There is some level of science when it comes to skincare applications. When it comes to layering ingredients, we often forget that the various pH levels can alter the effectiveness of each active and how it works on the skin. Many users are mistaken to believe that layering ingredients together is the result of unwanted side effects, such as rashes, itching, and discomfort. But these are something that can be easily avoided if you know how to work different ingredients together in your daily routine. You may be surprised to learn that most skincare actives can be used in the one routine, it is just a case of understanding their pH levels and when to apply each on the skin.
This brings us to today’s question, can niacinamide be used with mandelic acid? Let’s quickly recap about how each of these ingredients work and the benefits they can deliver to the skin.
What is Mandelic Acid?
- Derived from bitter almonds and is a member of the group of chemical exfoliants called alpha hydroxy acid, also called AHA.
- Has a large molecular size making it gentle enough for all skin types to use, even those prone to redness and sensitivity.
- Sloughs away the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, revealing fresher, new cells underneath.
- Combats signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles significantly reducing their appearance after a few short weeks.
- Helps to combat clogged pores and blemishes. Mandelic acid can work at unclogging the pores of excess sebum, dirt, bacteria, and other impurities.
- Mandelic acid can work at preventing hyperpigmentation, such as melasma, dark spots, post acne scarring, and other areas of uneven skin tone.
- Has some side effects, such as itching, swelling, redness, and itching. Therefore, you must seek the advice of a doctor or dermatologist before introducing any new ingredients into your routine.
- If you wanted to find out more about mandelic acid, check out our dedicated blog post.
What is Niacinamide?
- Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 and is derived from brewer’s yeast and cereal.
- Known for its humectant properties ensuring moisture is locked into the skin. This helps keep the skin barrier functioning properly and able to protect itself from free radical exposure.
- Can work effectively teamed with other ingredients, even chemical acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid.
- Can help regulate sebum production, making niacinamide a beneficial ingredient for those with a skin type prone to acne, as well as dryness.
- Visibly reduces the appearance of enlarged pores giving the complexion and all-over improved appearance.
- Combats signs of ageing, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and signs of dehydration on the skin surface.
- Helps to improve the complexion by tightening the skin around the jawline and neck.
- Restores the skin’s radiance and reducing the dull and lack lustre appearance of the skin that can often occur.
- Find out more about niacinamide, over on The Beauty Insiders.
How do you use niacinamide and mandelic acid?
There are a couple of ways you can use mandelic acid and niacinamide together. Unlike other actives, you can in fact, layer these ingredients together. However, each contain a different pH level and when these are combined too quickly can alter the pH levels of the skin. This will result in a flare-up in redness, itching, flaking, and sometimes severely irritated. Here are some examples of how you can use niacinamide and mandelic acid together.
- Use both ingredients in your routine
As I have already suggested, you are able to use mandelic acid and niacinamide together. Just bear in mind you need to wait about 10 minutes in between applications as this allows the active ingredients to absorb and the pH levels to rebalance.
- Apply mandelic acid then niacinamide
Start by using a cleanser or exfoliating toner containing mandelic acid to rid the skin of dead skin cell build-up and dirt. Next lock moisture into the skin with the help of niacinamide which will help keep the skin barrier functioning properly and ensure it is able to protect itself from free radicals, such as pollution, central heating, cigarette smoke, and other environmental aggressors.
- Alternate the time of day you apply them
You can also choose to apply one active during your morning routine, followed with the other ingredient during your evening routine. This is an effective way of benefiting from all your skincare products if you already have an established collection.
There is a basic rule in skincare, which is to apply skincare products in order of consistency. Starting with the thinnest and finishing with the thickest, this will help determine which ingredient is applied to the skin first.
What can you not mix with mandelic acid?
It is thought best to avoid mixing mandelic acid with other acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and retinol. This is because using too many exfoliating ingredients will result in the skin becoming over stimulated leading to a flare-up in redness, itching, flakiness, severe dryness, and overall discomfort for the face.
If you wanted to use AHAs and mandelic acid, you can if you alternate the days you use each active. For example, the nights you are applying retinol, you can skip a mandelic acid application. If you are introducing a new ingredient into your routine, you may wish to perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying the new formula to the face. To do a patch test you must first, apply a small 10p sized amount on the inside of your arm. Leave the product there overnight and if there are no signs of irritation in the morning, you can use the product on the face.
What can you not mix with niacinamide
It is thought that vitamin C should be avoided when using niacinamide as they are both antioxidants and work in a similar way on the skin. This information is now thought to be a little outdated, and many product formulas contain stable forms of vitamin C limiting the concerns with combining these powerhouses together.
There you have a little more information about using niacinamide and mandelic acid. Don’t forget, if you have any questions, you can come and find one of our health experts over on Instagram.