Salicylic acid and niacinamide
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Your skincare routine is all about layering the right products at the right time to get the results you want. If you’re a fan of going through your skincare ingredient list like I am, you’ve probably come across niacinamide and/or salicylic acid. What exactly are these two products?
Sit back and relax because, in this post, I will be sharing everything you need to know about salicylic acid and niacinamide, their benefits, why you need to start using them, and finally, my favorite skincare products that contain these topical ingredients.
Without any further delay, let’s get into it.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. Niacinamide also called nicotinamide is a water-soluble antioxidant that has so many great benefits for your skin. I love niacinamide so much and I use it daily in my skincare routine. Here is why you should consider adding niacinamide to your skincare routine especially if you have oily skin.
Why you need to start using niacinamide
- It regulates sebum production
- It strengthens the skin’s barrier
- It’s good for those looking to minimize signs of aging
- It’s suitable for all skin types
- It gives the skin a nice healthy glow
- It improves uneven skin tone and tightens the pores.
What is salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that’s derived from willow bark. It acts as a chemical exfoliant by breaking down the bonds that hold your dead skin cells together so that they can be shed from the surface of your skin. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, which enables it to penetrate deep into skin layers and pores. It acts by unclogging the pores and exfoliating the skin. It helps to improve skin texture and complexion.
If you’re suffering from blackheads and whiteheads, you need to give salicylic acid a try. Although it’s a chemical exfoliant and I don’t recommend you use it daily, it’s nice for days when you want to “deep clean” your pores.
Salicylic acid vs Niacinamide
What’s the difference between salicylic acid and niacinamide? Well, the difference is clear.
From what I said above, niacinamide is a vitamin that is more concerned with improving the skin’s appearance by brightening the skin, giving the skin a nice glow, and tightening the skin pores.
Salicylic acid, on the other hand, is a chemical exfoliant that specializes in deep cleaning the pores to get rid of blackheads and whiteheads to improve the overall appearance of the skin.
Niacinamide is usually suitable for all skin types but salicylic acid might not be ideal for those with dry or sensitive skin.
Lastly, They also have different pH levels. Salicylic acid is typically at a lower pH level (around 3-4) while Niacinamide is at a neutral pH level (around 7).
Can you use niacinamide with salicylic acid?
Yes. Using niacinamide and salicylic acid together will give you clear glowing skin. However, I will advise you to be careful when layering to make sure you get the result you want.
How to use niacinamide and salicylic acid together safely
Using both of them in your skincare routine is safe, but here are a few tips to help you if you’re starting out.
- Start by using them separately: never use many actives all at once. Use one and make sure your skin is not reacting to it before you slowly introduce another one or even combine two or more actives together.
- Use them at different times of the day: I prefer to use my niacinamide serums in the morning during my am skincare routine and my salicylic acid cleanser at night.
- Test them out in different products: most niacinamide-based products come in a form of serum while salicylic acid is usually found in cleansers. Try them out like this and see if you like them.
- Stop using it immediately if you experience any redness or irritation. Skincare is not supposed to be painful. Once you start experiencing any form of discomfort on your skin. It’s time to keep that product aside. Remember, we all have different skin so what works well for me might not work for you.
Top Niacinamide based skincare products
I love niacinamide and I’ve used quite a few skincare products that contain niacinamide in them but here are a few I always recommend for starters:
Tiam Vita b3 source
This is one of my favorite Korean niacinamide serums.
Tiam Vita b3 source serum is a dual-powered serum with 10 percent Niacinamide and added 2 percent dose of Arbutin to brighten skin, prevent melanin production, and combat the formation of dark spots.
This lightweight serum also works to fight breakouts, control sebum for more balanced skin, and boost collagen production for a skin-firming and anti-aging effect too! Ideal for sun-damaged skin.
I wrote a full detailed review of this serum including my experience using it and my results. You can check it out here.
Good molecules niacinamide brightening toner
This is an alcohol-free toner that promotes bright even skin and less visible pores. It works by targeting dullness and visible pores thanks to the niacinamide (Vitamin B3), improves the look of hyperpigmentation due to the naturally derived arbutin present and soothes inflammation, and inhibits excess melanin production with licorice root extract.
Good molecules is such a great brand with affordable skincare products that actually work. Here is a post about my top products from good molecules.
This toner is available on Amazon
Cerave pm facial moisturizer
This is one of the best moisturizing lotions I have used. It has an addition of 4% niacinamide which increased skin hydration and helps barrier function. It also increases collagen products productions and has anti-aging and anti-wrinkling benefits. This lotion is perfect for anyone dealing with hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration. It has a gel-cream consistency and spread easily across the skin leaving no oily residue which makes it perfect for those with oily skin.
Top skincare products with salicylic acid
Cerave Renewing SA cleanser
Cerave Renewing SA cleanser contains salicylic acid which exfoliates, softens, and smoothens skin. It is truly one of the best BHA cleansers that don’t leave the skin feeling stripped. It has a fragrance-free formula with 3 types of ceramides to condition the skin and also niacinamide which helps to fad le acne scars. Another great thing I love about it is how it has clear packaging that allows you to see how much product you still have remaining.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
This was one of the first chemical exfoliants I’ve come across because of how popular it is across the internet. It contains 2% salicylic acid which penetrates deeply into the pores and clean them out. It’s quite powerful so make sure you don’t use it daily as this might irritate your skin. Always use your sunscreen in the morning as well.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Is available on Amazon
Final thoughts on salicylic Acid and niacinamide
That brings us to the end of this post. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did while writing.
I really like these comparison types of content so I will be writing more of these in the near future. Let me know if you have any 2 skincare products or ingredients you want me to compare and talk about.