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Which Ingredients Go Well With Niacinamide — And Which DON'T?

by Yu-Jun Park 30 Jun 2024

Niacinamide is the ultimate team player. 

It enhances and balances the power of various skincare ingredients, delivering targeted results when you need them.

Choose your combo based on your skin's needs, and you can reveal a glow you never dreamed of. 

So without further ado, here’s what to pair with niacinamide for that glow that will have you switching off your filters… 

Skin Soother: Niacinamide and Aloe Vera

You're probably familiar with aloe vera—your go-to for sunburns or that annoying rash post-beach day. But pair this soothing ingredient with niacinamide, and you’ve got yourself a calming cocktail for irritated skin.

Why They Work:

Aloe vera is well-known for its cooling and soothing properties, which complement niacinamide’s ability to reduce redness and inflammation. Together, they form a dynamic duo for calming sensitive skin.


This pair can do wonders for conditions like rosacea or eczema. Plus, they work great for those occasional mishaps with overzealous exfoliation.

How to Use:

Start with applying aloe vera gel or an aloe-infused skincare product and follow up with your niacinamide serum. This layering method ensures that your skin benefits from both ingredients without feeling overwhelmed.

Balance & Brighten: Niacinamide and Licorice Root Extract

Okay, so licorice root extract might remind you more of candy than skincare, but don't underestimate its power. 

When combined with niacinamide, it creates a formidable force for brightening the skin.

Why They Work:

Licorice root extract contains compounds that inhibit the enzyme responsible for melanin production, making it a natural brightener. Niacinamide, on the other hand, combats hyperpigmentation and evens out skin tone.


Achieve a radiant, more even complexion. This combo is particularly effective for those struggling with dark spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne.

How to Use:

Look for serums or creams that contain both niacinamide and licorice root extract. Use them consistently to see noticeable improvements in your skin tone over time.

Oil Control: Niacinamide and Zinc

Do you feel like your face gets shinier than a disco ball by lunchtime? Enter zinc, niacinamide's partner in crime for controlling oil production.

Why They Work:

Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and can help regulate sebum production. Niacinamide is also great at managing oil levels, making this duo a one-two punch for combating acne and shine.


Reduce excessive oiliness and breakouts. This pairing is fantastic for those with combination to oily skin types.

Pro Tip:

Spot treat oily areas with a product that contains both niacinamide and zinc. Alternatively, a mattifying serum with these ingredients can be used all over the face in the morning before applying sunscreen.

Redness Reducer: Niacinamide and Centella Asiatica (Cica)

Centella Asiatica, commonly known as Cica, is another powerhouse in the skin-calming department, and when paired with niacinamide, it can work miracles on redness-prone skin.

Why They Work:

Cica is famed for its ability to promote wound healing and reduce inflammation. Niacinamide, as you already know, works on reducing redness and irritation.


Together, they make a soothing cocktail that reduces redness, inflammation, and strengthens the skin barrier.

How to Use:

Apply a Cica-based cream or serum first, allowing it to absorb fully before layering on niacinamide. This ensures your skin drinks up all the soothing goodness before locking it in with niacinamide.

Texture Tamer: Niacinamide and AHAs/BHAs

Now, let’s talk about texture. Those tiny bumps and uneven patches can be frustrating, but niacinamide paired with alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs/BHAs) can help.

Why They Work:

AHAs and BHAs exfoliate the skin, getting rid of dead skin cells and unclogging pores. Niacinamide steps in to soothe and hydrate, preventing any potential irritation from the exfoliation process.


A smoother, clearer, and more refined skin texture. This combo helps reveal fresh, glowy skin without the roughness.

Best Practices:

Use your AHAs/BHAs in the evening, followed by a niacinamide serum. It’s best to start with lower concentrations of acids and gradually increase as your skin builds tolerance.

Barrier Boost: Niacinamide and Panthenol (Vitamin B5)

We can't forget about panthenol, a hydration heavyweight that's all about strengthening the skin barrier. Combined with niacinamide, you've got an unbeatable team for fortifying your skin’s defense system.

Why They Work:

Panthenol hydrates and heals the skin, while niacinamide enhances the barrier function by improving the resilience of the skin.


Improved skin texture, reduced dryness, and a more robust barrier that can better withstand environmental stressors.

Pro Tip:

Use a moisturizer or serum containing both niacinamide and panthenol, especially if you have sensitive or compromised skin. Consistent use will help maintain a healthy, hydrated complexion.

Plumped Perfection: Niacinamide and Peptides

If you're after that bouncy, youthful skin, this combination is for you. Peptides are short chains of amino acids that serve as the building blocks of proteins like collagen and elastin in the skin. Paired with niacinamide, they go above and beyond in keeping skin firm and plump.

Why They Work:

Peptides stimulate collagen production, while niacinamide ensures optimal skin function and repair.


Firmer, more elastic skin with visibly reduced fine lines and wrinkles.

How to Use:

Look for peptide serums that can be applied before or after your niacinamide serum. Layer other hydrating ingredients if needed to maximize the plumping effect.

Glam Glow: Niacinamide and Marine Extracts

Finally, we reach the under-the-sea marvels. Marine extracts—think algae and seaweed—are packed with antioxidants and essential minerals. Partnering these with niacinamide brings the ocean’s best right onto your skin.

Why They Work:

Marine extracts hydrate, detoxify, and fight free radicals. Niacinamide works in tandem to boost hydration, soothe, and repair.


Enhanced luminosity, revitalized skin tone, and protection against environmental damage.

How to Use:

Incorporate a marine extract serum or moisturizer with niacinamide in your daily routine. These lightweight gels or creams absorb quickly, making them perfect for layering.


Skincare Routine Remix: When and How to Use These Combos

It’s one thing to know who gets along with niacinamide, but how do you bring them all together in your skincare routine? Timing and method are everything. 

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of when and how to use these stellar combos.

Morning Routine Ideas:

  1. Cleanser: Start with a gentle cleanser to remove overnight buildup.
  2. Vitamin C Serum: Brightening your complexion and protecting against free radicals.
  3. Hyaluronic Acid: For that plump and hydrated look.
  4. Niacinamide: Strengthen your skin barrier and reduce inflammation.
  5. Moisturizer with SPF: Lock in all the goodness and shield yourself from UV rays.

Night Routine Ideas:

  1. Cleanser: Wash off the day’s grime with a gentle yet effective cleanser.
  2. Salicylic Acid: Clear out those pores and prevent breakouts.
  3. Niacinamide: Apply to calm and soothe the skin.
  4. Retinol: Follow with retinol to fight aging—wrinkles don’t stand a chance.
  5. Ceramide Moisturizer: Repair and moisturize as you sleep.

Real Talk: Not Every Combo Is a Win

Here’s where you need to channel your inner chemist. Some ingredients simply need room to shine solo. 

For instance, mixing niacinamide with alpha or beta hydroxy acids (like glycolic or salicylic acid) can lead to redness or irritation if piled on too recklessly.

So the lesson here? Balance. When planning your skincare, make sure every player has its space to perform without hindrance.

Lifestyle Love: Matching Combos to Your Daily Grind

Your skincare should fit seamlessly into your daily life. Consider these tips to match skincare combos according to your lifestyle:

  • Work-from-home warrior: Long hours behind the screen? Focus on blue light protection with antioxidants like Vitamin C to counteract digital damage.
  • Fitness fanatic: Post-gym, your skin yearns for soothing ingredients. A combo like niacinamide and aloe vera can help calm the post-workout flush.
  • Living that city life: Urban warriors face pollution daily. Antioxidants and calming agents like niacinamide and green tea extract can provide a shield against environmental stressors.

Expert Advice: When in Doubt, Patch Test!

Whenever you’re experimenting with a new combo, remember these wise words: Patch test first. Dab a bit on a small area (like behind your ear or on your inner forearm) and wait 24 hours to rule out any adverse reactions. Trust us, your skin will thank you later.

An Insider Secret

Now, if you’re thinking it sounds like a lot of work (and a lot of money) to source all of those ingredients independently, you’re not wrong.

So if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck? Our Kojic Acid Cream does quadruple duty — it combines niacinamide with powerful AHAs, licorice extract, centella and hyaluronic acid to boot. 

Your routine (and your wallet) will thank you!

Wrapping it Up

So, there you have it, the ultimate guide to pairing niacinamide with other skincare rockstars. 

Whether you’re looking to hydrate, calm, or brighten, there’s a tag team of ingredients that’ll have your skin singing.

Remember, skincare is as much about the journey as the destination. Mix, match, and discover what works specifically for your unique needs. 

Crafting that perfect skincare cocktail doesn’t have to be a science experiment gone wrong — it can be a pampering session that fits seamlessly into your life. 

So, go ahead, play around with these ingredients, watch your skin flourish, and enjoy becoming the skincare genius we know you are.

Keep glowing, gorgeous!

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