Everyone loves to have young, beautiful, and flawless skin. But how do you achieve and maintain it? Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid are two skincare ingredients that can help in smoothing your skin and even out your skintone.
Niacinamide promotes collagen production, supports a healthy skin barrier, reduces the appearance of aging signs, and provides a clear complexion. On the other hand, hyaluronic acid helps your skin retain moisture, maintain a youthful appearance, and improve skin elasticity.
Read on for a comparative knowledge about hyaluronic acid vs. niacinamide, which one to use and how to benefit from both.
What Is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. It is safe to use for all skin types. This vitamin is an excellent option for improving the skin’s surface structure, smoothing out wrinkles and inhibiting photocarcinogenesis in aging skin . Niacinamide can also provide you with an even skin tone and texture for a flawless complexion.
Compared to hyaluronic acid, niacinamide offers very extensive benefits . This water-soluble vitamin can do magic as an active ingredient in your skincare routine. It helps to visibly minimize enlarged pores, tighten skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It improves uneven skin tone, diminishes dullness, and strengthens your skin surface.
This B vitamin can also reduce the impact of environmental damage through its ability to improve the skin's barrier. It also helps repair the signs of past damages. Here are the key benefits of incorporating niacinamide into your skincare routine:
- Promotes natural ceramide production  that helps to form a healthy skin barrier.
- Helps to reduce the skin’s pore size.
- Provides an even tone and texture and also brightens your skin.
- Reduces inflammation and redness.
- Reduces excess sebum production and prevents acne formation .
- Restores natural lipids.
- Promotes cellular metabolism and influences cell renewal.
- Enhances the effectiveness of other moisturizing ingredients.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
While not a jack-of-all-trades like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid is the ultimate hydrating sugar-like agent for your skin. This  is a polysaccharide naturally found in the skin, eyes, joints, and connective tissues. A clear sticky gel-like substance, it has impressive moisturizing properties. Hyaluronic acid naturally forms in your body and helps the skin to retain moisture, making your skin smoother and plumper.
The production of hyaluronic acid in your skin naturally declines with age. You then need to apply it topically to reduce aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. It is easy to use hyaluronic acid at home as a topical gel, serum, or mask. This substance is safe to use on all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Hyaluronic acid is much more efficient in keeping your skin hydrated than niacinamide. It can retain up to one thousand times its molecular weight in water. Being such an efficient humectant (a component that helps the skin retain moisture), hyaluronic acid draws moisture from the dermis to the epidermis and keeps it there. As a result, one can have a more hydrated and youthful complexion.
The key benefits of hyaluronic acid are:
- Restores skin hydration
- Makes the skin soft and supple
- Eliminates dryness and dullness
- Helps to maintain a plump, youthful glow
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Prevents free radicals that can cause premature aging and irritation
Hyaluronic Acid Vs. Niacinamide – Which Is Better?
Both hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are beneficial skincare substances. Both are great for anti-aging treatments and moisturizing benefits. Hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are suitable for all skin types, support a healthy skin barrier, and help hydrate skin.
Besides similarities, there are considerable differences between the two. Chemically, hyaluronic acid is a sugar compound [(C14H21NO11)n] that is naturally produced in the human body. On the other hand, niacinamide is a B vitamin (C6H6N2O) that enters the human body through foods like meat, fish, mushroom, etc. There are differences in their functionality as well.
The Benefits And Properties Of Each Are Further Elaborated Below
Hyaluronic acid and niacinamide can both help to keep your skin moisturized. However, they use different techniques to keep your skin hydrated.
Overall hydration of your skin depends on both the natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) in your skin cells and the mixture of lipids that retain your skin cells together. Hyaluronic acid is an NMF that can improve the amount of moisture in your skin cells. On the other hand, niacinamide can improve the levels of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acid in your skin. They contribute to strengthening your skin's barrier and preventing dehydration.
So, while hyaluronic acid offers instant skin hydrating effects, niacinamide takes a minimum of four weeks to restore your barrier lipids.
2. Anti-Aging Benefits
As anti-aging ingredients, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid show different effects. With age, the hyaluronic acid levels in your epidermis decrease , which reduces the elasticity of your skin.
External application of hyaluronic acid to your skin can help to improve skin elasticity .
A study showed that using hyaluronic acid could reduce fine lines and wrinkles after 8-weeks, which may be caused by its hydrating effect. Hyaluronic acid shows a unique skin-plumping effect.
Compared to hyaluronic acid, there is more proof to back up the anti-aging effects of niacinamide. One study showed that niacinamide could boost collagen production and reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.
Did You Know?
Niacinamide can also treat many other signs of premature skin aging. It can prevent the transfer of melanin from melanocytes to the surrounding cells . This way, niacinamide can prevent hyperpigmentation through the even distribution of melanin.
3. Skin Brightening
Skin brightening is one of the core efficiencies of niacinamide. It can do wonders for dry and dull skin, as compared to hyaluronic acid.
4. Even Tone & Texture
Niacinamide is much more effective than hyaluronic acid at providing an even skin tone and texture.
How Do Hyaluronic Acid & Niacinamide Work Together?
While both niacinamide and hyaluronic acid are efficient ingredients for hydrated and young-looking skin on their own, they can also work wonders together. A well-measured combination of these two ingredients can promote healthy, moisturized, and young-looking skin.
Niacinamide can influence the synthesis of ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol in the outermost layer of the epidermis. It also helps to decrease transepidermal water loss and stops dehydrating your skin.
Hyaluronic acid in your skincare solution helps the skin to absorb moisture from inner layers and keep the upper skin layer hydrated. This combination can provide a powerful moisturizing and anti-aging duo along with even skin tone.
To use the two together,
- Cleanse your face and apply hyaluronic acid, as it works best on clean and damp skin.
- Now apply niacinamide directly after the hyaluronic acid product.
- You can also go for a product containing both these ingredients.
- Do not forget to use a heavier moisturizer after these two ingredients to lock in hydration.
A combination of niacinamide and hyaluronic acid refines your skin pores, promotes a clear complexion, evens your skin tone and texture, and also restores moisture.
Hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are powerful and efficient ingredients used in skincare products. Each of them offers unique benefits to the skin without any significant concerns. Both components can be used individually or together in skincare products because these compounds can keep the brightness and healthy look on your skin.
The critical difference between the two is that hyaluronic acid is helpful mainly in hydrating the skin. In contrast, niacinamide helps remove aging signs, treat acne, and provide an even skin tone. So, you can try them individually or even together as per your individual needs.
1. Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin, First published: 19 November 2004,
2. A Review of the range of effects of niacinamide in human skin, Published on January 2002,
3. Effects of niacinamide on ceramide biosynthesis and differentiation of cultured human keratinocytes,
4. An Investigation of Efficacy of Topical Niacinamide for the Treatment of Mild and Moderate Acne, Published on January 2008 Vulgaris
5. Hyaluronic Acid, Published on 31 October 2012,
6. Efficacy of cream-based novel formulations of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment, Published on 2011 Sep,
7. Age-dependent changes of hyaluronan in human skin, Published on 1994 March,
8. Understanding premature skin aging, Published on 1997 13 November,
9. The effect of niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer, Published on 2002 July,
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