skin care essentials

When to Use Niacinamide in Your Skin Care Routine

This anti-aging powerhouse could make all the difference in how quickly you see results.

July 31, 2023
Woman holding Loreal Niacinamide Serum


Niacinamide has recently been on the lips of skin care enthusiasts, dermatologists and other experts alike — and we’re happy it’s having a moment. In fact, we’re hoping to see it stick around for a while as the popular skin care ingredient is known to have so many benefits for skin

If you’re ever wanted to fade dark spots
, reduce sebum on your skin or even brighten your complexion, you’ve likely interacted with the B vitamin. Of course, if you’re not an expert you may be wondering if you’re using it right and if you’re even using it at the right time. You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers. Keep reading to learn more about when to use niacinamide, as a step in your skin care routine but also as part of your overall skin care journey.
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When Should You Add Niacinamide to Your Routine? 

You don’t need to wait for your skin to start having issues to add niacinamide into your routine. We love preventive skin care regimens because they save a lot of money and stress over time. While it’s often marketed as a key anti-aging ingredient, niacinamide is great for a range of age groups.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the water soluble B3 vitamin offers the skin many benefits, including acting as an antioxidant, improving skin barrier function, reducing hyperpigmentation and other dark spots, improving uneven skin tone and reducing wrinkles, to name a few. 

“We see [niacinamide] in all sorts of skin care because it's soothing,” explains Michelle Henry, MD FAAD, NYC-based board-certified dermatologist and L’Oréal Paris consultant. “We even see it in skin care for kids sometimes. So, it's not necessarily that you have to add it at a certain time. If you're using it in a concentrated form, like a serum, again, [you could use it] at any point in life.”

Should You Use Niacinamide in Your Morning or Evening Routine?

As per Dr. Henry, it’s okay to use niacinamide in both your morning and your evening routine — in fact she recommends it. Whether you’re using a niacinamide serum or a face cream packed with the ingredient, continued use should result in healthier-looking, stronger skin. 

You can use L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal 12% [Niacinamide + Amino Sulfonic + Ferulic Acid] Dark Spot Serum as part of your a.m. and p.m. routines. Simply apply the face serum after you wash your face and before you put on your moisturizer. Instantly, skin looks luminous and refreshed, and over time with continued use dark spots look reduced and skin tone looks more even.

Alternatively, at night you can use L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Pressed Night Moisturizer with Retinol + Niacinamide. This face cream is packed with the two powerhouse anti-aging ingredients to deeply moisturize skin while playing defense against wrinkles, uneven skin tone and texture, and dullness. And make sure you don’t skip sunscreen the next morning as some evidence points to retinol as a culprit in skin’s increased sensitivity to the sun. We love L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily UV Lotion because it’s lightweight, non-greasy, absorbs quickly and never leaves a white cast on your skin.

What Should You Not Mix Niacinamide With?

Technically, no one should be playing skin care professional unless they are one — so mixing actives is out of the question unless advised by your dermatologist. That doesn’t mean you have to stop using ingredients that work for you in order to add something new to the mix. 

Fortunately, Dr. Henry tells us that niacinamide is one of those ingredients that typically plays well with others, which is why you often see it formulated with other actives in the same product. The aforementioned Revitalift Pressed Night Moisturizer with Retinol + Niacinamide is formulated with a soothing complex that includes niacinamide in order to offset the potential irritation and dryness that comes with using retinol.

”We use [niacinamide] a lot in topical treatments for its anti-inflammatory properties. So you'll see it even in over-the-counter moisturizers,” she says. “It's synergistic when you pair it with other fading treatments or brightening treatments. We can see why it's just wildly proliferating throughout skin care.”

Can You Use Niacinamide If You're Using Retinoids?

Niacinamide and retinol can be used together. One online study showed that a topical formulation of retinol and niacinamide and glycolic acid had highly favorable results. As always, you should consult with your skin care professional before layering any active ingredients onto the skin and you should never mix formulas together unless told otherwise. 

If you’re still unsure about layering ingredients, you can always separate them in your routines, using niacinamide in your morning skin care regimen, and retinol only at night. You can also reach for a product that already includes both ingredients; you can trust that a cosmetic chemist ran trials and due diligence to not only ensure the efficacy of the product, but also its safety when applied to the skin. 

How Often Can You Use Niacinamide?

Dr. Henry says that it’s okay to use niacinamide twice a day (in the morning and in the evening), but advises that more than that could be excessive. She also says to pay attention to your skin and take note if you need to reduce the use of the ingredient to once a day.

Which Is Better: Niacinamide Serum or Niacinamide Moisturizer?

If you’re already using a niacinamide skin care product and it’s working for you then carry on. The truth is, niacinamide serum isn’t better than niacinamide moisturizer or vice versa — it all comes down to preference and efficacy. If you want a really targeted treatment, Dr. Henry recommends incorporating a niacinamide serum into your routine. The best part is that L’Oréal Paris has both a face serum and a night cream that you can use to get your daily dose of the ingredient, so no matter what you prefer, you have options.

Next: Can You Use Niacinamide With Vitamin C?

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