Since our skin is very delicate and crucial to our look, it’s important to be extra-careful about what we put on it. Especially when it comes to using different skincare products and ingredients at the same time, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You’ve probably heard about niacinamide and retinol, both known for their amazing effects on the skin. Can they be actually layered?
Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, improves skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles. It effectively moisturizes the skin and helps to reduce excessive oil production.
On the other hand retinol speeds up the rate of cell turnover, boosts collagen production, gives you an even skin tone, reduces dark spots and discoloration and also helps with acne.
When used in normal concentrations niacinamide gives no side effects, however, retinol can potentially cause skin irritation such as redness, dry skin, and peeling.
It has been observed, that when used together, these two ingredients are not harmful. In fact, niacinamide not only boosts the effects of retinol but it also helps to minimize any potential side effects.
Now it’s time to find out how to layer niacinamide and retinol together.
Can I Use Niacinamide With Retinol?
If you’ve been wondering “Can I use retinol and niacinamide together?” you’ll be happy to hear that the answer is yes. You can use niacinamide with retinol, and it’s even something highly recommended!
By combining niacinamide and retinol together, you’ll see enhanced effects of retinol and fewer side effects from it.
A study in 2012 revealed1 that using a formula containing both ingredients was more effective in treating acne than using retinol alone.
Another study2 found that niacinamide’s moisturizing properties help minimize irritation and dryness caused by retinol.
Should I Use Niacinamide Before Or After Retinol?
If you want to save time you can simply purchase a product containing both niacinamide and retinol.
But, if you prefer to use niacinamide and retinol as separate products, you can by applying them one after the other. Or apply them at different times of the day.
If you plan on layering both ingredients together, it’s best to put niacinamide first, then you can put retinol cream or retinol serum.
Research suggests that using niacinamide before retinol can increase your skin’s tolerance and help reduce irritation caused by retinol3.
How Long After Niacinamide Can I Apply Retinol?
Typically, you can apply retinol right after applying niacinamide. There is no specific waiting time required for when you’re using them in one routine. Just wait until one product is fully dry.
Always apply sunscreen during your retinol treatment, as it can cause increased sensitivity to the sun.
How To Incorporate Retinol And Niacinamide Into Your Skincare Routine?
There are two options to use niacinamide and retinol. You can either use niacinamide with retinol in the same skincare routine (layer one after the other), or use them at different times of the day.
When applying them at the same time, first apply niacinamide, then follow with retinol.
When using products containing these ingredients at different times of the day, apply the niacinamide in the morning and retinol at night.
Lastly, if you’re new to this skincare routine, start by using niacinamide first and then gradually introduce retinol in small amounts and see how your skin reacts4.
How Do You Use Retinol And Niacinamide Together?
You can use niacinamide and retinol separately or use a product that combines them both. Both methods are effective, so use what works best for you.
Here is the routine you should follow when you want to combine niacinamide serum and retinol together.
1. Cleansing: it’s important to begin with clean and dry skin.
2. Toner: Apply your toner to prep your skin for next products and stabilize its pH.
3. Niacinamide serum: Remember to apply niacinamide first, before retinol.
4. Retinol serum/ cream: Apply retinol after niacinamide.
5. Moisturizer: I recommend using one with hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated and help to protect your skin barrier from harsh effects of retinol.
6. Sunscreen: Remember to always follow up with a sunscreen in the days when you apply retinol.
How Often Can I Use Retinol With Niacinamide?
Niacinamide and retinol can be used together up to twice daily.
However, it’s important to pay attention to your skin’s response. If you’re new to both ingredients, it’s recommended to start slowly by using one at a time or even on alternate days.
Benefits Of Using Retinol With Niacinamide
Each of these ingredients is potent on its own, but they work even better when combined5.
Retinol is a strong ingredient which can often lead to dryness and irritated skin.
Meanwhile niacinamide with its moisturizing properties helps in reducing the dryness and irritation caused by retinol.
Niacinamide has a strengthening effect in your skin barrier and helps retinol to give its best results.
This combination improves skin texture, reduces pigmentation, the appearance of wrinkles, minimizes the appearance of pores, regulates oil production, and evens out skin tone.
Potential Side Effects Of Pairing Retinol With Niacinamide
There are no known side effects combining niacinamide and retinol together. However, it’s important to note that every skin may react differently.
Some people may experience mild irritation or sensitivity, especially to retinol6. Irritation is more likely to happen in people with darker skin tones.
Everything You Need To Know About Niacinamide
Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a water soluble form of vitamin B3, which is one of the essential B vitamins required for maintaining good health.
Niacinamide plays a vital role in your body by repairing DNA, reducing inflammation, and boosting cellular energy.
Benefits Of Niacinamide
Topical niacinamide has various effects7. It’s used to manage:
- Hyperpigmentation: niacinamide reduces hyperpigmentation by preventing the dark spots and uneven skin tone caused by excess pigment in the skin.
- Itchiness (pruritis): it has anti-inflammatory properties which help with itching and irritation.
- Sun damage: niacinamide makes the skin to naturally repair and rejuvenates sun-damaged cells.
- Acne and acne scars: niacinamide reduces inflammation and aids in controlling oil production, which can clog pores and cause acne. It also helps to improve overall skin texture, reducing the visibility of acne scars.
- Anti aging benefits: it improves skin moisture, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, promotes smoother skin, reduces melanin production, stimulates collagen, and has antioxidant properties.
- Rosacea and atopic dermatitis: it helps with skin conditions like rosacea and atopic dermatitis because it reduces inflammation and provides moisture which is very important for these skin concerns.
Does Niacinamide Have Any Side Effects?
As a vitamin, niacinamide is generally considered safe8. However, it can occasionally cause skin irritation, redness, and allergic reactions in some people.
As with every product you use for the first time, it’s always better to perform a patch test before applying niacinamide to a larger area. If you notice any side effects, consult your doctor.
What Can You Not Mix With Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a skincare ingredient that is generally safe and suitable for most skin types. It can be combined with a wide range of other ingredients without issues.
However, it is better to avoid applying niacinamide directly after using acids such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid as it may reduce its effectiveness and cause flushing.
AHAs and BHAs as acids work better in acidic environment, whereas niacinamide works optimally in pH levels of 6-7.5. So, using these ingredients together may diminish the effects of both.
Wait at least 30 minutes before applying niacinamide after using AHAs and BHAs.
Previous beliefs suggested that combining niacinamide with vitamin C could reduce their efficacy. However, recent studies have shown that, contrary to that, they actually provide complementary advantages for the skin.
Everything You Need To Know About Retinol
Retinol is an over-the-counter (OTC)9 form of retinoid. You can buy retinol in low concentrations on the market, but for higher concentrations you need a prescription.
Retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A, are important for various bodily functions such as immunity. vision, and cell communication.
Retinol can be found in numerous skincare products including creams, lotions, gels, and serums.
Benefits Of Using Retinol
Retinol offers numerous effects for the skin. Benefits of retinol10 include:
- Promotes skin cell turnover: retinol helps to renew your skin cells by replacing old ones with new ones.
- Smooth skin texture: it enhances skin texture, resulting in a smoother and softer appearance.
- Reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines: it is well-known for its anti-aging benefits.
- Enhances skin firmness and elasticity: it enhances the skin’s elasticity and firmness, resulting in a more youthful appearance.
- Minimizes the appearance of pores: retinol helps reducing the size and visibility of pores, making the skin appear more refined.
- Brightens the skin tone: it reduces the appearance of dark spots and discolorations and evens out the skin tone, improving overall complexion.
- Treats acne: retinol helps to unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and regulate oil production, what makes it an excellent ingredient for treating acne.
Does Retinol Have Any Side Effects?
Unlike niacinamide, retinol is known to have many side effects.
It can cause irritation, inflammation, and especially in people with sensitive skin, may lead to: redness of the skin, tightness, skin peeling, photosensitivity, dryness, burning sensation.
What Should You Not Mix With Retinol?
It is generally advised to avoid mixing retinol with certain substances or products.
Combining niacinamide and retinol or pairing hyaluronic acid with retinol is beneficial, but retinol with some skincare ingredients can cause irritation and other undesirable reactions.
Avoid combining it with these substances12:
- Other forms of vitamin A
- Benzoyl peroxide
- AHAs and BHAs
- Harsh or abrasive scrubs
- Products that contain alcohol
Wrap Up: Why You Should Use Niacinamide With Retinol
The combination of niacinamide and retinol offers significant benefits for your skin. Retinol aids in enhancing smooth skin texture, reducing wrinkles, and removing dead skin cells.
Meanwhile, niacinamide regulates sebum production, strengthens skin’s barrier, and keeps the skin hydrated.
When used together, niacinamide and retinol work to tackle various skin concerns.
What’s more, niacinamide helps to minimize any potential irritation caused by retinol, while retinol amplifies the brightening and anti-aging effects of niacinamide.
It’s worth considering the use of niacinamide and retinol together. It can be a great option and exactly what your skin needs.
The purpose of this article is informative and entertaining. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Safety should be your priority.
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