Can I Use Azelaic Acid and Niacinamide Together?

Are you seeking for skin care products to cure acne, rosacea, or hyperpigmentation?

If so, your goods may include niacinamide and azelaic acid, and you may be unsure whether these components need to be combined.

These two components are frequently included in high-quality skincare.

But how effective are they?

In this post, we’ll examine the effects of the two components on the skin as well as if they may be used in the same routine.

What is Niacinamide?

The vitamin B3 form known as niacinamide is found in many of our favorite meals, including eggs, meats, dairy products, and cereals.

Simply put, our body requires niacinamide to maintain the health of our cells.

Niacinamide should be applied directly to the skin to benefit from all the beauty advantages, even though eating a balanced diet to ensure you are swallowing enough of it is fantastic!

The majority of niacinamide-containing treatments administer niacinamide to the skin as a serum.

In general, niacinamide helps the skin by supporting the development of proteins and retaining moisture, shielding it from the effects of the environment.

Niacinamide devotees utilize this product for a wide range of advantages, including curing acne-prone skin, lowering the look of pores, controlling the skin’s natural oils, maintaining skin firmness, preserving moisture, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, and eliminating redness and blotchiness.

Because of this, it makes a perfect component for those with acne, eczema, older skin, or even those with regular skin who want to give it a little boost in tone and smoothness.

Although niacinamide is often available in serum form, it is sometimes added as a component to some creams and cleansers.

If you want to keep your skincare regimen simple and don’t want to add any more stages, this is a wonderful option.

Nevertheless, if used as a serum, it must be administered to the skin after toning but before moisturizing. It’s crucial to do that correctly.

Benefits of Niacinamide

As niacinamide offers so many various advantages for the skin, it has grown in popularity as a component of skincare products.

  • Niacinamide contains anti-inflammatory effects that may help to lessen symptoms of rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin diseases.
  • It can also function as an antioxidant to help shield the skin from environmental harm and so lessen the effects of aging.
  • The skin barrier is made stronger by niacinamide, which does so by boosting the ceramide synthesis in the body. A robust barrier aids in defending the skin from harm and other irritants. A healthy complexion depends on it!
  • Niacinamide can aid in the fading of hyperpigmentation, including acne scars, sunspots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and other blotchiness.
  • Niacinamide reduces pores because it keeps the skin moister, which results in smaller pores.
  • It helps control and balance the quantity of the oil that your skin generates by balancing oil production
  • Niacinamide can help treat acne because of its anti-inflammatory qualities.
  • Niacinamide increases collagen production, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Long-term, it can improve skin firmness and suppleness.
  • Niacinamide promotes the skin’s synthesis of ceramides, which helps to seal in moisture and reduce transepidermal water loss, increasing skin hydration.

What is Azelaic Acid?

Dicarboxylic acid, called azelaic acid, is a substance that naturally exists in grains, including rye, wheat, and barley.

Azelaic acid, though it occurs naturally, is typically found in synthetic form in cosmetic products.

Azelaic acid is FDA-approved to treat acne and rosacea because studies have shown that it is an effective acne therapy that kills acne-causing bacteria while also lowering inflammation.

In over-the-counter (OTC) products, azelaic acid can be found in quantities of 10% or less, or larger concentrations in medicines available only by prescription.

Azelaic acid aids in the breakdown of dead skin cells and enhances the texture of the skin by acting as a keratolytic, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.

However, while being a potent component, azelaic acid is quite soft on the skin and one of the finest exfoliants for people who have sensitive skin because it is much gentler than other compounds like retinoids or BHAs.

Did you know that Malassezia furfur, a type of good bacteria that lives on your skin, is the source of azelaic acid?

But you need to already have a sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria on your skin for this to have a positive effect on your skin, which is typically not the case with problematic skin.

Azelaic acid, although not the first substance that comes to mind (or perhaps even at all), is a dermatological favorite because of its flexibility and gentleness.

More than merely clearing up acne, it may also aid in removing other types of bacteria and reducing the redness that might result from other skin diseases like rosacea or hyperpigmentation.

Azelaic Acid Benefits

Azelaic acid has recently gained popularity due to its seemingly endless list of advantages for skin care. These are just a few advantages of using this miracle worker:

  • Azelaic acid is excellent for acne-prone skin since it possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. It cures existing acne and prevents the development of new outbreaks by eradicating the germs that cause acne.
  • Azelaic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and helps lessen inflammation, swelling, and redness. Because of this, it’s ideal for people with sensitive skin or conditions like eczema or rosacea, but it can also help reduce acne-related inflammation.
  • Azelaic acid helps to break down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, giving you softer, smoother skin.
  • Azelaic acid’s keratolytic qualities aid in the breakdown of dead skin cells that can cause plugged pores, acne, and other textural problems.
  • Treats Rosacea is a common skin ailment that can result in redness, irritation, and lesions that resemble pimples. One of the most effective rosacea remedies is azelaic acid since it helps to lessen the redness, swelling, and pimples.
  • Azelaic acid is particularly excellent for eradicating hyperpigmentation, including acne scars, by preventing the production of tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the manufacture of melanin (which is what creates pigment).
  • Azelaic acid is also helpful in treating and preventing acne. It aids in destroying germs, clearing clogged pores, and reducing inflammation, all of which are essential for treating acne.

Niacinamide and Azelaic Acid Together

The good thing is that you don’t have to decide which ingredient to use if you’re unsure.

It is possible to mix niacinamide with azelaic acid! Sometimes mixing them might increase their potency.

This is especially true for treating hyperpigmentation brought on by inflammation, such as age spots, melasma, and black stains.

Azelaic acid is a tyrosinase inhibitor, which prevents the tyrosinase enzyme, which is required for the formation of melanin, from working.

For the production of melanin, tyrosinase is necessary.

The way that niacinamide reduces hyperpigmentation differs slightly from other treatments.

Niacinamide prevents the movement of melanin that has already been generated from your melanocytes—the cells that produce melanin—to your skin cells, not the development of melanin.

Mixing azelaic acid with niacinamide results in a double dose of whitening since azelaic acid stops the creation of new melanin while niacinamide stops the existing melanin from affecting the color of your skin cells.

They both work well at comparable pH ranges, with niacinamide working best between 5.0 and 6.0 and azelaic acid working best between 4.0 and 5.0.

Your skin’s normal surface pH is between 5.0 to 6.0, thus even if they were utilized optimally at different pH levels, they would still need to adapt to your skin’s natural pH.

How to Use Niacinamide and Azelaic Acid Together?

The simplest approach to combining azelaic acid with niacinamide is to utilize skincare products that already include this combination of chemicals. They can, however, also be utilized in other items.

It’s often recommended to apply your products in order of thinner to thicken, when utilizing the components in separate products, for example, using a serum before a moisturizer.

This is due to the fact that skin generally absorbs thinner-consistency items more quickly than thicker-consistency ones.

Thus, it makes sense to use an azelaic acid serum before niacinamide if you’re using a moisturizer that contains both.

Niacinamide should preferably be used before azelaic acid if you’re using a toner that also contains that ingredient.

It actually doesn’t matter which way around you put azelaic acid and niacinamide in a serum if you’re utilizing both of them.

You must introduce them one at a time, though. This will assist in determining whether one of the chemicals causes an adverse reaction on your skin and assist in preventing skin barrier damage.

Niacinamide and azelaic acid can both be taken twice daily, although utilizing just one dose per day can still provide effects.

Also, if you only use each active component once daily, such as niacinamide in the morning and azelaic acid in the evening, it is simpler to combine numerous active substances.

As always, keep in mind that the UV protection provided by either component is insufficient to replace the regular usage of sunscreen.

Benefits of Using Nicinamide and Azelaic Acid Together

As we previously stated, niacinamide and azelaic acid each offer a ton of advantages by themselves.

Nevertheless, when combined, these components can contribute to even greater outcomes.

When taken in combination, niacinamide, and azelaic acid produce a potent, brightening combination that can effectively treat sun spots, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and other skin conditions.

Niacinamide helps stop the transfer of pigment to the skin’s surface, whereas azelaic acid acts by preventing the formation of melanin.

So, utilizing these two chemicals together rather than either one alone can assist in whitening the skin and erasing black spots more efficiently.

Furthermore, azelaic acid and niacinamide might aid in calming and soothing the skin.

Using these two substances together can help reduce redness, inflammation, and irritation if you have sensitive skin or deal with skin disorders like rosacea or eczema.

Negative Effects

Indeed, combining azelaic acid and niacinamide has no known negative effects as long as they are used appropriately, in the appropriate skincare products, and at the appropriate intervals.

The majority of research on the topical use of azelaic acid and niacinamide has shown that these two substances do not enhance skin sensitivity or trigger any irritation.

Also, both of them contain anti-inflammatory characteristics, which can be a powerful combo in treating a variety of skin problems.

Suggested Dosage

The dosage for mixing azelaic acid with niacinamide depends on the specific product you’re using and the quantity of the active ingredients.

Following the instructions on the product label is very important.

Two times each day, usually in the morning and evening, azelaic acid is applied to the skin.

Azelaic acid is normally recommended to be used at lower concentrations at first and then gradually increased as tolerated.

Niacinamide is often used topically once or twice a day, in the morning and at night.

It may be suggested to use a different niacinamide concentration depending on the product being purchased and the specific skin problems being addressed.

For pigmentation and deeper scars, think about a laser procedure.

Not Reccomeded Mixing for Azelaic Acid

  1. BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids)

Azelaic acid and BHAs are two skincare ingredients that experts disagree on whether or not you should use together.

This combo works incredibly well for some people, but it could be too much for others.

The importance of this increases if you have sensitive skin. Azelaic acid and BHAs should absolutely not be used in this situation.

Ways to apply:

If your skin is not sensitive, you could choose to combine azelaic acid with salicylic acid.

It is a milder BHA that targets redness and exfoliates the skin while causing less irritation (source).

Azelaic acid and BHAs can be used twice daily, but if your skin reacts poorly, you may want to alternate days.

  1. AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)

Similar to BHAs, over-exfoliation can result from combining AHAs such as glycolic or lactic acid with azelaic acid. In certain cases, this could be too abrasive for the skin.

Ways to apply:

Mandelic acid has a bigger molecular structure than other AHAs, making it the gentlest type to use if you wish to test an AHA with azelaic acid.

Use azelaic acid and then a nourishing moisturizer after using your AHA product to lock in the active components.

  1. Vitamin C

Although L-ascorbic acid is the most effective form of vitamin C, some people may find it unpleasant (especially at high concentrations).

Azelaic acid and L-ascorbic acid both have a lower pH. Based on this, they are both acidic. As a result, combining them may irritate you and reduce their effectiveness.

Ways to apply:

Azelaic acid may be used more safely with milder vitamin C derivatives (such as sodium ascorbyl phosphate or tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) (source).

In general, you should use vitamin C first, then your azelaic acid product and last moisturize.

  1. Retinol

Given how powerful retinol is as an exfoliator, some people, especially those with sensitive skin, could find the combination of retinol and azelaic acid to be too harsh.

Ways to apply:

Remember to constantly think about whether you’re applying a cream or serum. The thinner nature of serums allows you to apply them early in your skincare routine.

You may use this to decide whether to apply retinol or azelaic acid first.

Take retinol once daily (typically at night) and azelaic acid twice daily. Find the perfect choice for you by experimenting.

Not Reccomeded Mixing for Niacinamide

  1. Vitamin C

Although it would be ideal, mixing niacinamide with vitamin C is unfortunately not feasible.

They just won’t mix since vitamin C is an oil-soluble vitamin and niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin.

You will produce a divided, clumpy mess if you attempt to combine these powerful elements.

Ways to apply:

You can use them in that order in your skincare regimen if you apply the niacinamide before the vitamin C.

You won’t have to worry about combining them since you can still reap the advantages of each component by utilizing them in this specific order.

  1. AHA and BHA

Niacinamide, AHAs, and BHAs have all been mentioned in your study on treatments for acne.

Why can’t you combine two chemicals that appear to be magical and can change your skin?

Niacinamide and AHAs/BHAs are both good for the skin, but you shouldn’t use them together.

Indeed, niacinamide can irritate the skin and produce redness by preventing the exfoliating effects of AHAs and BHAs.

So, stop combining niacinamide with glycolic/lactic acid or salicylic acid!

Important step-SPF

SPF should be your must-have skincare product. It’s the only method to adequately shield the skin against environmental irritants and cancer, both of which can cause early indications of aging.

Given its significance, SPF may be used on top of any skincare component.

Do Mix: SPF can (and ought to) be used in all skincare regimens.

Don’t Mix: SPF with moisturizers or cosmetics.

SPF may feel like an additional step in a lengthy skincare regimen, but don’t try to cut corners.

In order to maintain its protective properties, sunscreen should be applied as a single layer without mixing it with your makeup or moisturizer before using it.

Consistent daily usage of SPF 15 sunscreen can cut your risk of melanoma by 50% and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by roughly 40%, respectively.

It aids in preventing wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of premature aging of the skin brought on by the sun.


Let’s discuss if azelaic acid and niacinamide work well together and whether you should combine the two treatments.

The two substances may be combined without risk, which is the solution you were seeking. They will reinforce one another’s effects when combined.

These two substances work together to revitalize tired-looking skin, minimize pore size, remove acne, decrease redness and irritation, and lessen hyperpigmentation.

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