If we asked you to name the best skincare ingredients when it comes to upping your age delay game or tackling blemishes; retinol and niacinamide would probably come to mind.
These weapons are a must-have in your skincare arsenal. But what are the benefits of having retinol and niacinamide in your skincare routine - and more importantly can you boost these benefits by using niacinamide and retinol together?
What does Niacinimide do for skin?
It might be easier to tell you what niacinimide doesn't do for your skin, as this super-versatile ingredient is a real do-it-all skincare partner. Niacinimide is a vitamin, B3 to be exact, and is great for helping to control sebum production and reduce inflammation - which makes it great for helping to treat acne or oily skin.
It can help fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots, improving uneven skin tone, and supports the skin in retaining its moisture by strengthening your skin barrier. This skincare all-rounder works across all skin types, so you can enjoy its benefits even if you have sensitive skin.
The skincare benefits of Retinol
After sunscreen, retinol (aka vitamin A) is probably the most recommended ingredient by dermatologists for a range of skin concerns. It’s famed for its ability to boost collagen production and for kicking skin cell turnover up a gear, which is essential for a couple of reasons.
When we're young human skin is able to produce collagen in spades - which is what gives our skin its plump, dewy appearance. But as we age and are exposed to more and more environmental stressors, our collagen production slows, and the structure it creates to support our skin weakens. Retinol helps to lock in essential moisture by speeding up the production cycle, improving the structure and elasticity of the skin, and smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines.
When we're younger we also have a higher rate of skin cell turnover, which means we are able to produce a glossy layer of fresh skin every 28 days or thereabouts, until we reach our 30s. After our mid-30s, this rate of cell turnover decreases dramatically, and may take as long as 70 days - which means skin can appear dry and lacklustre, and wrinkles and fine lines could start to appear. Retinol steps in by encouraging your skin cells to create fresher, smoother, younger-looking skin.
Retinol serums are also effective in indirectly treating acne. It exfoliates dirt and dead skin cells from clogged pores and skin to prevent blemishes from forming. It also stimulates collagen production to reduce the appearance of pores and acne scarring over time.
It’s easy to see why retinol is so loved, but as with many potent ingredients, it’s important to understand when and how to use it, and what other products can be combined with it to make it more adaptable to your skin. Those with sensitive skin should exercise a little bit of caution when adding retinol to their skin care routine as a retinol treatment that is too strong could lead to skin irritation and redness.
Can You Use Retinol and Niacinimide together?
We've seen the amazing benefits for your skin health that come from using retinol and niacinamide, so you might be wondering if it's possible to use these two skincare superstars together, and if so, how will you benefit when you combine retinol with niacinamide.
While not all skincare ingredients pair well, lucky for us, niacinamide and retinol are an incredible power combo. You can use them together in one product, or apply them separately. If you’re using separately, it’s recommended to apply niacinamide first to minimise retinol’s potential sensitivities.
It's also worth mentioning that because niacinimide plays so well with other ingredients, you could also check out pairing it with a hyaluronic acid or vitamin c serum for more boosted skin benefits.
What are the benefits of using Niacinimide and Retinol?
Because almost all skin types can reap its benefits, niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is a great support to retinol. It works wonders in strengthening the skin’s barrier by increasing the production of ceramides to form a protective layer locking in moisture and locking out stressors, and some dermatologists recommend using a niacinamide serum ahead of retinol treatments to minimise potential skin irritation.
Similar to retinol, niacinamide smooths out fine lines, fades hyperpigmentation and evens skin tone, and reduces excess oil production and visible signs of skin ageing. As a master instructor of cell communication, niacinamide has the extra bonus of instructing skin cells to make better, healthier, more youthful versions of themselves.
To really amp up hydration and give your skin a plumped-up, dewy look and feel, we recommend trying FaceGym's Cryo Contour Workout. Building on the FaceGym Signature Sculpt Workout, Cryo Contour adds a high-pressure shot of frozen CO2 and hyaluronic acid from our Cool Lifting device. Completely painless with zero downtime, this powerful concentration of CO2 and atomised ingredients plumps up the skin from the inside out, making it next level for sculpting, lifting and defining your facial contours.