Niacinamide, which is also known by the name of “nicotinamide”, represents a form of vitamin B3 – niacin.
To put it simply, this is a vitamin that is water-soluble, and essential for various functions of the body such as DNA repair, cell communication, as well as energy production.
Niacinamide is normally found in foods including fish, eggs, green veggies, and meat.
As of the last couple of years, niacinamide has become a really valued asset to almost everyone’s skincare routine.
Due to its numerous benefits for the skin, it has been commonly used in the making of skincare and beauty products.
Among other things, niacinamide has proven to help minimize the appearance of large pores and fine lines, as well as reduce the visibility of wrinkles.
Furthermore, it has plenty of calming and soothing properties which help reduce skin inflammation and redness, even out skin tone, and helps improve the barrier of the skin overall.
Using niacinamide on your skin will prevent moisture loss and keep your skin hydrated and nourished at all times.
It is mostly well-tolerated by all skin tones, so it’s one of the safest things to use in skincare.
Acids have also been popular in the skincare industry for quite some time.
If you’re into skincare and like to keep up with the latest trends and popular products, you’ve probably heard of lactic acid by now. Lactic acid is a kind of organic acid.
The human body produces lactic acid in a natural way during some metabolic processes, including the one where glucose gets broken down for energy in the absence of oxygen (this is called anaerobic metabolism).
Lactic acid is also found in many fermented foods including yogurt and kimchi because it is produced by certain bacteria during the process of fermentation.
In skin care, lactic acid is mostly used as an exfoliating skincare product.
It is applied topically (onto the skin), so that it can help remove dead skin cells, thus improving the overall skin texture and skin tone, as most exfoliants do.
It is considered to be one of the most gentle exfoliants, meaning it’s usually suitable even for those who have skin prone to sensitivity.
Of course, as with every other exfoliating product, lactic acid should be used in moderation, carefully following the instructions of your dermatologist or skin specialist, in order not to use it excessively, which then may lead to over-exfoliation and further irritation.
Apart from its exfoliating properties, lactic acid is also a great moisturizer. Because of its nourishing properties, it helps locak the moisture in the skin and retain it for a long time.
Can you use lactic acid and niacinamide together?
Generally speaking – yes, it is safe to use lactic acid together with niacinamide in your skincare routine.
Many skincare brands already combine these two ingredients in their products, simply because they complement each other’s benefits for the skin very well.
While alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) i.e. lactic acid is one of the best chemical exfoliants, which helps to exfoliate your skin, niacinamide represents a kind of vitamin B3, which is responsible for improving the skin’s overall barrier function, as well as moisturizing it, reducing inflammation, and giving it a silky smooth finish.
When lactic acid and niacinamide are used together, they improve the skin texture and complexion, hydrating and moisturizing the skin at the same time.
Even though it’s essentially safe to use these two ingredients together, it may happen that people who have overly sensitive skin experience some discomfort, or a level of irritation and redness.
As with many skincare products, it’s best to do a patch test prior to using lactic acid combined with niacinamide as a part of your regular skincare routine.
Apply these two ingredients together on a small area of the skin and wait up to 48 hours to see if you’ll notice any unwanted skin reaction or irritation to it.
How to use The Ordinary lactic acid and niacinamide together?
One of the most popular skincare brands is The Ordinary. This brand has existed since 2016, although it became extremely popular one or two years ago. It is known for providing its buyers with good quality skincare products at affordable prices.
The two best-known products made by The Ordinary are lactic acid and niacinamide. As these two are known to be perfectly safe to be used together in skincare, here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it like a skincare pro:
- Cleanse your face – wash your face using a gentle cleanser, preferably one with no irritating agents such as fragrance
- Apply The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% to the entire face. Niacinamide is a product that can be used both in the morning and evening.
- After applying it, wait for a couple of minutes for your skin to absorb niacinamide.
- Apply The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA to your face. It is advisable to use lactic acid once to twice a week in the beginning, to see how your skin reacts to it. After a while, you can start gradually increasing the frequency, by using it even every day. When applying lactic acid, make sure you avoid the eye area.
- Let lactic acid absorb into your skin for a few minutes.
- Apply your regular moisturizer in order to lock the moisture and keep your skin well-hydrated.
- If you’re doing this in the morning, finish off your routine by adding some sunscreen.
Benefits of using lactic acid
Lactic acid can provide you with many benefits for the skin, so it is considered one of the most valuable products to have in your medicine cabinet.
If you carefully follow the instructions on the product and don’t over-use it, you will see the amazing results it can bring to your skin, including the following:
Exfoliation: Lactic acid belongs to the group of chemical exfoliants, which means it’s not the physical scrub that was more popular years ago.
This is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), which helps to exfoliate your skin gently, dissolving dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, without causing micro-tears and irritation. It improves the texture of the skin, as well as makes your skin tone look brighter, glowy, and healthy.
Moisturization: This can help to keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness and flakiness. Being a humectant, lactic acid is known to attract and lock the moisture inside your skin.
This means that lactic acid will help maintain the hydration of your skin, preventing dryness, flakiness, and itchiness at the same time, leaving your skin radiant and smooth.
Anti-aging: One of the best properties of lactic acid is its ability to stimulate collagen production in the skin.
The regular use of lactic acid in your skincare routine means that it will help improve the looks of your skin overall, gradually minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Brightening: If you’re someone who’s been struggling with the consequences of acne, lactic acid is the right chemical exfoliant for you.
It helps with reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, and dark spots and patches, caused by acne scarring, as it gently exfoliates the skin, promoting cell turnover.
Acne treatment: Not only does lactic acid helps with post-acne scarring, but it also helps fight acne as well.
It has plenty of antimicrobial properties, so it helps kill the bacteria responsible for causing acne. Apart from this, lactic acne also helps with unclogging pores, thus preventing the formation of new acne.
Benefits of using niacinamide
Niacinamide is generally known to be a very versatile ingredient. It is a great addition to anyone’s skincare routine because it’s typically well-tolerated by people of all skin types.
It has a variety of advantages that can benefit you from using it on your skin, and these are some of them:
Better skin barrier function: Niacinamide is a great asset if you want to improve the overall barrier function of your skin.
It keeps the irritating and inflammatory agents out of the skin, while it provides the skin with the right amount of moisture and helps retain it for a long time.
This normally leads to smoother skin, which looks healthy, nourished, and glowing.
Reduction of inflammation: Many of the anti-inflammatory properties of niacinamide help with soothing redness, irritation, and overall inflammation of the skin.
It modulates the activity of immune cells, including T cells and macrophages, helping reduce inflammation, making it a great choice for those who suffer from acne or have generally sensitive skin.
Oil production regulation: Niacinamide helps regulate sebum production by reducing the activity of sebaceous glands.
Excess production of sebum (skin’s natural oil) leads to clogging pores on your face and increases the risk of developing acne issues.
Hyperpigmentation reduction: Niacinamide is believed to help with the reduction of the appearance of age spots, dark spots caused by acne, and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
This is done by niacinamide inhibiting the transfer of melanin to skin cells, which then helps to even out skin tone and makes your skin clear, and spot-free.
Pore visibility reduction: Large pores are some of the most annoying skin issues to date. Apart from their visibility, they can retain more sebum, dirt, and other debris which can then cause pores to clog, leading to acne.
Niacinamide is a popular ingredient in helping to tighten pores, thus minimizing their appearance, and making your skin a more smooth, refined, and glowy look.
Benefits of using lactic acid and niacinamide together
These two ingredients have many benefits used on their own.
However, if you want to further improve your skincare routine journey, lactic acid and niacinamide combined can really do wonders for your skin, as their beneficial properties are more enhanced and more potent together!
Here are some of the overall benefits you can experience by using these two products together:
Hydration: Lactic acid is known to be a chemical exfoliant, better known as AHA. It exfoliates the skin by removing dead skin cells and impurities on the skin.
Although this does help improve the texture and tone of your skin, it can also make it more vulnerable and prone to dehydration. That’s where niacinamide steps in!
Being a water-soluble kind of B3 vitamin, it helps improve the barrier of the skin, giving it moisture and the possibility to retain that moisture for longer, thus counteracting the possibly drying effect that lactic acid might have on the skin when used first.
Brightening: Both lactic acid and niacinamide have proven to be amazing when it comes to helping reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
Lactic acid promotes cell turnover, by exfoliating the skin. Niacinamide helps reduce melanin production, leading to a more evened-out skin tone overall, and has a skin-brightening effect on the skin.
Reduced inflammation: People who use lactic acid might experience irritation or extreme sensitivity if they’re prone to it generally.
That is why niacinamide as the next step comes in handy. It contains many anti-inflammatory properties, which calm the skin, soothing it and reducing redness.
Anti-aging effect: When used together, the anti-aging properties of both lactic acid and niacinamide are quite enhanced.
By stimulating collagen production and promoting cell turnover, these two ingredients improve skin elasticity, thus contributing to the minimal appearance of fine lines as well as wrinkles, keeping your skin fresh and young-looking!
Disadvantages of using lactic acid and niacinamide together
Even though lactic acid and niacinamide are two skincare products that generally work well together, providing the skin with all their benefits, there are some potential disadvantages to consider when including these two ingredients together in your skincare routine:
pH incompatibility: Using both lactic acid and niacinamide together can cause a disruption of the pH balance of the skin, which then leads to irritation.
This might happen due to the fact that lactic acid works best at a low pH (3-4), whereas niacinamide works better at a neutral pH (5-7), thus causing an imbalance.
Irritation: If your skin is sensitive, it’s best to follow the instructions carefully when using lactic acid and niacinamide together, at least at the beginning.
If you overly use these two ingredients together in high concentrations, they can increase the risk of irritation and redness of the skin.
Reduced effectiveness: Being a water-soluble ingredient, it is thought that niacinamide might reduce the exfoliating effects of lactic acid because it compromises the acidic environment that lactic acid requires for it to be effective.
Who shouldn’t use lactic acid and niacinamide together?
While lactic acid and niacinamide are normally perfectly safe to be used together, there are certain situations in which it may not be recommended to use both ingredients together at all such as:
Allergies: It goes without saying that allergies can be a serious issue in using skincare products. If you are familiar with any allergies to lactic acid or niacinamide that you might have, avoid including them in your skincare routine.
In any case, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test before using these two ingredients regularly, so that you make sure you’re not allergic to either of them.
Sensitive skin: If these ingredients are used in high concentrations or used too frequently, it might happen that your skin gets too overwhelmed with the effects of lactic acid and niacinamide.
This can further lead to irritation, redness, and the sensation of having “tight” skin.
Using prescription medications: If you are on any prescripted medications for acne or other skin problems, it’s essential to consult a dermatologist prior to using lactic acid and niacinamide together.
If these ingredients are used along with prescription drugs, it can cause negative effects, such as skin irritation.
Pregnant or breastfeeding: It is advisable to see your GP before choosing to add lactic acid and niacinamide to your skincare regimen.
Shelf life and storage of lactic and niacinamide
The shelf life of lactic acid and niacinamide can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the specific product formulation, the packaging, and storage conditions.
In general, most skincare products have a shelf life of 6-24 months from the date of manufacture, depending on the product and its ingredients.
Various factors decide the shelf life of lactic acid and niacinamide. These might include the formulation, packaging, and conditions in which you store these two products.
It normally goes from 6-24 months from the date of manufacture, depending on the aforementioned factors.
Properly storing lactic acid and niacinamide can not only extend their shelf life but also preserve their beneficial properties and overall effectiveness.
Both of these ingredients should be kept in a cool, dry place, as far away as possible from direct sunlight as well as heat.
If exposed to too much heat and light, the effects of lactic acid as well as niacinamide might deteriorate.
It is also important to keep the lid closed tightly enough, so that no moisture or air enters the container, causing it to degrade and reduce its effectiveness.
Store lactic acid in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. Exposure to heat and light can cause the product to degrade and become less effective.
Keep the lid tightly closed to prevent air and moisture from entering the container.
Air and moisture can also cause the product to degrade and become less effective.
Check the expiration date on the product label and discard the product if it has expired or if it has an unusual odor or consistency.
Overall, using lactic acid and niacinamide together is not only perfectly safe in most cases, but it is also highly effective.
These two ingredients complement one another extremely well so, by properly storing them and using them as instructed, their beneficial properties will do wonders on your skin!
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