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.
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?
- Fine lines and wrinkles UV and environmental damage
- 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:
- Exfoliating + skin strengthening = a perfect pair to keep your skin balanced
- Diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Reducing hyperpigmentation
- Soothing inflammation and redness
- Minimizing pores
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 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.
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