Niacinamide: Everything You Need to Know About This Miracle Ingredient

There’s one superstar skincare ingredient that we’re sure that you’ve heard of before: niacinamide. With all the praises that seemingly everyone sings about niacinamide, it’s only natural to wonder if it’s actually that good. 

After all, some skincare ingredients get a lot of hype yet don’t deliver - and if everyone on social media is to be believed, niacinamide really delivers. The best niacinamide serum seems to do it all: target acne, brighten skin and even fight the signs of ageing.  But what’s the truth? Does niacinamide actually do everything that people say it does? Here’s our guide to niacinamide benefits and how to make sure you’re actually getting the most of them!

Woman with clear skin looking at her hand

What Is Niacinamide?

Understanding niacinamide benefits starts with knowing what is niacinamide in the first place. It’s a form of Vitamin B3 and also goes by the name nicotinamide. It’s part of the B Vitamin family, which is the same group of Vitamins that includes Biotin, Folic Acid, and Panthenol - all vitamins that have known beauty benefits for your skin and hair. Niacinamide fits right in with its siblings, lending unique benefits for your skin that you might not find in many other skincare ingredients. 

This water-soluble vitamin works in pretty much all types of skincare product formulas - moisturisers, serums, toners, essences, cleansers - you name it, there’s probably one out there with niacinamide in it. You’re probably using a skincare product with niacinamide in it already!

Woman with dark skin applying Dermalogica Smart Response Serum Dermalogica Smart Response Serum
This serum from Dermalogica uses Niacinamide to target all aspects of skin health for a radiant glow. 

What Does Niacinamide Do?

So what does niacinamide do when it’s on your skin? What sets niacinamide apart from many other skincare ingredients is that it just does so much for your skin. Niacinamide benefits all skin types for different reasons - it almost sounds too good to be true, but trust us, niacinamide is a skincare ingredient that you’ll want to add to your routine after you read all the niacinamide benefits for your skin!

Niacinamide Evens Skin Tone
One super common benefit of niacinamide is its ability to even out skin tone. It’s able to slowly fade away the appearance of hyperpigmentation - both the kind caused by breakouts and by sun damage - for skin that’s flawlessly radiant and even. Niacinamide fades the look of uneven skin by interfering in your skin’s melanin production process, halting excess melanin cells in their tracks.

Niacinamide Reduces Inflammation
Niacinamide benefits breakout-prone skin by relieving the inflammation that often comes along with active acne. By reducing inflammation, niacinamide decreases discomfort and redness and has the added bonus of encouraging the skin to heal, reducing the appearance of acne over time. 

SK-II R.N.A. Power Essence SerumSK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence Serum
One of the best niacinamide serums, this product from SK-II is perfect for giving your skin an anti-ageing and nourishing boost.

Niacinamide Boosts Your Skin Barrier’s Function
Another reason why niacinamide is so lauded by everyone - no matter their skin type - is because niacinamide benefits a crucial part of your skin: your acid mantle. Your acid mantle, aka the moisture barrier, has a critical role in keeping essential hydration in your skin and keeping external irritants out.

Niacinamide Softens Wrinkles
On its own, niacinamide is an anti-ageing skincare ingredient in its own right. Niacinamide benefits skin by encouraging collagen production, firming the appearance of skin from within and gently filling out fine lines and wrinkles for a youthful glow. 

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Cream EnrichedShiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Cream Enriched
A nourishing cream from Shiseido that locks in the brightening and anti-ageing benefits for Niacinamide for youthful skin.

Niacinamide Protects Skin from Oxidative Stress
Studies have found that niacinamide displays antioxidant-like activity, shielding skin from the harmful effects of external molecules that exert oxidative stress on skin - aka free radicals. By protecting your skin from oxidative stress, your skin is able to hold on to existing collagen levels for longer and avoid the premature signs of ageing.

Niacinamide Reduces Redness & Irritation
Niacinamide markedly improves redness and soothes irritation - something that makes it ideal in a sensitive skincare routine. Another benefit of niacinamide’s skin-calming power is that it’s perfect for pairing with retinol, especially in the early stages of using that powerful anti-ageing skincare ingredient. Niacinamide works in tandem to soothe any irritation in the early stages of retinol for skin 

Niacinamide Regulates Sebum Production
That’s right - this multi-purpose skincare ingredient belongs in skincare routines for oily skin and combination skin, too! Niacinamide benefits these skin types with the power to subdue sebum production, regulating it for skin that’s slightly less shiny and greasy-feeling. 

declaré pore refining fluidDeclaré Pore Refining Fluid
Balance sebum levels and refine the appearance of pores with this light moisturiser from Declaré. 

How to Choose the Best Niacinamide Serum 

Niacinamide plays extremely well with most other skincare ingredients - so picking the best niacinamide serum for you ultimately depends on what your skin goals are. Anti-ageing? A simple niacinamide serum will go perfectly with your retinol serum. Skin-soothing? We wouldn’t actually recommend just a serum for irritated skin - a moisturiser with niacinamide will go a long way to delivering the benefits of niacinamide to your skin and calming irritation at the same time. 

Dermalogica PowerBright Dark Spot Solutions lifestyle imageDermalogica PowerBright TRx Kit
Not sure about niacinamide? Try this kit from Dermalogica targeted for brightening dark spots for an even, flawless skin tone. 

How to Use Niacinamide

One of the best things about niacinamide is that it’s an easy-going ingredient - you can use niacinamide morning and night, or just in the morning, or just at night. There isn’t any special skincare order that you need to follow, other than simply following the right skincare routine order!

Now that you know all the benefits of niacinamide, are you ready to add this superstar ingredient to your beauty routine? 

If you’re still working on putting a beauty routine together, try our skin analysis! 

Beauty Affairs Skin Analysis

Products Mentioned:

  • Dermalogica Smart Response Serum
  • SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence
  • Shiseido Benifiance Wrinkle Smoothing Cream Enriched
  • Declaré Pore Refining Fluid
  • Dermalogica PowerBright TRx Kit
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