Being oil soluble, salicylic acid can penetrate deeper into the skin layers, but it can also dehydrate and irritate skin. Niacinamide, on the other hand, reduces inflammation and boosts skin's natural moisturization. Niacinamide is a very accommodating ingredient.
Salicylic acid helps clear pores, reduce inflammation, and is good for gentle exfoliation. It's a great ingredient for acne-prone skin, especially if you have oily skin type. Salicylic acid works more effectively when layered with niacinamide. Niacinamide is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and helps with acne.
Their most important difference is their mechanism of action. Also, salicylic acid doesn't help hydrate the skin whereas niacinamide does. Sure, salicylic acid may help your moisturiser work better but it can't hydrate the skin on its own. The truth is one isn't better than the other.
It is considered the best idea to apply niacinamide before salicylic acid. This is because the humectant traits of niacinamide ensure the natural skin barrier contains the correct levels of water. When the skin barrier is moisturised and healthy it can keep itself protected from exposure to free radical damage.
Is it okay to use salicylic acid every day? While it is okay to use salicylic acid every day, it could cause irritation. Many dermatologists, therefore, recommend using the acid in moderation, beginning by applying it three times a week and working up from there.
Although many products containing salicylic acid recommend that you apply them in the morning and night, you should always be cautious when using an ingredient like this in the day as salicylic acid can make the skin more sensitive to the sun.
Salicylic acid works to treat acne by unclogging blocked pores. It does this by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells so that they can release from the pore more easily, and breaking down oils, such as sebum. Salicylic acid also decreases the skin's sebum production, leading to fewer breakouts.
It's considered to be one of the best treatments for acne scars. You can add products with salicylic acid into your daily routine or your skin care specialist may use it for less frequent chemical peels.
Can niacinamide and salicylic acid be used together? The simple answer is yes. They complement each other well. Being oil soluble, salicylic acid can penetrate deeper into the skin layers, but it can also dehydrate and irritate skin.
Acne treatments — especially those that contain active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid — are drying and a bit harsh on your skin. If you use too many treatments at the same time, your skin may become irritated, and you may actually suffer more breakouts as a result.
Salicylic acid also improves the shape of the pore lining, and once the pore is normalized, the backed-up, smaller clog can more easily come to the surface, appearing as new clogged pores (blackheads or white bumps).
While salicylic acid is good for any skin type, Dr. Hu says that people who have acne-prone and oily skin will benefit the most from this ingredient as it has anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe irritation, combat acne problems and prevent new breakouts.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
First Aid Beauty makes a “great” salicylic acid spot treatment that targets blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads and is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin, according to Garshick.
Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins. Treats acne. Niacinamide may be helpful for severe acne, especially inflammatory forms like papules and pustules. Over time, you may see fewer lesions and improved skin texture.
Salicylic acid and sulfur can be fabulous for some kinds of acne, but not for cystic acne. Make sure you hydrate your skin with a good moisturizer so that your skin doesn't feel the need to overproduce its natural oils.
How and when do you use niacinamide? Niacinamide can be used morning and night. Because it plays well with other skincare ingredients (even potentially tricky actives such as exfoliating acids and vitamin C) it will sit happily alongside anything else you're using.
Use Salicylic Acid in the morning and Retinol at night. Those with more sensitive skin may need to use these products on alternate days, or reduce Salicylic Acid use to once a week or as and when needed.
Any skin type and age can benefit from using niacinamide in their skincare routine. Ideally you should use it twice a day, both morning and evening. For the most beneficial results, opt for formulas (like serums and moisturisers) that can be left on the skin for maximum absorption.
The good news? Dermatologists recommend a liquid exfoliant called salicylic acid to help treat common conditions that result from dead skin build-up, which include breakouts, clogged pores, and dandruff.
Salicylic acid is the preferred ingredient for treating blackheads and whiteheads because it breaks down the materials that clog pores: excess oil. dead skin cells.
Can salicylic acid lighten your skin? No, salicylic acid is not a skin lightening (as in whitening) agent and therefore, it cannot lighten your skin. However, since salicylic acid has the ability to exfoliate your skin's surface and remove dead skin cells, it can help give your skin a brighter more even complexion.
Salicylic acid is a member of the BHA (beta hydroxy acid) family and is best known for its spot-fighting capabilities. Its other benefits include reducing excess shine and oil build up and removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.
“Purging” is another term for breakouts, though there are some differences. Though some people do report experiencing irritation and breakouts after using the ingredient, niacinamide is unlikely to cause purging. That's because it doesn't affect the skin in a way that usually triggers purging.
CeraVe is the #1 dermatologist-recommended moisturizer brand for acne*, and our new Acne Control Cleanser with 2% salicylic acid is formulated to clear acne, reduce blackheads and improve the appearance of pores, while purifying clay helps absorb excess oil.