Alternatives To Vitamin C For Sensitive Skin

The vitamin C has become a core asset cash recommended in any routine skin care, and for good reason.

The ingredient has a long list of benefits including: increased shine and radiance, protection against free radical damage, even tone and promotion of collagen production .

I’m sure you’ll like it:

But although it is presented as a miracle asset, it is not always so good for those with sensitive skin .

Allergic reactions to vitamin-infused skin care products are quite common, often resulting in red bumps and itchy skin after application.

It is also one of the most difficult ingredients to tolerate if you suffer from rosacea or simply have highly reactive skin.

If this is your case and you have sensitivity problems, or if you are allergic to the ingredients from which vitamin C is derived -such as citrus fruits-, using a product with this compound may cause you more harm than good.

On the other hand, vitamin C is also difficult to stabilize , and can be affected by a wide range of variables that can render the product practically useless without even realizing it.

Due to their short shelf life, many vitamin C cosmetics are suspended in silicone bases, which helps trigger breakouts and clog pores.

Although ascorbic acid and ester C – the two most researched forms of vitamin C – have long been considered the standard when it comes to anti-aging defenses – along with retinol, of course – there are a lot of them. of other active ingredients that offer similar skin-enhancing benefits without the common side effects associated with vitamin C.

Although it is best to consult a dermatologist to explain which ingredients will be most compatible and effective for your skin type, some of their favorites are worth discovering.

Here are five alternatives to vitamin C that you should consider if you have extra sensitive skin.


If you’re looking to replace vitamin C with something milder, niacinamide (a B vitamin) is a great option.

Like vitamin C, it is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radical damage, revitalize dull skin, and blur fine lines.

Niacinamide is also less likely to conflict with other skincare ingredients in your routine, which means it is less likely to cause irritation.

That said, while it’s best for sensitive skin, you should gradually introduce it into your regimen and start with the lowest percentage – typically 10 percent – to get your skin used to it.

In addition, it has the plus that it keeps oil levels at bay and treats acne , making it perfect for oily skin.

Ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng

One of the biggest benefits of incorporating vitamin C into your skin care regimen is the protection it offers from UV rays. But in our day to day, this protection is not enough.

Vitamin C has been recognized as an excellent ingredient for facial care for decades, since we discovered that it can protect the surface layers of the skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays.

In addition, in our century we have another problem: the blue light emitted by digital screens .

This light penetrates deeper than UV light and causes damage to fibroblasts -the cells that keep our skin firm-, damage to mitochondria -the energy source of skin cells, which makes the skin look more dull-, redness, swelling, and hyperpigmentation.

Indian ginseng not only protects our skin from digital pollution , but also increases cellular energy and vitality of the complexion and restores it completely .

On some ingredient lists, you will see Indian ginseng as Ashwagandha, winter cherry, or Withania Somnifera extract .


Saffron and turmeric are rich in carotenoids, a botanical compound that helps brighten the skin, reduce inflammation, and provide sun protection.

Many times I prefer to use carotenoids than vitamin C for all the added benefits it has, and fewer side effects.

Another notable benefit of carotenoids worth mentioning is their stability .

Unlike vitamin C, which is very unstable and can oxidize rapidly, carotenoids remain active and effective for much longer , which means that carotenoid-infused products also have a longer shelf life.


Viniferine is an ingredient extracted from the sap of the vine that lightens dark spots, acne scars and hyperpigmentation .

Clinical trials show that viniferine is 4 times more effective than kojic acid and 62 times more effective than L-ascorbic acid -vitamin C- in inhibiting tyrosinase -that is, lightening dark spots-.

Alpha arbutin

Alpha Arbutin is also a great potent alternative when it comes to blurring dark spots and correcting skin tone.

It is a derivative of the bearberry plant and, while it remains in the background, it also happens to be one of the most effective compounds in fighting discoloration and melasma .

Like vitamin C, it is an effective brightening agent, but because it has a gradual release, it is much gentler and does not pose as high a risk of irritation.

Broccoli seeds

We all knew how good broccoli is for our health, but few know its benefits for the skin, specifically its seed.

It has been shown that oil seed broccoli has some powerful anti-aging benefits, partly because of its abundance of vitamin A .

It also contains an ample supply of vitamin C, but thanks to the rich concentration of anti-inflammatory and moisturizing fatty acids in broccoli seed oil, it has no risk of dryness or irritation .


This antioxidant derived from the bark of the French maritime pine Pinus pinaster is actually 50 times more effective in preventing free radical damage than vitamin E.

Pycnogenol contains compounds rich in antioxidants – including procyanidins belonging to the flavonoid family – capable of complementing the benefits of daily use of sunscreen.

Studies support the claim that pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant that can help neutralize oxidative stress .

There is also much research supporting pycnogenol as an oral supplement for its anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant benefits, and regenerating skin elasticity benefits.

Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)

Epidermal Growth Factor is an anti-aging ingredient on the rise on the beauty front.

Originally investigated for their effectiveness in wound healing, plant-based growth factors have been more recently investigated in the field of dermatology.

Some studies have shown that they are able to boost cell regeneration and accelerate collagen production , resulting in a brighter tone and smoother lines, without posing the risk of excessive redness and dryness.

Reference sources:

Pycnogenol® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase in women – Skin Pharmacol Physiol

Inhibitory effects of alpha-arbutin on melanin synthesis in cultured human melanoma cells and a three-dimensional human skin model – Biol Pharm Bull

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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