Can You Mix Niacinamide and Retinol?

Can You Mix Niacinamide and Retinol?

Believe it or not both potent powerhouses can not only be mixed but is considered a very effective skincare duo. But don’t just take my word for it, many dermatologists and skin experts recommend teaming both niacinamide and retinol in your daily skincare routine to gain optimal results.

Much like any layering of skincare products, there is sometimes a little confusion with how it done. So, if that sounds like you, look no further as everything will become a lot clearer.

Before I get into more detail about mixing these ingredients together, let me first give you a refresher about the benefits you can expect to see when applying these ingredients in your day-to-day regime.

What’s Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form vitamin B3 that is naturally occurring in the body but can also provide many skin benefits when applied topically onto the skin. Here are some you can expect to see when using niacinamide.

  • Combats signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduces frequent flare-ups in acne and breakouts
  • Calms the skin from skin drying conditions such as rosacea and atopic dermatitis
  • Repairs signs of sun damage and hyperpigmentation
  • Gives the skin an all-over plumped appearance

What’s Retinol?

Known as one of the most potent skincare ingredients, retinol is a form of vitamin A and has gained a reputation for its impressive anti-ageing abilities for the skin, as well as reducing the blemishes and acne flare-ups. Some other

  • Speeds up the skin cell cycle revealing a glowing complexion
  • Reduces the appearance of premature ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles
  • Combats uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation
  • Regulates the skin’s natural sebum production

How long after using niacinamide can I apply retinol?

Niacinamide and retinol work so well together that a 5-minute gap in between applications without the worry of the skin becoming irritated or show any signs of redness. If you are wanting to use something that is a little more time considerate, there are a selection of effective products available online or in your high street stores.

What can you not mix with niacinamide?

Niacinamide is one of the very few skin ingredients available that can be used by almost all skin types. Because niacinamide contains humectant traits, meaning it can draw water into the skin and locking it into the lower layers. This also generally means it can work well with many different skin ingredients. Having said that, there is some outdated research dating back to the 1960s advising to avoid using niacinamide and vitamin C together. Considering old forms of vitamin C being highly unstable it was considered counter effective to use both niacinamide and vitamin C together as they both deliver similar results for the skin. This usually results in them competing with each other and preventing each deliver their benefits.

What should you not mix with retinol?

There are several potent ingredients that you should avoid applying at the same time retinol. This doesn’t mean however, that you shouldn’t use these ingredients all together in your routine, it is just a case of using them at the alternate times to reap the rewards and be left with a glowing, healthy complexion. 

Ingredients you should not mix with retinol

  • Vitamin C

Ideally it would be best to apply vitamin C during your morning routine allowing the antioxidant properties to repair and rebuild the skin. Follow your evening routine with retinol to boost collagen production and revive the complexion.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide

Both benzoyl peroxide and retinol cancel each other out making it a pointless affair to use both at the same time. Instead, it is considered best to alternate between each ingredient throughout the week.

  • AHAs & BHAs

Both chemical exfoliants tend to increase skin sensitivity and flare-ups in redness, irritation, and dryness. Remember to not overuse these ingredients especially if your routine contains retinol to avoid any unwanted side effects. 

Don’t forget that if you have any concerns with using any skin ingredient, it’s best to consult with a doctor, dermatologist or trained medical professional to ensure you and your skin will benefit from introducing these ingredients into your routine.

Should I use niacinamide before or after retinol?

There are several formulations that in fact contain both ingredients and this is considered ideal for those on a tight time frame. If you are wanting to use each ingredient in separate products, I suggest first applying niacinamide followed by retinol. By applying niacinamide first you are protecting the skin’s natural barrier enabling it to protect itself from exposure to free radical damage from aggressors such as pollution, UV rays and harsh climates.

How long does it take for niacinamide to work?

You will be able to see a noticeable improvement in the skin’s complexion regarding looking more hydrated and healthier after application. For more long-term results consistency is key and if you continue to use products containing 5% niacinamide you’ll see overall marked improvement after 8-12 weeks. After this time your skin will be plumped, with signs of ageing and dehydration significantly reduced with the natural sebum production regulated.

Can I use niacinamide every day?

Absolutely, you can use it twice a day during your morning and evening routines. This will keep your skin barrier fully functioning with the correct levels of water ensuring it is able combat any free radical damage. Once you have reapplied this clever humectant in your evening regime you will find any damage caused from the day is repaired. Any other products you apply to the skin are absorbed quickly allowing them all to work whilst you catch your beauty sleep.

How do I know if retinol is working?

Generally speaking, it takes a few weeks for your skin to build its tolerance towards this potent powerhouse. The common side effects of using retinol are temporary flaking and dryness of the skin which can last for the first couple of weeks. Once you have passed the initial first weeks you will begin to see a noticeable improvement in the overall look, feel and texture of the complexion. If you are wanting to know more about introducing retinol into skincare routine and finding the best type of retinol, check out our blog post.

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