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How to Use Niacinamide and Retinol in Skincare?

Niacinamide and retinol are popular skincare ingredients found in several types of products like serums and creams. Both ingredients are known for evening out skin tone, minimising the occurrence of blemishes and helping reduce visible signs of ageing. Their compelling benefits lead to the question - ‘can you use niacinamide with retinol?’.

It's common knowledge that while some ingredients work well together, others can interact in a sub-optimal way. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to retinol and niacinamide. Keep reading to learn the answers to common questions like ‘what can you use with niacinamide?’, as well as practical tips like whether to use niacinamide or retinol first. We’ll also detail a skincare routine incorporating both niacinamide and retinol.

how does retinol work?


When it comes to skincare ingredient interactions, there is a large volume of information out there – so it’s important to get the correct details before you start combining ingredients.

Some ingredient interactions can be positive, synergistic relationships where multiple ingredients ‘help’ each other to work more effectively. On the other hand, some ingredients may interact negatively and increase the likelihood of sensitivity or redness.

So, if you’re wondering ‘can I use niacinamide with retinol?’, the simple answer is yes. Niacinamide and retinol have a synergistic relationship, so you can use them together as long as you’re familiar with the basics of how to layer serums and ingredients.

niacinamide serum


Before we learn more about using niacinamide and retinol together, it’s important to understand the benefits of each ingredient. We know niacinamide is also called vitamin B3, but what skin concerns is niacinamide good for? This ingredient is known for helping reduce excess sebum production, minimising the appearance of redness, helping target pigmentation and supporting the skin moisture barrier. The results of this can include fewer blemishes, a healthier skin moisture barrier and the benefits of niacinamide to visibly reduce acne scars.

Read our articles three things you need to know about niacinamide and how to use niacinamide during pregnancy to learn more about this helpful ingredient.

retinol serum


Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that’s widely recognised by experts as one of the most powerful skincare ingredients. The benefits of retinol include strengthening the skin, evening out skin texture, helping minimise the appearance of dark spots and balancing excess oil-flow. Retinol is also known to promote skin cell turnover, making it a highly efficacious anti-ageing ingredient.

Using retinol can sometimes prompt unwanted effects such as photosensitivity and redness, which can be managed by implementing correct application and using a broad-spectrum SPF each morning. Read our article retinol: a user’s guide for more information on this potent ingredient.

using retinol and niacinamide


Niacinamide and retinol each benefit the skin harmoniously with no negative interactions, so using them as part of the same skincare routine is suitable for most skin types.

So, should you use niacinamide or retinol first? When understanding whether to use niacinamide before or after retinol, you should always apply retinol to freshly cleansed, dry skin, before layering serums. Although it’s usually recommended to apply products in order of thinnest to thickest, this advice applies regardless of product texture. Using niacinamide alongside retinol may help minimise any sensitivity or skin dryness, thanks to its skin moisture barrier supportive function.

For those looking for an efficient way to use niacinamide and retinol together, there are some products that are formulated with both ingredients. For example, our Retinol B3 Anti-Ageing Serum has both niacinamide and retinol for optimal skin benefits. This formula helps resurface the skin while also improving its ability to retain moisture.

retinol for acne


Now that we’ve established that niacinamide and retinol together can be a beneficial combination, it’s time to learn how to apply niacinamide in a skincare routine alongside retinol.

  • Step 1: Start by using a cleanser that suits your skin type and concerns before gently patting your face dry.

  • Step 2: Next, we recommend using a retinol serum, like our Retinol B3 Anti-Ageing Serum. It’s designed to target the signs of ageing in a minimalist formulation that’s suitable for sensitive skin.

  • Step 3: Add niacinamide to your routine by applying our Mela B3 Niacinamide Serum for Dark Spots. Press a few drops into your skin and spread across the entire face. What skin type does niacinamide suit best? This serum is suitable for all skin types, but niacinamide is also particularly suited to oily skin and sensitive skin.

  • Step 4: Finish by applying our Redermic R Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream. This formula includes a complex of pure and slow-release retinol to help visibly smooth skin around the eye area.

If you found it useful to learn the answer to ‘can you mix niacinamide and retinol?’, you might also like to read our article on why use retinol vs. vitamin C, BHAs and more.


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