What is Niacinamide, And Why Does Skin Need It?

What is Niacinamide, And Why Does Skin Need It?

Niacinamide. Relatively unknown, niacinamide is a hardworking ingredient that does not get enough credit. Despite its impressive list of anti-ageing benefits, it’s often overlooked, with many opting for more well-known skincare ingredients like retinol and vitamin C. Even though it has similar benefits to vitamin A (retinol) and C, it’s suitable for all skin types and works well with any skincare ingredients, so it can enhance the results of your current routine.


What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a water-soluble form of vitamin B3. Not to be confused with its other form nicotinic acid (niacin), which is found in vegetables, meat, fish, grains and beans, which is made into niacinamide in the body. Applied topically, niacinamide is proven to offer excellent anti-ageing benefits for your skin (which we’ll get to in a moment). Just like vitamin C, niacinamide isn’t produced naturally by the body, so to gain the benefits you have to use niacinamide skincare or ingest it through food or supplements to see its full effect.


What does niacinamide do for the skin?

What doesn’t it do? The wonder ingredient is considered your key worker because without it your other cells wouldn’t function as well as they could. It strengthens your skin’s barrier, boosting cell activity like ceramides and fatty acids, plus collagen production, and helps to retain water; which to you and I means plump and youthful skin! In effect, it acts as an antioxidant, ensuring that your skin barrier is strong enough to fight off UV rays and pollution, which are linked to collagen breakdown, wrinkles and fine lines. What’s more, it brightens and prevents hyperpigmentation (brown spots or uneven skin tone); in short, it does a lot.


Can niacinamide help acne?

Ingested or used topically, scientific research implies acne-prone skins can benefit from niacinamide as it can help with pore size, excess sebum, redness, blackheads, irritation, scarring and the appearance of blemishes (the list goes on and on!). Of course, these benefits aren’t strictly reserved for anyone with acne and can be reaped by all skin types.


How to use niacinamide

Find the right fit for your skin type and concern. It’s advised that oily skins use a higher niacinamide concentrate water-based serum, while dry complexions should use a moisturiser, emollient or toner at a lower strength. As for the rest of the skincare regime, niacinamide is amicable, and will get along with all of your skincare ingredients; so, you don’t have to be an expert to use it!

Intrigued? Here’s my selection of the best niacinamide skincare on the market…

Swatch review of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% in a niacinamide skincare edit


If you search for Niacinamide skincare the first product that will come up will be The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, and there’s a good reason for that. Ever tried it? Don’t want to break the bank? This serum is the place to start; and, with an incredible army of loyal followers behind it, you know that it’s going to be one of the best.

Highly concentrated, 10% niacinamide it’s going to work wonders for anyone with acne or spot-prone complexion. Why? It reduces the size of pores, inflamed blemishes and prevents any pigmentation associated with your angry breakout (all things anyone who struggles with breakouts wants to hear). Don’t forget, Zinc 1% is also at work, which has been added to reduce blemish, minimising excess sebum; a common issue for oily skin.


Swatch image of Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Moisturiser on the skin in a niacinamide skincare edit

Caudalie Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Moisturiser will make your skin glow, and not the makeup kind, the real deal; “I made it myself” glow. The niacinamide formula brightens skin, energising cells, in effect making them younger, hence skins natural healthy glow. Pigmentation is enemy number one for this cream; acne, sun, pregnancy and ageing, you name it, any skin type or age, it’ll sort it. Of course, you’ll get all those additional benefits from niacinamide like plumper, hydrated, rejuvenated skin, which is protected against any external aggressors you may encounter in the day. What’s more, it’s made with mother of pearl particles, which translates into even more glow, which I’m all about!

The fact that it’s plant-based and 97% natural is important if, like me, you like to use skincare free from artificial ingredients. The velvety creamy texture isn’t greasy at all, so you won’t get that heavy feeling you get with some formulas and the scent? It smells so fresh; notes of bergamot, lemon, cucumber and mint make using this cream in the morning a refreshing start to my day.


Products To Try Next

Kiehl’s Ultra Pure High Potency Serum 5.0% Niacinamide Review

The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder Review

La Roche-Posay Pure Niacinamide 10 Serum Review


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4 Products That Help to Banish Maskne

5 Products That’ll Support Your Skin’s Microbiome

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