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Niacinamide vs. Hyaluronic Acid: Comparing These Skincare Superstars

This article was last updated on: July 28, 2023
Review Contents:

Niacinamide & Hyaluronic Acid Comparison Chart

Feature

Niacinamide

Hyaluronic Acid

Type
Vitamin B3 (water-soluble)
Sugar molecule (humectant)
Benefits:
Reduces inflammation, improves skin barrier function, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, regulates oil production, and evens out skin tone
Attracts and retains moisture, hydrates skin, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improves skin elasticity
Suitable Skin Types:
All skin types, especially oily and acne-prone skin
All skin types, particularly dry and mature skin
How to Use:
Apply to clean skin, before moisturizer and sunscreen
Apply to damp skin, before moisturizer and sunscreen
Possible Side Effects:
Mild irritation for sensitive skin (rare)
Minimal side effects, generally well-tolerated
Goes well with:
Generally compatible with most ingredients, but may cause irritation when used with potent active ingredients like pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)
Highly compatible with most ingredients; can be used with other active ingredients without causing irritation

Which Should You Use?

When it comes to choosing between niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, it’s all about understanding your skin’s needs and concerns. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide which ingredient might be your new skincare BFF:

Niacinamide

Consider giving niacinamide a try if you:

  1. Struggle with acne-prone or oily skin: Niacinamide can work wonders to regulate oil production and minimize the appearance of pores.
  2. Have uneven skin tone or hyperpigmentation: This vitamin B3 can help you achieve a more even complexion by reducing redness and dark spots.
  3. Want to improve your skin’s overall health: Niacinamide strengthens the skin barrier, keeping irritants out and locking moisture in.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid might be the one for you if you:

  1. Need a hydration boost: It’s a moisture magnet that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it perfect for parched skin.
  2. Want to plump up your skin: By drawing in moisture, hyaluronic acid can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a more youthful look.
  3. Have sensitive skin or are using other active ingredients: Hyaluronic acid plays well with others, making it a great option if you’re already using powerful skincare ingredients like retinol or vitamin C.

Ultimately, you don’t have to choose just one! Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid can be used together in your skincare routine to reap the benefits of both. Just make sure to patch test any new products and pay attention to how your skin reacts to ensure you’re giving it the love it deserves.

What Order Should You Use Them In?

When incorporating niacinamide and hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine, it’s essential to apply them in the correct order to maximize their effectiveness. Here’s a step-by-step guide for layering these two ingredients:

  1. Cleanse: Start with a clean canvas by washing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, and excess oil.
  2. Tone: If you use a toner, apply it after cleansing to restore the skin’s pH balance and prep it for the upcoming steps.
  3. Treat with niacinamide: If you’re using a niacinamide serum or treatment, apply it to your clean, toned skin. Allow it to absorb fully before moving on to the next step.
  4. Apply hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid works best when applied to slightly damp skin, so spritz some facial mist or water onto your face before applying the hyaluronic acid serum. This will help the ingredient attract and retain moisture more effectively.
  5. Moisturize: Seal in the goodness of niacinamide and hyaluronic acid with a moisturizer that suits your skin type. This step will lock in hydration and provide an extra layer of protection.
  6. Sunscreen (for daytime): If it’s daytime, finish off your routine with a broad-spectrum sunscreen to shield your skin from harmful UV rays.

Remember, it’s essential to patch test any new products and pay attention to how your skin reacts to ensure you’re giving it the proper care.

How Long Should You Wait Between Applying Them?

When layering skincare products like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, it’s a good idea to give each product some time to absorb before applying the next one. This ensures that each ingredient can work its magic without being diluted or interfering with one another.

Here’s a general guideline for waiting times:

  1. After applying niacinamide: Allow the niacinamide serum or treatment to absorb fully into your skin. This typically takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Your skin should feel smooth, and the product should no longer feel tacky or sticky to the touch.
  2. Before applying hyaluronic acid: After the niacinamide has absorbed, spritz your face with some facial mist or water, and then apply your hyaluronic acid serum. There’s no need to wait between spritzing and applying hyaluronic acid, as the dampness will help the ingredient work more effectively.
  3. After applying hyaluronic acid: Give the hyaluronic acid serum another 30 seconds to 1 minute to absorb before moving on to your moisturizer. This will ensure that the serum has had time to penetrate the skin and lock in hydration.

Keep in mind that these waiting times are approximate, and your skin’s absorption rate may vary depending on factors like your skin type, the specific products you’re using, and environmental conditions.

Conclusion

Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid are both powerhouse skincare ingredients, each offering unique benefits for different skin concerns. While niacinamide is your go-to for tackling inflammation, oil production, and uneven skin tone, hyaluronic acid is a hydration hero that can boost your skin’s moisture levels and plumpness. The good news is that you don’t have to choose just one – these two ingredients can be used together in harmony to elevate your skincare routine to new heights.

Remember to follow the correct order of application, give each product time to absorb, and pay attention to your skin’s reactions to ensure you’re providing it with the best care possible. And if you ever have doubts or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to a skincare professional for personalized advice. Happy glowing!

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Picture of About The Reviewer: Talita Alves
About The Reviewer: Talita Alves

Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Talita’s fascination with beauty was ignited by her love for vibrant colours and her interest in the art of makeup. This passion led her to London, where she pursued a degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion at Central Saint Martins.

At Glooshi, Talita contributes a wide range of content, from makeup tutorials and product reviews to skincare tips and haircare advice, ensuring readers have access to diverse and informative resources. Her warm and approachable writing style, coupled with her dedication to providing accurate and practical advice, has made her an indispensable part of the Glooshi team.

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