'I'm a dermatologist who broke up with vitamin C.'

If you're someone who uses vitamin C on their skin, chances are it either works wonders for you (Glowy! Even! Clear!) and you love it, or it tends to make your entire face freak out. Which you... don't love. Whether it's breakouts, irritation or dermatitis — you're not alone if you find that vitamin C doesn't play nicely with your skin.

For this very reason, dermatologist Dr Katherine Armour said it's the one ingredient she avoids at all costs. And if all these side effects sound familiar, you maybe should too...

Watch: Here are 7 ways to improve your skin while sleeping. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

On a recent episode of You Beauty the skin expert and brand founder (she's the brains behind cosmeceutical skincare brand Bespoke Skin Technology) sat down with us to chat through her skincare routine — as well as offer up some SPICY opinions when it comes to ingredients that aren't worth the hype.

As she told me, "This is also going to blow everyone's mind by the way, but the ingredient that I personally do not like and I do not formulate with, is vitamin C."

And, sorry... WHAT?

Dr Armour continued, "I spend so much of my week as a practicing dermatologist seeing women who've come in with periorificial dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis from using vitamin C."



"Look, if people are using C and they like it or not agrees with them fantastic, no reason to change," she said. But if you're one of those people who've tried time and time again to use vitamin C, only to find it just doesn't agree with your skin — it may be time to throw in the towel.

"It's just such a common problem. It's really unstable and preparation and it does tend to be irritating on the skin," added Dr Armour.

Listen: If you want to catch the full episode in your ears, click the link below.

Luckily, our skin expert said that if vitamin C isn't working for you, there are tons of other ingredients out there that deliver the same, if not better, benefits without the harsh side effects.

"There is nothing that vitamin C does that ingredients such as niacinamide and astaxanthin don't do," she shared.

Chances are you've heard of niacinamide (vitamin B3) — a true multi-tasking hero that tackles pretty much every skin concern. It can reduce the appearance of large pores, clear breakouts and regulate oil flow, improve skin hydration, soften fine lines and help with your skin's overall tone. Told you it was a hard worker.

As for the second ingredient, you've likely never heard of it (honestly, same) and it kind of sounds like a new COVID vaccine. But as Dr Armour told us, astaxanthin is actually a very powerful little antioxidant that's wildly underrated. Like, it's apparently the James Bond of the antioxidant world.


However, while it's a real hard-hitter, when used topically, astaxanthin's side effects are apparently pretty minimal. Meaning? No breakouts. No irritation. No skin tantrums.

It's like vitamin C, but sexier. Better. Less hurt-y.

"Astaxanthin does everything that vitamin C does — whilst not being irritating, it helps with pigmentation. It's a very, very powerful antioxidant. In fact, astaxanthin is enormously more powerful as an antioxidant than vitamin C is."


Again, if you use vitamin C on the regular and it works fine on your skin — go for your life. But for the gals who want to nab all the glowy benefits but just can't make this work for their skin type and always end up breaking out, opt for niacinamide or astaxanthin instead and we guarantee you'll see great results without the fuss.

Try these: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, $9.50, BEAUTY OF JOSEON Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide, $36 and Bespoke Skin Technology Luminosity Revive & Refine Serum, $145, are all great options.

Are you a fan of vitamin C? Why or why note? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@drkatherinearmour.

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