How to use Niacinamide and Alpha Arbutin

How to use Niacinamide and Alpha Arbutin

When it comes to layering skincare ingredients together there are a few things to remember to ensure you are reaping the rewards of this cocktail. It is usually considered a good idea to team a potent ingredient such as Alpha Arbutin with niacinamide because of the hydrating effects ensuring any dryness or irritation are combatted.

Now if you’re still a little muddled with how to use niacinamide and alpha arbutin don’t panic as we are here to clear things up, but before we jump into the science related stuff, lets quickly explain both ingredients and how they benefit the skin.

What is Alpha Arbutin?

Naturally occurring and extracted from the dried leaves of plants such as blueberries, bearberries, and cranberries. It can deliver impressive skin lightening and brightening results to the complexion. It can do this by targeting the cells in the lower layers of the skin that are responsible for the production of melanin helping to fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots. With its structure and ability to bind tyrosinase enzymes to catalyze melanin synthesis alpha arbutin can prevent signs of pigmentation from becoming darker.

Considering how potent alpha arbutin is, luckily for us it teams well with niacinamide which allows it to deliver results quickly with enhanced effects to the overall look of the skin.

What does niacinamide do for the skin?

I feel as though I have explained what niacinamide a few times is here before, so now I’ll quickly run through some of its key benefits for the skin.

  • Helps keep the skin barrier fully functioning with the correct levels of water and oil enabling it to protect itself from daily free radical damage.
  • Helps to minimise the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Has the ability to regulate the natural sebum production in the skin
  • Can help reduce any signs of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, uneven skin tone and melasma

Those are the main benefits of niacinamide, but if you are wanting to know more you can check out our blog post about how to use niacinamide on the face.

What goes first Alpha Arbutin or niacinamide?

When applying skincare products containing alpha arbutin and niacinamide it is considered best to first use alpha arbutin as it is more potent and much like many strong skincare ingredients can deliver a side effect of skin irritation and dryness. This is when niacinamide can step in and restore balance with its humectant traits enabling it to draw moisture into the lower layers of the skin and locking it into place. When niacinamide keeping the complexion plumped and youthful you’ll find alpha arbutin is able to work at evening out your skin tone and bringing uniformity to the skin.

Can I use Arbutin and niacinamide together?

Yes absolutely, as I have already described alpha arbutin and niacinamide make a perfect skin perfecting duo. Both ingredients are water-based and often formulated to feel lightweight for the skin. Whilst niacinamide can help restore the hydration for the skin it can also work at promoting the production of collagen, by teaming this with the skin brightening benefits of alpha arbutin you will find the build-up of dead skin cells are exfoliated away leaving you with healthier, happier, and firmer looking skin.

Can I use hyaluronic acid with niacinamide and Alpha Arbutin?

Considering that hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are both gentle on the skin I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to use both and team them with an alpha arbutin product. If it works for your skin, then continue to use them. For me personally, I always feel you get the best results by teaming two complimentary serums together. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use all in your daily skincare routine, it is simply a case of using them during different parts of your day. For example, teaming hyaluronic acid and alpha arbutin in you morning routine will keep the skin hydrated whilst dark spots are targeted, not forgetting your daily SPF of course. You can then hit the reset the button and apply niacinamide in the evening to regulate the oil and maintain the glowing radiance you have gained.

What can you not mix with Alpha Arbutin?

For such a potent ingredient as alpha arbutin it is considered generally safe for the skin when teamed with other ingredients. It is just a case of keeping on top of the number of active levels of skincare ingredients you are using in your routine. Using too many active ingredients can be too harsh for the skin and often begin to compete, rendering them all useless.

Regarding what not to mix with alpha arbutin when teaming it with niacinamide is vitamin C as they both deliver similar results for the skin which results in them counteracting each other and diminishing their potency and performance on the skin.

How long can I use Alpha Arbutin?

Although I have already expressed how the potency of alpha arbutin can cause some to suffer from increased skin irritation, it is considered surprisingly gentle on the skin. When using arbutin twice daily after cleansing you can build the skin’s tolerance and team this powerhouse ingredient with others such as retinols and even chemical peels. It’s always best to consult with a doctor or dermatologist to ensure you can use these ingredients in your daily routine.

You may be surprised to hear that arbutin is found in many skincare products already on the market, from serums, moisturiser, and overnight face masks. Depending on the formula will determine how potent the percentage of arbutin is in the blend. Serums and moisturisers containing higher levels and if used incorrectly on a skin that has not performed a patch test for 24 hours may lead to some experiencing skin sensitivity.

Can I use moisturiser after Alpha Arbutin?

You can indeed! Applying a moisturiser (especially if it contains niacinamide) after alpha arbutin will not only keep the skin barrier healthy and allowing to protect itself, but it will also help arbutin reach the areas it needs and get to work reviving and evening out the complexion.

Can I use Alpha Arbutin every day?

Yes, you can use alpha arbutin everyday depending on your skin’s sensitivity and whether you have built its tolerance to the ingredient. After this you can apply alpha arbutin twice a day if needed, just ensure you stop using it after 3 months and allow your skin to have a break whilst preventing any further, long-lasting damage.

Does Alpha Arbutin darken skin?

Not at all, in fact it is known for brightening darker areas that are a result of sun damage and hyperpigmentation. The difference between alpha arbutin compared to other acids is the fact it is safe for all skin tones to use without the worry of the ingredient lightening the skin too much causing the overall tone to become uneven. 

So, there is a little more information about alpha arbutin, and this little-known skin secret can be used with niacinamide. Don’t forget if you have any question, you can come and find me on the Procoal Instagram so give us a follow. And if skin is your thing, check out our YouTube channel, The Green Sofa!


  • Ijay

    Thanks so much….Quite Educative… learnt alot..God bless🙌

  • Som

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was very surprised to find a blog answering all the questions I had regarding combining Niacinamide and Alpha Arbutin to my skincare routine. Extremely helpful.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Popular picks

Best Seller
Midnight Rescue Elixir
Midnight Rescue Elixir
141 Verified Reviews
Best Seller
Salicylic Egg Cleanser
Salicylic Egg Cleanser
329 Verified Reviews
Best Seller
100% Natural Deodorant
100% Natural Deodorant
from £7.99
2806 Verified Reviews
Anti-ageing Eye Serum
Anti-ageing Eye Serum
114 Verified Reviews
Sold Out
Natural Deodorant Stick
Natural Deodorant Stick
from £9.99
262 Verified Reviews
Glycolic Glow Toner
Glycolic Glow Toner
118 Verified Reviews