How to use Niacinamide and Retinol

How to use Niacinamide and Retinol

Whether you daily skincare routine is a 10-step masterpiece, or something a little simpler, you’ll be amazed at the results that both ingredients deliver. There’s no denying that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to effective products formulated, but that also adds to the level of confusion when it comes to figuring out which ingredients work together, and which should be avoided.

With that in mind, let’s get stuck in and find out more about how to use niacinamide and retinol. Let’s quickly have a refresher on both ingredients and how they benefit the skin.

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 is an effective humectant ingredient that provides impressive hydrating results for the skin. It can draw moisture from around the skin and locking it into the outer layer in the skin barrier. Niacinamide also contains great anti-inflammatory properties that help to improve skin tone, combats signs of ageing, and calms the skin of any flare-up or irritation. You’ll find that all skin types benefit from introducing niacinamide as it is able to regulate the natural sebum production helping to minimise any breakouts.

What is Retinol?

A potent form of vitamin A, retinol, also known as retinoids, helps to stimulate the natural cellular turnover in the skin. By doing this it can push new skin cells to the surface as well as boosting the production of collagen. Your skin will be left looking youthful, glowing, and full of bounce with signs of ageing and pigmentation significantly reduced. One important factor to remember with retinol is due to its intense potency, you must ensure you introduce it into your routine slowly and correctly to avoid increased irritation and sensitivity.

Can I use niacinamide and retinol together?

You can indeed, ensuring of course you have built the tolerance for retinol. When teaming these ingredients together you’ll find that niacinamide has the ability soothe and calm the skin of any irritation. This makes it a very suitable partner to use with retinol which often results in some flaking and skin dryness during the introductory stage in your routine. If you are wanting to know about using retinol and niacinamide together you can check out our dedicated blog post.

What can you not mix with niacinamide?

Because niacinamide is suitable for all skin types finding skincare ingredients that work with this clever humectant is an easy task. However, what you may find is that using niacinamide and vitamin C together won’t exactly lead to the skin results you has envisioned. This is because both ingredients deliver similar benefits to the skin and often leads them competing, rendering them both useless.

How often should you use niacinamide?

You can use niacinamide every day, in fact, you can even use it twice a day! Quite often you’ll find this humectant formulated into many products, ranging from potent serums, moisturisers, and treatment face masks. With the peace of mind that introducing niacinamide into your daily routine is a simple, effective step which doesn’t lead to any signs of irritation or allergic reaction. By applying niacinamide twice a day you will not only keep the protective skin barrier hydrated and functioning correctly. But also, any other skincare products you apply after will fully absorb into the skin rapidly and set to work in the lower layers of the skin.

Can I use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid and retinol?

You can absolutely use hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and retinol together, by layering these ingredients together you’ll allow the potent retinol to work its skin reviving magic. This then leaves niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated and moisturised throughout the entire day. Although the benefits of both humectants are similar for the skin, there are some differences, for example, niacinamide can help regulate the production of sebum (the natural oil found in the skin) and by keeping the balance will reduce any concerns with breakouts and excess oil. Hyaluronic acid varies from niacinamide as it can bind more water to the skin allowing it to lock in moisture and keep the complexion plumped and healthy. 

If you are wanting to use all three ingredients together, I would first start with a serum enriched in hyaluronic acid, after 10 minutes you can then apply a second serum containing niacinamide and then finally move onto a retinol treatment cream. This will result in the skin remaining comfortable as well as reaping the rewards of the potent retinol. Just word of warning, always ensure you have performed a patch test of any ingredients or formulations you are applying to the skin to avoid any skin allergies or reactions. Don’t forget you can find out more about using hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and retinol together over on the Beauty Insiders blog.

Can niacinamide be used with AHA BHA?

Using niacinamide with AHA and BHA is a simple way of combating any potential drying side effects of using a chemical exfoliant, such as the popular glycolic acid or salicylic acid. What you may find at times is that due to these ingredients becoming too harsh for the skin, especially when overused or used incorrectly could result in the skin becoming stripped of all-natural oils and water. This is when niacinamide can step in and rebalance the skin by drawing in water from the air surrounding the face and locking it into the outer layers. This replenishes the protective barrier and prevents the skin from feeling the need to overproduce the missing oil which then leads to breakouts.

How do I put niacinamide on my skincare routine?

As already mentioned, you’ll find niacinamide in several skincare products. At times it can feel overwhelming, but if I was to share some advice on how to get the most out of this product, it will be to opt for a serum. Serums have a thinner consistency and with a potent blend of ingredients work in the lower layers of the skin, usually in the dermis and area where production of collagen and elastin occur. By applying a niacinamide serum you are also ensuring it remains on your skin for the rest of the day compared to other products, such as face wash and cleansers that are rinsed off the face.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to use niacinamide and retinol together, there’ll be no stopping you from achieving your skin goals. Don’t forget to come and share your thoughts with us over on Instagram, and if skin is your thing, you’ll love the latest episode of The Green Sofa.


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