What is Niacinamide? And How It Can Make Your Skin Blemish-Free

Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin-B3 is being dubbed the holy grail of ingredients for those with oily and acne-prone skin. Continued use of niacinamide can help to minimise skin blemishes and regulate shine; the complete 411 is below.

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also referred to as Nicotinamide is a form of Vitamin B-3, an essential nutrient for skin health. Below are some of the key functions of the vitamin when applied topically:

Regulates sebum production

Sebum is the oily secretion produced by your pores through the sebaceous glands, the key function of which is to keep your skin protected and hydrated. Excess sebum however can lead to clogged pores, breakouts, and an oily complexion.

Niacinamide reduces sebum production, and can therefore minimise breakouts, skin oiliness, and also decrease the size of your pores.

Improves skin barrier function

Niacinamide helps to improve the skins natural barrier function, which keeps pollutants out while retaining moisture; thus keeping the skin hydrated. This is especially good for those suffering from flaking/dry skin. Ceramide production is also enhanced by this formula, which are lipids that protect the skin.

Reduces inflammation and skin blemishes

Niacinamide helps to reduce inflammation caused by acne, eczema or other skin conditions, and also reduces the appearance of blemishes and skin congestion.

Niacinamide Chemical Formula

How to Use Niacinamide

Niacinamide should be applied twice a day after cleansing, preferably in the AM and PM. As most niacinamide products are serums, they should be applied before any sunscreen and heavier creams/treatments.

Combining Treatments

  • Niacinamide works excellently with Salicylic Acid to combat blackheads, oily skin, and inflammation. But while the two products CAN be used together, it’s probably best if you don’t mix them. Niacinamide has a higher PH than most AHA/BHA’s, this can diminish the effectiveness of the acids, as well as cause redness and irritation. Try instead to use the products on alternate days, or apply one in the AM and one in the PM and so on.

Side Effects

Niacinamide very rarely has adverse effects when applied on your skin, but as with any serum you’re trying for the first time you should first patch test. This will ensure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients and the concentration of Niacinamide is not too harsh on your skin.

If you experience any redness or irritation, immediately stop using the product.

Products We Recommend

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Try The Ordinary – Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. A fantastic water-based formulation at a cheap-as-chips price point. This formula also includes zinc which is known to possess anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing properties. Read our review here.

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Paula's Choice Niacinamide Booster

Try Paula’s Choice – 10% Niacinamide Booster. This is a concentrated lightweight formula to visibly minimise pores and improve skin texture. This booster also contains Vitamin B5 and other calming ingredients to replenish your skin and restore radiance.

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The Inkey List - Niacinamide 10% + Hyaluronic Acid 1%

Try The Inkey List – Niacinamide. A no-nonsense serum with 10% Niacinamide and 1% Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is an excellent hydrator working to keep your skin soft and supple and reduce signs of aging.

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SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Niacinamide Emulsion

Try Skinceuticals – Metacell Renewal B3. A little more expensive than the other products, but a comprehensive daily emulsion to improve early signs of aging, as well as providing intense hydration.

Get it here