The use of Vitamin C in skin care products has taken the beauty world by storm. Online searches for Vitamin C skincare alone have risen by over 3,000%! The powerful antioxidant has been found to be extremely effective in fighting UV damage, boosting collagen production, and calming inflammation — among other benefits. Many have wondered if vitamin c and niacinamide is a good idea.
Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, is another crowd-pleaser that offers a wide range of benefits. These include everything from hydration to fading hyperpigmentation.
Using both seems like a potent product that would do double duty for your skin. But some say not to use vitamin C and niacinamide together. This comes from concerns about the two components having a chemical reaction and canceling out each other’s benefits.
We’re going to look at why using vitamin C and niacinamide together is not a problem (for most people).
Degrading to Niacin
Mixing niacinamide with any acid (like ascorbic acid, which is vitamin C) can cause niacin to form. Niacin may have the same benefits as niacinamide, but it comes with a side effect. It causes the activation of Langerhan cells in the skin which in turn dilates the blood vessels and causes a ‘niacin flush‘.
This flush can also be accompanied by a tingling sensation and can last 20 minutes or more. Some people are more sensitive to niacin than others and may experience the flush more easily.
However, niacinamide is quite stable. You can keep a 10% solution of the stuff at 248 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes without any niacin forming.
Simply don’t get in the habit of leaving your skincare products in a closed up car in the summer and you should be fine.
Forming a Complex
The other concern is that the two components will react and form a 1:1 complex, effectively canceling each other out. Mixing the clear solutions produces a yellow one, prompting some to think that the ascorbic acid has oxidized.
Instead, the two are forming weak bonds and turning into niacinamide ascorbate.
However, niacinamide ascorbate is affected by pH with 3.8 being the sweet spot. Changes in pH can easily break the bonds and allow the molecules to separate.
Guess what? The pH of your skin becomes less acidic the deeper you go until it reaches a physiological pH of 7. As the pH moves away from 3.8, the molecules naturally drift apart and your skin can enjoy the benefits of both.
Using Vitamin C and Niacinamide Together
Now let’s look at a few tricks to using the two together.
1. Do a Test
Do a patch test first. There is a small chance that part of the niacinamide has degraded into niacin. But if you are very sensitive to niacin, even a small amount could bother you. The only way to find out for sure is to try it.
2. Keep it Cool
Heat speeds up chemical reactions. Store your skincare products in a cool location to preserve them longer.
3. Use Them Separately
If you’re super concerned about using both ingredients in the same product, simply use them separately. That way you can enjoy the benefits of both without worry.
Ready for Glowing Skin?
There’s no doubt about it, vitamin C and niacinamide are both excellent skincare ingredients. Now that you know you can use them together, we recommend this product.
Release your inner glow today and feel free to contact us if you have any more questions!