Both aloe vera and niacinamide are power ingredients in skincare. Steeped with multiple benefits, each of these ingredients have been used in face toners, serums, and cleansers.
The question remains, can we use aloe vera and niacinamide together? Will it offer any additional benefit or will it affect the skin negatively?
Aloe vera is a good hydrating agent, while niacinamide is an active ingredient used in acne treatment. When used together, they can keep the skin moist and reduce spots and blemishes.
In this article, we will know more about aloe vera and niacinamide and how to use them in skincare to get the best result.
Table of Contents
Can Aloe Vera and Niacinamide be used together?
Yes, aloe vera and niacinamide can be paired together without any side effects. As niacinamide is a versatile compound, it can be used in combination with various other skincare ingredients without triggering a reaction on the skin.
Additionally, both niacinamide and aloe vera can be used in either AM or PM routine.
What is aloe vera?
Aloe vera is a succulent plant that mainly grows in dry and arid conditions. Being a source of several minerals and vitamins, aloe vera is used in healing and medicinal purposes.
Generally, an aloe vera leaf has three parts:
- Inner Gel: The innermost part of aloe vera is a transparent, semi-solid substance. It contains 99% water, and the remaining part is composed of vitamins, lipids, and proteins.
- Latex: The middle layer is a viscous yellow sap that contains glycosides and anthraquinones.
- Rind: The outermost layer contains a thin layer of cells. It protects the aloe vera leaf from damage and synthesises carbohydrates.
Benefits of aloe vera
Aloe vera is a commonly used herb for medical purposes as well as in skincare. Due to its ability to soothe irritation, aloe vera is used as a topical treatment by many. Besides, aloe vera is also used as an antiseptic in treating wounds.
The benefits of using aloe vera are as follows:
- Aloe vera is a natural source of salicylic acid which penetrates deep into the pores and clears the dirt and oil buildup that causes acne. Besides, aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory properties that clears cystic acne, blackheads and whiteheads.
- People suffering from psoriasis and eczema are prone to microbial attack due to weakened skin barrier. Aloe vera has antifungal properties that help protect the skin from infections.
- Aloe vera is also effective against sunburns. It contains an antioxidant called metallothionein that protects the skin from UV rays of the sun. Additionally, other antioxidants present in aloe vera protect it from free radicals that damage the skin and cause ageing of skin.
- Aloe vera is known for being a good moisturiser and hydrating agent. It contains hyaluronic acid and a sugar called mucopolysaccharide that helps the upper layer of the skin retain its moisture content.
- Another benefit of aloe vera is its role as an anti-ageing herb. Aloe vera replenishes the water in the skin, keeping it firm and youthful. Besides, it can promote collagen and elastin formation and reduce the appearance of stretch marks on skin.
Properties and Benefits of aloe vera
The nutritional value of aloe vera exceeds that of most plants. Aloe vera contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other useful compounds that benefit our health and skin. The major nutrients in aloe vera are as follows:
Aloe vera contains vitamins like A, C and E. Vitamin A helps to fight signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. The presence of vitamin C helps in fighting hyperpigmentation, sunspots and evens out the skin tone. Vitamin E is useful in fighting the free radical damage as it contains antioxidants.
Other vitamins present in aloe vera include vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12. Vitamin B12 is especially useful in the synthesis of nuclear material in the cells.
2. Plant Polymers
Being a plant based source, aloe vera has several long chains of monosaccharides and polysaccharides these include cellulose, xylose and galactose. Plant polymers are useful for their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help keep skin irritation at bay.
3. Enzymes and hormones
Aloe vera also contains several plant enzymes like lipase, alkaline phosphatase and amylase. Additionally, aloe vera also contains hormones like auxins and gibberellins. Together these enzymes and hormones reduce skin inflammation and help in faster healing of wounds.
What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide or nicotinamide is simply a form of Vitamin B3. It is a water soluble vitamin and is used as an active ingredient for fighting acne and skin-ageing concerns.
The value of niacinamide originates from its ability to synthesise two important compounds: NAD+/NADH and NADP+. These biochemical components control all the cell reactions in the skin that are essential for it to function normally.
Thus by adding niacinamide in your skincare routine, you can accelerate the speed of cell regeneration, reduce cell decay and prevent breakouts.
The introduction of niacinamide also helps to fight free radicals in the skin. Free radicals are compounds that are reactive and damaging due to the loss of one electron from their molecule. By supplying the extra electron, niacinamide renders these molecules inactive and prevents their damage.
Additionally, niacinamide or its converted form NAD+ can help our skin create more ceramides. Ceramides are lipids present in the skin that fortify the skin barrier and remove the interference of harmful foerign particles.
Benefits of niacinamide
Deemed as an active component in skincare, the benefits of niacinamide on the skin are wide ranging. Niacinamide acts very fast on our skin and delivers the desired result in a few weeks.
The benefits from using niacinamide are:
- Niacinamide can reduce the production of diglycerides and triglycerides in our skin. By controlling the production of oils and sebum, it prevents the occurrence of acne.
- The most useful aspect of niacinamide is its ability to prevent skin ageing. Generally wrinkles and fine lines appear on the skin, when the barrier is broken. By replenishing the ceramides, lipids and collagen content of the skin, niacinamide protects the skin from external damage and reverses the signs of ageing.
- Another monumental advantage of niacinamide is that it can fight environmental damage caused due to free radicals. Niacinamide converts to NAD+, which combines with the free radicals and makes them inactive. This reduces the impact of oxidative stress on our skin.
- Niacinamide is also known to fade scars and pigmentation on our skin. It inhibits the accumulation of melanosomes that produce melanin and thus fade blemishes and acne marks from our face.
How to use aloe vera and niacinamide together?
If you are using aloe vera gel and a niacinamide serum as standalone products, the best way is to apply the aloe vera gel first and layer it with the niacinamide. This ensures that the moisture will stay locked in the skin.
Additionally, you can make your own aloe vera-niacinamide moisturiser. The ingredients are as follows:
- 50% non-comedogenic carrier oil
- 50% aloe vera gel
- <5% niacinamide powder
Combine all the ingredients and store it in a dark bottle for future use.
Advantages of using aloe vera and niacinamide together
Both aloe vera and niacinamide have common applications in skincare. By using them together, we can maximise the benefits that they offer.
Together, aloe vera can restore the water balance in the skin while niacinamide strengthens the skin barrier to keep the moisture locked in.
Both aloe vera and niacinamide are anti-inflammatory and can fight acne. Besides, both the ingredients contain antioxidants that prevent ageing of skin.
Disadvantages of using aloe vera and niacinamide together
There are no disadvantages of using aloe vera and niacinamide together. However, some people are allergic to niacinamide itself. Thus it is advisable to do a patch test on the skin before using an active ingredient like niacinamide.
There is also a common misconception that vitamin C of aloe vera interferes with the action of niacinamide. Essentially, both vitamin C and niacinamide are active exfoliators. Together, they might cause redness and irritation on the skin.
However, if you are using either vitamin C or niacinamide in cleansers and the other ingredient in a leave-on product such as serum or face cream, then the redness can be avoided.
Aloe vera is a natural source of salicylic acid which helps to clean dirt from your skin and also helps you to get rid from acne. Niacinamide acts as anti-aging cream. Use of Aloe vera and niacinamide together is beneficial for skin.