Can I Use Lactic Acid With Niacinamide? The Right Usage

If you are really into skincare, you have probably heard of or used two famous components, niacinamide, and lactic acid. These particular ingredients can work magic for your skin by making it look brighter and smoother. But the one who constantly uses skin care products, especially with these ingredients, might be concerned that Can I use lactic acid with niacinamide?

Can I Use Lactic Acid with Niacinamide?

Can I Use Lactic Acid with Niacinamide?

Using certain products containing certain sets of ingredients can sometimes cause severe reactions. Hence it is always important to know what and how you’re using your products. 

Let’s start by knowing what precisely lactic acid and niacinamide do. The later part of the article will cover and answer the foremost concern, ‘Can I use lactic acid with niacinamide?’

What Is Lactic Acid?

It is an alpha hydroxy acid derived mainly from milk, sometimes abbreviated as AHA. It works on the outer surface of the skin and gets rid of dead cells by breaking down bonds that hold these dead cells together. Additionally, it unclogs pores and thus discloses new and brighter skin.

lactic acid

One significant benefit of lactic acid is that it has quite a large molecule size compared to other acids. Hence, it means that lactic acid works mainly on the surface of your skin and does not get deep into your skin and cause any annoyance.

What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of an essential nutrient, vitamin B-3. It is usually referred to as an ingredient that does almost everything to improve your skin. That is why it is found in many moisturizers, toners, serums, etc. It works to decrease the dark spots and hyperpigmentation present on your skin. It works as a fantastic humectant, locking the moisture in and preventing your skin from dehydrating. 


Now that you know how good lactic acid and niacinamide can be, here comes the real question, can these two be used together? There are multiple acids with which you can combine niacinamide. But here, you can use both lactic acid with niacinamide together. However, one important thing to note before you use both these ingredients is the order in which you use them. There is a particular order to apply these so that they work their magic correctly.

What’s The Right Order To Use Lactic Acid And Niacinamide?

When you combine lactic acid and niacinamide, it comes down to the concept of pH. Knowing what pH your products have is super important as you have to make a good environment in your skin, that is, not too basic and not too acidic. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, where 7 is neutral. Our skin is little towards the acidic side, bearing the range of 4.7 to 5.75.

Lactic acid is an exfoliating agent with a pH of around 3-4. However, niacinamide products usually range between 5 and 7. Because of the difference in their pH value, you have to give some time between applying these two. So, to cut it short, you are always advised to use lactic acid first and then go with niacinamide.

How To Apply Lactic Acid and Niacinamide Together?

Follow the proper procedure to avoid any side effects.

  • Initially, start with lactic acid as it is an exfoliant. It should be applied to bare skin.
  • Do not immediately apply niacinamide. Wait for about 15-20 minutes for lactic acid to absorb completely. 
  • This wait time also rebalances the pH levels and gets ready for further product applications.
  • You can even use one in the morning and the other in the evening. Some suggest you use lactic acid in the evening as it can make your skin sensitive to the Sun.

How To Apply Lactic Acid and Niacinamide Together?

  • You can even give a day’s gap between applying these ingredients.

Hence, ensure you follow the correct order and spend the right time between them. Apply a niacinamide product right after using a lactic acid product. The former product can increase the pH of the latter, thereby minimizing the effectiveness in all and sometimes even causing redness or itchiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave lactic acid overnight?

The direct answer to this question would be a ‘no.’ Though lactic acids do not penetrate much deeper into the skin, it is best not to leave high percentages of lactic acid overnight to be safer. 

What can you not mix with niacinamide?

Several skin experts believe one ingredient that should not be mixed with niacinamide is ‘Vitamin C.’ However, this is still a debatable topic, so others think it is acceptable to use both but in the right way. But it is better to check it with your dermatologist as certain mixed products can react differently on different skin types.

Can you use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid?

Yes, you can pair them together. Both act as humectants and help retain the moisture content of your skin.

Final Words

Skincare is as important as health care. Knowing what products you apply and what these products are made of is a prime idea everyone should be aware of. Several ingredients have a difference in their pH levels. Hence you must know how to apply them in the correct order, just like lactic acid and niacinamide.

Though both are potent agents that exfoliate your skin and give you the glowy and smooth skin you desire, they need to be applied in the order mentioned above. Doing this will ensure the effectiveness of both ingredients and will prevent any side effects.

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