Can You Use Niacinamide and Azelaic Acid Together?

Can You Use Niacinamide and Azelaic Acid Together?

I know it may feel that with names like niacinamide and azelaic acid I sound as though I am speaking another language sometimes! Skincare can be daunting and confusing to begin with, but once you get the hang of things you’ll not only feel a tiny bit like a mad scientist with all your lotions and potions, but will really see the results in the overall finish of the skin. So, the aim of today is to clear things up a few things about the two potent ingredients and find out if you can use niacinamide and azelaic acid together in your daily skincare routine.

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a much-loved ingredient due to the wealth of benefits for every skin type with an ability to combat a majority of skin concerns. With powerful anti-inflammatory properties niacinamide is a key ingredient when treating concerns such a breakouts and rosacea helping to lock in moisture and minimise the appearance of pores. By hydrating the skin it is helping repair the health of the protective barrier that sits on the surface of the skin which often encounters a lot of damage. It is this damage, frequently caused by free radicals such as pollution and UV rays, that leads to a number of problems for the complexion and keeping the skin healthy.

Main Skincare Benefits of Niacinamide

  • Locks in moisture into the skin and keeps it hydrated
  • Repairs damage in the protective barrier caused by free radicals
  • Helps to calm and soothe inflammation and redness
  • Minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that can make the skin appear older
  • Reduces the appearance of pores keeping the skin smooth
  • Stimulates the immunity of your skin making it able to protect itself

You have to admit that is an impressive ingredient and you may be happy to know that it can be used with a number of different ingredients offering your skin the ultimate advantage in seeing your skin goals come to life. But before you dash off to stock up on all your favourite products, there is one ingredient known for not working well with niacinamide and that is vitamin C. As much as vitamin C is loved by many, it is notoriously known for being unstable when mixed into formulations and what you will often find is that when teamed with niacinamide, both ingredients counteract each other completely, rendering them both useless!

What is azelaic acid?

Azelaic acid is another hard-working ingredient with a number of different skin benefits, you will find it is naturally present in the body as well as derived from wheat, grains and also synthetically. It contains an impressive about of properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and works at gently exfoliating the skin. The strength of azelaic acid does vary reaching as high as 20% in some formulations, but these are often used in professional environments with treatments such as skin peels. Much like all acids, your skin will become more photosensitive meaning it is vital to apply a daily SPF of 30 and above to protect the skin from exposure to UV light.

Main Skincare Benefits of Azelaic Acid

  • Exfoliates the skin gently by removing dead skin cells and working deep into the pores
  • Combats active spots and blemishes with antibacterial properties that reduces any P.acnes bacteria found on the skin
  • Helps to even out the overall tone of the skin by reducing hyperpigmentation and darks spots on the skin
  • Can provide help at treating rosacea flare-ups to the skin

You may be thinking that some of the benefits found in azelaic acid mimic those found in niacinamide, unlike how vitamin C and niacinamide react negatively together this isn’t the case with azelaic acid. I’ll share with you more about how you can use these ingredients together, but if you are wanting to know more about niacinamide and azelaic acid there are dedicated blog posts on our website for you to check out.

How do you use azelaic acid and niacinamide?

Both of these ingredients are often formulated into skincare products, such as serums, face oil and cream. It is a good idea to consider the texture and consistency of these products when it comes to starting your daily routine. What I mean by this is, if for example you had a serum enriched in azelaic acid and a cream packed with niacinamide ideally you would need to apply the serum first. By doing this you are allowing the product to fully absorb into the skin without having to combat the barrier caused by the cream if it applied first. Let me now share with you some of our top tips on how to use niacinamide and azelaic acid together.

Top Tips on how to use azelaic acid and niacinamide together

  • Alternate which serum enriched with each ingredient you use in your daily routine. Serums work further down in the skin and offer a very potent boost for the skin with the ingredients formulated into the product to work overtime and deliver results quicker and more noticeably.
  • You can also change things up a little and apply niacinamide in the morning and azelaic acid in the evening this will give you the peace of mind that each ingredient is getting their moment to shine and give notable results to the skin.
  • With both ingredients you are able to apply them twice a day meaning if you have tested them both on the skin and there have been no signs of irritation or sensitivity you are good to go. By applying them both daily you are giving your skin the opportunity to see results quicker.
  • Don’t forget to apply a daily SPF, as mentioned before azelaic acid makes the skin more sensitive to sun exposure so it is important to protect it from UV damage. This will also help niacinamide repair any previous damage caused and not having to focus on keeping the skin’s barrier healthy and functioning properly.
  • If the skin ever shows any signs of irritation, redness and sensitivity it is best to stop using both ingredients, chances are your skin is more sensitive to azelaic acid and not niacinamide but it is always a good idea to start afresh and get to the bottom of the unwanted flare-up.

Hopefully today we have cleared up a few things and made it easier for you to determine how you can work these ingredients into your routine. As always, we strongly suggest you consulting with your doctor or dermatologist before applying any new skincare product to the skin, especially if you have dry skin that is prone to becoming sensitive.

We would love to hear what your thoughts, or even the chance to say hello so come and follow us over on our Instagram.


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