Can I Use Niacinamide Without Moisturizer?

Can I use niacinamide without moisturizer

The combination of various skincare ingredients marks an effective skincare routine. Layering products and ingredient interactions are a necessity for skincare today. Two such ingredients are moisturizer and niacinamide which have become popular for a good number of skincare benefits. Moisturizers play a role in providing hydration and protecting the skin’s barrier. On the other hand, niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, has been known as a versatile compound praised for its ability to help various skin concerns. From regulating sebum production to diminishing hyperpigmentation, it seems like there’s little niacinamide can’t do.

The excellency of niacinamide has led some to wonder if it can stand alone. It is a unique skincare ingredient that goes well with many commonly used products. Yet, questions arise regarding its method of use. One such question is: Can I Use Niacinamide Without Moisturizer? Proper knowledge about the benefits of both niacinamide and moisturizers introduces you to the circumstances under which using niacinamide without a moisturizer might be suitable. Let me help you to conclude whether you can use niacinamide without moisturizer or not!

Niacinamide Explained

Niacinamide explained
Niacinamide explained

Niacinamide or nicotinamide is a form of vitamin B3 and is a popular skincare ingredient. It is a water-soluble vitamin that has gained significant attention in the skincare industry for its positive effects on the skin. The ingredient is generally well-tolerated by most skin types and can be used by people with sensitive skin. Niacinamide comes in a wide range of products such as serums, creams, toners, body lotions, and spot treatments while serum is the most popular product. The characteristics, properties, and functions of niacinamide are explained.

  1. Regulates oil production: this is useful for oily or combination skin types, as it can help minimize excess oil and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.
  2. Improves skin barrier: supports the skin’s natural barrier function, which leads to improved skin hydration, reduced fine lines and wrinkles, and a more youthful appearance.
  3. Fading dark spots: helps fade hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone caused by factors such as sun damage, inflammation, or hormonal changes.
  4. Anti-inflammatory: possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm redness, irritation, and sensitivity in the skin.
  5. Protection from environment: niacinamide by protecting the skin from environmental stressors such as pollution, UV radiation, and oxidative stress maintains healthier-looking skin over time.
  6. Collagen production: can stimulate collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity. Improved collagen production can lead to smoother and plumper skin.
  7. Sebum regulation: Its ability to regulate sebum production and improve skin’s texture can also lead to a reduction in the appearance of pores, making the skin look smoother and more refined.

Can I Use Niacinamide Without Moisturizer: Why?

Can I use niacinamide without moisturizer: Why
Can I use niacinamide without moisturizer: Why

Yes, you can use niacinamide, more specifically niacinamide serum without a moisturizer, but I recommend including a moisturizer in your skincare routine, especially if you’re using active ingredients like niacinamide. Niacinamide serum is a beneficial skincare ingredient that can help improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, and skin texture. Most of the ingredients of niacinamide serum are water-based. While moisturizers can keep the skin balanced, provide nourishment, and fights wrinkles, and other skin problems to give the skin a younger and fresh look. For normal skin, use a light and non-greasy moisturizer. While for dry skin, use a moisturizer that has a heavy and creamy formula, and for oily skin use a water-based moisturizer. The application of niacinamide serum after cleansing and toning and before serums or moisturizers would ensure more absorption and in turn more effective results for the skin.

Niacinamide serum can sometimes cause dryness or irritation for some people particularly with sensitive skin or if used in high concentrations. Using a moisturizer after applying niacinamide can help to lock in hydration and create a protective barrier on your skin, reducing the chances of irritation and maintaining healthy skin. If you think about using a moisturizer due to your skin type or any other specific reasons, you should start with a lower concentration of niacinamide.

Using Niacinamide Serum with Moisturizer: A Step-By-Step Guide

Continue skincare starting with the lightest to the heaviest product as the heavy skincare products can easily penetrate over the thin ones. Niacinamide serum can be applied in both morning and night every day and within 8 to 12 weeks of applying the serum, you will notice an improvement on your skin. Following is the step-by-step guide to using niacinamide serum with moisturizer.

1. Cleanse Your Face

First, cleanse your face with a mild cleanser or face wash. You need to massage gently using lukewarm water. Lather up the cleanser of facewash and then rinse with lukewarm water. After you are done with cleansing, with the help of a clean towel, pat dry your face.

Cleanse your face
Cleanse your face

2. Apply A Toner

Then, apply a toner. Toners can remove any extra dirt from the skin which stays on the skin surface even after cleansing.

Apply a toner
Apply a toner

3. Apply Niacinamide Serum

Take 2 drops of niacinamide serum on your palm. Next, apply niacinamide Serum which has a concentration ranging between 2% to 5%. With the help of your fingertips, gently massage it on the entire face, and then on the forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks gradually. You may use hyaluronic acid before applying niacinamide. The two water-based ingredients can balance each other and by maintaining enough hydration ensure more effective results for your skin.

Apply niacinamide serum
Apply niacinamide serum

4. Apply A Moisturizer

Wait for a minimum of 60 seconds after the application of serum on the skin. Next, apply a moisturizer according to your skin type. Moisturizers are preferable to be applied after serum because the product takes a long time to absorb into the skin in comparison to serums.

Apply a moisturizer
Apply a moisturizer

5. Apply A Sunscreen

Finally, you should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and finish your daytime skincare routine. Those who spend a lot of time outside have to apply sunscreen at least every 2 hours or instantly after sweating or swimming.

Apply a sunscreen
Apply a sunscreen

Benefits of Using Niacinamide Serum with Moisturizer

Benefits of using niacinamide serum with moisturizer
Benefits of using niacinamide serum with moisturizer

Layering niacinamide serum helps to regulate excessive sebum production as well as avoid breakouts. While using it with a moisturizer will result in extra benefits which are essential for healthier and supple skin. When combined with a moisturizer, it can ensure the following benefits.

Enough Hydration

Niacinamide serum can enhance the skin’s natural barrier function, reducing water loss and improving the hydration levels of the skin. But it cannot ensure the same hydration level similar to a moisturizer. Using niacinamide serum with moisturizer locks moisture and provides enough hydration which is necessary for healthy hydrated skin.

Oil Balance

Niacinamide serum has calming and anti-inflammatory properties. It resists the effects of stress hormones on the skin which increase the production of oil on the skin. Reducing inflammation can balance oil production. It can regulate sebum production, helping to control excess oiliness without causing dryness. While moisturizers also regulate the natural oil production of skin and balance it. Using niacinamide serum with moisturizer ensures an excellent oil balance for your skin.

Reduced Redness and Irritation

If you use niacinamide serum in high concentrations on your dry or sensitive skin, it can result in skin issues like redness. But using a moisturizer with the serum calms and soothes redness and irritation of the skin. As a result, the use of niacinamide serum with moisturizers makes it suitable for dry or sensitive skin.

Reduced Allergic Reactions

People with sensitive skin can face allergic reactions on their skin with the use of niacinamide serum. The symptoms of allergic reactions include rash, itching, redness, burning, swelling, peeling, etc. But if you use a moisturizer according to your skin type with the serum, it will help to reduce allergic reactions on your skin.

Enhanced Goodness of Niacinamide

Niacinamide alone provides hydrating, pores-clearing, and skin-protecting benefits on regular use in the right concentration. The use of a moisturizer can result in the enhanced goodness of niacinamide to ensure healthier skin. For instance, if you apply a moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid or ceramides locks moisture as well as makes the skin barrier stronger. Again, using a moisturizer containing antioxidants gives protection to the skin from environmental stressors.

Potential Side Effects of Using Niacinamide Serum Without Moisturizer

Since moisturizers help maintain the skin’s hydration barrier, you should use the useful skin care product along with niacinamide serum. Otherwise, you might face some potential side effects. The potential side effects are explained.

Dryness and Irritation

The use of niacinamide serum without a moisturizer might lead to dryness or irritation, as niacinamide can dry on its own and often cause irritation on sensitive skin. While using niacinamide with moisturizer will give prevention against dryness and irritation and maintain healthy skin.

Uneven Absorption

Niacinamide serum might not be evenly absorbed based on the composition of niacinamide and because of not using moisturizer. While the addition of a moisturizer along with niacinamide serum on your skin would make it absorbed on the skin.

Low Effectiveness

Using niacinamide serum without moisturizer would provide hydration but it won’t give low effectiveness for the skin. When niacinamide serum is used in combination with a moisturizer, by the minimization of hyperpigmentation, proper regulation of sebum production, and improvement of the skin barrier’s function, results in enhanced effectiveness.

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5 Tips for Using Skincare Products

Follow these tips for using your skincare products which would result in more effectiveness of the products.

  1. Follow the order of the daytime routine which starts with a cleanser and end with sunscreen.
  2. Follow the order of the nighttime routine which starts with a cleanser and ends with a night cream or night mask.
  3. Do not use a moisturizer that also has niacinamide in it.
  4. Do not give up on niacinamide so quickly if it fails to give immediate results.
  5. You may alter your skincare routine which becomes suitable for your skin.


1. What to avoid when using niacinamide?

Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, and even vitamin C are examples of acidic skincare components that you should avoid when using niacinamide. Ordinary niacinamide can have a negative chemical reaction resulting in redness and flushing in combination with an acid.

2. Can I use niacinamide without sunscreen?

You can use niacinamide as a serum and then layer under moisturizer, or you can use it twice daily on clean skin. While you have to keep in mind that it would be better to wear sunscreen over niacinamide during the day to give protection to your skin.

3. Does niacinamide whiten skin?

Niacinamide doesn’t lighten or bleach the skin. While the ingredient can minimize the appearance of dark spots which are caused by sun damage or mature skin. As a result, your skin can turn into more even and glowing.

4. How do I know if niacinamide is working?

Vitamin B3 in the form of niacinamide can develop skin proteins and play a role in moisture retention. You are not experiencing results, and you can see the product accumulating on your skin, which are an indication that it is not functioning. You may also want to avoid this ingredient if you feel burning, itching, or redness.

5. Is niacinamide good for oily skin?

Yes. You should think about introducing a niacinamide skincare product into your routine if you have oily skin. Niacinamide can control and stabilize the skin’s oil production making it one of the main ingredients used in skincare products. It keeps your skin moisturized and helps in reviving the skin barrier.

Final Thoughts

Niacinamide is an excellent addition to your skincare routine. The incredible potential of niacinamide more particularly niacinamide serum ensures the skin remains healthy and well-nourished. Using niacinamide without moisturizer can be possible. While if you use it alone, it can cause dryness and irritation, result in uneven absorption, and low effectiveness. It is also not enough to keep the skin hydrated for the whole day. Since it is a versatile product, you can pair it with the perfect moisturizer which is suitable for your skin type. Combining moisturizers with niacinamide serum will complement and enhance the quality of the skincare product to another level. Follow the step-by-step guide to using niacinamide with moisturizer and continue skincare starting with the lightest to the heaviest product to get extra benefits for your skin.

Key Points

  • Niacinamide or nicotinamide is a water-soluble vitamin which is a form of vitamin B3 and it has gained significant attention in the skincare industry for its positive effects on the skin.
  • It is possible to use niacinamide, more specifically niacinamide serum without a moisturizer, but include a moisturizer in your skincare routine if you’re using niacinamide.
  • Waiting for a minimum of 60 seconds after the application of niacinamide serum on the skin, apply a moisturizer that suits your skin type.
  • Using niacinamide serum with a moisturizer can ensure enough hydration, oil balance, reduced redness and irritation, reduced allergic reactions, and enhanced goodness of niacinamide.
  • Using niacinamide serum without moisturizer can cause dryness and irritation, result in uneven absorption, and low effectiveness.

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