5 Reasons to Pair Salicylic Acid with Niacinamide

Salicylic acid and niacinamide are two of the most talked-about skincare ingredients today. Though each is a superstar in its own right, this anti-aging power couple also works in tandem to battle dullness and strengthen your skin barrier.

Here’s a closer look at these two potent ingredients — and how to make the most out of pairing them.

Ingredients salicylic acid and niacinamide that are both found in SLMD Skincare to fight signs of aging

How does salicylic acid minimize signs of aging?

In the skincare world, salicylic acid is something of a superstar. A beta hydroxy acid, it’s oil soluble, which means it can penetrate down into pores to break up clog-causing oil and dead skin. It also soothes redness and inflammation with the same active ingredient as aspirin.

Here’s what that salicylic acid does to fight the signs of aging:

  • Decreases dullness: weakens the bonds between dead skin cells so they slough off
  • Clears pores: breaks up dirt and oil that can clog pores and make skin appear older
  • Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles: exfoliation plus collagen stimulation helps keep skin looking youthful
  • Fades hyperpigmentation: removes skin’s outer layers, reducing appearance of sun spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)

What does niacinamide do for your skin?

A form of vitamin B3, niacinamide is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the skin barrier and improves:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles UV and environmental damage
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Enlarged pores

Can you use salicylic acid and niacinamide together?

You probably see where this is going: combining salicylic acid and niacinamide into your skincare regimen is very beneficial to your anti-aging efforts. Here are 5 ways these ingredients reinforce each other:

  1. Exfoliating + skin strengthening = a perfect pair to keep your skin balanced
  2. Diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  3. Reducing hyperpigmentation
  4. Soothing inflammation and redness
  5. Minimizing pores
Salicylic Acid Cleanser, Resurfacing Acne Swipes and All Bright Niacinamide Toner by SLMD Skincare

    What’s the best way to combine salicylic acid and niacinamide?

    According to Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper), the best way to incorporate salicylic acid into your anti-aging routine is to use a cleanser that’s formulated for all skin types. SLMD Skincare Salicylic Acid Cleanser is a powerful exfoliant that’s strong enough for acne-prone skin, yet gentle enough for sensitive or dry skin types to use everyday.

    Dr. Lee also recommends SLMD Resurfacing Acne Swipes, soft woven rounds packed with a combination of salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids — the potent BHA/AHA formula also fights signs of aging.

    Niacinamide works best when it’s left on the skin in products like toners, moisturizers, and serums. SLMD All Bright Niacinamide Brightening Toner helps smooth and even out skin tone over time, with added vitamin C, alpha arbutin and resveratrol.

    Dr. Lee’s last word

    Salicylic acid is one of my favorite dermatological ingredients — because those same exfoliating and anti-inflammatory benefits are effective for managing acne and addressing the signs of aging. And when you combine that with niacinamide — a potent antioxidant that improves skin texture and tone — you’re going to see even more improvement.

    —Dr. Sandra Lee


    Shop the Article