Picking your Lactic Acids:
Lactic acid is one of the more popular and hydrating AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids), that effectively exfoliate your skin. At-home lactic acid products should generally be 10% or less.
If your budget allows for it ($85) then this has to be your number one choice.
Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment deeply exfoliates the dull surface of the skin for instant glow and radiance. Visibly brightens the appearance of dark spots and discoloration, while restoring clarity and smoothness.
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Or if you aren’t quite ready to commit, I would start with the travel size pack that includes the Good Genes:
Small but mighty, this mini power couple combines the power of lactic acid (an AHA) and retinol ester to exfoliate and brighten the skin for a visibly smoother, more radiant-looking complexion.
ClarityRx Brighten It 10% Lactic Acid Solution really works to clean up your face and noticeably brighten it. It has a super simple ingredient list – purified water and lactic acid – that’s it! No filler ingredients!
Picking your Niacinamide:
Choose products with at least four or five percent concentrations— which has been clinically proven to reduce pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne and at five percent was found to improve redness and sallowness.
This is a great product with 4% niacinamide.
Vichy has an excellent anti-aging, brightening and hydrating serum with 4% niacinamide that reduces fine lines and repairs dry, dull skin. This is our community favourite serum.
Here is one product with 4.4% Niacinamide, as well as retinol already mixed in, to super target the pigmentation, and your aging or acne problems.
This PCA SKIN treatment is also a good choice with 4.4% Niacinamide, as well as retinol already mixed in, to super target the pigmentation, and your aging or acne problems. It will dramatically reduce discoloration and skin yellowing.
Things to know when mixing Niacinamide and Lactic Acids:
When you mix them together, the niacinamide will raise the pH of the acid; the higher the pH, the less the skin absorbs and the less effective the products.
Another problem with mixing niacinamide and acid is that it can cause redness and flushing. Not a welcoming outcome when you’re trying to beautify your skin.
This principle is no different than when you mix niacinamide with other acids. See our detailed guide How salicylic acid and niacinamide work together to give you even and glowing skin.
So how do you properly layer Niacinamide and Lactic acids?
Apply them at different point of the day
Niacinamide is nonacidic and can be used with other nonacidic serums and lotions with little waiting/ absorption time. Include this water based treatment before oil-based serums in the morning when you’re less likely to have time to wait.
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When using lactic acids it is usually recommended that you wait 5-30 minutes for the product to absorb into the skin before applying other serums and lotions— maybe this routine will better suit for nighttime or when you have more time to unwind.
Apply them 30 minutes apart
This way, each product have time to absorb into the skin, give your skin time to return to its normal pH and allow each product to work at its intended pH.
When layering products, start with products with the lower pH (acids), allow 30 minutes and follow with your higher pH serums like niacinamide.
Apply sunscreen after during the day
As you are applying an exfoliating acid (lactic acid), it’s very important to wear SPF after. Check out Hyram’s sunscreen recommendations here.
The Ordinary – Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
This is a great beginner’s Niacinamide that will give you great results for little to no cost. I personally use this twice a day and I find it significantly reduces inflammation and really helps with my breakouts.
🐰 Cruelty Free
Other niacinamide favs:
Glossier. – Super Pure Niacinamide + Zinc Serum
A daily vitamin and mineral duo of 5% Niacinamide and Zinc PCA that nourishes skin, for visibly smoother texture and improved clarity.
GOOD MOLECULES – Niacinamide Serum
Don’t miss our How to Layer The Ordinary Products for a Perfect Complexion
Be kind and stay beautiful.
Part of the information was from Cherie, credit to user @iso.beauty.