How to pair niacinamide with other skincare ingredients for supercharged face benefits
1st July 2022

Sure, healthy skin starts from within, but many experts will argue that great skin starts with your skincare regime. If you’re using active ingredients (aka those that directly address whichever skin concern the product is meant to target), it’s very beneficial for you to know what to pair together – and what not to pair together – to ensure your skin looks healthy and not blotchy or irritated.

Niacinamide isn’t exactly a new skincare ingredient but it now features widely in mass-market skincare products, and many beauty insiders are touting it as a “must-have” ingredient to add to a skincare regime. Why? It fits easily into routines, yet it has so many benefits in promoting the repair and protection of the skin.

Before we get into perfect ingredient pairings, let’s have a look at our niacinamide options. Plenty of brands now offer the active in a concentrated serum form, while other products blend it with a mix of other ingredients for additional skin-boosting benefits. If you’re opting for the latter option, then these pairings are already done for you, but if you’re looking at niacinamide in its singular form, here’s the intel on doubling it up with other actives…

What pairs perfectly with niacinamide

SPF: Sun cream doesn’t typically fall under “active” in the same way that something like retinol does, but it has to be mentioned first. When you’re using any active ingredient, it’s always best to layer on SPF before you go into the sun, as UV rays can cause sensitivity when combined with many ingredients that niacinamide is often mixed with (retinol and AHAs, for a start). Layer up with factor 50 every morning to be safe.

Hyaluronic acid : A match made in heaven, niacinamide works to repair a damaged skin barrier, while the hyaluronic acid gets to work plumping and deeply hydrating the upper layers of skin.

Retinol : It’s a perfect partner for retinol as it counteracts dryness. Since retinol is known for causing unsightly skin flaking, combining it with niacinamide is a great way to ensure you get minimal dry patches.

AHAs & BHAs : Using AHA and niacinamide together is said to double-up the benefits of skin-brightening. When paired together the two are also known to be good teammates in the fight against skin pigmentation.

Is there any ingredient that shouldn’t be paired with niacinamide?

The best, and perhaps most unique, thing about niacinamide is its ability to pair with most ingredients. However, some experts still debate over whether it should be combined with vitamin C. The reason for this is that both of these ingredients contain antioxidants. By layering them on top of one another, some say that this can result in both of them being unable to optimally perform on the skin. Others argue that the more antioxidants, the merrier.

It is worth pointing out that high-strength vitamin C can cause some skin irritation in those with particularly sensitive complexions, so perhaps two actives might prove too much for you. In this case, begin with one and see how you get on.

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