Sensitive To Vitamin C? Here Are Four Alternatives That Do The Same Job, Maybe Even Better

Vitamin C

If there’s one skincare ingredient that has stood the test of skincare trends and stood tall, it’s vitamin c. Touted as a skincare hero by experts and enthusiasts all over, this ingredient definitely comes with a multitude of benefits ranging from brightening the skin to solid protection against photodamage and even helping to boost collagen production in your skin. But, we’re here to tell you that vitamin c isn’t all that. Despite the multitude of benefits it offers the skin, factors like its suitability for the skin hamper its hero status.

Notorious for its ability to oxidise quickly, vitamin c is also an unstable ingredient when compared to the other active ingredients out there. L-ascorbic acid is often responsible for adverse reactions on the skin, which none of us are a fan of. Sensitive skin types and in some cases even oily skin types (me!) don’t do well with it and have to deal with redness, random breakouts and even flaky skin. So, how exactly does one reap all the benefits of vitamin c without really using it? News flash, the ever-changing world of skincare is home to a plethora of ingredients which can help you reap the exact same benefits.


Niacinamide has been my constant for the last 5 years, thanks to its versatility. Favoured by sensitive skin types everywhere, this ingredient is extremely gentle on the skin and is suitable for all skin types, without causing any adverse reactions on it. Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide works like a dream to fade away the dark spots caused by pigmentation or left behind by acne. Being an antioxidant just like vitamin c, niacinamide holds the power to decrease oxidative stress along with boosting collagen production too.

When it comes to niacinamide, the Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster takes away the first prize undoubtedly. Despite having a powerful concentration of niacinamide, this serum is extremely gentle on the skin and helps you battle a variety of skincare concerns ranging from a rough skin texture to dull skin and redness. It’s can be heavy on the pocket, but a little product goes a long way!

Alpha Arbutin

If dark spots pester you incessantly, it’s time to include alpha arbutin in your skincare routine. An underrated ingredient which has the power to solely focus on fading away pigmentation caused by sun damage, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, this one is suitable for all skin types. Again, with immense antioxidant powers, alpha arbutin works effectively to improve the overall tone of your skin whilst also preventing any further dark spots from forming.


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Nobody does targeted skincare better than The Ordinary and the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is a shining example of that. Formulated as a water-based serum, purified alpha arbutin and hyaluronic acid make an ideal combination to brighten and hydrate the skin, who wouldn’t want that? Perfectly suitable to be used twice a day, this serum is lightweight and suits every skin type despite its concentrated power of alpha arbutin.

Azelaic Acid

Rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, azelaic acid performs the brightening function that vitamin c is renowned for. A mild exfoliant which sloughs away dirt from the pores of your skin without stripping it of its natural oils, azelaic acid is an ingredient that is suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive acne-prone skin! When hormonal acne decided to stick around in my life, azelaic acid is what battled the redness and bumps that came along with it.


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An infusion of enriching ingredients that work in tandem to keep your skin in the pink of its health, Dr. Sheth’s Probiotics and Azelaic Acid Serum is multitasking with its abilities to soothe, exfoliate and brighten. While azelaic acid aids in fading away dark spots, the probiotics strengthen the barrier of your skin, making it supple in the process.

Tranexamic Acid

Powerful active ingredients can be extremely overwhelming on the skin, and that’s where tranexamic acid enters the chat. A mild acid which doesn’t irritate sensitive and acne-prone skin, this ingredient effectively evens out the skin tone by reducing discolouration of the skin. Especially targeting post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, tranexamic acid is an ingredient that can also safely be paired with other brightening ingredients like niacinamide and azelaic acid.

The 2% Tranexamic Serum with Licorice Extract by Earth Rhythm contains a concentration of the acid that will suit all skin types. This serum also contributes to restoring the health of a damaged skin barrier along with doing the usual task of battling pigmentation. A lesser-known fact about this one is that consistent usage decreases the sensitivity of your skin towards UV rays.

- Beauty Writer


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