Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide in the skincare industry have their own share of benefits. While the former is known for its skin-smoothing and clarifying effects, the latter qualifies for skin healing properties.
With a myriad of advantages, it's only natural that people are interested in adding both of these active ingredients to their skincare routines!
But how well do they work together?
Here's what you need to know about what they can do for your skin, and tips on how to pair Salicylic Acid with Niacinamide for the best results.
Can You Use Salicylic Acid with Niacinamide?You can. But before you combine these active ingredients, it is important to know how, when and in what percentage to pair them.
How to pair them to get the best results?
One is oil-soluble, while the other is water-soluble. This isn't a problem, because the skin also has a mix of moisture and lipids letting different ingredients interact in different ways. But what makes using these actives together a little tricky is actually their pH levels .
Being an acid, salicylic acid has a lower pH of about 3.0 to 4.0. Niacinamide, on the other hand, is less acidic and closer to neutral. It works best at a higher pH of roughly 6.0. If you apply the two ingredients at the same time, they will each affect the pH of the other, leading to a less-effective result. But you can still use both of them in the same skincare routine.
When to use Salicylic Acid with Niacinamide together?
To get the most out of these active ingredients, it's best to apply them separately. Here are a few different ways you can do this
You may wait about 30 minutes after applying salicylic acid, to give your skin the chance to absorb the product and regulate its pH to a more neutral level. Then apply your niacinamide product, knowing that your skin is ready to take it in.
- Another option is to use one of these ingredients in your morning routine and the other one in the evening. You can also use them on alternating days. You will still get the benefits of both of them, but it may take a little bit longer to see their full effect.
What are the most effective percentages to use?
Although both Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid have inflammatory effects, if used correctly. But Attention!
They can also cause some irritation if you're not careful. The percentage of the active ingredient in the product is an important factor to consider. The best way to make sure you're using the right dose for you is through cautious experimentation. Everyone's skin is different, and the environment you're in will also affect how your skin reacts.
However, there are some general guidelines to help you figure out the best dose for you. Niacinamide works well for most people in formulations from 3% to 5%.
Some products boast a concentration of 10% niacinamide, but at that level, skin does not receive any additional benefits, instead chances of adverse skin reactions can increase. More is not always better in this case.
While using salicylic acid, 1% concentration is enough for your acne-prone skin. In most cases, adverse skin reactions such as dryness, tingling, and irritation are found to occur with high concentrations of salicylic acid.
The important thing to remember is that you don't have to use the highest percentage possible to see great results. Consistent use of a smaller dose that doesn't cause irritation is the best way to see the changes you're looking for. Slow and steady will help you move forward without frustrating irritation to slow your progress.