Niacinamide and Vitamin C: Why You Should Be Using Both

If you want to know about niacinamide and vitamin C, you’re in the right place.

Niacinamide and vitamin C are the two of the most popular ingredients when it comes to anti-aging. They are both effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines but work in different ways.

This article discusses what niacinamide and vitamin C are, how they work and how you can use them to get the best out of your skincare routine. Let’s dive right in.

What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3 that we get from foods and supplements. It can also be applied to the skin as a topical medication.

Niacinamide is an effective skin-restoring ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging and blemish-prone skin. It can also help repair the skin moisture barrier, reduce pore size, reduce aging signs, even out skin tone, and more.

The two most common active ingredients used with niacinamide in skincare products are zinc and hyaluronic acid. You can also use niacinamide in combination with many other active ingredients, including retinoids and vitamin C.

What Are the Benefits of Using Niacinamide for Skin?

Brightens skin

Niacinamide reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, red marks, and spots by inhibiting melanosome transfer from the melanocytes to the keratinocytes. This means that because less pigment is reaching the surface of your skin, you won’t see as many dark spots.

Prevents premature aging

Niacinamide plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, which helps keep skin looking plump and firm. It also helps strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier and improves its texture by reducing water loss.

Treats acne

Niacinamide works on acne by improving the skin barrier and reducing inflammation in the pores. It can also help reduce oil production, making it a good option for those with oily skin who want to avoid drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide.

Treats rosacea

Thanks to its ability to reduce inflammation, niacinamide also helps to treat rosacea and other related skin conditions. You can also use it to treat mild forms of eczema and soothe redness caused by irritation.

Works on all skin types

Niacinamide is an effective non-irritating anti-oxidant that provides multiple benefits for dry, oily, normal, and combination skin types. It is also beneficial for sensitive skin types and can help reduce irritation from other skincare products.

SEE: How to Get Even Skin Tone: Here Are Some Tips for Flawless Looking Skin

What Are the Side Effects of Using Niacinamide for Skin?

Like any other skincare ingredient, if you overuse or over-apply products containing niacinamide, you may experience side effects such as redness, itching, or burning.

These side effects usually subside after a few hours of using the vitamin, but if they persist or become severe, see your doctor.

What Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that can be obtained from fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits. You can also find it in many skincare products where it’s commonly referred to as L-ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C helps boost the production of collagen, an essential component of skin tissue, which plays a vital role in skin elasticity. It’s also an antioxidant that can help reverse aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles while brightening the skin.

What Are the Benefits of Using Vitamin C for Skin?

Stimulates collagen production

Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, which helps keep skin firm and youthful-looking. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, so topical vitamin C can help stimulate collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Increases cell turnover

Vitamin C also helps stimulate your skin’s natural repair process, which encourages healthy cell turnover and promotes a more vibrant complexion.

SEE: How to Effectively Use a Vitamin C Serum for Skincare

Antioxidant protection

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and helps protect against oxidative stress — one of the leading causes of premature signs of aging.

Brightens skin

In addition to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C also helps brighten skin by reducing melanin production. This makes it an excellent ingredient for those with hyperpigmentation or dark spots from sun exposure or acne scars.

What Are the Side Effects of Using Vitamin C for Skin?

The most common side effects of topical vitamin C are minor irritation and dryness. Some people with sensitive skin may experience stinging, redness, or flaking when they first start using vitamin C.

If these symptoms persist, discontinue use as they may indicate an allergy or sensitivity to the product.

Can You Use Niacinamide and Vitamin C Together?

Yes, you can. When you use them together, the two superstar ingredients work in different ways to address a range of common skin concerns.

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a powerful antioxidant that evens out skin tone, boosts collagen levels, and fights against free radicals.

Niacinamide (vitamin B3), on the other hand, is a multitasking ingredient that brightens dark spots, soothes redness, reduces inflammation, and strengthens the skin barrier.

When combined, both ingredients complement each other and boost their anti-aging benefits.

How Do You Use Niacinamide and Vitamin C Together?

If you’re going to use these two together in your skincare routine, there is a specific order that should be followed. This is because niacinamide and vitamin C have different pH levels, which means one will work better when applied first.

Niacinamide has a pH level of 5 while Vitamin C has a pH level of 3. Therefore, it makes sense to apply vitamin C first since it has a lower pH. This will allow the product to absorb better into your skin.

If you do not follow this order, it is possible that using both products together will not allow them to fully penetrate your skin, which means you won’t get all the benefits from either product.

SEE: Dermatologists Outline Why Vitamin C Is Good for Dark Skin

What Should You Not Use With Niacinamide and Vitamin C?

  • Retinoids
  • AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid)
  • BHAs (salicylic acid, trethocanic acid)
  • Benzoyl peroxide


Can you use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid?

Yes, you can. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that helps reduce signs of aging, while hyaluronic acid is a humectant that helps attract moisture. Both are beneficial for all skin types but especially helpful for those with dry and dull skin.

There are plenty of products out there that already combine them. However, if you have sensitive skin or are adding these ingredients to your skincare routine for the first time, it’s best to start slowly and alternate between usage.

Can you use vitamin C at night?

Yes, you can. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin from free radicals, especially during the day. Although it works best during the day, it’s also great for nighttime use because it helps build collagen and aids in cell turnover.

How can you get vitamin C from your diet?

You can get vitamin C in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits and many vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. Other excellent sources of vitamin C include papaya, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapples, and kale.


Both niacinamide and vitamin C are important ingredients in skincare, and you can find them in many different skincare products.

They both work in different ways and when combined, offer a range of benefits for the skin, such as reducing wrinkles, fighting acne, and evening out skin tone.

Thanks for reading.

Visit Africana Fashion if you’re interested in learning more about these ingredients and the products that contain them.