The Ultimate Guide to Using Glycolic Acid and Niacinamide Together

Are you in search of a skincare routine that leaves your skin looking flawless? If so, then you have probably come across the skincare products containing glycolic acid and niacinamide. These two ingredients have been raved about for their ability to transform skin and leave it glowing. However, as with any skincare routine and product, there are questions and concerns about combining different products. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether it is safe to use glycolic acid with niacinamide. Let’s dive deeper into this topic.

Glycolic Acid: A Brief Overview

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from sugar cane. It is known for its exfoliating properties, as it helps to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and improve skin texture. Glycolic acid is commonly used in anti-aging skincare products and can also help with hyperpigmentation and acne scars. It is a powerful ingredient, and it is essential to use it correctly to avoid damaging your skin.

Niacinamide: A Brief Overview

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that is water-soluble. It is a versatile ingredient used in skincare as it offers multiple benefits. Niacinamide can help to brighten skin, reduce hyperpigmentation, and minimize the appearance of pores. It is also great for people with sensitive skin as it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and calm irritated skin.

Can You Use Glycolic Acid with Niacinamide?

The short answer is yes; you can use glycolic acid with niacinamide. However, it is not recommended to use both ingredients at the same time as they can cancel each other’s benefits. This is because glycolic acid is acidic, with a pH of around 3.5, and niacinamide is mildly basic with a pH of around 5.0–7.0. If you mix the two together, the acidity of glycolic acid can lower the pH of niacinamide, rendering it ineffective.

That being said, using one ingredient in the morning and the other at night will not cause any negative effects. You can also alternate between the two, using glycolic acid one night and niacinamide the next.

How to Incorporate Glycolic Acid & Niacinamide into Your Skincare Routine

When using glycolic acid, it is crucial to start with a lower concentration and gradually build up to avoid wreaking havoc on your skin. Begin using glycolic acid once per week and work your way up to daily use as your skin gets used to it. It’s important to remember that using glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so be sure always to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen before you go outside.

If using niacinamide, you can typically use it twice a day, both in the morning and at night. Its mild formula makes it safe to use in your everyday skincare routine.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating glycolic acid and niacinamide into your skincare routine can bring many benefits to your skin. While it is safe to use these ingredients together, it is not recommended to use them at the same time. Instead, use one in the morning and the other at night, or alternate between the two. Always remember, when using any new skincare ingredient, start slow and build up to avoid causing damage to your skin.

  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel
  • The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
  • The Inkey List Niacinamide
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

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