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How to use Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide Together for Flawless Skin

The pursuit of flawless skin has led to the popularity of various skincare ingredients. Two of these, salicylic acid and niacinamide, have been increasingly spotlighted due to their distinctive benefits for skin health. But can they be used together? Let's delve into the science-backed benefits of salicylic acid and niacinamide and how to combine them effectively.

Benefits of Salicylic Acid for Skin

Salicylic acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), is a notable solution for acne-prone skin. Its lipid, or fat soluble nature allows it to penetrate deeply into the pores, dissolving the excess sebum and dead skin cells that lead to acne. This unclogging mechanism helps to reduce blackheads and whiteheads, preventing future breakouts.

Salicylic acid also boasts powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which are integral to its effectiveness in treating acne and other skin conditions. It reduces inflammation by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, which are compounds that contribute to redness, swelling, and pain in the skin. In addition to its pore-unclogging and anti-inflammatory properties, salicylic acid also has anti-microbial properties, all features that collectively make it an extremely powerful tool in the treatment of acne, which includes blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.

Beyond acne control, salicylic acid also acts as an exfoliant, facilitating the shedding of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. This can reduce dullness and lead to a smoother, brighter complexion.

AccuFix Cosmetics Salicylic Acid Cleanser and Salicylic Acid Emulsion

Benefits of Niacinamide for Skin

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a powerhouse ingredient in skincare that truly is the definition of an all-rounder if there ever was one. Its properties have been scientifically demonstrated in countless studies, confirming its value in routine skincare.

One of the key benefits of niacinamide is its role in strengthening the skin's barrier function. According to a review published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, niacinamide fortifies the skin barrier by increasing the production of ceramides, which are lipids that prevent the loss of moisture from the skin's surface. This leads to improved skin hydration resulting in plumper, healthier looking skin.

Niacinamide is also a proven anti-inflammatory agent and its inflammation-reducing properties make it a suitable treatment for inflammatory skin conditions, including acne and rosacea. In addition, studies also show that niacinamide is able to regulate sebum production reducing oily skin, pore size and clogged pores that lead to acne.

The results of a clinical trial published in the British Journal of Dermatology, highlight the role of niacinamide in skin brightening and reducing hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide inhibits the transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes to keratinocytes, reducing hyperpigmentation and improving skin colour.

It’s also an exceptionally well-researched ingredient for the prevention of skin ageing. Niacinamide helps improve skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen production, a vital protein that keeps skin plump and youthful. And a 12-week study conducted on female participants regarding the effectiveness of topical niacinamide for the prevention of skin ageing showed that at even just 5%, the ingredient significantly improved age spots, fine lines, wrinkles and the skin swallowing, or yellowing associated with ageing.

AccuFix Cosmetics Crème B3-B5-E with 4% niacinamide

Can I Use Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide Together?

The answer is a resounding yes! Niacinamide is known for its compatibility with most other skincare ingredients, including salicylic acid. Both ingredients can be used together without cancelling out each other's benefits or causing excessive skin irritation. You should however, use them in separate products. This is because while both salicylic acid and niacinamide offer numerous benefits for the skin, they function best at different pH levels. Salicylic acid is most effective in a more acidic environment, while niacinamide needs to be stabilised at a pH that’s closer to neutral.

What are the Benefits of Using Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide Together in the Same Skincare Routine?

Pairing salicylic acid and niacinamide in the same skincare routine harnesses the individual strengths of both ingredients. The benefits of this powerful duo are far-reaching and address several common skin issues like acne, ageing, and pigmentation. Here’s a quick round-up of the benefits of using salicylic acid and niacinamide together in a skincare routine:

  • Acne Control: Salicylic acid is a tried-and-tested acne fighter. It penetrates deep into the pores to dissolve excess sebum and dead skin cells, thereby preventing breakouts. Simultaneously, niacinamide helps regulate sebum production and its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe acne-related redness and inflammation, making these two the perfect combo for acne-prone skin.

  • Anti-Ageing: Niacinamide's ability to boost collagen production makes it an excellent anti-ageing ingredient, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Salicylic acid, meanwhile, promotes skin-cell turnover, contributing to a rejuvenated and youthful skin appearance.

  • Pigmentation: Niacinamide inhibits the transfer of pigment to skin cells, effectively reducing hyperpigmentation. Salicylic acid's exfoliating properties can also help fade post-acne marks and even out the skin tone, helping to tackle pigmentation from multiple angles.

  • Skin Brightening: Both salicylic acid and niacinamide contribute to a brighter complexion. Salicylic acid, due to its exfoliating properties, reveals a fresher layer of skin, while niacinamide reduces dullness, promoting a vibrant skin appearance.

Using salicylic acid and niacinamide together can thus provide a holistic skincare solution addressing multiple concerns simultaneously. Remember to use these potent ingredients cautiously, though, and always do a patch test before incorporating new products into your skincare routine.

How to Use Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide Together for Optimal Results

As with every pair of ingredients, there is more than one way to combine salicylic acid and niacinamide effectively in a skincare routine. Here’s one example that you could potentially use as a starting point if you want to combine these two ingredients in your skincare routine. In the morning, wash your face with the Hydrating Gentle Daily Cleanser. Follow up with Vitamin C Serum while your skin is still damp; applying vitamin C in the morning helps protect your skin against environmental and UV damage. Moisturise with Crème B3-B5-E, which is formulated with 4% niacinamide and finish with The Ultimate Sunscreen SPF 50 Ultra for lasting, broad-spectrum protection.

Follow the same steps at night, but with two exceptions. One, skip the sunscreen and two, 2 to 3 times a week use our bestselling Salicylic Acid Cleanser to wash your face instead of the Hydrating Gentle Daily Cleanser. You can ramp the frequency with which you use the Salicylic Acid Cleanser up or down depending on how much your skin is able to effectively tolerate.




Remember that results take time and given individual differences, also vary across people. As always, if you have more questions, or need more help, you can always reach out to us for a free skincare consultation on WhatsApp: 0302-222-8349.


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