Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Rupali Goswami (Beauty Expert) on 23rd Oct 2020

Why should you layer hyaluronic Acid before Niacinamide and Vitamin C Serums

hyaluronic Acid before Niacinamide and Vitamin C Serums?

Serums have become a popular product to be introduced in the skincare routine. There are many serums out there that can provide a lot of benefits to your skin by helping maintain your health and glow for a more extended period. Every serum has different properties and is used to treat other skin issues.

The skincare products are brimming with a list of ingredients that change along with a change in trends. You would have seen many brands have started introducing themselves as organic or natural by involving ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, natural oils, and other things. Despite all the new elements, some staples have proven beneficial for the skin and therefore, can't be replaced.

Whether you are working with known ingredients or grabbing a product with all-new components, it is essential to understand how skincare layering works.

There is a correct order to apply skincare products; if you pair a wrong toner with a wrong moisturizer, it may irritate your skin or be ineffective. The same is the case with different types of serums. Some are lightweight, some are heavy on the skin, and this formulation decides its layering.  

Some popular ingredients that can be found in the majority of serums are: 

  • Hyaluronic Acid 
  • Niacinamide  
  • Vitamin C  

What is Hyaluronic Acid? 

Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally produced by our bodies. Hyaluronic acid's role is to retain water to keep the tissues moist and lubricated and prevent moisture from evaporating into the air. It also helps keep the skin hydrated and plump.

Our body faces a decrease in hyaluronic acid as we get older, just like collagen and elastin. Hyaluronic acid has many benefits, whether taken in the form of supplements or applied topically on the skin. 

  • Approximately half of the hyaluronic acid in the body is present in the skin, where it holds the water to help retain moisture. 
  • Hyaluronic acid regulates inflammation levels and signals the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area to help heal the wounds faster. 
  • It protects the skin's natural lipid barrier to help lock the moisture to create more skin hydration
  • It helps give a more youthful appearance by hydrating the skin and preventing the signs of fine lines and wrinkles because of its highly moisturizing properties. 
  • Hyaluronic acid offers barrier protection and extra hydration that naturally leads to healthier cells and a vibrant complexion. 

What is Niacinamide?

It is a form of vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide, an essential nutrient. It supports the outer layer by working to restore the skin moisture and prevent any water loss further.

Lack of vitamin B-3 can cause scaly skin, skin pigmentation, environmental or sun damage, and many other skin deficiencies. Using Niacinamide can eliminate the risk of further damage and help repair your skin from past injury.

A good effective Niacinamide serum usually contains 5-10% Niacinamide.

Benefits of Niacinamide include: 

  • Niacinamide can help minimize the appearance of pores by helping keep the skin smooth and moisturized. 
  • It helps protect the skin against sun damage. It rebuilds healthy skin cells while protecting them against ultraviolet rays.
  • It helps treat severe forms of acne-like papules and pustules and helps improve the texture of the skin.
  • It encourages collagen and elastin production in the skin, which helps minimize wrinkles and fine lines. Which also helps with strength & firmness that makes our skin appear tighter. 
  • Imbalance of ceramides can cause skin dryness, irritation, and itching. Niacinamide boosts lipids production that helps retain moisture in the skin and protects against environmental damage like pollution, sun, and dust. 

What is Vitamin C

You can find vitamin C in a lot of foods and can experience some fantastic benefits. Still, vitamin C is also available in serums that can be applied topically to the skin to achieve smooth, bright, glowing, and firm skin.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent the formation of free radicals to maintain the collagen and elastin in the skin. It is primarily available in the form of liquid or gel consistency. 

Benefits of Vitamin C: 

  • Vitamin C has an excellent safety profile. It is suitable for all skin types unless you have hypersensitive skin, which quickly gets irritated. 
  • The direct derivative of vitamin C is magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, which is proved to hydrate skin. It prevents water loss & allows the skin to retain moisture in a better way. 
  • It is also useful/helpful in treating a variety of inflammatory skin conditions.
  • It also prevents melanin production, which ultimately helps fade dark spots and marks to an even-toned complexion. 
  • It is a well-known ingredient to use for collagen production. Lower levels of collagen can result in fine lines and wrinkles.  

Why should you layer Hyaluronic acid before niacinamide and vitamin C serums? 

All three ingredients, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C, are safe when used together. You can pair either hyaluronic acid with niacinamide serum or hyaluronic acid with vitamin C or three of them together. Still, the most important thing to remember is how you should be using these ingredients.  

Hyaluronic acid and niacinamide: 

Hyaluronic acid and Niacinamide are a great pair as both are water-based treatments. When used together, always go with applying hyaluronic acid first, followed by Niacinamide. By following this, you would be able to attract plenty of hydration first. After that, apply Niacinamide to help regulate the sebum production and help with the minimization of pores. Lastly, you can seal all the active ingredients by using a moisturizer.

These ingredients are suitable for all skin types, and there are meager chances that your skin will be irritated by applying these ingredients together.
Still, you can discontinue using one of the active ingredients and see which one triggered the skin in case of any discomfort or irritation.

If not together, you can use both the active ingredients separately, like you can use the hyaluronic acid in your daytime skincare routine to feel hydrated enough throughout the day. Use Niacinamide in the night skincare routine to perform the repairing properties like help prevent the signs of aging, fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and enlarged pores.

If you suffer from dehydrated skin with an oily T zone, you can apply Niacinamide just on your nose, chin, and forehead. For the rest of the face, you can use hyaluronic acid to keep your skin well hydrated. 

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Niacinamide 5% Face Serum
Niacinamide 5% Face Serum
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Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C:

Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are two of the most known repairing ingredients with powerful anti-aging properties and can be found in many skincare products. Serums are supposed to be applied before moisturizers and creams as per their consistency. It's always better to layer from thinnest to thickest.

After you are done cleansing and toning your skin, you should go with hyaluronic acid first as it hydrates the skin and hydrated skin absorbs better than dehydrated skin.

Vitamin C should be applied next as it will help brighten your skin and minimize the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation. Your last step for the daytime skincare routine should be applying SPF to protect the skin from sun damage throughout the day.

Hyaluronic acid & vitamin C can also be applied in your nighttime skincare routine before you go to sleep. 

How to layer serums in the correct order? 

Go with the serums first: 

Serums should be the first thing to touch your skin after you are done with cleansing and toning. If you try to apply serums after applying moisturizers and creams, your skin will not absorb the serum as moisturizers have a much thicker consistency than a serum has.  

Mix and merge may help you: 

Say you have several skin issues that need to be addressed and require more than one product for several concerns. In this case, mixing different serums can help you solve all those issues without using too many products separately. Like you can use vitamin C for dark spots and hyaluronic acid for hydration purposes.  

Consistency matters: 

When you are confused about what goes on first, always start with the lightest consistency to the thickest. Lightweight serums will be much easier and quicker to absorb into the skin, while heavyweight serums will take some time to get completely absorbed into the skin.

If you come across with serums with more or less the same consistency, you should go for the ingredients from which your skin can get the most benefit out of. 

Follow with a gentle massage: 

Massaging your skin can help with improved blood circulation and oxygen to the skin. 

Give it some time to soak: 

While layering is excellent, it can only be useful if you give it a proper time to soak into your skin. Waiting a minute or two will ensure that the serum has absorbed deep into the skin. 

The night is the best time to layer: 

Some serums can cause sensitivity in your skin when exposed to the sun, resulting in redness, irritation, and damaged skin. It is best to layer your serums in the night time as it is safe, not exposed to the sun, and your skin will get an ample amount of time to repair itself. 

Final Note: 

Serums are great for the skin and sometimes perform wonders when paired with the right ingredients. Just make sure to research about the ingredients you are putting into your skin, the correct way to apply it, and what elements would work the best if used together.