What Cranberry Powder Did When it Met Vitamin C

Cranberry has been a recurring theme in a few different products I've been developing lately, so I decided to give it a whirl in a gel-based facial serum with vitamin C. The cranberry decided to teach me a thing or two.

It All Started...

Last year, I developed a special order vitamin-C based skin lightening product for 2 ladies. The process was documented on this blog as a case study (check under Topics for Case Studies).

Tricky, Demanding and Difficult

Vitamin C is not only super tricky to work with, but also comes with all kinds of usage do's and don'ts. In higher doses it must only be used for a limited time. This serum was formulated with a lower dose of vitamin C so it could be used every day and still refresh and brighten the skin.

Everything Ready? Ok, Go!

Vitamin C starts to loose its power as soon as it is exposed to air. I'm sure you've heard the 'eat the orange as soon as you've peeled it to get the maximum vitamin C'. That's actually true.

For skin care products, vitamin C is ideally added under airless conditions in a lab. My lab – which is full of all kinds of super-advanced equipment – works like this: add vitamin C as the final ingredient and package immediately in airless containers while holding breath (told you it was advanced).

To speed the final process, everything is lined up and readied just before adding the final ingredient. Here are the final steps of making this product.

Here's the cranberry powder before being added to the gel (it's really that pink).

And the gel with the powder added. Fab color, don't you think? It looks positively edible!

The C-vitamin was added, and in less than the wink of an eye, this happened.

What I Learned About C-Vitamin and Cranberry Powder

Adding vitamin C to a product containing cranberry powder will pretty much instantly take the joy out of the color.

Despite this less-than-happy hue, I bottled and tested the serum. The texture was lovely and quite pleasant to use, but the memory of fresh pink lingered...

and lingered...

and lingered.

After 2 weeks of still not being able to get past the color change, I dumped the remainder.

Next batch will be sans cranberry powder.


Rikke said…
Øøøøvvv hvor træls. Jeg troede ellers, at c-vit ville virke som antioxidant og dermed bevare farven. Jeg har tidligere forsøgt at lave Lilla "vand" m lavendelblomster i vodka. Det startede med den smukkeste Lilla farve, men blev hurtigt brunt :-/
Boony said…
Is this the emulsion I purchased? (well, minus the cranberry?) Because the batch I have is absolutely wonderful!! I LOVE it!
LisaLise said…
Hi Boony,

Nope this is an entirely different product. Your emulsion is cranberry free and not gel based, so, an entirely different product. You may be thinking of the sample of the pink pamperer you tried? I've been trying cranberry in quite a few different things lately..
LisaLise said…
Hej Rikke - ja det var faktisk træls! Problemet med C-vitamin er pH-værdien. Det er ikke 'almindelig c-vitamin, men en særlig processeret c-vitamin som er præcis den modsatte pH værdi som man ellers skulle forestille sig... (man lærer da også noget nyt hver dag!)