Niacinamide & Retinol - Dream Team or Pointless Combination?

Can you use niacinamide with retinol?

As both skincare ingredients grow in popularity, the question is inevitable.

One of the most important parts of maintaining healthy, youthful looking skin is an effective skincare regime.

Regardless of whether you already have an established routine or are new to the idea, you need to be aware of the fact that some skincare ingredients work together to provide enhanced benefits, whereas others interact in a negative way and should never be combined.

For example, combining skincare products with dramatically different ph levels can throw off the skin's natural ph balance and cause irritation.

But as new skincare ingredients grow in popularity, the question of how effectively they can be used together needs to be asked, and few things are more popular or "in vogue" right now than retinol and niacinamide.

So how well do they do as a team?

This guide will tell you everything you need to know, but first, what do they do alone?

Niacinamide Benefits for Skin

Niacinamide is a unique variant of vitamin B3. It has been found to offer numerous skincare benefits, one of the most important being powerful antioxidant actions which help reduce signs of aging. It is also known to improve the skin's protective barrier by increasing cell turnover and boosting production of ceramide. This helps to reduce visible signs of aging including wrinkles, lines and dark spots. When used topically, niacinamide can also reduce irritation and soothe redness

Our unique niacinamide serum combines all of these benefits with other effective ingredients including witch hazel, rosemary and coconut oil to maximise impact to your skin.

Retinol Benefits for Skin

Retinol is also a type of vitamin, in this case a form of vitamin A. Retinol is a powerful exfoliant, reducing dullness, evening out skin tone, removing dark marks and hyperpigmentation, and smoothing out wrinkles. When used regularly as part of an effective skincare regime, retinol will improve skin texture, reduce signs of aging, remove imperfections, and improve cell turnover.

Despite retinol's numerous skincare benefits, it's dramatic exfoliating qualities mean it can potentially be harmful if overused. It is best to use every other night or ever 3-4 days. Overuse can irritate the skin and cause redness, itching, or even pain in extreme cases, all of which can contribute to an uneven skin tone, dry skin and other issues. 

As a result, we recommend building retinol into your skincare regime slowly and used alongside hydrating products such as a good quality moisturizer. We also highly recommend using a protective SPF moisturizer of factor 30 or higher, the morning after applying retinol at night. This is because retinol can increase sensitivity to direct sunlight.

Our own retinol serum combines the benefits of pure retinol with other effective skincare ingredients to allow you to leverage all of the above and more.

Can You Use Retinol & Niacinamide Together?

Of course, now we've clarified just how beneficial both of these ingredients are, the question is how well do they work when combined?

The answer is a resounding yes, and not only that, but using both may result in skincare benefits that are larger than the sum of their parts.

As you already know, retinol is very effective for skincare but can also be irritating or cause stress to the skin when used often. As a result it is best used with a soothing, hydrating product to help mitigate those effects and prevent skin from drying out. Niacinamide is perfect for this, providing soothing and hydrating effects while also having many of it's own skincare benefits including preventing signs of aging.

Niacinamide can strengthen and protect your skin's natural defensive barrier and keep it hydrated, making it much less likely that retinol will irritate or dry out your skin, while allowing you to continue experiencing the benefits of both ingredients.

How to Combine Retinol & Niacinamide

It's crucial to cleanse your skin before applying these ingredients. This ensures they can do their job correctly without dirt or grime stuck underneath or in your pores.

Once you've cleansed fully, the best way to apply both products is to first apply a niacinamide serum in the evening, and then follow with a retinol product. The under layer of niacinamide will help to protect you from any retinol related irritation. It's also a good idea to always apply niacinamide the morning after, before your SPF. This will keep the skin hydrated all day and offer further protection.

Luckily, the issue noted above about products with different ph levels doesn't apply here as both are very similar in acidity.