Can You Use Niacinamide And Vitamin C Together?

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While the skincare market is constantly evolving and continues to churn out new products on what feels like a daily basis, it all runs on the same foundation: popular and emerging skincare ingredients. Trendy skincare fads may come and go, but through it all, there have always been a few core ingredients that form the basis of many products.

Don't get us wrong: the skincare ingredient world has its very own set of revolving doors. Every now and then, a new skincare ingredient seems to become the new powerhouse to which people credit their glowing skin, and every skincare brand has suddenly released its own product containing this trendy gem. Who could forget the era of CBD skincare during which just about every beauty brand was infusing CBD into everything from lip balms to mascaras (via Healthline)?

Regardless of what comes and goes, a few staple ingredients have stood the test of time and remain everyone's cult favorite go-to ingredients. We're talking about retinol, hyaluronic acid, AHAs, BHAs, and, of course, today's hottest topics: niacinamide and vitamin C. Sure, these are all trustworthy ingredients that have been the stars behind countless skincare products. Depending on your skin concern, each of them can be a miracle worker. However, things can get jumbled up when you accidentally mix the wrong ingredients and end up with a breakout on your face. 

Benefits of vitamin C

Perhaps one of the most familiar household names when it comes to skincare ingredients is vitamin C. Everyone has turned to it at one point or another, and it's possibly one of the few skincare ingredients whose benefits are known and don't call for a Google search to figure out what to use it for. Vitamin C is hands down the brightening powerhouse ingredient of all skincare ingredients. You consume it through citrus fruits, and it gives your skin that same bright, sunny feeling and appearance. 

Dr. Patricia Wexler explains the secrets behind vitamin C's power to Allure, saying, "Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C aids in your skin's natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells." Dr. Wexler adds that, similar to how antioxidant foods work to protect your body from pollutants, vitamin C does the same for your skin. 

By protecting your skin from pollution and harsh UV rays, vitamin C works to keep your skin looking fresher and brighter as a result, as well as slowing signs of aging. It's important to note that vitamin C doesn't work the same way in every skincare product. It can be present in active and non-active forms, and active vitamin C tends to be harsh for sensitive skin types in the same way most other active ingredients are. "Depending on the skincare formulation, applying vitamin C can do absolutely nothing or can work as a powerful antioxidant," Dr. Anna Guanche explains to Byrdie. Therefore, it's important to choose high-quality and trusted brands in order to get the most out of your vitamin C, and it's also important to know which ingredients can counteract its efficacy.

Benefits of niacinamide

Niacinamide may have been around for as long as vitamin C, but it definitely hasn't always been in the spotlight. The skincare ingredient only recently got its moment to shine as more and more skincare products began incorporating it or even relying solely on its powers, including The Ordinary's best-selling Niacinamide and Zinc Oil Control Serum.

Glow Recipe, a beauty brand that's massively popular on TikTok, loves to incorporate niacinamide into its products, with co-founder Sarah Lee explaining its benefits to Vogue. "It helps balance sebum production and visibly refine pores, making it a great ingredient for oily or acneic skin types," she told the outlet, adding, "There's also research that it can help promote ceramide production within the skin, which is crucial for a healthy lipid barrier and prevention of transepidermal water loss, making it a beneficial ingredient for those with sensitive skin."

Niacinamide is most known for its unmatched ability to minimize the appearance of pores and help achieve smoother skin while visibly evening out skin tone over time. Niacinamide has been the star of numerous new skincare products over the past couple of years as people have come to appreciate how well it works. But incorporating a new obsession-worthy skincare ingredient into your already-full skincare routine can be a risky move if you don't do your research.

Do they get along well?

By this point, it is clear that vitamin C and niacinamide's benefits are plenty, and it sounds like a combination of the two could sort your skin out perfectly — but can the two coexist happily? You've been told by skincare experts all along that using too many actives can break down your skin barrier. While it can seem as though using a couple of skincare powerhouse ingredients that each tackle different skin concerns is like concocting the perfect cocktail, sometimes you end up with an explosion rather than a perfect marriage. 

The not-so-simple answer is yes, they get along, but sometimes the answer is also no. Chemist Perry Romanowski explains to Byrdie that the answer relies entirely on the types of niacinamide and vitamin C being used. "Generally speaking, vitamin C needs to be used at a low pH in order to be effective, while niacinamide works better at a higher/neutral pH," Romanowski tells the outlet. When harsh formulas of ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) were used in combination with niacinamide, the skin reacted badly. However, Romanowski explains that modern-day skincare formulas should be safe, especially considering the fact that our skin naturally contains vitamin c, so using niacinamide on any skin would be disastrous if the two didn't get along. 

Ultimately, vitamin C and niacinamide are perfect when paired together. They form the perfect Avengers-level of power to help fight hyperpigmentation as well as reduce the darkness of blemishes. In the case of vitamin C and niacinamide, teamwork really does make the dream work.