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when should i use niacinamide

How to Use Niacinamide – A Comprehensive Guide

Table of Contents

Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3, a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in many processes inside the body cells. In the context of skincare, niacinamide has gained significant attention in recent years due to multiple benefits it offers. These benefits include improving skin elasticity and firmness, reducing inflammation and hyperpigmentation, enhancing skin brightness and even tone, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and strengthening the skin’s barrier function.

However, its benefits can only be fully realized when it is used correctly. Understanding how to incorporate niacinamide into your skincare routine, including when to use niacinamide serum, how to use niacinamide serum, when should I use niacinamide, when to apply niacinamide, how to apply niacinamide, when to use niacinamide in routine, can I mix niacinamide with moisturizer and other products is crucial for achieving optimal results. In this guide, we will address all these questions and more.

When to Use Niacinamide Serum

Niacinamide is a versatile skincare ingredient that can effectively address a range of skin concerns. When it comes to when to use niacinamide serum, it can help with several skin issues including:

  • Acne: Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce redness and inflammation, while its ability to improve skin elasticity and firmness can help reduce acne and minimize the appearance of acne scars.
  • Hyperpigmentation: Niacinamide’s ability to inhibit the transfer of melanin makes it an effective ingredient for addressing dark spots, freckles, and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
  • Aging: Niacinamide’s anti-aging benefits include improving skin elasticity and firmness, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and enhancing skin brightness and even tone.
  • Rosacea: Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce the redness and irritation associated with rosacea.
  • Dull skin: Niacinamide’s ability to improve skin brightness and even tone can help make skin look more radiant and healthier.

When Should I Use Niacinamide?

Niacinamide can be incorporated into your skincare routine at various stages, depending on your individual skin concerns and needs. Consider the following:

  • As a preventative measure: Incorporate niacinamide into your routine in your 20s or 30s to help prevent signs of aging and address early skin concerns.
  • As a corrective measure: Use niacinamide to address specific skin concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, or rosacea.
  • As a maintenance product: Continue to use niacinamide as part of your regular skincare routine to maintain healthy, radiant skin and prevent future skin concerns.

By knowing the answer to the question of when should I use niacinamide, you can maximize its benefits and achieve optimal results for your skin.

How to Use Niacinamide Serum

Choosing the Right Concentration of Niacinamide Serum

When selecting a niacinamide serum, it’s essential to choose a concentration that aligns with your skin concerns and needs. Niacinamide serums typically range in concentration from 3% to 10%. Consider the following:

  • 3-5%: Suitable for sensitive skin or those new to niacinamide. This concentration provides a gentle introduction to the ingredient’s benefits.
  • 5-7%: Ideal for addressing moderate skin concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines.
  • 7-10%: Best for more severe skin concerns or those seeking intense anti-aging benefits.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Niacinamide Serum

When it comes to how to use niacinamide serum to maximize its benefits, follow these steps:

  1. Cleanse your skin: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and impurities.
  2. Tone your skin: Apply a toner to balance your skin’s pH and prepare it for the serum.
  3. Apply the serum: Dispense 2-3 drops of niacinamide serum onto your fingertips and gently massage it into your face and neck.
  4. Focus on key areas: Target specific skin concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, or fine lines by applying a small amount of serum directly to these areas.
  5. Layer with other products: Follow up with your regular moisturizer, sunscreen, or other skincare products to enhance the benefits of the niacinamide serum.
  6. Be consistent: Apply the serum at the same time every day, ideally in the morning and evening, to maintain consistent results.

When to Apply Niacinamide

Understanding the Importance of Timing in Applying Niacinamide

The timing of niacinamide application plays a role in maximizing its benefits. Understanding when to apply niacinamide can help optimize its effects and achieve the best results for your skin.

Best Practices for Morning Application

Applying niacinamide in the morning can help:

  • Protect your skin from environmental stressors
  • Boost skin brightness and radiance
  • Prepare your skin for the day ahead

Best Practices for Nighttime Application

Applying niacinamide at night can help:

  • Enhance skin repair and regeneration
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Address skin concerns while you sleep

How to Apply Niacinamide

Tips for Effective Application

To maximize the benefits, this is how to apply niacinamide:

  • Mix with other products: Niacinamide can be combined with other skincare products, such as moisturizers or serums, to enhance its benefits.
  • Layer properly: Apply niacinamide in a thin layer, allowing each layer to absorb fully before applying additional products.
  • Start with a small amount: Begin with a small amount (2-3 drops) and gradually increase as needed.
  • Avoid over-application: Excessive application can lead to irritation or dryness.

Precautions to Take When Applying Niacinamide

When applying niacinamide, take the following precautions:

  • Patch test: Before using a new niacinamide product, perform a patch test to ensure you don’t have any sensitivity or allergic reactions.
  • Avoid sensitive areas: Avoid applying niacinamide to sensitive areas, such as the eyes, mouth, or nasal folds.

When To Use Niacinamide in Routine – Incorporating It into Your Skincare

Niacinamide can be combined with other skincare products to enhance its benefits and create a comprehensive skincare routine. Here are some tips for when to use niacinamide in routine with other skincare products:

  • Moisturizer: Apply niacinamide serum or treatment product, followed by a moisturizer to lock in hydration and benefits.
  • Sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 in the morning, followed by a niacinamide product for added protection and benefits.
  • Exfoliants: Use a gentle exfoliant (e.g., alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid) 1-2 times a week, followed by a niacinamide product to enhance skin renewal and benefits.
  • Retinol: Combine niacinamide with retinol products at night, as retinol can enhance niacinamide’s benefits and vice versa.

Can I Mix Niacinamide with Moisturizer?

Exploring the Benefits and Potential Drawbacks of Mixing Niacinamide with Moisturizer

When it comes to the question of can I mix niacinamide with moisturizer, it can offer several benefits, including:

  • Enhanced hydration: Combining niacinamide with a moisturizer can help lock in hydration and enhance its benefits.
  • Improved skin absorption: Mixing niacinamide with a moisturizer can improve skin absorption, allowing for deeper penetration of the active ingredients.
  • Simplified skincare routine: Combining niacinamide with a moisturizer can streamline your skincare routine, saving time and effort.

However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Diluted efficacy: Mixing niacinamide with a moisturizer may dilute its efficacy, reducing its benefits.
  • Incompatibility: Some moisturizers may not be compatible with niacinamide, potentially leading to irritation or reduced benefits.

Best Practices for Combining Niacinamide with Moisturizer

To maximize the benefits of mixing niacinamide with moisturizer, follow these best practices:

  • Choose a compatible moisturizer: Select a moisturizer that is lightweight, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free to minimize potential irritation.
  • Start with a small amount: Begin with a small amount of niacinamide (2-3 drops) and gradually increase as needed.
  • Mix in a specific order: Mix the niacinamide with the moisturizer in a specific order (e.g., apply niacinamide first, followed by moisturizer).
  • Monitor your skin: Pay attention to your skin’s response and adjust the combination as needed to avoid irritation or reduced benefits.

when to use niacinamide in routine

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About How to Use Niacinamide

How do you use niacinamide for best results?

To use niacinamide effectively, apply a serum or treatment product containing 5% niacinamide to your face and neck after cleansing and toning. Follow up with a moisturizer to lock in the benefits. This allows the active ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin, improving skin elasticity, reducing inflammation, and strengthening the skin barrier.

What routine should I use niacinamide?

Incorporate niacinamide into your daily skincare routine:

  1. Cleanse: Remove dirt and impurities with a gentle cleanser.
  2. Tone: Balance your skin’s pH with a toner.
  3. Apply niacinamide serum/treatment: Allow the active ingredients to penetrate the skin.
  4. Moisturize: Lock in the benefits with a hydrating moisturizer.
  5. Sunscreen (daytime): Protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

What not to mix with niacinamide?

Avoid mixing niacinamide with:

  • Vitamin C – May reduce efficacy due to pH incompatibility.
  • Exfoliating acids – Avoid alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids to prevent irritation.
  • Benzoyl peroxide – May irritate skin and reduce niacinamide’s effectiveness.

Do you put niacinamide on before or after moisturizer?

When to use niacinamide serum, before or after moisturizer, is a commonly asked question. Apply niacinamide before moisturizer to allow its active ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin. This helps improve skin elasticity, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the skin barrier. Moisturizer can then lock in these benefits.

How to use niacinamide for beginners?

Start with a lower concentration (3-5%) and gradually increase as your skin becomes more tolerant. Be patient, as niacinamide may take some time to show its effects. Begin with alternate days and gradually increase frequency to allow your skin to adjust.

Is niacinamide good for wet or dry skin?

Apply niacinamide serum on damp skin for better absorption.

  • Exfoliate and cleanse first to remove dead skin cells and impurities
  • Apply serum on damp skin (3-4 drops for face and neck)
  • Moisturize while skin is still damp

This helps niacinamide penetrate deeper, improving its effectiveness.

Is it okay to use niacinamide every day?

Yes, niacinamide can be used daily, but be cautious if you have sensitive skin. Start with alternate days and gradually increase frequency to allow your skin to adjust.

Do you put retinol or niacinamide first?

Apply niacinamide first, as it helps improve skin permeability, allowing retinol to penetrate deeper and work more effectively. This combination can enhance the benefits of both ingredients, leading to improved skin texture and appearance.

How to layer niacinamide?

Layering niacinamide with other products:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Tone
  3. Niacinamide serum/treatment
  4. Retinol/active treatments
  5. Moisturize
  6. Sunscreen (daytime)

This layering sequence allows each product to work effectively, enhancing the benefits of your skincare routine.

How to use niacinamide effectively in your skincare routine?

Incorporate niacinamide into your routine consistently, be patient, and combine it with other products that complement its benefits. This may include moisturizers, retinol, and sunscreen, depending on your skin type and concerns.

How long should I use niacinamide to see results?

Results may vary, but noticeable improvements can be seen in 4-6 weeks with consistent use. Be patient, as niacinamide works to improve skin health and address underlying concerns.

Do you put vitamin A before or after niacinamide?

Apply niacinamide first, followed by vitamin A (retinol) products to enhance their effectiveness. This sequence allows niacinamide to improve skin permeability, enabling retinol to penetrate deeper and work more effectively.

How soon do you see results from niacinamide?

Some users may experience initial results like improved skin hydration and brightness within 1-2 weeks, while more significant benefits like reduced inflammation and improved skin elasticity may take 4-6 weeks to develop.


Post by:

Dermatologist Marcela J





 Dr.Marcella Jiovanni

Health and Beauty Expert

“Marcella Jiovanni actively promotes the importance of maintaining healthy skin, she envisions the future of dermatology as moving away from pure medical, pharmacological dermatology and flowing more toward a holistic approach to wellness and skincare.”