causing agent (oxygen) and don't just 'remedy' damage or quenche chain reactions.
    and water-soluble benzophenone derivatives work on the same principle - they form relatively stable radicals, more readily than phenolic species (the radical is stabilised by two aromatic rings rather than one, and is physically very hindered)
    they're certainly effective against dye degradation by UV-generated radical species, so in principle they should be similarly effective against reactive oxygen radicals too
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    @Bill_Toge I'm not sure that this is the case. Benzophenone radicals are quite reactive, hence their use as radical initiators in polymer synthesis and the like.
    The ketyl radical is sterically hindered but the whole benzene rings aren't. Oxybenzone and benzophenone-4 are mesomery stabilised phenolics, not sterically hindered ones. IMHO is their only job that as UV screens, they shouldn't get sp excited that they form radical species.
    And because they aren't good antioxidants, they can't regenerate oxidised vitamin C. I'm not really familiar with radical chemistry. My understanding is that photoexcited benzophenones can react with molecular oxygen which results in non-excited benzophenone and oxygen radicals and that doesn't sound good to me. In theory, photoexcited benzophenones could quench other radicals... However, ascorbic acid degradation isn't typical radical chemistry aka one electron redox reactions but two electron reduction/oxidation (one of the reasons why tocopherol can't recycle oxidised ascorbic acid). Maybe you could shed some light on it?
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