Skincare Active Ingredients

Niacinamide in Skincare – The Complete Guide

Niacinamide is one of the main skincare ingredients used in products and one of the best skincare actives that is suitable for both sensitive skin and skin of color.

  • It helps to strengthen the skin barrier
  • It increases skin hydration.
  • Is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
  • It helps to control pigmentation.
  • Control sebum production and can help with acne.
  • Improves aging skin.
  • It can help with Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and Post-Inflammatory Erythema.

Who all can use Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is suitable for all skin types. It is mainly used for people with sensitive skin, atopic dermatitis, rosacea, acne skin, and even skin of color.

How to use Niacinamide in my skincare routine?

Some basic rules to follow in a new skincare routine:

  • Always patch test a product: Apply the product at the back of your ear or at the center of the arm and leave it on for 24 or 48 hours, maybe even 72 hours. This is done to check if you can get skin irritation, redness, itching, flakiness, burning, contact dermatitis, and eczema from using the product.
  • Toner is not compulsory in a skincare routine.
  • A, B, C’s of skincare: For normal skin, you can go from Vitamin A (retinol), B (niacinamide), and C (ascorbic acid). For sensitive skin, you can from Vitamin B, A, and then C. This is because Vitamin A and Vitamin C are strong antioxidants and can irritate the skin. It’s better to start off with Vitamin B and use derivatives of Vitamin A and C if you have sensitive skin.
  • Chemical exfoliants: like AHA/BHA’s should only be used once or twice a week if you’re able to tolerate it. They should also be applied only at night. Applying them in the morning can cause sun sensitivity. PHA’s are more suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Sunscreen: This is the most important part of a skincare routine because if you don’t apply your sunscreen then there is no use applying all of those skincare actives as the sun can damage your skin.
  • Niacinamide can be applied twice a day, once in the morning and then at night. Concentration above 10% can cause irritation, using niacinamide at 2%-4% is best for acne and sensitive skin, whereas 4%-5% can be used for hyperpigmentation.

Morning routine

1. Choose a gentle, non-foaming cleanser.

2. You can choose a toner of your choice but it not actually compulsory to use one.

3. You can apply your skincare actives – Vitamin B (niacinamide), and then Vitamin C.

4. You can then moisturize, wait 30 mins and then apply your favorite sunscreen.

Night routine

  1. Choose a gentle, non-foaming cleanser.
  2. Choose a toner of choice.
  3. You can use your AHA/BHA/PHA.
  4. Wait for 30 mins and then apply your niacinamide, Vitamin A (retinol), and then Vitamin C.
  5. Moisturize.

Note: Using AHA/BHA/PHAs together with retinol and Vitamin C can be irritating for the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin and skin of color.

  • Tip 1: you can try to use derivatives of Vitamin C or Retinol together with an AHA at night but do be cautious. Or just use niacinamide with an AHA at night.
  • Tip 2: Since your using AHA/BHA/PHAs 1-2 times a week, you can modify your skincare actives such as Vitamin C or Retinol. For example:
    • Alternate nights: on 1st night you can use your AHA/BHA/PHAs with retinol. On 2nd night you can use your AHA/BHA/PHAs with Vitamin C.

Important note:

This skincare routine is mainly an example and the basics of how a skincare routine should be. There are many other ways and methods you can use these ingredients. You just have to listen to your skin.

You should make sure to consult a dermatologist about your routine and how you will be using these products just to be on the safe side.

What skincare ingredients can I combine Niacinamide with?

  • Retinol and retinoids
  • Vitamin C
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Peptides
  • Azelaic acid
  • Tranexamic acid
  • Ceramides
  • Arbutin
  • Vitamin E
  • Ferulic acid

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Niacinamide exfoliate?

No, niacinamide cannot exfoliate the skin. It is mainly used for controlling pigmentation and sebum production. It is also used to restore the strength of the skin.

How do I know if my niacinamide has expired?

Niacinamide can last for 1 year.

Is Niacinamide an AHA or BHA?

It is neither an AHA or BHA. Niacinamide is a skincare active that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is mainly used for pigmentation and to control sebum production.

Is Niacinamide safe for pregnancy?

Yes, Niacinamide is perfectly safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Can Niacinamide cause purging?

No, niacinamide cannot cause purging because it does promote cell turnover but it can irritate the skin when used at higher concentrations.

Can Niacinamide help with pores?

Yes, niacinamide can help to reduce large pores and it also helps to control sebum production in the skin making it perfect for people with acne-prone skin.

Can Niacinamide be mixed with Retinol?

Yes, niacinamide can be mixed with retinol and is perfectly safe. This combination helps to:

  • Increase cell turnover.
  • Reduces irritation.
  • Both of them work at a similar pH and help to treat similar skin conditions such as acne. hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Can Niacinamide darken skin?

No, niacinamide cannot darken skin it actually helps with hyperpigmentation and melasma.

Is Niacinamide good for perioral dermatitis?

Yes, niacinamide can be used to treat perioral dermatitis because of its anti-inflammatory, barrier-repairing, and moisturizing properties.

Can Niacinamide cause dryness?

Using niacinamide at high concentrations can lead to irritation resulting in redness, dry and flakey skin.

Can Niacinamide be used with rosehip oil?

Yes, niacinamide can be used together with rosehip oil. Both of these ingredients have moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties that are able to calm and soothe irritated skin, making them suitable for all skin types.

Can Niacinamide be used with epidou?

Yes, niacinamide can be used with epidou as long as you’re using them both at separate times of the day. Niacinamide can help to calm the redness and irritation you get from using epidou because it contains adapalene and benzoyl peroxide. Niacinamide should be a really good to use with epidou especially if you have sensitive skin.

Morning routine:

  • Start with a gentle cleanser.
  • Apply your skincare active in this case niacinamide.
  • Use a moisturizer and finish it off with sunscreen.

Night routine:

  • Start with a gentle cleanser.
  • Use epidou, and
  • You can finish it off with a moisturizer and you can also try adding a face oil to give your skin extra moisture.

Can Niacinamide cause fungal acne?

No, niacinamide does not cause fungal acne. Companies like The Ordinary make products like Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% which are fungal acne-safe.

Can I use Niacinamide with adapalene?

Yes, it is safe to use niacinamide with adapalene and is completely safe. You can use niacinamide in the morning and adapalene at night.