Niacinamide may sound complex, but it’s one of the few skin ingredients that can be incorporated into your skincare routine very easily. Packed with antioxidants and hydrating humectant properties you’ll find there really isn’t any skin concern niacinamide can’t help with.
Question is, how do you use niacinamide on the face and is it that really that easy to use in your daily skincare routine, let’s investigate to find out more!
What is Niacinamide?
Before we dive in, let’s quickly recap on what niacinamide is and it various benefits it can provide for the skin.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that can help draw moisture into the skin surface enabling the protective barrier to combat everyday exposure to free radical damage and other environmental irritants. Thanks to the antioxidant traits found in niacinamide, you will also find that the following skin concerns are also helped.
- Hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone and dark spots
- Breakouts, blemishes, and acne
- Lack lustre and dullness to the complexion
- Flare-ups in redness
- Signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles
- Uneven skin texture
- Enlarged and visible pores
How do you use niacinamide in skincare routine?
Niacinamide is praised for being incredibly versatile and can be mixed with almost all skincare ingredients. Because niacinamide carries humectant properties you will often find it formulated into skincare products that are usually water-based, such as serums and moisturisers. This benefits your routine and skin perfectly as both products remain on the skin for the most amount of time, compared to cleansers that are rinsed off, leading to your skin reaping the rewards of this clever hydrating powerhouse.
By keeping the skin barrier fully functioning and containing the right amount of water and oil levels you’ll find the other steps in your routine will absorb quickly and some users have even seen quicker results.
Niacinamide is often considered to act in a similar way to the very popular hyaluronic acid. Admittedly they are both effective at boosting the overall hydration of the skin, the main difference is niacinamide’s unique talent of being able to regulate the oil naturally occurring in the skin surface. This not only keeps the skin healthy but is also an added bonus for those with oily skin types and prone to breakouts and acne.
Can I use niacinamide every day?
You can indeed, and it is strongly suggested to apply niacinamide twice a day, but only after you have ensured your skin can tolerate it. As effective and versatile niacinamide is, it is still important to perform a patch test for 24 hours prior applying any new products or ingredients all over the skin to avoid any unwanted flare-up or irritation. By applying niacinamide twice a day, particularly during the colder winter months you’ll protect the skin from exposure to damaging free radicals such as central heating and harsh climates, basically putting on a protective coat for your skin to survive the day and replenishing and repairing the skin throughout the night.
Do you put niacinamide all over your face?
You can use niacinamide all over the face, but just avoid bringing it up too closely to the under-eye area as this has thinner, sensitive skin which can become irritated easily.
When applying niacinamide it is important to ensure you use the correct amount, as you can have too much of a good thing. What I mean by this is because the humectant properties of niacinamide are so powerful that applying too much will result in water being pulled up from the lower layers of the skin resulting in possible irritation and severe dryness.
Using niacinamide all over the face will combat signs of dehydration and help strengthen any ceramides in the skin. This will result in the skin gaining a boost in hydration and restore balance whilst amplifying the effectiveness of any other products you use in your daily skincare routine.
Can I use moisturiser after niacinamide?
Absolutely! But this is very much dependant on which product your niacinamide is formulated in. For example, if it is a serum it is best to apply it before any form of moisturiser. This is due to the general skin “rules” when applying various products throughout your daily routine. To give you a better understanding, here are the top three rules to follow to ensure you’re getting the most out of your regime.
- Apply formulas from thinnest to thickest
This may sound simple and maybe even a little silly but applying your skincare products in order of thickness will enable each product and its potent formula to absorb properly into the skin.
- Apply water-based products before oil-based
As you know, oil and water don’t mix often leading to a big old mess and rendering your skincare products useless. By applying water-based products before oil will help them penetrate to the correct areas of the skin before any thicker and heavier oil-based product.
- Consider the pH levels
This part can get a little confusing, but when using skincare products, a lot of the time people experience irritation without knowing the cause. For example, products containing high levels of acidic active ingredients generally have a pH of 3.0 to 4.0 which should be applied to the skin before more neutral products with pH levels of 5.0 to 0.7. By using your skincare products with this in mind you will avoid any unwanted skin irritation and reap the rewards of an effective routine.
Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of why applying skincare products in a certain order will ensure you are gaining the full benefits of the active ingredients formulated into each product. Once you get the hang of your routine, you’ll have the confidence to use them during different parts of the day giving you the best skin.
How long does niacinamide take to work?
You’ll see a noticeable difference as soon as niacinamide is applied to the skin. For more permanent results you should expect to wait roughly 8-12 weeks for markable improvement in the skin’s appearance, especially if there is 5% concentrate of niacinamide found in the formula. This will not only give you visible improvement in the overall appearance of the complexion without any concerns with irritation.
If you are wanting to know a little more about niacinamide and the full list of benefits it can give to the skin, check out our dedicated blog post about this clever ingredient. If you have any questions come and join us over on Instagram, not forgetting of course, to check out our latest episode of The Green Sofa!