Niacinamide and glycolic acid are two of the most popular skincare ingredients available. Both are known to improve skin texture, enhance collagen production, and reduce hyperpigmentation. But what happens when you mix them? In this article, we will explore whether you can use niacinamide and glycolic acid together for glowing skin.
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that has been shown to improve multiple skin concerns. It is a potent antioxidant that can help protect the skin from environmental stressors and free radicals. Niacinamide has also been found to improve barrier function, decrease inflammation, and reduce hyperpigmentation.
What is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from sugar cane. It is water-soluble and has the smallest molecular size of all AHAs. Glycolic acid is known to exfoliate the skin, improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Can You Mix Niacinamide and Glycolic Acid?
The short answer is yes, you can use niacinamide and glycolic acid together. They are both effective ingredients for improving the overall health and appearance of the skin. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using these two ingredients together.
The pH of your skincare products is important when it comes to the effectiveness of the ingredients. Niacinamide works best in a pH range of 5-7, while glycolic acid works best at a pH of 3-4. When these two ingredients are combined, the pH can be disrupted, making them less effective.
To avoid pH imbalance, it is recommended that you use niacinamide and glycolic acid in different skincare products, rather than combining them into one. Use a niacinamide serum in the morning and a glycolic acid toner or serum in the evening.
Both niacinamide and glycolic acid can cause skin sensitivity in some people. If you are new to using these ingredients, it is recommended that you start slowly and patch test before applying them to your entire face.
When using both niacinamide and glycolic acid, it is important to avoid over-exfoliation. Over-exfoliation can lead to skin irritation, dryness, and flakiness. It is recommended that you only use glycolic acid 1-2 times per week and alternate it with a gentle exfoliating product, such as a physical exfoliator or enzyme exfoliator.
Benefits of Using Niacinamide and Glycolic Acid Together
The benefits of using niacinamide and glycolic acid together are numerous. When used correctly, these two ingredients can help improve skin texture, reduce hyperpigmentation, enhance collagen production, and protect the skin from environmental stressors.
Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern that can be caused by many factors, including sun exposure, hormones, and genetics. Niacinamide and glycolic acid work together to reduce hyperpigmentation by gently exfoliating the skin and inhibiting melanin production. This can lead to a more even skin tone and a brighter complexion.
Improved Skin Texture
Glycolic acid exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells and impurities. Niacinamide helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier, improving the overall texture and appearance of the skin.
Enhanced Collagen Production
Collagen is a protein that is essential for maintaining healthy skin. As we age, our collagen production naturally decreases, leading to wrinkles and fine lines. Niacinamide and glycolic acid have been found to enhance collagen production, resulting in firmer, smoother skin.
In conclusion, niacinamide and glycolic acid are both effective ingredients for improving the overall health and appearance of the skin. While you can use them together, it is important to be mindful of the pH balance, skin sensitivity, and the risk of over-exfoliation. To avoid any potential issues, it is recommended that you use niacinamide and glycolic acid in separate skincare products, rather than combining them into one.
- Can I use niacinamide and glycolic acid in the same routine?
- Can I use niacinamide and glycolic acid together if I have sensitive skin?
- How often should I use glycolic acid?
- What are the benefits of using niacinamide and glycolic acid together?
While you can use niacinamide and glycolic acid in the same routine, it is recommended that you use them in separate products to avoid pH imbalance.
If you have sensitive skin, it is recommended that you patch test before using niacinamide and glycolic acid together. Start slowly and build up to avoid irritation.
It is recommended that you use glycolic acid 1-2 times per week and alternate it with a gentle exfoliant.
The benefits of using niacinamide and glycolic acid together include reduced hyperpigmentation, improved skin texture, and enhanced collagen production.
- Cho, S., Shin, M.H., Kim, Y.K., et al. (2006). Effects of niacinamide on the production of ceramide and pro-inflammatory cytokines in human keratinocytes. Ann Dermatol, 18(1), 17-22.
- Hardy, M., & Haniu, M. (2013). Glycolic acid treatment increases type I collagen mRNA and hyaluronic acid content of human skin. Dermatologic surgery, 39(10), 1416-1425.
- Sarkar, R., Arora, P., & Garg, K. V. (2013). Cosmeceuticals for hyperpigmentation: what is available? Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 6(1), 4–11.
- Thuangtong, R., Bentow, J. J., Knopp, M. V., & Houck, K. A. (2010). Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin. International journal of cosmetic science, 32(5), 340–346.