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Can You Use Niacinamide With Retinol?

Can You Use Niacinamide With Retinol?

Niacinamide and retinol. Two words that will bring a smile to any skincare lover’s face, and we’re no different. They are ingredients that we just can’t get enough of, thanks to their anti-ageing and acne-fighting powers. If you’re a fan of them (join the club!), you’re probably wondering, can you use niacinamide with retinol? Well, let’s find out. 

What is niacinamide and what does it do?

Niacinamide in skincare, sometimes known as vitamin B3, has a pretty impressive list of talents. It is really great at calming inflammation, so if you’re experiencing redness and irritation from skin sensitivities, acne, dermatitis or other skin concerns, it’s time to make friends with niacinamide. If your sebum levels are in overdrive, niacinamide basically tells the cells to calm down, thank you very much. It helps your skin retain moisture and just in case that wasn’t enough, it inhibits melanin production to reduce hyperpigmentation. Phew, what a clever cookie!

What is retinol and what does it do?

Retinol is derived from vitamin A, and 9 out 10 beauty lovers will tell you it is the product they cannot live without. It speeds up skin cell turnover to lightly exfoliate and decongest the skin. That’s why it is an acne sufferer’s best friend. Plus, it helps with signs of ageing as it boosts collagen production to plump fine lines and brighten pigmentation. 

Slow and steady is the key when it comes to retinol. Start with a low strength and use a pea sized amount every second night. When you first start, you may notice some redness and sensitivity, but your skin will get used to it and when you start seeing that glow, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without retinol.

Can you use niacinamide and retinol together?

All of our beauties with acne or hyperpigmentation (or both!), put your hands up. Yup, we thought there might be a few of you. By now you can probably tell that retinol and niacinamide are top ingredients for acne, hyperpigmentation and signs of ageing, so the million-dollar question is, “can you use niacinamide with retinol?” Well, we have some good news - you sure can! 

They play very nicely together and you’ll see some beautifully brightening results when you layer them as part of your routine. Having said that, there are just a couple of rules to play by to get the most out of your skincare. 

Niacinamide can be used morning and night, but we recommend saving retinol for your night-time routine as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. So, it stands to reason that using them together should be reserved for your wind down. 

Use niacinamide first after cleansing, as it is usually in a water-based product and sits beautifully as the first step on dry skin. Speaking of, the esmi Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum is rich in niacinamide for skin repair, restoration and oil flow regulation. It is beautifully hydrating for all skin types - yes, even if you’ve got oily skin. If acne is taking up home on your skin, the Anti-Redness Minty Green Smoothie contains niacinamide to help reduce sebum levels, and calms inflammation from pimples. 

The benefit of using niacinamide before retinol is it helps to protect your skin from sensitivity and dryness that can come from retinol. That means you’ll get the perks without the drawbacks. Sounds perfect to us!

After your niacinamide serum, use a pearl sized amount of our Encapsulated Retinol every second night. Being encapsulated means the active ingredients can penetrate deeper into the skin and reduce the risk of any dryness that can occur with your typical retinol. Always start with Level 1 and once you finish your first bottle, if your skin is coping well, you can move up to the next level.

Because retinol makes your skin more sensitive to UV light, make sure you’re using your Skin Shield Natural Sunscreen every morning to keep your skin protected. 


Niacinamide and retinol are a match made in heaven, and when you use them together, you’ll get double the dose of clearer, brighter, and more youthful-looking skin - um, sign us up! Have any other questions about retinol and niacinamide or maybe what other ingredients work beautifully together? Chat to our skincare consultants today!