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Do you feel like your skincare routine has hit a plateau? It's time to have some fun with it, by introducing two ingredients that make a perfect team: niacinamide and retinol. You might be already familiar with them individually, but together they can take your glowing skin goals up an extra notch! From turning back the clock on your skin to getting rid of spots and brightening your complexion, there’s nothing this pair can’t do. 

Keep reading as we discuss how pairing up niacinamide with retinol works wonders for your complexion!

What is niacinamide?

Let’s talk about niacinamide first. Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3 (one of the eight B vitamins) or Nicotinamide is a water-soluble form that plays an important role in skin health.

Topical niacinamide has been found to have numerous benefits for the skin, including reducing inflammation, improving skin elasticity, regulating oil production and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Niacinamide is often used in skincare products due to its ability to improve skin barrier function and help prevent moisture loss. It is also known for its brightening effects on the skin, making it a popular ingredient in products designed to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

What is retinol?  

Retinol is a type of Vitamin A that is often used in skincare products due to its ability to improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promote collagen production. Plus this one works wonderfully on all skin types. 

Pure retinol increases cell turnover and stimulates the production of new skin cells, which can help improve the overall appearance of the skin. It is also known for its ability to unclog pores and improve the skin's texture, making it a popular ingredient in products designed for acne-prone skin, which means this goodie is your best friend for treating acne.

Side effects to bear in mind

It's important to have in mind that retinol can cause skin irritation and sensitivity, particularly in those with sensitive skin. As such, it's important to start with a low concentration and slowly increase use over time. It's also important to wear sunscreen if you used a retinol cream or retinol serum the night before, as they can make the skin more sensitive to the sun's harmful rays.

Can I use niacinamide with retinol?

Yes, you can use niacinamide with retinol. In fact, combining these two ingredients can provide several benefits for your skin, as they work well together and can enhance each other's effects.

Niacinamide is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredient that helps improve skin barrier function, reduces redness, and brightens the skin. Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, promotes cell turnover, improves skin texture, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

When used together, niacinamide can help counteract some of the potential side effects of retinol, such as irritation, dryness, and redness. Niacinamide's soothing properties can make retinol more tolerable for sensitive or acne-prone skin types.

How can you use niacinamide with retinol separately?

If you're looking to incorporate both niacinamide and retinol into your skincare routine, but not in the same product, here are some tips to help you do so effectively:

1. Start slow

Since both ingredients can be powerful on their own, it's a good idea to begin with a low concentration of each when using them together. You can gradually increase the frequency and potency as your skin adjusts, this will also give you time to see how your skin responds.

2. Apply niacinamide first and then retinol

To avoid overloading your skin, try applying products containing niacinamide in the morning and those containing retinol at night. This will give your skin time to absorb and benefit from each ingredient separately.

Or, you can use both products at the same time on your night skincare routine (given the fact retinol can only be applied at night). Make sure you apply niacinamide first to help minimize any potential irritation or dryness caused by retinol. To use both ingredients together, simply apply a product containing niacinamide to clean skin, followed by a product containing retinol.

3. Use a buffering agent

A buffering agent in skincare refers to an ingredient or a product that is used to reduce the potential irritation or side effects caused by potent active ingredients, such as retinol. 

So, if you find that your skin is sensitive to retinol, consider using a buffering agent like moisturizer or serum to dilute its effects. This can help reduce dryness and irritation.

4. Bear in mind that retinol can only be used at night

Retinol is a potent active ingredient that can make your skin sensitive to sun rays, so it’s important you use products with retinol only at night to avoid any irritation, itchiness or inflammation.

Can you mix niacinamide and retinol in one product?

Yes, it is possible to find skincare products that contain both niacinamide and retinol in one formula, for example, a retinol niacinamide serum. These products can be a convenient way to incorporate both ingredients into your routine without having to use multiple products.

When looking for a product that contains both niacinamide and retinol, be sure to check the concentration of each ingredient and look for a formulation that is suitable for your skin type. It's important to introduce any new skincare products slowly and carefully into your routine, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

Using a product that combines niacinamide and retinol can be a great way to achieve all skincare benefits at once. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the product label and listen to your skin to avoid any unwanted side effects.

How to use niacinamide and retinol in one product?

If you're looking to use a product that contains both niacinamide and retinol, let’s take a look at this easy breeze guide to help you incorporate it into your skincare routine:

Start with clean, dry skin

Begin by washing your face with a gentle cleanser and patting it dry.

Apply the niacinamide and retinol product

Use the recommended amount of the product as directed on the packaging. Gently massage the product into your skin, focusing on areas where you want to see results.

Follow with moisturizer

After applying the product, follow up with a moisturizer to help lock in the ingredients and keep your skin hydrated.

Moisturizing gel
Yuja Niacin Brightening Moisture Gel Cream - Asian Beauty Essentials
Moisturizing gel Yuja Niacin Brightening Moisture Gel Cream
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Sunscreen is a must

Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun's harmful rays, so be sure to apply sunscreen during the day to protect your skin.

Chemical sunscreen
Artless Glow Base SPF 50+ PA+++
Chemical sunscreen Artless Glow Base SPF 50+ PA+++
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Benefits of using niacinamide and retinol together

Combining niacinamide and retinol can be a powerful way to target multiple skin concerns at once. Here are just a few of the benefits of using these two powerhouse ingredients together:

Reduce fine lines and wrinkles

Retinol is known for its ability to stimulate collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. When combined with niacinamide, which supports healthy skin function and helps maintain moisture levels, you will get a smooth skin texture. Both ingredients contain anti aging benefits.

Improve skin tone

Retinol can help improve overall skin texture and uneven skin tone by increasing cell turnover and promoting the growth of new skin cells. Niacinamide can also help brighten the complexion and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots, resulting in a more even skin tone.

Reduce inflammation and redness

Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated or inflamed skin. When used in conjunction with retinol, which can sometimes cause skin irritation, you can minimize any potential redness or discomfort. 

Enhance skin barrier function

Niacinamide is known for its ability to support healthy skin barrier function, which can help prevent moisture loss and protect the skin from environmental stressors. When paired with retinol, which can sometimes cause dryness or dehydration, you can help keep your skin looking and feeling its best.

Side effects of mixing niacinamide and retinol

When mixing niacinamide and retinol, it's important to introduce them slowly and carefully into your skincare routine to minimize any potential side effects. While these ingredients are generally safe for most people, some individuals may experience mild irritated skin or sensitivity when using them together.

Here are some of the possible side effects to look out for when mixing niacinamide and retinol:

Dryness or flakiness

Retinol can sometimes cause dryness or flaking, particularly when used in high concentrations or in combination with other active ingredients like niacinamide.

Skin irritation or sensitivity

Niacinamide and retinol both have the potential to cause irritation or sensitivity on skin, especially in those with sensitive skin.

Redness or inflammation

Retinol can sometimes cause redness or inflammation, particularly when used in high concentrations or too frequently. Niacinamide may help to reduce inflammation, but in some cases, it may exacerbate redness or irritation.

Important things to take into account

Though niacinamide and retinol are a great team, they don’t make a good trio with other ingredients. For starters, you should avoid mixing this pair with salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid, because retinol and these acids are highly irritating, meaning that together they can cause redness and irritation if you’re not careful. 

On the other hand, they don’t mix well with vitamin C. The recommendation against mixing retinol and vitamin C is primarily due to concerns about potential irritation and the stability of these active ingredients when combined. 

Firstly, both retinol and vitamin C can potentially cause skin irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin or who are new to using these ingredients. Combining them may increase the risk of redness, dryness, or peeling.

Additionally, retinol and vitamin C have different optimal pH levels for stability and effectiveness. Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) works best at a lower pH (around 3.5), while retinol is most stable at a higher pH (around 5-6). Mixing them together could compromise their stability and efficacy.

To use retinol and vitamin C together in your skin care routine without direct mixing, consider using them alternately. For example, apply your favorite vitamin C serum in the morning and retinol at night. This allows each ingredient to work at its optimal pH level and prevents potential irritation from using both at the same time.

Related article: Skincare Actives Not To Mix

Looking for the best products? Asian Beauty Essentials has got you covered

Keep your eyes glued to our page as more and more amazing items arrive every day. With this newfound knowledge, your beauty routine will become a total game-changer! Plus, you'll definitely be noticed for your glowing complexion. 

So whether called a geisha or a goddess - consider yourself equipped to handle whatever comes up next. Be brave, be beautiful, and remind yourself today that glowing skin starts with reliable ingredients like retinol and niacinamide. Now go explore the wide world of Asian Beauty Essentials!

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