Can You Use Niacinamide With Vitamin C Serum? Is It Safe? Get Your Answer

Niacinamide and vitamin C serum are both potent antioxidants that can help your skin combat aging. That’s why many skincare products contain them. But can you use them together?

The short answer is yes, you can use niacinamide with vitamin C serum. Both ingredients offer several benefits and can improve the appearance of skin when used in combination.

This article will discuss the benefits of using niacinamide with vitamin C serum for your skin, as well as how to properly use this combination. Keep reading to find out.

What Exactly Is Niacinamide and What Does It Do?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide that you can find in many foods like fish and meat as well as various types of nuts and seeds. You can even find it in vegetables like broccoli and spinach.

Manufacturers use niacinamide in skincare products to treat acne, brighten the skin and improve overall skin texture. According to Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a dermatologist, it’s one of the best acne treatments available in the market today.

In her words, niacinamide is also from an anti-oxidant family. Antioxidants are very helpful in preventing damage caused by free radicals, which may lead to premature aging and other serious skin issues.

This ingredient also helps to support the skin barrier and inhibit melanin production, two properties that make it one of the best ingredients for those with hyperpigmented skin.

Additionally, niacinamide stimulates the production of ceramides and fatty acids while preventing their loss. Both ceramides and fatty acids are important for keeping your skin healthy.

What Exactly Is Vitamin C Serum and What Does It Do?

Vitamin C serum, also called ascorbic acid serum or L-ascorbic acid serum, is a skincare product that provides concentrated doses of vitamin C and other essential nutrients.

“It penetrates deeper into the skin than a vitamin C toner or moisturizer. This makes it ideal for people who want to slow down aging effects or combat specific skin problems,” Dr. Leslie Baumann, a Miami-based dermatologist, explains.

Vitamin C serum is an important part of skincare because it helps to build collagen, which makes the skin look plump and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. It also helps to prevent free radical damage, which creates fine lines and wrinkles.

This anti-aging miracle product is one of the most powerful ingredients available for reducing fine lines, dark spots, lightening dark under-eye circles, and boosting collagen production.

Vitamin C serums typically cost between $30-50 per bottle and provide more than enough product for regular use. They’re also more concentrated than creams, which means you’re getting better value for money out of them.

SEE: Can You Use Niacinamide With Hyaluronic Acid? How to Use Them Correctly

Can You Use Niacinamide With Vitamin C Serum?

“Yes, you can use them together. Both niacinamide and vitamin C serum can help to brighten your complexion, improve skin texture, even skin tone, and slow down aging signs,” Dr. Shainhouse explains.

According to her, niacinamide and vitamin C are antioxidants, which means they both help to fight against free radicals. Together, these two ingredients work wonderfully to help your skin appear younger and healthier.

“The one thing you don’t want to do is mix them in the same bottle or container. You should only apply one ingredient at a time, so either apply your vitamin C serum first and then niacinamide, or vice versa,” Shainhuse warns.

Because they have different chemical structures, they will compete with each other for absorption into your skin. This means that you’ll get less of the effect of each ingredient than you would if you used them separately.

You may also want to reduce the amount of niacinamide you use if you’re already using vitamin C regularly. This is because niacinamide can increase vitamin C’s potency by up to five times.

Therefore, if you’re already using a vitamin C serum regularly, adding niacinamide may give you more than enough vitamin C. Remember, too much vitamin C can cause unwanted side effects).

It’s also important that you are using a high-quality vitamin C serum that will not cause irritation to your skin but will also be acidic enough to penetrate your skin.

Can You Use Niacinamide With Vitamin C Serum to Treat Acne?

Absolutely. Combining niacinamide with vitamin C serum is one of the best ways to treat acne. Niacinamide will reduce inflammation, redness, and other symptoms of acne, while vitamin C works at a deeper level to fade acne scars.

“Your skin will also become more even as a result. If you’re using a retinoid product as part of your routine, you should always go slowly when adding niacinamide and vitamin C into your regimen,” Baumann says.

In her words, if you’re using a low concentration of retinoid, you should have no problem adding niacinamide and vitamin C to your routine. But check with your dermatologist first if you’re using a prescription-strength product like Tazorac.

SEE: Can You Use Niacinamide With Salicylic Acid? The Answer to Clear Smooth Skin

Can You Mix Niacinamide With Vitamin C Serum?

No, you can’t. Niacinamide and vitamin C are both water-soluble ingredients that can work together to brighten skin, fight acne and protect against environmental damage.

However, they have different molecular weights and act at different rates. When the two are mixed, they tend to lessen each other’s effects while irritating the skin.

To use both ingredients in your skincare routine, apply the vitamin C serum first, then wait for 15-20 minutes for it to penetrate before applying the niacinamide.

The wait time provides enough time for the vitamin C serum to work without interfering with the effects of the niacinamide.

Benefits of Using Niacinamide With Vitamin C Serum

Gets rid of acne

Niacinamide and vitamin C serum both contain properties that help soothe any redness and swelling caused by acne. You can also use them in combination with other acne treatments, including salicylic acid, topical antibiotics, and azelaic acid.

Moisturizes dry skin

Niacinamide works extremely well as a moisturizing agent because it stimulates ceramide synthesis, creating a more resilient skin barrier that holds moisture in the skin.

It also protects from trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), keeping your face hydrated even when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Treats fine lines and wrinkles

Vitamin C helps to prevent premature aging by fighting free radicals while niacinamide increases the synthesis of collagen, a protein that gives skin its strength, elasticity, and youthful appearance.

When you use niacinamide with vitamin C serum, they create a very effective combination that helps revive damaged skin cells. This can help create firmer skin and reduce the appearance of effects caused by sun exposure.

Reduces oil production

Niacinamide and vitamin C can help lessen oil production while also helping to remove oil trapped inside the pores. This makes both ingredients ideal for oily-skinned individuals who have large pores and blackheads on their faces.

Promotes brightening

The combination of niacinamide and vitamin C also works to lighten overall skin tone by reducing melanin production and encouraging new cell growth. This makes your skin appear brighter and more even-toned.

SEE: Can You Use Niacinamide With Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Serum?

How Do You Use Niacinamide With Vitamin C Serum?

  • Start by washing your face and applying a toner to even out the texture of your skin.
  • Let it dry, then apply an essence (give your skin a few minutes to absorb the essence).
  • Apply vitamin C serum to your skin and pat gently until it is absorbed into your skin.
  • Wait for 15-20 minutes before applying your niacinamide cream or serum. Massage for about two minutes until it gets completely absorbed by your skin.
  • Apply a moisturizer and sunscreen (if needed) to protect your skin from the damaging effects of sunlight.

Side Effects of Using Niacinamide With Vitamin C Serum

This combination is generally considered safe and well-tolerated. However, it has been reported that using niacinamide with vitamin C serum can cause flushing, itching, redness, stinging, and peeling in some individuals.

Vitamin C also increases skin sensitivity to sun rays, so ensure to use sunscreen with this combination, especially if you’re living in a sunny region.

If you’re using niacinamide and vitamin C together and experiencing uncomfortable side effects such as itching, redness, and burning sensations, discontinue using them together.

Instead, apply one product in the morning and another at night until your skin adjusts to both ingredients. If you don’t experience any negative reactions after weeks of using one product in the morning and another at night, start using both products together again.

What Other Ingredients Can You Use With Niacinamide?

Salicylic acid. Niacinamide and salicylic acid are two very popular ingredients used in skincare products. Both are effective for treating acne, but they also have other benefits that make them worth using for other skin concerns.

Niacinamide functions as a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help repair your skin’s natural barrier. This helps prevent irritation from everyday exposure and also helps reduce signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Salicylic acid works as a keratolytic agent, which means it helps remove dead skin cells while keeping your pores clean. In addition to its exfoliating properties, salicylic acid can also help balance out oil production, which reduces breakouts.

If you use both ingredients, you can expect to see bigger improvements than if you were only using one.


When is the best time to use niacinamide with vitamin C serum?

The best time to use niacinamide with vitamin C serum on the skin is after cleansing and toning your face. This helps the ingredients penetrate deeply into your skin to deliver their benefits.

After applying both ingredients, experts recommend that you wait around 10-15 minutes before applying a moisturizer and sunscreen. This ensures that the ingredients have enough time to absorb into your skin and deliver their benefits.

Does niacinamide go before vitamin C serum?

No, it doesn’t. Always start by applying your vitamin C serum, then wait for 20 minutes before applying your niacinamide serum or cream.

When using niacinamide with vitamin C serum, it’s important to apply them in the correct order. This is because applying vitamin C serum over niacinamide can hinder the benefits of both ingredients and even cause unwanted side effects.

Can you use niacinamide with hyaluronic acid?

Yes, you can. Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid are two of the best anti-aging ingredients on the market today. Both of these ingredients are able to penetrate into the deepest layers of skin where they help to restore elasticity.

Both these ingredients also help in reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. However, always ensure to see a dermatologist and take proper precautions before using the two ingredients together.


Niacinamide and vitamin C serum are both amazing products that, when used together, can help to make your skin look younger and more vibrant.

However, it is very important to use these skincare products in the right way. The best way to pair niacinamide with vitamin C serum is by using the latter first and then applying the former over it. This will maximize the benefits you will get from using both ingredients.

Thanks for reading.

Visit Serum101 if you want to find out more information about these two ingredients.