How to Use a Niacinamide Serum Correctly for Better Skin

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The effects of applying serum to the skin cannot be overlooked or undermined. A serum is the most effective vehicle for delivering active ingredients like niacinamide. Niacinamide serum is great for every skin type and can boost hydration like a hyaluronic acid serum.

Moreover, this serum is highly beneficial for people with oily skin and skin prone to redness. Niacinamide can penetrate your skin and help regulate sebum production, soothe sensitivities, and give your skin a smooth, glowing appearance.

Niacinamide serum targets concerns like acne, rosacea, and aging skin. The benefits of using niacinamide serum are only accessible via the correct use of the serum. This article is put together to guide you to the effective use of niacinamide serum for maximum results.

1. Cleanse Your Skin

Every skincare routine starts with cleansing. More so, the ingredients penetrate better over a clean canvas. Product residues, oil, dirt, and makeup can interfere with the absorption and effectiveness of your ingredients.

Therefore, you need to use a cleanser or micellar water to wipe them off. Dampen a clean cotton pad with the cleanser and wipe across your face to remove the residues.

Cleansing also helps to remove residues of soap from your face and prepares your skin with moisture. After cleansing, allow your skin to dry before you proceed to exfoliate.

Exfoliating damp skin can be too irritating for your skin and it can disrupt your skin barrier because the ingredients will penetrate easily and cause irritations.

2. Exfoliate

The next step is to exfoliate your skin with a mild chemical exfoliator like glycolic acid. Glycolic acid has smaller molecules and penetrates your skin better. Remember to exfoliate dry skin.

Exfoliating your skin before applying niacinamide serum helps to slough off dead skin cells that can affect the penetration of the serum. After applying the exfoliant, leave it on for a few seconds before you rinse it off.

Do not dry your face with a towel; allow your skin to absorb the water and glycolic acid residue. Serums absorb better over damp skin than dry skin.

3. Apply Niacinamide Serum

This is where your niacinamide serum comes in. With serums, less is more; you do not need more than three to four drops of the serum for facial and neck coverage.

Begin with two or three drops for your face. Pump out the serum and release it onto your palm. You can either use your fingertips to gently tap the serum all over your face and neck or rub the serum between your palms and pat it all over your face and neck.

When using a serum, make sure you are not under or close to a fan that will dry up the serum. Allow the serum to absorb into your skin by itself, this should take about a minute before you go on to the next step.

4. Lock In Moisture

You should moisturize your skin while it is still damp. Take a pea-sized amount of moisturizer and rub it all over your face. This will help seal in moisture and boost hydration levels. Follow up with other heavy creams on your routine and face oils.

Face oil creates an extra layer of protection to prevent moisture loss and strengthen your natural barrier. It also increases skin resilience against environmental pollutants.

5. Shield Your Skin

Finish your routine with sunscreen to shield your skin from UV rays and the potential photosensitivity of any ingredients in the products you used.

What Should You Apply Before Niacinamide Serum?

Before applying niacinamide serum, you may apply a hyaluronic acid serum (if you want to layer serums). This helps to increase hydration; hyaluronic acid penetrates your skin, hydrates skin cells, and enhances the penetration of niacinamide.

They both work together to prevent moisture loss by strengthening your skin barrier and holding water down in the deep layers of your skin.

This is not compulsory. You can use two serums, if you like and if your skin is excessively dry.

What Should You Apply After Niacinamide Serum?

Always moisturize your skin after applying serum and the same applies to niacinamide serum. Moisturizers help to seal in moisture and the active ingredients in the serum. Thereafter, apply other creams down your routine and face oil.

When using niacinamide serum in any routine, ensure to leave out products that contain vitamin C. These ingredients are active at different pH, and layering them can denature them, thereby rendering each useless.

Can You Use Niacinamide Serum Every Day?

Yes, you can use niacinamide on your skin every day. Apply niacinamide serum during your morning and evening routine to treat specific skin concerns and keep your skin healthy.

However, before you incorporate niacinamide into your daily routine, be sure your skin tolerates it 100%. Although niacinamide fares well with every skin type, you cannot be too careful.

To be sure, do a patch test by applying a little amount of niacinamide to a side of your jaw. Watch the place for about thirty minutes for any tingling sensation or redness.

If there isn’t any, you can use niacinamide serum. But if you experience slight inconveniences, rinse it off and see a doctor (if necessary).

Can You Mix Moisturizer With Niacinamide Serum?

Yes, you can mix moisturizer with niacinamide serum. Take a moderate amount of moisturizer in your palm and add a few drops of the serum to the moisturizer in your palm.

You can use a finger to mix them or rub both palms together. Afterward, apply the mix to your face. Mixing serum with moisturizer merges two steps in your routine and it can be very helpful in calming the side effect of ingredients like retinol.

However, this can also reduce the effectiveness of your serum and hinder the active ingredients in the serum from penetrating your skin. In essence, it is best to apply niacinamide serum first and then seal in moisture with a moisturizer.

Does Niacinamide Serum Cause Breakouts?

No, it doesn’t. Niacinamide is a skin-friendly ingredient like hyaluronic acid. It is highly tolerable by almost every skin type. It doesn’t trigger cell turnover; therefore, it is least likely to cause skin purging and breakouts.

On the other hand, niacinamide serum can help treat and manage skin breakouts, regulate sebum production, and fade hyperpigmentation. Moreover, it is not a photosensitive ingredient, it rather protects your skin from UV rays.

Also, it fares well with almost every skincare ingredient. So, there is no likelihood of it sparking any irritations.

How Much Niacinamide Serum Should You Use?

A cosmetic chemist, Shuting Hu says, “an effective product should have between 2 and 10 percent niacinamide.” Contrary to what you may think, a higher concentration of niacinamide doesn’t guarantee more results.

10 percent niacinamide serums are the most common niacinamide serums.

How Much Is Niacinamide Serum?

The cost of niacinamide serum varies with regions and marketing brands. You can get a niacinamide serum for as low as $9 and as high as $40.

Does Niacinamide Serum Expire?

Niacinamide serum goes bad after three months of opening the serum bottle. On exposure to light and air, serums lose all the good stuff they contain. Vitamins are easily denatured by sunlight and air and serums are made of vitamins.

After opening your serum, ensure you use it within three months. Also, keep your bottle of serum away from sunlight and air. Store serums in a cool, dark place to keep them at their best for as long as you use them. When your serum goes bad, it’s time to thrash it.

How Long Does It Take for Niacinamide Serum to Work?

You should begin to see the effects of niacinamide between two weeks to a month of consistent application of the serum. You need a great deal of patience with skincare products. Results are seen with consistency and correct application.


Can you sleep with niacinamide on your face?

Yes, you can. You can use niacinamide serum during your night routine. Moreover, serums are not rinse-off products; you should leave them on your face for the ingredient to absorb into your skin.

Skincare is more effective at night when your skin is not exposed to environmental pollutants and UV rays. Also, during the night, your skin enters self-repair and reverse signs of aging.

Should you wash off Niacinamide?

No, serums are leave-on products. Therefore, you do not have to wash niacinamide serum off your face. Give it time to absorb into your skin and take effect.

What should you not mix with niacinamide serum?

Do not mix niacinamide with vitamin C. These two vitamins do not fare well together. They’re likely to render each other ineffective. Niacinamide and vitamin C are best used at alternate times of the day.

However, if you want to use them on the same routine, you should allow ten minutes between the products.


Niacinamide is best delivered via water-based serums. These serums target skin concerns like dry skin, rosacea, redness, and can help improve the signs of aging. It also strengthens your natural barrier and increases skin resilience against environmental irritants.

Just like a hyaluronic acid serum, this serum is highly tolerable for every skin type. The benefits of the serum are accessible through the correct use and application of the serum. Moreover, you need a consistent application for excellent results.

Thanks for reading.

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