Can I use glycolic acid with niacinamide? You need to know this!

can i use glycolic acid with niacinamide

Layering skincare products is such a big task, and if you have no idea how to use glycolic acid with niacinamide, this is just the article for you!

Well hello, my skincare junkies! Glycolic acid and Niacinamide are having their moment right now. They are everywhere, in every skincare product and in every beauty blogger’s skincare routine.

And with all these ‘new hit’ skincare products touching the ground, an average consumer like you and me always gets overwhelmed with how and why, and when to use so and so products. The same is the case with glycolic acid and niacinamide.

They are both the most buzzed-about skincare ingredients. With all the talked about benefits, it’s easy to wonder if you can use Glycolic Acid with Niacinamide. So the answer is yes, you can! But I wish it was that easy!

So, let’s jump into some important information you need to know and be aware of before you include these actives in your beauty regime.

What Is Glycolic Acid?

can i use glycolic acid with niacinamide

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates the top layer of skin, revealing brighter, more radiant skin underneath. Glycolic acid is often used to treat acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. It easily permeates the skin on a deeper level as AHA has the
smallest molecule size, which enhances the overall appearance for a bright complexion.

It can boost the skin’s production of collagen and hyaluronic acid and thicken the epidermis,
leaving your skin more supple and smoother. Its capability to efficiently exfoliate
supports a more uniform skin tone, including the diminished visibility of dark spots, dullness,
and other flaws.

Benefits Of Glycolic Acid

There are numerous benefits to adding a glycolic acid product to your skincare routine. It has
been demonstrated that glycolic acid increases the skin’s ability to produce collagen. Your
skin’s structure and strength are provided by collagen. The production of collagen slows
down with age, but it can be boosted by topical glycolic acid.

By speeding up skin cell turnover, glycolic acid also assists in fading sunspots, age spots,
dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. As a result, the older, darker skin cells on your skin shed off, and your skin produces new cells more quickly. It also aids in treating acne scars brought on by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Skin Types Compatible with Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid works brilliantly for all skin types other than sensitive.

You can use it to reduce the visibility of hyperpigmentation and increase skin radiance. It is one of the most effective exfoliating acids for treating photoaging symptoms.

However, sensitive skin people need to use it cautiously, as glycolic acid has been seen to cause moderate irritation or redness.

What Is Niacinamide?

can i use glycolic acid with niacinamide

Niacinamide, on the other hand, is a form of vitamin B3 that works to brighten the skin and even out the complexion. Niacinamide can also help to reduce inflammation and redness. It’s also essential for several cellular functions, including repair.

It can make the complexion look better overall by minimizing the appearance of discoloration and generating a smoother, more even skin tone. In addition to reducing irritation and the symptoms of congestion and inflammation, niacinamide can also help boost the skin’s natural defense barrier. I think it is a great chemical to use in general to make your skin look lighter and more luminous.

Benefits Of Niacinamide

Niacinamide – a subtype of vitamin B-3, is recognized as a multi-benefit skincare ingredient because of its multiple anti-aging and skin-replenishing properties.

You’ll be shocked to know all the skin benefits of this wonderful treatment!

  • It helps stimulate the production of collagen and the flexible and springy proteins that give skin its elasticity. Collagen helps to maintain the firmness and resilience of our skin as we age, as well as to lessen the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Inhibiting melanin synthesis. Dark patches and discoloration may develop as you age due to naturally occurring melanin. Darker or older skin tones are more likely to face problems like hyperpigmentation.
  • It is a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient that also helps to reduce redness, making it helpful for treating skin conditions like rosacea and acne.
  • It helps regulate oil production and makes the pores of the skin appear tighter and giving the appearance of younger skin.
  • It’s an antioxidant that helps lessen the oxidative stress from UV exposure to the skin.
  • It aids in improving moisture and hydration by increasing ceramide synthesis. Additionally, it can enhance the function of the skin barrier and natural moisturizing factors in your skin.
  • Enhancing elasticity, fine lines, and wrinkles, making it an effective anti-aging ingredient.

Skin Types Compatible With Niacinamide

Niacinamide is typically well tolerated by many skin types, including those with sensitive, dry, or acne-prone skin. It is an excellent choice for those who want lighter, brighter, and clearer skin by treating hyperpigmentation without causing irritation to their skin.

So, what should you use – glycolic acid or niacinamide?

can you use glycolic acid and niacinamide

The answer is simple, if you’re struggling with acne, wrinkles, or hyperpigmentation, glycolic acid may be a good choice. If you’re looking for a brightening effect or want to reduce redness and inflammation, niacinamide should be your go-to skincare product.

Of course, you don’t have to choose between glycolic acid and niacinamide—you can always use both! Many skincare products contain both ingredients to give your skin the benefits of both exfoliation and brightening.

Can you use Glycolic Acid with Niacinamide?

Now getting back to our main question, can you use glycolic acid and Niacinamide together? And the answer is YES! You can totally layer them well, but since both of these ingredients are chemical actives, it means that they have different pH values.

The standard pH of our skin is 4.7-5, which means our skin is acidic. To have healthy and supple skin, it’s necessary for us to know what products we are using, their pH, and the pH of the product we are using, along with the pH of the product used before and after.

Since we are talking about using Glycolic Acid with Niacinamide, the pH of Glycolic Acid is 3.5-3.8, which makes it acidic in nature, just like our skin. And an excellent chemical exfoliant!

However, the pH of Niacinamide is 5.8-7, which is close to the pH of water, making it perfect for hydrating our skin.

Since the pH of both the products is vividly different, layering them directly after the other can risk your skin breaking out. Glycolic acid also does not absorb properly at high pH levels – refer to this study for more answers.

So how do you use glycolic acid and niacinamide together?

glycolic acid vs niacinamide

Do these two things to avoid any complications, and get ready for the best skin ever!

Give a safe time gap between the two products.

You can apply any product with glycolic acid first and then wait for about 10-20 minutes. This will allow your skin to relax and regain its original pH, and then you can apply your Niacinamide product after.

This way, both the actives will perform well and not cause any skin issues.

Or, you can use the products at an alternate time

You can use Niacinamide in the morning and then include Glycolic Acid in your
night regime. You would also wanna do this when you’re in a hurry or don’t have 10-20 minutes waiting time for your first layer to absorb.

It’s a safe way to get all the benefits of glycolic acid and niacinamide without complicating the process.

What about The Ordinary’s glycolic acid toner and niacinamide serum?

They work the same way too!

To use The Ordinary’s glycolic acid toner with niacinamide, start by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser. Then, apply a small amount of glycolic acid toner to a cotton ball or pad and wipe it over your face. Follow up with niacinamide serum and a moisturizer after a 10-20 minutes of time gap. You can use this routine morning and night.

If you have sensitive skin, you may want to start by using glycolic acid toner every other day. You can also dilute the glycolic acid toner with water to make it gentler on your skin. If you experience any irritation, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.

You can learn exactly how to layer The Ordinary products in the right way that doesn’t mess up your skin here. Layering rightly is so essential for soaking in all the benefits of the products we invest our hard earned money on.

Benefits of Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner

glycolic acid vs niacinamide

The Ordinary’s glycolic acid toning solution comprises 7% AHA. The toner claims to brighten the skin and helps to balance out uneven skin tone and texture. It functions by removing the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together on your skin’s surface so that younger, fresher layers may be seen underneath.

It is jam-packed with so many skin-friendly ingredients like, Tasmanian pepper berry that aids in calming skin irritability – frequently associated with AHAs like glycolic acid.

Aspartic acid, alanine, glycine, serine, valine, isoleucine, proline, threonine, histidine, and
arginine are just a few of the hydrating amino acids that are abundant in this glycolic acid
toner. They serve as the building blocks for vital proteins like collagen and elastin, which
maintain the firmness and youth of our skin.

Natural Moisturizing Factors (humectants that occur naturally) like PCA (pyrrolidone
carboxylic acid), sodium PCA, and urea are also included in this acid toner to aid in the
skin’s ability to retain moisture.

Antioxidants like Panax ginseng root extract shield the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals and other environmental stresses.

Benefits of the Ordinary Niacinamide Serum

glycolic acid vs niacinamide

The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is perfect for those with oily and acne-prone skin as it lessens the appearance of breakouts, blemishes, and congestion. Sebum (oil) activity is regulated by the zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA).

Due to its versatility, this serum is incredibly popular and beneficial too. Its capacity to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and enhance skin texture and tone makes it even more brilliant for aging skin. You can also use it as a moisturizer for acne-prone skin.

Additional Tips on using glycolic acid and niacinamide

use broad-spectrum sunscreen – strictly!

Glycolic Acid has a pH of 3.5 to 3.8, so make sure to strictly use broad-spectrum sunscreen
whenever you apply it. And if you don’t do that, with time, you’ll notice that you’re facing
hyperpigmentation, rashes, and breakouts. Yes, UV rays cause pigmentation but not using
sunscreen while using Glycolic Acid will definitely increase and speed up the pigmentation rate.

Give some time gap before layering products

Make sure you wait until the previous layer of the product applied dries up. Or if the two products have different actives, you must try to wait for 10-15 minutes.

Keep your skincare routine simple

Also, if you don’t have enough time to build a skincare routine with all the products recommended by the experts, like cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, treatments, sunscreen, eye gel, etc, just go on with this super easy skincare routine for acne prone skin!

final thoughts on can I use glycolic acid with niacinamide

Glycolic acid and niacinamide are two powerful skincare ingredients that can be used together to improve the appearance of your skin. It’s a duo that is safe and works gorgeously for a clearer, brighter, smoother complexion. To use them together, either wait for 10-20 minutes before layering them or use one during the day and the other at night.

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can I use glycolic acid with niacinamide

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