Woman in a white bathrobe applying cream on her face.

Like romance novels, OTPs (or one true pairings) exist in the skincare realm, too. These days, niacinamide and retinol are the hot new "love team” with unparalleled chemistry. Both require the same pH levels for maximum absorption (an average of 5.6, FYI) and are powerhouse ingredients for improving skin texture.

Though you can use either one independently, combining these two skincare ingredients can give you the glow of your dreams. Here we break down the benefits of using niacinamide and retinol together, plus how to do it properly.

Niacinamide and Retinol: A Match Made in Heaven

The skin is a complex organ; therefore, one ingredient may not be enough to solve all your skin woes. Enter skincare mixology, the concept of pairing two (or more) active ingredients that complement each other, like niacinamide and retinol.

is a powerful antioxidant highly recommended by dermatologists. The only catch is it can be too potent on some skin types. This is where comes to the rescue. Think of retinol as the main protagonist and niacinamide as the supporting character. Together, they rejuvenate your skin in unparalleled ways.

1. They calm redness and increase hydration.

Retinol works by shedding dead skin and unveiling new cells faster. While it makes the skin look brighter and plumper, it can also cause mild irritation because the new skin is highly sensitive. Niacinamide can prevent this side effect without undermining retinol’s efficacy.

According to the , niacinamide strengthens the lipid barrier and increases moisture retention, which can reverse the dryness that occurs after a retinol treatment. Niacinamide also delivers benefits to skin prone to . So, if you have reactive skin, complement your retinol treatment with niacinamide to increase your skin’s tolerance.

2. They lighten hyperpigmentation.

The skin cells produce melanin to protect themselves from UV rays. However, injuries and inflammation can trigger the overproduction of melanin. When the body can’t distribute the pigment properly, it shows up as on the skin. Want your and sun spots gone? Niacinamide and retinol are excellent at reviving dull skin. They work alternately to even out your skin tone and stave off discoloration.

In 2016, researchers famously combined retinol with niacinamide to test their skin-brightening effects. The study proved both effective and well-tolerated. Retinol breaks up and disperses blotchy melanin, while niacinamide inhibits the pigment from passing the skin’s outer layer.

3. They help prevent acne breakouts.

and benzoyl peroxide are the big names that come to mind when dealing with acne, but there's an equally capable power couple in town.

A study claims that a combination of retinol and niacinamide can treat acne with minimal side effects. As you’re probably aware, the four pillars of acne are excess sebum, blockage, bacteria, and skin inflammation.

Niacinamide relieves the swelling from an angry pimple and regulates sebum production. It paves the way for retinol to work its magic, killing acne-causing bacteria and exfoliating all the nasties hidden inside the pores. You’ll see fewer breakouts and more glowy skin!

4. They slow down the aging process.

Two is better than one, especially in keeping your skin young. Vitamin A derivatives such as retinol are well-known for their anti-aging benefits. Based on findings from the Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, retinol stimulates collagen production, thus boosting skin elasticity. It also induces new blood vessel growth, helping wounds heal faster and improving skin color.

But niacinamide has tricks up its sleeve, too. It fights off stressors like sun damage and pollution that can cause premature aging. A South Korean study confirms this active ingredient reduces the appearance of , age spots, sallowness, and skin flushing.

How to Use Niacinamide and Retinol Together

If you want to reap the benefits of retinol and none of its side effects, you can “practice” with niacinamide a couple of weeks prior. Doing this will help . You can also apply layer your treatments with a moisturizer to reduce the risk of dry skin. However, the most efficient way to use this combo is with a product that contains both.

Try POND'S Age Miracle Anti-Aging Night Cream with 15X Retinol C and Niacinamide to Boost Collagen to revitalize your skin while you’re sleeping. It contains hyaluronic acid, collagen, and prebiotics for smoother skin.

In the morning, apply POND'S Age Miracle Anti-Aging Day Cream SPF 18 with Retinol C and Niacinamide for Skin Renewal. This product continues your retinol treatment throughout the day without causing irritation. Formulated with SPF, this moisturizing cream helps wake your skin up and blends well under makeup.

TL; DR: You can use niacinamide and retinol together. Mixing the two doubles the benefits, especially when dealing with acne, hyperpigmentation, and skin aging. Keep an eye on how your skin reacts and always be vigilant in choosing the right skincare products. When in doubt, talk to your dermatologist before using new ingredients on your skin.