Learn about all of the incredible benefits of using Niacinamide and Vitamin C for skin. When used together, they are highly effective in brightening the skin and providing the dual action punch to help fight the signs of aging!
As far as superstar vitamins in your skincare routine go, vitamins A and C get all the attention. But there’s another equally important vitamin that is often overlooked, and that is vitamin B3, or Niacinamide. This vitamin has just as many skincare benefits as vitamins A and C, and dermatologists and facialists alike think everyone should be applying it to their faces.
Some things are just better together, and the same goes for your skincare ingredients. But there’s a certain amount of science involved when it comes to building the perfect skincare routine. Layering your products can give you glowing skin, but there is reason to proceed with caution. Some products are better kept separate, unless you're actively looking for irritation and possible breakouts. However, there are plenty of powerful skincare ingredients that can be mixed without causing negative reactions. In fact, many of them become even more potent when combined.
Take Niacinamide + Vitamin C: this pair makes an especially powerful combination. Niacinamide is a relatively new ingredient on the skincare scene. It’s a form of vitamin B-B3, to be specific. In the same vein as vitamin C, niacinamide is a powerhouse ingredient. It addresses the signs of aging by softening fine lines and reducing instances of hyperpigmentation and sallowness.
In a series of studies where 50 women who showed signs of aging were treated with a niacinamide cream, the results indicated that the women treated with niacinamide showed significantly more improvement in skin elasticity and appearance, than women treated with a placebo. Studies also suggest that niacinamide skincare products can reduce the signs and symptoms of severe acne or rosacea by reducing the inflammation of the skin. If you have oily skin in particular, niacinamide is equipped to regulate (and slow down) how much oil your skin produces. And with less oily skin, pores appear smaller.
Vitamin C, or pure ascorbic acid, is a naturally occurring antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from UV damage, as well as reduce hyperpigmentation and even increase collagen production. Couple these two ingredients together and you have a dynamic duo for glowing skin. We previously spoke about how to get glowing skin, but we’ve outlined everything you need to know about niacinamide below.
Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin, which is also known as nicotinic amide--the amide compound of vitamin B3. Naturally occurring, it can be found in foods such as meats, nuts and mushrooms. Niacinamide has excellent skin-restoring properties and is also a popular skincare ingredient due to its ability to treat problem skin conditions with minimal side effects. Thanks to an anti-inflammatory action, it is particularly effective for conditions such as acne and hyperpigmentation and aids in repairing skin suffering from environmental aggressors.
Niacinamide can also be taken in oral supplements to treat acne, as it reduces the inflammation associated with existing blemishes while also helping to prevent future breakouts. As a cell-communicating ingredient, it helps to stimulate microcirculation in the skin, improving skin tone and elasticity for a resurfacing effect. It is also a brilliant anti-aging ingredient since it is capable of increasing levels of fatty acids in the skin.
In skincare, where dosage is controlled, niacinamide has little to no known side effects and is stable in both heat and light. Some research on niacinamide has suggested that it protects skin against the sun, but while it is a great ingredient to include in your skincare regimen, proper broad-spectrum sun protection should still be used every day. Niacinamide works best when left on for an extended period, like when using an overnight anti-aging face mask.
For brightening up a dull complexion and erasing sun spots, vitamin C is the gold standard of skincare ingredients, especially as skin ages. Vitamin C is a potent topical antioxidant and a natural collagen booster. It neutralizes free radical damage and protects the skin against UV light and other environmental aggressors, as well as blocks abnormal production of pigmentation to even skin tone and fade dark spots. And while it’s best known for brightening, it can also be instrumental in skin firming.
Vitamin C works best in combination with vitamin E, ferulic Acid, vitamin B, and hyaluronic acid. Designed to deliver a high concentration of actives, vitamin c booster serums are a popular choice in skincare. That being said, people with sensitive skin types might benefit from mixing their serum into a moisturizer, or opting for a vitamin C-infused moisturizer for gentler delivery. To keep skin happy, take a gradual approach when adding vitamin C to your regimen. With any active, it’s important to start slowly when incorporating ingredients into your routine.
It was once thought that mixing Niacinamide with Vitamin C would create Niacin, a yellow solution that can cause temporary flushing and tingling, and can turn the skin yellow, rendering both ingredients ineffective. And while the combination of niacinamide and ascorbic acid in certain conditions can form niacin, it takes a very high amount of heat over an extended period of time to cause this reaction. Even then, only a small amount of product will change. The truth is that niacinamide and vitamin C are your secret weapon combo for putting skin problems to rest. Together, the ingredients recharge and revamp the texture of your skin and shrink the size of your pores, boosting collagen turnover and delivering a youthful glow.
In addition to combining Niacinamide and Vitamin C, here are some other powerful skincare ingredient equations to follow for beautiful skin.
Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, protects your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Since sun damage can occur even in short periods of sun exposure, it’s a great idea to apply it every morning. It will become second nature before you know it. And if you happen to be using a retinol booster, using a daily SPF is imperative. The retinoid effect that enhances cell turnover makes your skin more prone to UV radiation. It is especially important to know that the retinoid effect lasts for days after application, so it’s best to make sure to protect daily and not just the day you’ve used retinol. So, if you’re planning on spending some quality time outdoors, work in moisturizer and sun specific makeup with SPF for added protection.
Ferulic Acid can be found in several foods and beverages, including coffee, oranges and apples. This acid is a plant-based antioxidant that enhances properties of other vitamins for sun damage protection and overall healthy skin. When you combine ferulic acid with a retinol, you create a unique delivery system that makes retinol even more effective. And while the retinol is working on firming the skin and adding radiance & luminosity, ferulic acid allows the retinol to absorb deeper into the skin, while promoting collagen production.
Adding these three vitamins into your skincare routine will prevent collagen breakdown. Vitamin A helps to smooth lines and wrinkles, while increasing moisture and elasticity. Vitamin C minimizes imperfections in the skin, including uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, and the appearance of acne scars. Vitamin E defends against and disables free radicals made by the body. Note that vitamin C and vitamin E are both important to apply topically everyday in your cocktail. Not only are they synergistic, but Vitamin C is water-soluble, while vitamin E is lipid-soluble. Together, they penetrate into the different phases of the skin and neutralize free radicals in their path.
A daily moisturizer is essential to any skincare routine, even if you’re not mixing ingredients. And if you’re using a retinol/retinoid, moisturizing is a must. Retinoids can be inherently irritating to the skin, and moisturizers help to calm and hydrate the skin to combat that effect. Similarly, if you’re working with salicylic or glycolic acid, they need to be coupled with some sort of moisturizer to combat the drying effects that they can have on the skin. If your skin is oily and acne-prone, use an oil-free moisturizer to add back hydration that could be stripped away.
by Jaclyn LaBadia - feature contributor