Skin Care

Can You Use Glycolic Acid With Niacinamide?

The awareness around including active ingredients in skincare routine has significantly increased over the years. However, there’s still some confusion when it comes to pairing different active ingredients. For instance, let’s talk about niacinamide and glycolic acid. These are two of the most potent active ingredients that are currently taking the skincare world by storm. Niacinamide and glycolic acid have proven their efficacy in making the skin look brighter and smoother. While niacinamide and glycolic acid have their own individual set of magical powers, can you pair glycolic acid and niacinamide together? The thought of combining glycolic acid with niacinamide might compel you to think – “Should you pair them or look for both in one product?”, “Is it recommended to use glycolic acid and niacinamide in layers?”, “Which one should you apply first?” Don’t feel overwhelmed because we’re here to address all these questions and more.

Glycolic acid vs Niacinamide

‘Can glycolic acid and niacinamide be used together’ – to know the answer, you have to first understand the basics and benefits of these two active skincare ingredients.

Benefits of glycolic acid

The benefits of glycolic acid are countless. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that has the ability to exfoliate the skin by breaking down dead skin cells on the skin's surface which makes it a prominent ingredient in many skincare products. This mild exfoliator can help to improve the texture of the skin and brighten the skin's look. Glycolic acid can also aid in the formation of collagen, which can help to minimize and wrinkles over time.

Benefits of niacinamide

Niacinamide, often known as vitamin B3, is another effective skincare ingredient. It helps to improve skin hydration and skin tone, and prevent itchiness. Niacinamide can help to manage oil production, which is particularly beneficial for women with oily or acne-prone skin.

Can glycolic acid be used with niacinamide?

There are several active ingredients that can be paired together and are beneficial for your skin. However, glycolic acid and niacinamide cannot be used together at the same time. This is because mixing these two ingredients can make these acids less effective. The pH level of glycolic acid is between pH 3.0 and 4.0; whereas niacinamide has a much higher pH, approximately around pH 6.0. If you mix glycolic acid with niacinamide, the latter will increase the pH level of glycolic acid and it will no longer be acidic. Using these two ingredients together at the same time can cause redness and itchiness on your skin. Does this mean you can’t include niacinamide and glycolic acid in your skincare routine? No, you most definitely can! Read on to learn how to pair niacinamide and glycolic acid.

How to use glycolic acid with niacinamide?

As mentioned above, if glycolic acid and niacinamide are not paired with proper precautions, they can harm your skin and cause itchiness. Here are some of the safe ways to pair glycolic acid with niacinamide.

1. Use products that have glycolic acid and niacinamide together:

Instead of pairing glycolic acid and niacinamide separately and risking your skin from getting damaged, we recommend using skincare products that are already infused with these two ingredients. This is because, these products are formulated by experts and have kept a balance between their pH levels.
The L’Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright range has multiple skincare products that are enriched with glycolic acid and niacinamide. The Glycolic Bright Glowing Daily Cleanser Foam is an effective exfoliator that cleanses your skin and removes all impurities trapped at the surface of your skin. The Glycolic Bright Skin Brightening Serum on the other hand, penetrates deep into your skin, evens out your skin and stimulates cell renewal. You can use this glycolic acid and niacinamide serum daily to get spot-less radiant skin. You can also use a day cream and a night cream from this range to add nourishment to your skin. So, next time, if someone asks ‘Can niacinamide be used with glycolic acid’ – you recommend these above-mentioned products and let them achieve healthy glowing skin in no time.

2. Use them on alternate days

Instead of incorporating glycolic acid and niacinamide on the same day, you can use them on alternate days in your skincare routine. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you can use glycolic acid, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, you can use niacinamide. This will help your skin get the benefits of both these ingredients without causing any irritation.

3. Apply them at two different times of the day

If you think you will forget using these two ingredients on alternate days, you should use them at two different times of the day. This will also save your time of waiting for 30 minutes to pair these ingredients. For instance, use a product enriched with niacinamide during the daytime and use one with glycolic acid at night before sleeping.

4. Use these ingredients 30 minutes apart

If you are planning to use niacinamide and glycolic acid on the same day, here’s what you can do - you can layer these active ingredients maintaining a gap of at least 30 minutes between the application time. You should use the ingredient with a lower pH level first and then layer it with the one that has a higher pH level. Here, glycolic acid should be used first. You can use it in the form of an exfoliator, serum or even a moisturiser. Let it penetrate in your skin for 30 minutes and then use a product that has niacinamide. If you are using glycolic acid in the morning then we recommend you using a sunscreen enriched with niacinamide to complete your skincare routine. The LOreal Paris UV Defender Serum Protector is infused with niacinamide and protects your skin from sun damage. It has a non-greasy formula with a powerful combination of SPF 50+ PA++++ broad spectrum protection against UVA, UVB and Long-Range UV, which prevents dark spots, fine lines and dullness.
We also recommend doing a patch test before using any active ingredients. Do a patch test on a small area and leave it for a day to see if it has any side effects on your skin.

We hope the article answers your query ‘Can I use glycolic acid with niacinamide’. By following these above-mentioned tips, you can easily pair glycolic acid with niacinamide together without causing any skin irritation. Explore the wide range of L’Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright to use these two ingredients. To see which products suit you the best, use the L’Oréal Paris Skin Genius tool that analyses your skin and helps you choose the right products.

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