It's perfectly safe and okay to use hyaluronic acid and retinol together. Using skin care products that contain these ingredients together shouldn't cause any interactions or side effects. Hyaluronic acid and retinol are one of the most popular skin care combinations.
No matter which form you choose to incorporate your hyaluronic acid, it should be close to the final step in your routine. If you are using it in serum form, you'll apply it immediately after your retinol. If it is part of your moisturizer, it will be your last step.
Using niacinamide before retinol works well. So does combining them into one product. A 2016 study found that a product containing retinol, niacinamide, hexylresorcinol, and resveratrol improved fine lines, sallowness, wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, and skin tone.
Hyaluronic acid and Niacinamide are a great pair as both are water-based treatments. When used together, always go with applying hyaluronic acid first, followed by Niacinamide. By following this, you would be able to attract plenty of hydration first.
Niacinamide and retinol can be combined in one product, which may be easier and more convenient. But they're also available as separate products. If you're using these ingredients in separate products, it's recommended to apply niacinamide first and to then follow with retinol.
Don't Mix: Retinol with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol. As for benzoyl peroxide and retinol, they cancel each other out.
Second, avoid anything with harsh ingredients like alcohol and fragrance, or anything with a high acid concentration. “The majority of over-the-counter (OTC) cosmetic creams, lotions, and serums are water based and contain less than 2 percent hyaluronic acid,” Frey explains.
Hyaluronic acid is best if they're looking to moisturize dry skin, while retinol works better by encouraging better skin by boosting collagen production. They have several benefits that can work in tandem for better results, though patients need to be careful with the exact formulations they use.
The best product you can use in conjunction with retinol, according to Dr. Zeichner, is a moisturizer, which can help hydrate skin and reduce the risk of irritation from retinol. “Some people even prefer to mix their retinol with a moisturizing cream to dilute it out,” he says.
For prescription retinols, you'll typically apply this step onto dry skin before your moisturizer—but always check with your dermatologist. You may be advised to use it after a moisturizer, which buffers the retinol and lessens risk of irritation.
The Niacinamide Powder should never be used with a product that has a non-water-based formula or a pH below 5 or above 7. Especially, it should never be combined with a vitamin C or direct acid (such as AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs).
Can I use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C? The short answer is yes, it is known that you can use all three of these ingredients together safely and effectively. How you use them is up to you, you can team niacinamide with hyaluronic acid, or vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
People use niacinamide to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency and related conditions such as pellagra. It is also used for acne, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, aging skin, skin discoloration, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Niacinamide and retinol can be used together with a five-minute gap between application but are likely to be just as effective if you use them at separate times of the day.
If you're layering products, start with hyaluronic acid to a freshly cleansed and slightly damp face. Let your skin deeply absorb that serum or gel to ensure it locks in the moisture and works its hydrating and plumping powers on your epidermis. Follow up with niacinamide toward the end of your routine.
If you decide to layer, it's recommended to start with hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin cells, and then top it up with niacinamide to protect the skin's surface and prevent moisture loss.
You can also use them at different time of the day. For instance, use hyaluronic acid in the morning to keep your skin hydrated, and niacinamide in the evening to improve your overall skin texture.
As it's well tolerated by most people, niacinamide can be used twice a day everyday. It works at any time of the year although it comes in particularly handy in winter during cold, dry weather and frequent use of central heating. Use it in the run-up before starting your retinol treatment and alongside it, too.
Niacinamide, a water-soluble form of vitamin B3, and salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid, work particularly well when combined together. Both have anti-aging and anti-acne effects and offer some level of UV protection.
"Niacinamide is uniquely compatible with all products including retinol, peptides, HA, BHAs and AHAs, vitamin C and other antioxidants," Rhea Grous, aesthetics director and founder of La Suite Skincare at Union Square Laser Dermatology, told us. "It's a one-size-fits-all for the entire face, neck and eyes, too!
The way you want to use hyaluronic acid in a skincare routine is to start by cleansing your face with a nice simple cleanser. And then, with slightly damp skin or even slightly wet skin, apply the hyaluronic acid serum to your face followed by a moisturizer and sunscreen (during the day).
Niacinamide Serum – As most niacinamide serums are water-based, it's best to apply them after cleansing and toning and before oil-based serums or moisturizers. This way, you ensure the highest possible absorption and effectiveness.
Using a moisturizer is an essential step after applying hyaluronic acid. The moisturizer will help seal hydration into the skin and help hyaluronic acid absorb correctly if the air around you is dry.
Also avoid retinol if you're going to be spending a lot of time in direct sunlight without proper sun protection. Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it's important to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day — even when it looks cloudy.