Two ingredients that dermatologists recommend to treat skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, melasma, and hyperpigmentation are niacinamide and azelaic acid. Both of these ingredients have shown great efficacy in improving skin health, but they differ from one another and impart different benefits to the skin.
If you’re considering using our Niacinamide Lotion 10% or our Azelaic Acid 14% Cream, both of which are medical-grade and dermatologist-formulated, you may have some questions about how niacinamide and azelaic acid work, what they do, and how they compare to and interact with one another.
Here is everything you need to know about these two highly effective ingredients and how to use them.
What is Niacinamide?
A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is found in many natural sources, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, green vegetables, and certain grains and cereals. Niacinamide is essential to the body’s ability to process fats and sugars and maintain the health of our cells.
Doctors recommend niacinamide supplements to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency and related conditions, and often recommend niacinamide topically to treat skin conditions such as acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and visible signs of aging.
Benefits of Niacinamide for the Skin
- Niacinamide is a powerful nutrient that increases the production of healthy fats in our skin known as ceramides, while simultaneously curbing the production of sebum, a natural oil produced by the skin that often contributes to acne.
- It also reduces pore size, improves skin texture, and soothes inflammation and skin irritation caused by p. acnes bacteria, which helps to clear pustules, blemishes, and redness.
- Topical niacinamide is non-irritating when compared to many other acne treatments, and is therefore a great option for those with dry or sensitive skin.
- Research on the benefits of niacinamide have confirmed the efficacy of topical applications of niacinamide for acne scars, as well as the use of niacinamide for dark spots.
- Niacinamide also helps to build immunity in the skin against infections, and protects against the immunosuppressive action of solar UV rays, which helps to prevent lines, wrinkles, and premature aging.
- It has also been used effectively to treat melasma and eczema, because it assists in the skin’s protein synthesis and helps the skin retain moisture to protect it against drying and damaging environmental factors. This contributes to stronger, healthier skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties also alleviate redness.
- But perhaps the most powerful function of niacinamide is its contribution to the production of NADH, a naturally-occurring chemical that improves energy production at the cellular level and repairs DNA.
Our Niacinamide Lotion 10% stands out among similar products because it is formulated as a moisturizing lotion, with a synergistic combination of ingredients in a hyaluronic acid base. With a potent yet non-irritating 10% concentration of niacinamide, it allows this ingredient to offer maximum benefits to the skin. By comparison, many other solutions on the market only use this ingredient in concentrations between 1% to 2%.
This lotion improves the skin’s hydration and soothes to reduce redness, inflammation, blemishes, and pigmentation, renewing and protecting the skin.
What is Azelaic Acid?
A natural by-product of the beneficial yeast that lives on our skin, azelaic acid is a type of dicarboxylic acid known for its antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It effectively clears acne-causing bacteria from the skin, which reduces acne breakouts, blemishes, irritation, and inflammation. It also safely reduces acne scars and post-acne discoloration, while improving the skin’s tone. This is why so many dermatologists prescribe azelaic acid for acne-prone skin.
Benefits of Azelaic Acid
- Among its many beneficial properties, azelaic acid also reduces protein production in the skin, which helps to clear the accumulation of sebum and dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, reducing the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
- Azelaic acid also blocks increased oil production caused by an elevation in testosterone levels, making it an ideal option for teens going through puberty, when acne flare ups may be linked to hormonal changes.
- Considered safe for all skin types, and for long-term daily use, azelaic acid may also be combined with other skin care products, lotions, and moisturizers, as no ingredients are contraindicated for use with it.
Our Azelaic Acid 14% Cream is formulated by a specialized team of chemists and dermatologists in a hydrating, water-soluble cream base to improve skin conditions such as acne, age spots, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and rosacea, while protecting against dryness and irritation.
For skin brightening and to improve pigmentary disorders, azelaic acid is effective due to its ability to block the skin’s natural process of pigment production, reducing brown spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. It’s also a less abrasive and far less controversial treatment than hydroquinone, as well as a much safer option for long-term use.
Our Foundation Skincare Azelaic Acid 14% Cream produces the following benefits:
- Brightens and lightens the skin tone
- Calms inflammation and skin irritations
- Destroys acne-causing bacteria, unclogs pores, and improves acne-prone skin
- Improves skin texture
- Reduces acne scars and surface imperfections
- Reduces redness caused by rosacea
Can You Use Them Together?
Absolutely! First apply the Niacinamide Lotion 10%, and then follow up with the Azelaic Acid 14% Cream.
To further moisturize and protect your skin, you may add a layer of our Vitamin C Lotion 10% and/or our Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, always applying the thinnest products first and ending with the thickest.
Wash hands between each application and allow each product to dry on your skin before applying the next layer.
How to use our Foundation Skincare Products (Use twice daily)
- Cleanse face with a mild cleanser and pat dry.
- Apply a thin layer of Niacinamide Lotion 10%.
- (Optional) Apply a thin layer of Vitamin C Lotion 10% or Hyaluronic Acid Lotion. Apply Azelaic Acid 14% Cream in a gentle, circular motion, focusing on trouble spots.
- Apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher before going outdoors.
In cases of pigmentary disorders such as hyperpigmentation and melasma, we recommend pairing our topical products with our Pigmentation Defense nutritional supplement, to give your skin all the nutrients it needs from the inside out.