Lactic acid and niacinamide are undoubtedly terms you are familiar with if you have ever dabbled with skincare. These potent substances may treat almost any skin issue you may have when used together. Lactic acid and niacinamide collaborate to produce a more radiant and smooth skin by reducing hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as enlarged pores. But is it possible to combine lactic acid and niacinamide in your skincare routine? Yes, lactic acid and niacinamide may be used in conjunction, to provide the quick solution. There are a few things to bear in mind, however. Continue reading to learn more about how to combine them and what to consider before doing so (including any potential side effects).

What Is Lactic Acid

Alpha hydroxy acids include lactic acid (also known as an AHA). Milk is generally the source of lactic acid. Like other AHAs, lactic acid is excellent for moderate exfoliation to reveal softer, smoother, and more radiant skin. The connections that keep dead skin cells together are broken down by lactic acid, which is how it works. This aids in removing dead skin cells, clearing clogged pores, and exposing the younger, more vibrant skin cells underlying.

Since lactic acid is a gentler AHA, those with sensitive, dry, or dehydrated skin might consider using it.

It is gentler because it contains bigger molecules than other acids, which prevents it from penetrating the skin as deeply. Despite this, lactic acid acts more superficially than deeply on the skin.

AHAs are very good in exfoliating the skin and promoting the production of new skin cells, which may lessen the visibility of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots on the surface of the skin. The moisturizing qualities of lactic acid make it a fantastic alternative for anyone with dry or sensitive skin.

There are several different ways to get lactic acid, including gels, lotions, peels, and serums. Both over-the-counter and prescription skincare products include it.

Lactic Acid Benefits

A natural alpha hydroxy acid called lactic acid is obtained from milk. It is a crucial part of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF) and is crucial for maintaining the skin’s level of moisture.

By binding and holding onto water molecules, lactic acid aids in maintaining the skin’s moisture balance. Additionally, it aids in the removal of dead skin cells, which may block pores and cause acne outbreaks. Use lactic acid regularly to obtain healthy, bright skin since it is mild enough to use on all skin types.

The following are a few advantages of lactic acid for skin care:

  • Smooths skin texture – By breaking the connections that keep dead skin cells together, lactic acid may help to improve the look of rough, dry skin. This enables the dead skin cells to be exfoliated, exposing skin that is smoother and more radiant.
  • By exfoliating the top layer of skin, lactic acid may aid to erase dark spots and hyperpigmentation, which will eventually eliminate any hyperpigmentation or sun spots.
  • Lactic acid is a humectant, which means that it aids in the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Because of this, it’s a fantastic option for those with dry or dehydrated skin types.
  • Reduces aging symptoms – Lactic acid stimulates the formation of collagen and increases cell turnover, which may help to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

What Is Niacinamide?

A type of vitamin B3 known as niacinamide has several advantages for the skin. It’s often marketed as an all-purpose substance. Numerous products, including toners, serums, and moisturizers, often include niacinamide. It is suitable for all skin types, typically well-tolerated, and may be blended with the majority of skincare active ingredients.

It works well as a treatment for acne, hyperpigmentation, and early aging. Niacinamide may also assist to brighten, level out, and maintain a healthy moisture barrier for the skin.

It’s especially popular with those who have oily or acne-prone skin since it controls sebum production and keeps pores clean. All skin types, even those with sensitive skin, may use the mild component niacinamide.

Niacinamide Benefits

A vitamin B3 form known as niacinamide has various advantages for the skin.

  • Niacinamide increases the production of the proteins keratin, involucrin, and filaggrin, which improves the appearance of skin firmness and elasticity and minimizes the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Niacinamide is a fantastic skincare component to utilize if you often battle with hyperpigmentation, blotchiness, sallowness, or discoloration on your face since it may help minimize its appearance through melanin (pigment) generation.
  • By decreasing transepidermal water loss and boosting the production of ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol in the skin, niacinamide enhances skin barrier function. A robust skin barrier aids in retaining moisture and offers defense against irritants from the environment.
  • Naicinamide is an anti-inflammatory that may control the skin’s production of sebum or oil and minimize the appearance of pores, making it the perfect choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin. A 4% niacinamide gel was just as successful in treating acne as a 1% clindamycin gel, according to an 8-week research.
  • Niacinamide’s antioxidant advantages allow you to shield your skin from environmental aggressors that hasten skin aging.
    Niacinamide increases cell turnover, promoting more vibrant, glowing skin.
  • Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce skin irritation and redness.

Can You Use Lactic Acid and Niacinamide Together?

Niacinamide and lactic acid may both be used in the same skincare regimen, but specific instructions must be followed for the best outcomes. It all boils down to pH when mixing niacinamide and lactic acid, which gauges how acidic or basic a solution is.

Water has a neutral pH of 7.0 on the pH scale, which goes from 0 to 14. The pH of our skin typically ranges from 4.7 to 5.75. Lactic acid and other exfoliating acids are commonly designed with a pH range of 3–4, but niacinamide formulations typically have a pH range of 5.0–7.0.

If you wish to use lactic acid and niacinamide in the same skincare regimen, you’ll need to wait a while between applications since their pH ranges are different.

How to Layer Niacinamide and Lactic Acid

If you use a lactic acid product first and then niacinamide right away, the niacinamide product may raise the pH of the lactic acid product and lessen its efficacy.

Additionally, your skin may become red, irritated, or flushed.

Apply your niacinamide serum after using lactic acid as a chemical exfoliation. Niacinamide should be applied on top of lactic acid at least 30 minutes after the lactic acid has had time to completely soak into the skin.
If not, think about using niacinamide in the morning and lactic acid at night since lactic acid might leave your skin more vulnerable to the sun.
Niacinamide and lactic acid may be used on opposite days if you like.

Best Lactic Acid and Niacinamide Products

1.The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA has a pH of 3.6 to 3.8 and includes 10% lactic acid. A cross-linked type of hyaluronic acid called sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, which produces a mesh-like film on the skin for all-day hydration and moisture, is added to the serum.

An anti-inflammatory and antibacterial Tasmanian pepperberry derivative is also included in this lactic acid superficial peeling composition. This extract aids in calming skin irritability that may occur while using AHAs like lactic acid.

This lactic acid serum’s ultra-lightweight brightening and smoothing effects gradually improve uneven skin tone. It is a simple addition to your skincare regimen since it is not only efficient but also reasonably priced.

The Ordinary provides a 5% lactic acid serum that is kinder to the skin if your skin is too sensitive for this 10% lactic acid dosage.

2. Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster

Paula’s Option Niacinamide 10% is one of a number of hydrating chemicals in 10% Niacinamide Booster serum that are healthy for your skin. Niacinamide addresses uneven skin tone and enhances the appearance of pores, fine wrinkles, and skin texture.

Beta-glucan, licorice root extract, allantoin, and panthenol reduce redness and irritation. Ascorbyl glucoside, a vitamin C derivative, is an antioxidant that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and evens out skin tone.

Ubiquinone, epigallocatechin gallate, carnosine, and genistein are a few other antioxidants in the mix that shield the skin from harmed free radicals brought on by environmental stresses like pollution and UV radiation.

Hyaluronic acid in the form of sodium hyaluronate moisturizes and plumpifies the skin. Acetyl glucosamine contains anti-wrinkle properties and is crucial for maintaining skin moisture.

This serum’s nearly water-like viscosity makes it simple to layer with additional components for skincare. It swiftly absorbs and functions admirably under makeup.

3. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% has a niacinamide concentration of 10% and a zinc salt of PCA (pyrrolidone carboxylic acid) content of 1%, which works to enhance the sebum activity’s visual look.

Niacinamide improves the appearance of acne, congestion, and uneven skin tone. Additionally, it aids in reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and redness.

Skin texture and blocked pores are improved with continued usage. This niacinamide serum works wonders for those with oily skin and acne-prone skin. This serum is quite reasonably priced, much like the rest of The Ordinary’s offerings.

4. Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment

Riley, Sunday A popular lactic acid serum is Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment. Purified lactic acid included in Good Genes targets accumulated dead skin cells and extra sebum. Your skin might suffer from breakouts, pimples, blackheads, and acne due to excessive sebum production.

The recipe also includes lemongrass oil, an astringent that tones the skin and gives it a light citrus scent, as well as licorice root extract (Glycyrrhiza glabra root extract), which brightens the complexion. Extracts from prickly pear and arnica calm the skin. Squalane hydrates, while aloe vera soothes skin.

The effect of the serum is to lessen the appearance of lines, wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skin texture, and discolouration. In as little as three minutes, it smooths out the appearance of tiny wrinkles. If you use it overnight, your skin will be lighter and more radiant when you wake up.

Good Genes is a lactic acid serum that achieves results quickly while being more costly than other serums in this article, earning it a cult following in the cosmetics industry.


Can lactic acid remove hyperpigmentation?

Yes, lactic acid can help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. As an AHA, it works by gently exfoliating the skin’s surface, which helps to remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of new, healthy skin cells. This process can help to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots, age spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne or other skin irritations.

However, lactic acid is not a standalone treatment for hyperpigmentation. It’s important to incorporate other brightening ingredients, such as vitamin C, niacinamide, or azelaic acid, into your skincare routine for the best results. Additionally, wearing sunscreen daily is crucial to preventing further hyperpigmentation and protecting your skin from harmful UV rays.

Can I layer lactic acid and hyaluronic acid together?

Yes, you can layer lactic acid and hyaluronic acid together in your skincare routine. Lactic acid is an exfoliating agent, while hyaluronic acid is a hydrating ingredient. When used together, they can complement each other well and improve your skin’s texture and hydration levels.

To layer these ingredients effectively, first apply the lactic acid product to clean, dry skin. Wait for a few minutes to allow the lactic acid to work its magic and penetrate the skin. Then, apply the hyaluronic acid product to help lock in moisture and provide additional hydration. Make sure to finish with a moisturizer and sunscreen during the day to protect your skin.

Does lactic acid make skin glow?

Lactic acid can indeed help improve your skin’s natural glow. By gently exfoliating and removing dead skin cells, lactic acid promotes cell turnover and reveals fresh, healthy skin underneath. This process can help to even out skin tone, minimize the appearance of pores, and improve the overall texture of your skin, leading to a brighter, more radiant complexion.

For the best results, use lactic acid products consistently as part of your skincare routine. Keep in mind that it may take several weeks to see noticeable improvements in your skin’s appearance.

Should you put lactic acid on wet or dry skin?

For optimal results, apply lactic acid to clean, dry skin. This allows the product to penetrate more effectively and work its exfoliating magic. Applying lactic acid to wet skin may dilute the product, making it less effective and potentially causing uneven application.

To use lactic acid properly, cleanse your face thoroughly and gently pat it dry. Then, apply the lactic acid product according to the manufacturer’s instructions, typically using a thin layer across your face, avoiding the eye area. Allow the product to absorb into your skin for a few minutes before applying any additional skincare products, such as serums, moisturizers, or sunscreen.

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