Can You Use Niacinamide and Vitamin C Together?

As we continue to discover new skincare trends, there are two ingredients that have been making waves in the past few years: niacinamide and vitamin C. These two components have caught the attention of many beauty enthusiasts due to their incredible benefits for the skin. In this article, we will delve into how these two ingredients work together to give you radiant and youthful skin.

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in food sources like meat, fish, and poultry. It is an essential nutrient that helps your body convert food into energy and plays a critical role in maintaining healthy skin. Studies have shown that niacinamide has numerous benefits, including improving skin texture, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and preventing acne. ‚ÄúNiacinamide is a great ingredient for improving the overall health of the skin,” says Dr. Marisa Garshick, a dermatologist in New York City. “It can help to reduce inflammation, improve skin barrier function, and minimize the appearance of pores.”

How Does Niacinamide Work on the Skin?

When applied topically, niacinamide works by increasing the production of ceramides, which are natural lipids that help keep the skin barrier intact. A well-maintained skin barrier is critical in protecting the skin from external aggressors like pollution and UV rays. Niacinamide also helps regulate sebum production, which can lead to fewer breakouts and a smoother complexion. Additionally, niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm redness and irritation.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that can be found in fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits, kiwi, and bell peppers. It is an essential nutrient that aids in tissue repair, wound healing, and collagen synthesis. “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from damage and brighten the appearance of the complexion,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist in New York City. “It can also help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and age spots.”

How Does Vitamin C Work on the Skin?

Vitamin C works by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to our skin cells. Free radicals can come from external factors like pollution and UV rays or internal factors like stress and inflammation. By neutralizing these free radicals, vitamin C helps prevent premature aging and damage to the skin. Additionally, vitamin C aids in collagen production, which is critical for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness.

Can You Use Niacinamide and Vitamin C Together?

Yes, you can use niacinamide and vitamin C together. In fact, they are two of the most popular and well-studied skincare ingredients, and they can work together to provide even better results.

Both niacinamide and vitamin C have their unique benefits for the skin, but when combined, they create a powerhouse duo that can transform your complexion. Here’s how they work together:

Boosts Collagen Production

As previously mentioned, both niacinamide and vitamin C aid in collagen production. When used together, they can help promote healthy collagen synthesis, leading to firmer and more youthful-looking skin.

Brightens and Evens Out Skin Tone

Vitamin C is well-known for its ability to brighten the skin and fade dark spots. However, when combined with niacinamide, it can enhance its brightening effects, resulting in a more even skin tone. A 2020 study published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy found that the combination of niacinamide and vitamin C was more effective in reducing the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation than either ingredient alone.

Protects Against Environmental Stressors

Both niacinamide and vitamin C have antioxidant properties that can help protect against environmental stressors like pollution and UV rays. However, when used together, they can provide a higher level of protection, making them an excellent combo for those who live in highly polluted areas or spend a lot of time outdoors.

How to Incorporate Niacinamide and Vitamin C into Your Skincare Routine

Start with a Clean Canvas

Begin your skincare routine with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, and impurities from your skin. Pat your face dry with a clean towel.

Apply Vitamin C in the Morning

  • Vitamin C is typically used in the morning because it provides antioxidant protection against UV damage and environmental aggressors.
  • After cleansing, apply a vitamin C serum to your face and neck. Use a product with a concentration of 10-20% vitamin C for best results.
  • Allow the serum to absorb for a few minutes before moving on to the next step.

Follow with Niacinamide

  • Once vitamin c is dry, you can use niacinamide.
  • Niacinamide can be used both in the morning and evening, making it versatile for your routine.
  • Apply a niacinamide serum or moisturizer to your face and neck. Look for products containing 2-5% niacinamide.
  • Give it a minute or two to absorb into the skin.


  • Apply your regular moisturizer to lock in the hydration and active ingredients from the previous steps.
  • Choose a moisturizer suitable for your skin type, whether it’s dry, oily, or combination.

Don’t Forget Sunscreen (Morning Routine)

If you’re doing your skincare routine in the morning, finish with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. This is crucial to protect your skin from UV damage, especially when using vitamin C.

Evening Routine (Optional)

If you prefer to use niacinamide and vitamin C in your evening routine, simply follow the steps above, skipping the sunscreen

Note: To maximize the effectiveness of your skincare routine, it’s generally recommended to begin with your vitamin C serum first, especially as it often contains less stable forms of vitamin C. Additionally, a good rule of thumb in skincare is to apply products in order of thickness, so if you’re using a vitamin C-infused moisturizer rather than a serum, you should apply it after your niacinamide (assuming your niacinamide is in serum form). This sequence ensures that each product is absorbed and can work its magic most efficiently on your skin.

Tips and Tricks

  • Start slow: If you’re new to using niacinamide or vitamin C, start by using them every other day to avoid irritation.
  • Don’t mix niacinamide with acidic ingredients: Niacinamide works best at a pH of 5-7, so avoid mixing it with any acidic ingredients like AHAs or BHAs.
  • Store your vitamin C serum properly: Vitamin C can be unstable, so make sure to store it in a cool, dark place away from sunlight.


  1. Can I use niacinamide and vitamin C in the morning and night? Yes, you can use them morning and night, but be sure to follow up with sunscreen in the morning as vitamin C can make your skin more susceptible to UV damage.
  2. Can niacinamide and vitamin C cause irritation? Both ingredients are generally well-tolerated by most people. However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to start with a low concentration and patch test before applying it all over your face.
  3. Can I use niacinamide and vitamin C with retinol? Yes, you can use them together, but it’s best to alternate their usage. Retinol can be quite drying on the skin, so using niacinamide and vitamin C on alternating nights can help prevent dryness and irritation.
  4. Is it safe to use niacinamide and vitamin C during pregnancy? While both ingredients are generally considered safe for use during pregnancy, it’s always best to check with your doctor or dermatologist before trying out new skincare products.
  5. Can niacinamide and vitamin C help with acne? Yes, both ingredients have been shown to be effective at reducing acne and preventing breakouts. Niacinamide works by regulating sebum production, while vitamin C helps calm inflammation and protect against bacteria.

Final Takeaway

Niacinamide and vitamin C are two powerful ingredients that can work wonders for your skin. Whether you’re looking to brighten your complexion, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, or prevent acne, incorporating these two ingredients into your skincare routine can help you achieve your goals. Just remember to start slowly, avoid mixing niacinamide with acidic ingredients, and always wear sunscreen when using vitamin C. Here’s to radiant and youthful-looking skin!