How To Use Retinol And Niacinamide Together And Benefits

How To Use Retinol And Niacinamide Together And Benefits

There are a few ingredients in the beauty care regime that work wonders. While niacinamide helps to maintain skin health, retinol brings back youthful skin. Let’s find out what these skin-transforming ingredients are and how to use them.

If you wonder, can you use niacinamide with retinol, keep reading to find answers! 

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a type of Vitamin B3, that has an important role in converting the food into usable energy and helps your body’s cells carry out important chemical reactions. Vitamin B3 is also known as Niacin (1).

Vitamin B3 is generally found as Niacinamide in animal-based products, such as poultry and meat.

Benefits of Niacinamide

Niacinamide has several health benefits and uses. It is a multipurpose skincare ingredient. Here are a few major benefits of niacinamide- 

  • Immunity: It helps build keratin, a protein that maintains skin health. It helps to make skin firmer, smoother, and brighter.
  • Boost hydration: Niacinamide helps lock moisture in and keeps pollutants or other irritants out by enhancing the skin’s lipid barrier’s function, making the skin more hydrated and less sensitive.
  • Calm inflammation: Niacinamide helps ease skin inflammation and redness due to conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea. It even assists soothing the irritation caused by strong exfoliant and removes dead cells from the surface.
  • Treat dark spots: Dermatologists approve of Niacinamide for brightening skin tone. Skin care products with even 5% of Niacinamide can also help lighten dark spots.
  • Reduce wrinkles and fine lines: The antioxidant properties of Niacinamide may help protect the skin from damage due to aging, sun, and stress. Study shows that topical application of niacinamide can improve fine lines and wrinkles (2).
  • Treats acne: It helps in treating severe acne and even its inflammatory forms like papules or pustules.

You can use niacinamide once or twice daily after washing the face using a gentle cleanser during the regular skincare routine. Applying it as a moisturizer on the face and neck is a great idea. 

Also, you combine niacinamide serum and moisturizer and apply gently to the face and neck.

What is Retinol?

What is Retinol

Retinol is derived from Vitamin A and used in many skin care products. It helps in preventing the early signs of aging and clear acne (3). Retinol is mostly used in the form of serum, ointment, gel, cream, and lotions and can be obtained over the counter easily.

Benefits of Retinol

  • Improves wrinkle: Retinol increases the production of skin cells. It exfoliates the skin and increases the production of collagen, which reduces wrinkles and fine lines. It takes several months of topical use of Retinol to notice the difference.
  • Stretch marks: The scars developed during pregnancy, weight gain or loss, or rapid growth of muscles, because of stretching or shrinking of the skin are stretch marks. Regular topical use of Retinol over the stretch marks can fade the mark’s appearance.
  • Acne scars: Acne scars developed due to picking or popping the pimples can cause injury to the skin. Topical retinol use can help reduce the inflammation and swelling of the breakout and help prevent further breakouts.

To use retinol, clean the face using a gentle cleanser and pat it dry. Now, take a pea size serum in hand and apply a thin layer of Retinol to your skin, excluding your mouth, nose, and eyes.

You can also layer it with a facial moisturizer that won’t clog the pores.

Can you Use Niacinamide and Retinol together?

Niacinamide and Retinol together

Now getting back to the question, can you use niacinamide with retinol, YES, definitely you can, but with safety.

Combining skincare ingredients can be tricky and unsafe because their pH levels might affect each other (4). Niacinamide may be used with other active ingredients for optimal results.

Niacinamide and Retinol are the skincare ingredients that can do almost everything and offer multiple skin benefits. These active ingredients share the same pH.

Benefits of Niacinamide and Retinol When Used Together

  • Hydrates skin: Retinol can increase skin hydration; it often initially irritates by damaging the skin’s barrier and increasing the amount of water loss from the skin. This is when Niacinamide stabilizes the barrier function of skin, reducing the amount of water lost and improving the overall hydration.
  • Increase cell turnover: When used together, niacinamide and retinol help to increase cell turnover, which unclogs the pores and minimize the appearance of acne scars and blemishes.
  • Soothe skin: Both the ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the redness and swelling caused by acne and acne scars.
  • Makes skin supple: Niacinamide also helps stimulate the natural production of essential fatty acids and ceramides of skin, which reinforces the ability of Retinol to improve the feel and look of the skin’s surface.
  • Reverse environmental damage: These ingredients do a fantastic job of neutralizing the damaging effect of environmental stressors that try to invade the skin. When this damage is offset, each ingredient can work more effectively.

How To Incorporate Both Ingredients In Your Skincare Routine?

The best part about using both the ingredients in your skin care routine is that doing so is very simple. Neither there is a set of rules for using them, nor there is a strict order. 

Find the two products individually with Retinol and Niacinamide as one of their ingredients and start using them in your daily skin care routine, or use one formula that combines both these ingredients such as Niacinamide and retinol cream.

How To Use Niacinamide And Retinol?

  • Wash the skin with a gentle cleanser and towel dry.
  • You can use one product with both ingredients.
  • If using two separate products, apply the one with the thinnest/lightest texture first and then the other. 
  • Usually, using Niacinamide first can help protect your skin from the effects of Retinol.
  • For daytime, follow with a sun protection lotion.
  • These can be used twice daily depending on how it suits your skin initially.


Both Niacinamide and Retinol have similar properties like anti-aging, removing acne scars, treating blemishes, etc., but Retinol is stronger than Niacinamide. It is known to cause irritation, dry skin, and redness during the initial use. Pairing these two ingredients together makes Retinol easier to use.

Image Source : Canva

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