Can I use AHA, BHA with niacinamide?

Many people struggle with acne, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, dehydrated skin, enlarged pores, etc. It looks like this kind of skin condition has no practical solution, or it is tough to achieve a hydrated, fresh, radiant, and even skin appearance. The truth is that people have never met a good dermatologist or have never tried using Niacinamide, AHA, and BHA in their everyday skincare routine. These three are famous ingredients that help enhance skin texture, reduce pigmentation,  improve dryness, dullness, fade wrinkles and acne. Besides common properties, they also have their own unique effects. Let's find out what each of them can do when used solo.

Niacinamide is a pro-vitamin B3, a precursor to the coenzymes NADH and NADPH. Easily said, it boosts cellular metabolism while energizing cells to implement their functions, for instance, DNA repair and cell turnover. In addition, Niacinamide hydrates the skin, fights free radicals, fades hyperpigmentation, firms wrinkles, regulates oil production, unclogs pores, clears acne, and smooths skin texture.

Both AHA and BHA (alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids) are organic acids that act as chemical exfoliants while removing dead and dull cells from the top layer of the skin, providing an anti-aging effect and fading spots.  AHAs are the right choice for a dry appearance, as most of them hydrate and soothe the dermal tissue. Unlike AHAs, BHAs act at the deeper layers, control sebum production, shrink the pores, and expose less sensitivity to the sunlight.

The trick is that all these ingredients' effects depend on their concentration and pH level. Niacinamide has around 5-7, and the acids 3-4 pH, which means that mixing them can neutralize the effects of each other. So here comes the question, why and how to use acids in a duo with Niacinamide?

Can I use niacinamide with AHA?


When using an AHA as a chemical exfoliant, consider adding Niacinamide to everyday skincare, too. Alpha-hydroxy acid is expected to irritate, causing redness, stinging, and inflammation, especially at the beginning of the treatment. Niacinamide minimizes these potential side effects by replenishing the skin barrier, revealing less exposure to irritation, controlling red appearance, and increasing water-binding ability. Using AHA and Niacinamide together will double the benefits of brightening, fading pigmentation, and reducing wrinkles. It is possible to find a few acid products containing low doses of Niacinamide, but using two different products will provide more beneficial properties. Take a 30-minute gap between applying Niacinamide and AHA to make sure first has completely absorbed. If it is not possible to wait, apply Niacinamide in the morning and AHA in the evening.

AHA with Niacinamide Products

Can I use niacinamide with BHA?

Pairing BHA and Niacinamide together can form a winning duo. It is a perfect combination to combat mild and moderate acne, blackheads, and enlarged pores while improving skin condition. Combining these two ingredients can have a notable positive effect on the skin. It is possible to find several products that include Niacinamide and Beta-hydroxy acid in one product with all these benefits. To get maximum results, use Niacinamide and BHA apart. First, apply Niacinamide, wait at least 30 minutes, then BHA. That should give it appropriate time so both products can work at their intended pH level.

When layering skincare products, always go from lowest to highest pH. Start with cleansing, use an acid, wait 30 minutes, then apply Niacinamide. Follow with moisturizers and sunscreen.

BHA and Niacinamide Product