Can You Use Vitamin C And Niacinamide Together?

by Gio
why you can use niacinamide and vitamin c together

Vitamin C and Niacinamide are the Britney and Xtina of skincare.

Rumour has it, these two skincare superstars hate each other’s guts and can’t stand working together.

But, when you peek behind the curtain, you’ll see them get on like a house on fire.

What the heck is going on here?

Here’s the truth about Vitamin C and Niacinamide and why you CAN and should use them together:

vichy liftactive vitamin c skin brightening corrector

What The Heck Is Vitamin C?

A water-soluble antioxidant with multiple superpowers:

  • It fights free radicals
  • It boosts collagen production
  • It fades dark spots and brightens the complexion

The catch? Pure Vitamin C, a.k.a. L-Ascorbic Acid, is very finicky to formulate with. If the ph’s not right, it won’t work. If it comes in contact with light and air, it throws a tantrum and stops working.

That’s why cosmetic chemists often ignore it. They prefer to use its derivatives, instead. They don’t work as fast, but are a lot less demanding.

FIY, according to rumours, Niacinamide has “problems” only with L-Ascorbic Acid, not its derivatives.

Related: Spotlight On Vitamin C: What Does It Do For Your Skin?

paula's choice 10% niacinamide booster 01

What The Heck Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that does EVERYTHING:

  • It moisturises skin
  • It soothes irritations and rosacea
  • It fights free radicals
  • It treats acne
  • It fades dark spots and brightens skin

See that last one? Both Vitamin C and Niacinamide can fade dark spots. It’s no wonder you want to use them together to speed up the process. So, why are you told you can’t?

Related: Spotlight On Niacinamide: What Does It Do For Your Skin?

Vitamin C VS Niacinamide: The Feud

If rumour is to be believed, Vitamin C plays a couple of nasty tricks on Niacinamide:

  1. Mixing Niacinamide with L-Ascorbic Acid (or any other acid, for that matter) turns it to Niacin, a substance that can cause temporary flushing and tingling. This is a problem only if you have inflammatory acne or erythema.
  2. When mixed together in aqueous solutions, Vitamin C and Niacinamide form of a complex that turns the solution yellow, making both ingredients ineffective.
can you use vitamin c and niacinamide together

Should You Worry About Niacinamide Turning To Niacin?

Vitamin C may be finicking, but Niacinamide isn’t. Niacinamide is an amide and those are tough. They don’t go bad when you expose them to light, air or heat, like other antioxidants do.

That’s why you need a LOT of heat to trigger the reactions mentioned above. You can heat Niacinamide up to 120 °C (240 °F) WITHOUT Niacin forming.

Of course, the more heat Niacinamide is exposed to, the faster the conversion occurs. But, at home, you NEVER expose Niacinamide to those temperatures.

At home, you store your Niacinamide lotions and serums at room temperatures. That’s around 25 °C (77 °F). How long does it take for the conversion to occur at this temperature?

If the solution has an acidic (low) ph, it’ll take 6 weeks to convert only 1% of Niacinamide to Niacin. If the solution uses thickeners (and most skincare products do), the conversion occurs even more slowly.

For most people this isn’t a problem. The amount of Niacin formed under normal conditions is so tiny, you won’t even notice it.

If your skin is super sensitive, then even this tiny amount will be enough to trigger flushing and tingling. This isn’t dangerous, but I still recommend you avoid this combo.

Either way, you can always store your Niacinamide lotions and potions in a cool place. This’ll slow down the conversion even more.

drunk elephant c-firma day serum

Should You Worry About The Niacinamide And L-Ascorbic Acid Complex?

If you mix Niacinamide and L-Ascorbic Acid together, the solution turns yellow. That’s the colour of death for Vitamin C. It usually means it has oxidised and become useless.

BUT, not in this case!

In this case, the yellow colour is caused by the formation of Niacinamide Ascorbate. Basically, an electron transferred from Vitamin C to Niacinamide, holding them together.

Ph matters here. Niacinamide Ascorbate forms at a ph of 3.8. Change the ph and way less of it appears.

You know what this means? This reaction is reversible. This matters because the surface of your skin has a ph of around 5, but the deeper layers a ph of 7. So, as Niacinamide and Vitamin C move deeper into the skin, they tend to go their separate ways, forming less and less Niacinamide Ascorbate.

The best part? Niacinamide Ascorbate isn’t as useless as it seems. Studies show it can still help fight sun damage.

The Bottom Line

You can totally use Vitamin C and Niacinamide together. The chemical reactions they trigger are very slow or reversible so they can’t compromise their effectiveness.

Do you use Vitamin C and Niacinamide together? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Reddit cosmetic chemist Stephen Alain Ko was the first to point out they can be used together. For more skincare science, go check out his blog.



kaido October 10, 2017 - 2:43 am

Thanks for this nicely presented information on the never ending L-Ascorbic Acid and Niacinamide debate. I don’t use both together in their pure forms due to the scare and not planning to mix them in near future since I got my routine together now (fewh~). But it’s good to know this because you’ll never know when our skin starts to change and we need to overhaul the routine again.. *cries*

Laine July 9, 2020 - 8:37 pm

Thank you for the thorough information! I was wondering if I am able to use a niacinimide
+ hyaluronic cleanser and follow up with a vitamin c serum.
I have dry skin, acne prone skin as well, I dont know if this combo is good?
over all the routine goes
– Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser niacinimide+hyaluronic
– Vitamin C Renewing serum
– Cera Ve moisturizing cream

Gio July 14, 2020 - 10:35 am

Laine, if you have acne-prone skin, you need a Vitamin C serum with Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, not L-Ascorbic Acid. You can use that with niacinamide.

If you need more help, you can book your skincare routine here:

Liv November 10, 2017 - 5:20 am

Thank you for this very well constructed article. I just recently bought The Ordinary’s Niacinamide and I want to use it in the same routine with my Vitamin C, but I had also heard the warnings about mixing the two. I may test out using them both in the same routine for a week to see the results.

Gio November 26, 2017 - 12:01 pm

Liv, my pleasure. There is no reason why you shouldn’t use these two antiaging superstars together. Let me know how your experiment goes.

Melissa Camacho January 6, 2018 - 9:36 pm

Thanks for sharing, how about matrxily, can I use all three together?

Gio January 19, 2018 - 3:13 pm

Melissa, yes you can.

Esther May 11, 2019 - 1:20 pm

Thanks so much for this, I was using vit c in the morning and Niacinamide at night but I’m going to “upgrade” and use Niacinamide in the mornings too. Another doubt is about I’ve always had is about Retin-A. I use 0.5 every other night. I wait for 20 min and then apply vit c. Is that OK? Can I also use the Niacinamide the same night or will it be too much?

Gio May 31, 2019 - 12:48 pm

Esther, yes that’s ok and yes you can use niacin amide after Retin-A. Niacinamide is very soothing and can help your skin better tolerate the retinoid.

Angie January 20, 2018 - 11:15 am

I make my own vitamin c serum using l-ascorbic acid(plus e and ferulic). Can I follow this with a store bought product (cerave pm or Olay) that contain nicinamide? Should I wait a while after applying the vitamin c serum? I use retin A at night. Thanks

Gio January 28, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Angie, yes you can. Just wait until the vitamin C serum has dried before applying the next product.

Shelley Nayak February 4, 2018 - 12:33 pm

Hii! Very well informed!! Using both of these active ingredients together has been a debate for long time!! Even I have read in many articles that, to go these ingredients bad or counteract each other, there has to be a right high temperature, right low ph, percentage and right consistency of solution!! Since every individual has different skin identity, companies want to safe than get sued!! I have used once Tiam 20% C source serum and Cosrx PHA Moisture renewal cream (which contains 3% Niacinamide, 2% PHA and ph of 4-5) in a same routine and didn’t have any problem for my dry sensitive skin (I am so sensitive to quite a lot of ingredients). So, I am sure, that it’s not always wrong!! I wanted to use Tiam 20% C source Serum + The ordinary Matrixyl 10% + The ordinary 100% plant based squalane in a same routine, will it be ok? cause it is said that Pure Vitamin C and peptides promote collagen synthesis. I would like to know your opinion? I also review K-Beauty products at , also I would also like to know what you think of my content! I really think that you do have immense experience and scientific knowledge in this field!!

Gio February 11, 2018 - 10:25 am

Shelley, it’s a tricky matter indeed. Formulating products is a lot more difficult than most people think. But in this case, I don’t think most people have anything to worry about. 🙂

Yes, you can use them all in the same routine. Vitamin C is one of the best things you can use on your skin and, in high enough doses, it can boost collagen. As for peptides, it really depends on what type you use. The science on them isn’t as solid but there’s no harm in adding them to your skincare routine.

I’ve just checked out your blog and I love how detailed your reviews are. You really dissect every aspect of a product, which is very helpful. But I’ve noticed that you have to be logged in to comment? I think that could put a lot of people off. If you need any help with blogging, feel free to shoot me an email.

Jenn February 20, 2018 - 8:17 pm

HI Gio,
What’s the best Vitamin C Serum to buy that doesn’t cost a fortune? I bought one off Amazon Truskin C and it don’t seem to be working out very well I have some acne pitted scars already and seems to be making it worse or could just be me I was using Ole Henriksen Truth Serum but was trying to find something cheaper. I use a generic of Epiduo, Elta Md pm and am moisturizers and Elta md sunscreens and wanted to try some other retinol but have read shoudln’t since in use the Epiduo

Gio February 24, 2018 - 10:23 am

Hi Jenn, sorry to hear TruSkin isn’t working well for you. Have you tried Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum? It’s cheap and effective.

Georgina Southen February 10, 2018 - 11:43 am

Hi Gio. I use Environ Clarifying lotion with Niacinamide, followed by Mario Badescu Vit C serum and then a hydrating spf moisturiser. My concerns are congestion and pigmentation but my skin therapist wants me to be using Vit A. Should I start using the Granactive Retinoid I bought from the ordinary at night? Is there a night moisturiser I should look at also? Georgina

Gio February 10, 2018 - 5:49 pm

Hi Georgina, I think it’s a great idea to use the Granactive Retinoid as it can help with your concern. If it leaves your skin dry, then you can look at adding a moisturiser. The Ordinary Natural Moisturising factors would be a good one.

Nisha April 23, 2020 - 8:39 am

Hi Gio,

Can I use drunk elephant vitamin c Firma in the morning and the ordinary niacinamide in the evening. Can you please suggest me the best way . Thank you a lot.

Gio May 15, 2020 - 4:32 pm

Nisha, in theory you can. In practice, it depends on your skin type and what else you’re using in your routine. If you need more help, please book your consultation here:

Xen G February 16, 2018 - 1:52 am

I was worried about this since I just bought an essence with niacinamide in it, and I also use vit c serum at the same time.. I read your article in the other page about products to NOT mix. Good thing I clicked on the link where you said you’d explain further. Also, I found another source online that supports your notion that you can actually use the two together. Here it is:

Gio February 17, 2018 - 8:39 am

Xen, this is one of those myths with a kernel of truth in it. It’s easy to believe that two are incompatible when you delve further into the science, there’s nothing to worry about.

linda February 24, 2018 - 6:14 am

thanks! That was great info. Would like to see your comments on layering serums on retin A. thx

Gio February 24, 2018 - 1:29 pm

Linda, the only serum I’d layer on Retin A is a hyaluronic acid serum. Retin A is very powerful and can make your skin very sensitive so you don’t want to use too much stuff with it.

Sam November 13, 2018 - 10:58 pm

IIRC, Allergan recommend to layer a moisturizer UNDER its Tazorac (another strong retinoid) in order to avoid irritation. So a hyaluronic acid cream before Retin A, or even mixed with it, could be the best option.

Gio November 23, 2018 - 10:57 am

Sam, that’s a great tip. Thanks for sharing!

kim April 2, 2018 - 2:17 pm

I used drunk elephant C-Firma and Missha’s Time revolution night repair ampoule together and instantly turned beetroot. should I try and leave it for 30 minutes or try again with a lower concentration of vitamin C? I have combo skin that decides to randomly become sensitive. thanks

Gio April 8, 2018 - 11:37 am

Kim, I’d just try to use them at different times of the day or on alternate days.

kiran April 30, 2018 - 6:20 am

Hello Gio,
Can I use vitamin c (truskin naturals), hyaluronic acid( truskin naturals) and Niamicide 5% (gia naturals ) together.I have a very dry sensitive skin.I want to give all forms of hydration to my skin to stay away from wrinkles and dryness.Plus also want the brightness and glow.If I can use all above mentioned serums than i what order should I use them.I also use milk & honey age defense moisturiser from gia naturals too.If you feel any other product would be beneficial for my requirement than please recommend.Oh i do use retin -A 0.25 % cream fr acne.
Thank you

Gio May 4, 2018 - 6:58 pm

Kiran, yes you can use them all together. Vitamin C first, then hyaluronic acid and then niacinamide. Or you can do vitamin C and hyaluronic acid in the morning and retain A and niacinamide at night.

Jane-Claire April 30, 2018 - 11:44 am

I have roseca and have bought Niacinamide to put on my skin and just wondered if vitamin c serum would help further or irritate my skin more!??

Gio May 4, 2018 - 7:03 pm

Jane-Claire, it really depends. I know women with rosacea who can use vitamin C fine and others who prefer not to use it. You need to try it and see for yourself how your skin reacts. If you’re worried, start with a derivative. They’re gentler than pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid).

Tennille August 23, 2018 - 3:37 pm

Hello I’m glad I read this, I usually use a full drunk elephant skin care regimen day time and night routine I do a ten step k Beauty routine every other night and off night I use a aha/bha serum ,which has niacinamide only based products, I have done this routine for a year and my dark spots from stubborn acne marks have disappeared and also my hyper pigmentation, I’m olive Latina complexion, 40 yrs of age focus on Anti-Aging skin care, recently drunk elephant has reformulated their bhydra now has niacinamide , b5, calling it a serum and not a water gel, I finally got my skin where it’s looking fine, now I’m almost finished with the original formula, is this new formulation going to be ok to mix with their cfirma serum which has done a 360 on my skin.
Morning routine
1 cleanse with cerave hydrating cleanser I use my clarasonic sometimes depending if I need to exfoliate, or I’ll use tatcha enzyme cleanser to get rid of a dead skin will do that a couple times in morning, generally it’s just cerave hydrating cleanser.
2.Serums I use DE cfirma followed by Hadalabo Gokujun HA serum( has 3forms of HA ) timeless coq10
3. DE bhydra for hydration , still using old formulation w/o niacinamide
4.DE ctango for under eye cream, I also have DE shaba under eye cream I would use at night because it has niacinamide, and WE says you can layer the two of needed, I never did because of my beliefs of not mixing the two, so I just use ctango
5. I use DE tinted spf umbra, a pump of their d bronzi ( has peptites) and a drop. Or 2 of DE marula oil , I would put that mixture in the palm of my hand an mix by running my hands like your putting moisturizer on your face, I use my beauty blender to even out, I don’t even where a foundation, if I need to spot conceal I do , I gives beautiful healthy glow. Is this a o ok morning routine?, Am I doing steps correctly? And most importantly the new formulation of bhydra now being called a serum and has niacinamide in it, is it going to be ok to use following cfirma ? Thank you

Gio September 7, 2018 - 12:35 pm

Tennille, your skincare routine is spot on, well done for putting it together! And yes you can totally use niacinamide with vitamin C, so don’t worry about the new formula, it’ll work.

Jenny Murphy February 26, 2020 - 3:11 pm

Hi Im really interested in your K 10 step routine as Im also olive skinned and trying to get my head around a routine like that… any info would be appreciated!

October’s newcomers – October 7, 2018 - 3:38 pm

[…] read on beautifulwithbarins about the effect if you combining niacinamide and vitamin c at the same time, at the same […]

Jess October 30, 2018 - 12:39 am

Hi, thanks for your helpful article. I just discovered your website so will be spending some time looking through your old articles. As for Vit C, do you know why on the Ordinary website for the 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder, it says not to mix with Niacinamide?
Do you think they actually mean not to mix the powder and solution together, but ok to use the products one after another?

Gio November 1, 2018 - 4:32 pm

Jess, I think they’re still following the old studies that believes this combo to be bad because of the chance of colour. But as I wrote here, the myth has been debunked.

Cheryl November 10, 2018 - 10:05 pm

Do you have did recipes to make your own serums?

Gio November 23, 2018 - 10:17 am

Cheryl, I’m afraid I’m not into DIY skincare. You can check LabMuffin blog for that. 🙂

Chase Clifford January 11, 2019 - 11:40 pm

Thank you so much for this information!

What are your thoughts on hydroquinone? Can it be added to the mix as well?

For my current beauty regimen (to fix my discoloration) I plan on using SkinCeuticals Retinol (.05) with a 4% hydroquinone cream at night. And SkinCeuticals Vitamin C (C E FERULIC® WITH 15% L-ASCORBIC ACID) with SkinCeuticals Niacinamide (DISCOLORATION DEFENSE serum) for the day. (topped with sunscreen ofc)

Was wondering… Would be more effective to add niacinamide along with the hydroquinone at night instead of only using niacinamide during the day? Do they mix?

Gio January 12, 2019 - 6:08 pm

Chase, hydroquinone is the most effective skin lightener there is so don’t worry about using it alone. Niacinamide in the AM and hydroquinone in the PM is perfectly fine.

Lauren January 15, 2019 - 5:52 am

How about mixing lactic acid or glycolic acid with vitamin C (in the L-ascorbic acid form)? I read all the good info on Niacinamide and vit C and am so glad u did because I wanted to use the Elta MD UV clear spf 46 during the day and it contains both Niacinamide and lactic acid. I follow a simplified K-beauty routine as follows: AM: double cleanse with a ba and then gentle foaming cleanser and Clarisonic, followed by Lancôme hydrating toner, Fresh black tea and Kombucha essence, DE C firma, la roche posay mineral spf 60, DE or Clinique moisturizer (sometimes with rose oil if my skin is crazy dry). PM is essentially the same except I replace the C firma with either DE glycolic serum with Marula oil, Farmacy Honeymoon glow lactic acid serum with night time balm or Retin A and DE LaLa Whip moisturizer (I rotate products). BTW your articles are amazing. I’m a skincare junkie and would love to be a blogger!

Gio January 24, 2019 - 8:05 pm

Lauren, I wouldn’t mix exfoliating acids with L-ascorbic acid as it could be too irritating. It’s safer to use vitamin C in the morning and glycolic acid at night.

Definitely start a blog. It’s a lot of work but so rewarding. And the skincare world could do with more bloggers spreading the love. 🙂

Asmriti Priya March 12, 2019 - 5:14 pm

Hi geo,I used klair vitamin c and after that I used e-luminence deep moisturzing cream which contains niacinamide….so for best results how I used it,mix both of them together or after vitamin c wait for 30 mins then used the moisturizer please suggest.and you blog is so help to me.thanks 🙏 namaste from INDIA🇮🇳

Gio March 15, 2019 - 6:46 pm

Asmriti, apply vitamin C, wait a few minutes and then layer Niacinamide on top.

Candy April 19, 2019 - 7:26 am

Hi there. I wanna ask u sth… if I put my vitamin C first then I layer it again with Niacinamide without waiting time, is it okay? Fyi, i have oily combi skin. Thx.

Gio April 20, 2019 - 3:40 pm

Candy, yes it is ok. Only in the rare case your skin flushes red afterwards you need to use them separately.

Evelyn Leopatria April 24, 2019 - 7:03 am

Hey, I want to ask what if I put The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% then layer it with Innisfree Jeju tangerine (which contain vit C) will it turns the skin oily or still normal? Thanks! I have normal to oily skin btw.

Gio April 26, 2019 - 9:12 am

Evelyn, it should not turn your skin more oily. The Ordinary Niacinamide is designed to regulate oil production.

HIMAWARIANA April 27, 2019 - 9:31 am

Hello dear, can sensitive skin use serum that contain Vitamin C and Niacinamide (2%) together? Thank you.

Gio June 4, 2019 - 7:37 pm

Himawariana, you can, as long as:

1. It doesn’t make you flush
2. The form of Vitamin C isn’t irritating for your sensitive skin

Noel Thet May 6, 2019 - 6:52 pm

Hello.. I am using The Ordinary Niacinamide for a week. I am the type of combination skin with pore problems so I hope the Niacinamide can help. Previously I had acne breakouts two to three years ago which was settled with Clinique DDMG n EL advanced Night repair serum. So my question is can I add The Ordinary Niacinamide to my skin care routine with DDMG and Night repair serum and in which order I should use properly. Thanks.

Gio June 4, 2019 - 4:38 pm

Noel, yes you can. But be careful of applying niacinamide + zinc on dry areas as it could dry them out even more. This product is for oily areas only.

You can layer them from the thinner to the thickest texture.

Dawn June 3, 2019 - 5:56 pm


I’m curious as to whether niacinamide will absorb and work at a ph of 4.5-5, regardless of there being vitamin c in the formula. Can niacinamide absorb and remain active at this ph if its outside its range?

Gio June 4, 2019 - 5:47 pm

Dawn, I haven’t seen anything in the literature to suggest that this is a problem, so don’t worry about it.

Luc June 17, 2019 - 5:30 pm

Hi, i just bought the Philosophy turbo booster c powder. After reading your article, i am curious can i mix it Missha fte (that contains niacimide) and use this mixture after double cleansing step? Thx before

Gio July 6, 2019 - 12:20 pm

Luc, please read the post!

Lin June 4, 2019 - 9:30 am

Hi, thanks for your really informative article. I have a question that I recently bought Paula’s Choice C15 super boost and The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. So can I use them together by layering? Do I need to wait a certain time between 2 of them? Or do I need to use them in different time of the day? I have a sensitive and combination skin.

Gio June 4, 2019 - 5:43 pm

Lin, yes, you can. Use Paula’s Choice first and then The Ordinary. Keep in mind their Niacinamide + zinc is drying so apply it on oily areas only.

Lin June 5, 2019 - 2:27 am

Yes, Thank you so much

Gio June 5, 2019 - 11:51 am

Lin, my pleasure!

James June 9, 2019 - 12:25 am

Hi Gio,

Great article as always! Now does it matter if you put on Niancinamide first and then layer it with Vitamin C? Or does it have to be Vitamin C first and then Niancinamide? The only reason I ask is I have this expensive Vitamin C cream serum and I have recently noticed if I put on a particular brand’s Niancinamide first even if I wait 5 to 10 minutes the vitamin C cream seems to ball up on my face and I have to keep rubbing it in and unfortunately it leaves a little white residue. That has never happened before with the Vitamin C it would always glide on my face. Now it might be brand specific but I it will be great to get your thoughts on this?

Also, do you know what the absorption time for Retin-A is, I have searched far and wide and some people say it is instant, while other say 10 or 20 minutes. Is there a consensus on this?

Gio July 6, 2019 - 1:27 pm

James, if Vitamin C behaves like that, definitely apply it first.

I’ve never really looked into the absorption. Just slather it on before going to sleep and let it do its work!

ClassySassyShopper June 14, 2019 - 9:03 am

I love your explanations! They are so well thought out and presented v clearly. You are a God send in a world filled w hyperbole and BS;)). Like so many others write I probably won’t mix the two regularly but it’s so great to know that I can if and when I need to in order to cut down on steps or save time. Keep the skin info coming please!

Cathy July 30, 2019 - 3:39 pm

Are you saying that The Ordinary Niacinimide+Zinc can be drying? Is it because of the Zinc? My skin is on the drier side and I’ve been using it for the past year. I haven’t noticed any drying but maybe it’s because of the other products I put on afterward? Do you think I should stop using that one and maybe switch to PC Niacinimide?

Gio August 9, 2019 - 4:36 pm

Cathy, yes the zinc can be drying. If that’s not a problem for you, you don’t need to switch. Unless you want to up your anti-aging game. TO is formulated especially for oily skin and reducing excess shine, whereas PC has more antioxidants and focuses more on Anti-aging.

Egi August 9, 2019 - 11:23 pm

hi GIO so I formulated with vitamin c l-ascorbic acid and niacinamide and after two days the product started turning to deep yellow, does it mean the product is completely useless or be less effective.

Gio September 15, 2019 - 6:50 pm

EGI, it’s deteriorated pretty badly, so I would toss it. L-Ascorbic Acid has a super short shelf live, so if you want to make your own serum, you should either make your batch every day or add some preservatives to the formula. Also, store the mixture in an opaque, air-tight container.

Heather September 27, 2019 - 9:06 am

The headline here had me concerned, as I’ve been using a serum with vitamins C and B3 combined. Glad to hear it’s (mostly) a myth, and that I can keep using it.

Marianne Nathalie Sweeney November 18, 2019 - 9:44 am

Hi there! Thank you very much for this useful article! I will now mix my vitamins C and niacinamide in my a.m. routine!

However, I wonder if you could advise me. I use Retin a micro in my p.m. routine… Can I use niacinamide too? I’ve heard that I shouldn’t moisturise when using Retin a micro as it interferes with the time release element of the cream. Would niacinamide interfere with it too or am I safe to incorporate into my routine?
Thank you 🙏 xx

Gio December 20, 2019 - 7:42 am

Marianne, yes you can use niacinamide after Retinol A Micro.

LK November 20, 2019 - 4:43 pm

Hi! Thanks for this article. My current PM routine is wash with Cerave foaming cleanser, apply Curology treatment (2% tretinoin, 4% niacinamide, 5% azelaic acid), and then apply Drunk Elephant protini moisturizer. Every 2nd or 3rd night I use Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Peel Pads, wait a few minutes and then apply my Curology treatment and DE moisturizer. My Curology medical advisor suggested I add a vitamin C serum to my routine to help fade my stubborn sunspots and hyperpigmentation. My question is what Vit C serum would you suggest I use (maybe you have more than one suggestion!)? I’ve been looking to find one with Hyalauronic Acid in it. Would I apply the Vit C/HA serum after the Curology treatment and before the DE protini moisturizer? Would you advise skipping the Vit C/HA serum on the nights I use the Dr. Gross peel pads? Also note, over time, my curology treatment will slowly increase in strength. My AM routine is just cleanse with Cerave hydrating cleanser, Boscia Gree-tea oil-free matifying moisturizer, and Smashbox Oil & Shine control primer before using CoverFX face powder (no foundation or concealer). I don’t like to use serums or treatments in the morning because I tend to get oily. I am caucasian with olive undertones, I have combo/oily skin, occasional hormonal pimples, and I’m 40 years old (so anti-aging skincare is my interest).

Gio December 20, 2019 - 7:54 am

LK, how long have you been using Curology? The combo of 2% tretinoin, 4% niacinamide, 5% azelaic acid is effective at fading away dark spots, too, but it takes time. If after 3 months on Curology, you still don’t see an improvement, it may be a good idea to add vitamin C too. Paula’s Choice C15 Booster or MaeLove The Glow Serum are both good picks. You can use them in the morning right after cleansing. I don’t recommend it at night because your night medication is already very harsh. You also didn’t mention anything about sunscreen. Tretinoin and Peel pads make skin more prone to sun damage and dark spots. So if you use Curology without sunscreen, you’re sabotaging your skincare routine. You’re just causing more dark spots than any skincare routine, with or without vitamin C, can fade away.

Emma December 28, 2019 - 9:42 am

Hi Gio!
Thanks very much to share all these great articles!
Can we mix sodium ascorbyl with niacinamide?
I wanted to use the ordinary niacinamide serum with derma E vitamin C serum that contains a high concentration of sodium ascorbyl phosphate.
Would it be a great choice?

Gio January 17, 2020 - 6:27 pm

Emma, yes you can.

Jessie March 9, 2020 - 8:05 pm

Hi Gio,
Thanks so much for explaining the interactions here. Using your anti-aging plus acne skin care routine, I’ve been applying Paula’s Choice 2% BHA in the mornings, followed by CeraV PM lotion with Niacimaide, and have been mixing in the Paula’s choice Vitamin C serum.

In the evenings, I’m using a retinol cream so I didn’t want to put the BHA or Vitamin C on in the evening. Would you suggest to continue this or do something different so as not to mix the Vitamin C Serum and the CeraV lotion? I guess I had thought the C Serum needed to go on with something else… but perhaps the best bet here is to simply layer on the Vitamin C serum by itself first and then follow a few minutes afterward with the CeraV lotion (with Niamicinide)?

Gio April 4, 2020 - 7:34 am

Jessie, it’s totally ok to layer your vitamin C serum with your CeraVe moisturiser.

I recommend you use vitamin c in the morning and alternate BHA and retinol at night. Unless your skin is super oily, you don’t need to exfoliate every day.

Avi April 15, 2020 - 6:07 am

Hello, Excellent website and article. Thank you so much for the wonderful explanations to the not-so-chemsitry minded. I have this powder Vitabird C12 Face Brightening Powder. It says it lasts 12 hours and to add a little to your toner or serum. I know not to add it to Ren’s Gylcolic Toner, but what about to Sunday Riley’s Martian Mattifying Toner or Herbivore’s Jasmine Toner in AM? So AM routine: Cetaphil cleanser, Vitabird C12 powder mixed with SR Martian Toner, SR CEO Vitamin C Serum, Good Genes, Herbivore Pink Cloud cream or Ren Evercalm Global Cream, and La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Sunscreen Fluid. Can I add in TO Niacinamide + Zinc in the AM? Where best to add the Vitabird?
PM routine: Cetaphil cleanser, Herbivore Rose Mist, Herbivore Prism 12% AHA & 5% BHA Glow Serum, Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative (they say safe to use together on their site), Herbivore Cloud cream, Herbivore Lapis Oil or Snowfox Herbal Youth Oil.
Is it all okay? I have TO Retinol and also Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting BHA Liquid Exfoliant and Smoothing serum, but not sure how to add them in or swap them in. I have them so would like to use as they are more affordable. Not sure how. Please advise. Thank you.

Gio May 15, 2020 - 2:27 pm

AVI, I’d love to help you create the best skincare routine for your skin. You can book your consultation here:

Katy April 27, 2020 - 2:07 pm

Hi Gio, I’ve been using pure victmin c then hyaluronic acid then Olay whip moisturiser containing niacimaide followed by spf in the mornings (sometimes adding squalane oil to the moisturiser)
Night I use niacimaide+zinc then retinol followed by hyaluronic then Olay mico sculpt cream or neutrogena moisture gel.
Is too much product being layered at once. Also aside from retinol waiting 15 mins before the next application, I usually dont wait longer then a min for the rest including victmin c in the mornings as I dont have the time. Will this affect the results?

Gio May 17, 2020 - 8:11 am

Katy, that’s fine. Don’t second guess every move and create problems where there aren’t any!

Chanel Samson April 30, 2020 - 10:40 pm

Hi Gio! I’ve been following your The Ordinary skin routine for acne and have been seeing great results BUT literally everyone I know is raving about vitamin C and I’m curious. I have mild cystic hormonal acne and I use Paula’s Choice salicylic acid and The Ordinary’s Niacinamide in the morning and evening plus The Ordinary Azeliac Acid and Squalane at night … where does Vitamin C fit into this?

Gio May 15, 2020 - 11:34 am

Chanel, never use something just because others rave about it. Everyone’s skin is different and you know to use what’s best for you. Vitamin C can aggravate acne in acne-prone skin, unless you pick the right form. I recommend Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (you’ll find it in Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum) in the morning right after cleansing.

Mita June 3, 2020 - 11:58 am

Hi, thank you for this information. Can i use The Ordinary niacinamide together with The Ordinary vitamin C suspension 30%? or do you have any suggestion which one i should use in AM and PM?

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