Skip to content

Retinol or Niacinamide First? Your Essential Beauty Guide!

by Ella Goodman 21 Jun 2023

Okay, beauty enthusiasts!

You've got a bathroom cabinet that's bursting at the seams with skincare goodness.

But let's face it: at times, figuring out the world of beauty feels like solving a secret code. And one question that's been buzzing in our DMs is: "Retinol or Niacinamide first?"

Are you scratching your head? Hold up!

Before you toss your lotions and potions in frustration, we’re here to break it down for you. Today is like a fun detective day! 🕵️‍♀️

Let’s crack this code together! 🧩✨

Meet the MVPs

Now, let's go more in-depth with our two main characters in the skincare game.   Guess what? Retinol and Niacinamide are the cool kids everyone's talking about in the world of beauty!

But here's the thing: they’re not on the same team - they're like soccer and basketball stars playing different games. 🌟

Retinol: The Timeless Beauty

Let's roll out the red carpet for retinol, your skincare's greatest showstopper.

Picture retinol as that unforgettable classic movie; think 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. It's timeless and captivating, and just like Audrey Hepburn's timeless grace, it never goes out of style.

It's transformative—the proverbial chameleon of skincare—and suits every skin story. And the best part? It delivers what it promises—no cliffhangers, no twists.

Retinol, as a derivative of vitamin A, is the knight in shining armor in your anti-aging saga. It's not just a hero; it's the superhero - always there when you need it, always ready to battle the baddies (we’re looking at you, fine lines and wrinkles).

Let's dive a little deeper into the magic of this skincare superstar.

This beauty superstar revs up collagen production. And it doesn't just stop there - it's like a turbocharger for your skin, boosting cell turnover while it’s at it.

To break it down, retinol helps press the refresh button on your skin cells, clearing the stage for fresh ones to steal the show.

And the result? An enthusiastic wave goodbye to those sneaky wrinkles and impish fine lines that were hogging the limelight.

But wait, there's more!

Retinol also has a secret weapon up its sleeve - it's a real whiz at unclogging pores and keeping acne at bay. If blackheads or whiteheads are giving you a hard time, retinol steps up to the plate. It works like a champ to make your skin clean and glowy.

We're not saying it's a miracle, but it's pretty close!

Niacinamide: The Multitasker

Strutting on the catwalk next, we have Niacinamide - a form of vitamin B3 and quite the versatile maestro.

Think of Niacinamide as your always dependable best friend - it's got your back no matter what. This skincare genie is eager to grant way more than just three wishes, folks.

Experiencing pigmentation that's throwing your glow off balance? Or perhaps the redness making your skin look like a tomato just made its home there? Enlarged pores turning your face into a moon crater model?

Hold that sigh! Niacinamide is here to play the hero, cape and all.

Niacinamide is like a friendly coach for your skin. It helps calm any angry spots, fades dark patches, and keeps everything in balance. It's like the soothing voice in your yoga class, guiding your skin towards peace and harmony.

The result? A complexion so bright and even-toned, it'll give the sun a run for its money! It's like a cool, lively splash for your skin, without making you jump around all over the place.

And hold on to your face masks, because the Niacinamide show is far from over!

This overachiever is also an expert referee when it comes to managing the oil production in your skin and helping to balance sebum levels.

This makes it the ultimate skin harmonizer, working its magic for both dry and oily skin types. Plus, its hydration superpowers are second to none - it's like that thirst-quenching drink on a hot summer day, but for your skin.

So if your skin's crying out for a hydration rescue, Niacinamide is ready to swoop in and save the day.

The Layering Lowdown

The critical part of any skincare routine is knowing how to layer your products.

Think of it like a perfectly composed piece of music. Each note (or, in this case, product) needs to play at the right time for the melody (your radiant skin) to come alive.

So, here's the lowdown on how to layer retinol and niacinamide:

  1. Start by cleansing your face (let’s kick off with a clean slate!).
  2. Next up, niacinamide! Look for a product with a high concentration for maximum benefits.
  3. Then, it's retinol’s turn to shine. But remember, retinol can be a diva. So if you're new to it, start with a lower concentration and gradually build it up as your skin adjusts.
  4. Round it off with a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and comfortable.

Remember, layering isn't about heavy artillery but strategic planning. It's the 'when’, not the 'what’, that really counts.

Stick to the golden rule of applying from the thinnest to the thickest consistency, and you'll be good to go!

Retinol + Niacinamide = Skin Goals?

Alright, let's dive into this fun mystery: Can the team of retinol and niacinamide really play nice in your skincare game?

Drumroll, please... Yes, they can!

Yep, you heard it right. Despite the chatter in the skincare grapevine, these two aren't cats and dogs. Instead, they're more like a dynamic duo straight out of your favorite buddy-cop movie.

Power Duo to the Rescue

Think about it, in that blockbuster movie in your mind, our intrepid pair, Retinol and Niacinamide, each bring their unique skill set to the table.

Like the yin to the other's yang, they balance each other out perfectly. Retinol is the tough one, taking the lead in fighting wrinkles, boosting collagen, and unclogging pores.

Niacinamide, meanwhile, is the cool and collected one. It easily comes in to soothe redness, brighten dark spots, and keep oily skin under control.

But what makes this pair truly iconic is their ability to complement each other. Niacinamide can even help offset some of the irritation that retinol might cause for some skin types.

Your Skin, Their Mission

So, let's set the record straight here. You absolutely don't have to worry about retinol and niacinamide getting into a turf war with your skin.

Quite the contrary, they can work in unison, each boosting the other's strengths and covering up any potential weaknesses. It's like having your own personal skincare Avengers squad right there in your bathroom cabinet.

Skin woes? Not on their watch!

So, skincare lovers, get ready to break the rules and let these two skincare superheroes join forces in your skincare regimen!


Here are some FAQs to tickle your curiosity buds.

Q: Can I use retinol and niacinamide in the same routine?

A: Absolutely! They can co-exist happily in your skincare routine.

Q: Can using retinol and niacinamide together cause skin irritation?

A: Everyone's skin is different, so reactions can vary. Niacinamide is generally well-tolerated, and it can even help soothe the irritation sometimes caused by retinol. But as always, patch test first!

Q: How often should I use these products?

A: Start slow. Initially, use retinol 1-2 times a week at night, gradually increasing as your skin gets acclimated. Niacinamide can be used once or twice daily, depending on your skin's tolerance.

Top Picks for Different Scenarios

We're all about personalizing your skincare because, let's face it, your skin is as unique as you are! So, allow us to play matchmaker and align you with your skincare soulmate.

Based on your specific skin concerns, here are our top picks:

  • For the Thirsty Skin

Do you often find your skin begging for a refreshing drink of hydration? If yes, Niacimamide’s your pal. It's like a revitalizing splash of water that your skin will love.

Not only will it flood your skin with much-needed moisture, but it also balances oil production, nipping those pesky breakouts in the bud. You're basically signing up for a hydrated, healthy glow that won't quit!

  • For the Ageless Aspirant

Aging is a fact of life, but looking your age is not. If you're the one who's always on the hunt for the elusive fountain of youth, we've got you covered. Our flagship retinol cream is your golden ticket to an age-defying journey.

It supercharges your skin, playing the role of a time eraser that minimizes those bothersome signs of aging.

  • For the Power Player

You love to have it all, don't you? We admire a skincare enthusiast who knows the power of potent combinations. If that’s you, shoot for the stars and combine the two of them (remembering to patch test first!).

Imagine Batman and Robin, but for your skin. This combo is all about maximum impact, working in tandem to enhance your skin's radiance while warding off any signs of aging. So, why settle for one when you can rock both?

We’re all about solutions that fit seamlessly into your lifestyle and align with your skin goals. So whether you're seeking that moisture surge, dreaming of ageless elegance, or rooting for the powerhouse combo, we've got the perfect skincare ally waiting just for you!

Skincare Mixology: Tips and Tricks

When it comes to skincare, you're the DJ, mixing and matching products to create a bespoke routine that caters to your skin's unique needs.

And guess what? Your favorite tracks - retinol and niacinamide - can create even more harmony when paired with some other skincare hits. Here are some combos to make your skin go "Ahhhh!"

Retinol + SPF

You wouldn't go on a road trip without a map, right?

Think of SPF as your map when you're road tripping with retinol. While retinol works its magic at night, your skin can become more sensitive to sunlight.

So, do your skin a favor and layer on that SPF in the morning, like a protective shield against UV rays. Talk about a dynamic duo!

Niacinamide + Hyaluronic Acid

Imagine being stranded in the desert with no water. That's your skin without hydration.

Hyaluronic acid is like an oasis, and when paired with niacinamide, it's like a tropical paradise for your skin.

This pair can deliver intense hydration, leaving your skin feeling supple and refreshed. Trust us; your skin will thank you!

Remember, the beauty of skincare is finding what works best for you. It's about having fun, experimenting, and tailoring your routine to your skin's unique rhythm.

Now, as we ride this wave of skincare enlightenment, it's time to address some common misconceptions.

The world of skincare can be filled with myths that, honestly, need to be busted wide open. So, let's put on our detective hats and get to the bottom of these skincare myths!

Mythbusters: Clearing the Skincare Air

Alright, beauties, fasten your seatbelts because we're about to embark on a myth-busting rollercoaster ride through the dynamic universe of skincare.

Myths in this realm can swirl around faster than the latest TikTok dance challenge, so it's high time we separated fact from fiction.

Ready to debunk some skincare tall tales? Let's go!

Myth 1: Retinol Thins Your Skin

Reality Check: Whoa there! Hold your skincare horses, because this is a total myth.

Instead of thinning your skin, retinol is more like your skin's personal fitness coach, pushing it to bulk up. It stimulates collagen production—that's the good stuff that gives your skin elasticity and strength.

So instead of leaving your skin thin and fragile, retinol is doing some serious heavy lifting, making it stronger and more resilient. It's time to flex those skincare muscles!

Myth 2: Niacinamide Isn’t Suitable for Sensitive Skin

Reality Check: Plot twist! Niacinamide is actually a true softie at heart.

This gentle giant is like a soothing serenade for your skin, calming inflammation and reducing redness. Yes, even for sensitive skin types!

So, rather than keeping your distance, embrace the soothing touch of niacinamide—it's like a cozy blanket on a cold day for your skin.

Knowledge is power, skincare squad! Don't let these myths throw you off course in your skincare journey.


So, skincare enthusiasts, we've busted the mystery of the eternal question "retinol or niacinamide first."

The beauty of skincare is that it's not an either-or situation; instead, it's about the harmonious working together of potent ingredients.

The real secret is learning how to apply these skincare powerhouses correctly.

Retinol and niacinamide, when paired together in a well-choreographed skincare routine, can be like a symphony for your skin.

Share this guide with your skincare buddies and empower them to elevate their skincare game, too!

Let's keep the conversation going in the comments. Until next time, shine on, skincare rockstars!

Prev Post
Next Post
Someone recently bought a
[time] ago, from [location]

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Recently Viewed

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items