Even if you’re a huge skincare fan, or are a completely newbie to all things cosmetics, it can feel down right confusing trying to navigate your way through the thousands of skincare products and even trying to figure out how and when to use them in your everyday skincare routine.
With this in mind I am going to share some information I have found about niacinamide and which skincare ingredients work alongside this hydrating powerhouse, so let's dive right in.
What should you not mix with niacinamide?
Many skincare experts believe it best to avoid mixing vitamin C with niacinamide. This is a topic that creates a lot of debate amongst skincare, and you may find it confusing which one to believe. Some feel that because niacinamide and vitamin C both contain antioxidants, that layering them on top of one another will result in both becoming useless and unable to perform on the skin. Other experts feel this is the result of outdated research and suggest teaming the two powerhouses together will be highly beneficial for the skin. We will discuss this further in another section of today’s blog post.
If you find yourself having some concerns with using these potent ingredients in your routine, seek the advice from your doctor or dermatologist.
What can you combine with niacinamide?
There are some skin ingredients that can be combined easily with niacinamide. Teaming it with retinol for example has proven to show impressive skin results and overall improved finish to the complexion.
Retinol has quite the reputation for being extremely potent with side effects of dryness, flaky areas of skin and slight irritation. By applying a serum or moisturiser enriched in niacinamide with a retinol formula will lessen the irritation caused and will instead allow the retinol to work its magic whilst keeping the skin barrier hydrated, moisturised and healthy. This in the long run will give you quicker and more effective results with signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles significantly reduced with no irritation.
Can I mix niacinamide and hyaluronic acid?
Yes, you can indeed, both skin ingredients are water loving humectants, meaning they are able to draw in moisture from the area surrounding the skin and water from any other product formulations and locking them into the surface layer. This ensures the protective barrier is fully functioning and at its healthiest state with the ability to protect itself.
When using both niacinamide and hyaluronic acid together you will truly reap the hydrating rewards, luckily there are no nasty side effects when using both together, but there is a specific way which you should apply them, for example, it is best to start with hyaluronic acid as it can replenish the skin to the optimal levels of moisture leaving niacinamide to reenforce the barrier keeping the skin protected from daily aggressors, such as pollution, exposure to UV rays and any contact with central heating. There is a dedicated blog post about how to use niacinamide and hyaluronic acid together over on our website so do check that out to find out more.
Can you mix vitamin C and niacinamide?
Yes you can, but there is a lot of confusion around it, this is due to the fact there are a number of outdated research that explain using both ingredients together are not advisable due to the unstable nature of vitamin C and the pure ascorbic acid. This research however, dates back to the 1960s and with modern formulations you will find combining vitamin C and niacinamide is no longer an issue, if applied correctly to the skin.
Instead, what you can expect to find is that each ingredient is able to target the same skin concern, such as pigmentation, and work in different areas of the skin. This results in the dark spots being treated by vitamin C, whilst niacinamide prevents more pigmentation from reaching the dark spots and other affected areas. When using the ingredients in separate products I would advise using the niacinamide first, then apply the vitamin C.
If you find that this is too much for your skin, try avoiding using niacinamide and vitamin C right after each other, but instead opt for alternating the time of day you apply them. During your morning routine apply vitamin C to protect the skin from exposure to free radicals, such as pollution, UV light, and other environmental aggressors. You will also find vitamin C gives the skin and all over healthy, vibrant, glowing finish to the complexion. Follow this in the evening with your niacinamide product to help repair and restore the skin after its exposure to oxidised stress to the skin.
Can I mix niacinamide with my moisturiser?
This is dependent on which product the niacinamide is formulated in, for example, if it is a serum, generally speaking serums need to be applied before a moisturiser as you need to remember to apply skincare products from thinnest to thickest.
The main benefit of using niacinamide with your moisturiser is its ability to draw water into the skin and locking it into place giving your complexion a boost of hydration that lasts all day. This is why I suggest teaming a niacinamide enriched serum with a moisturiser. Both of these products will not only leave the skin healthy and happy, but once you apply a moisturiser you are placing a physical layer on the surface of the skin that will not only protect it from damage, but will allow the niacinamide and any other active ingredients to work their skin magic undisturbed.
Can I use niacinamide after AHA BHA?
The short answer is yes you certainly can! The longer, more detailed answer, is there are a couple of ways to truly benefit from using niacinamide after using AHA and BHA.
- Alternate the time of day
To avoid any redness or irritation from overusing potent skincare ingredients you can alternate which time of day you use them. For example, if you find the mornings to be too much of a rush you can apply niacinamide before your daily SPF to work throughout the day at keeping the skin hydrated. You can then use a product containing AHA or BHA in the evening, this will work in your favour as it will ensure you have fully cleansed the skin of any bacteria, dead skin cells and impurities you have picked up during the day.
- Apply them 30 minutes apart
If you find you want to use both ingredients during the same routine, then ensure you leave at least 30 minutes between using your skincare products. By doing this you will not only give the ingredients enough time to penetrate the skin, but will also keep the pH levels of the ski and the product formulas balanced and avoid any unwanted flare-ups or irritation.
Can I use niacinamide and peptides together?
When it comes to finding the best skincare product containing the correct level of niacinamide you will find you gain the best results from toners, serums and other leave-on treatment masks and products. It is generally considered the longer niacinamide remains on your skin, the more benefits you will see.
The fact that niacinamide is capable to work well with a lot of skin ingredients means that it can work with various skin ingredients, such as peptides, hyaluronic acid, and retinol. The multi-use of this clever humectant also makes it suitable for all skin types to use, including those prone to sensitivity and skin conditions, such as rosacea.
Can I use lactic acid and niacinamide together?
As I have already discussed previously in today’s blog, there are two options of using AHAs and BHAs together with niacinamide. These can be followed when using lactic acid also, the reason I have mentioned this specific acid in its own section is as a reminding about keeping the pH levels of your skin as balanced as possible.
Quite often suffering from a skin irritation when using a new skincare product is usually a result of said product causing an imbalance in the pH levels. With this in mind, if you are new to any type of skincare ingredient, product or formulation it is important to perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying it all over the skin to avoid any allergic reaction or irritation.
I hope that you have found today’s blog useful, and you enjoyed the latest edition of blogs dedicated to the best ways of layering skincare. Don’t forget to come and join us over on our Instagram if you have any further questions.