Niacinamide - Is it worth the hype?

What is Niacinamide? 

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3 or nicotinamide, a water soluble vitamin. We can get niacinamide from our diet, but they can be found in skincare products as they are known to have brightening, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and pore minimizing benefits. 

What are the skin benefits of niacinamide?

Skin brightening 

Niacinamide in 5% concentration and greater works via several pathways to reduce existing discolorations and prevent new discolorations from appearing. Research showed that niacinamide and tranexamic acid work particularly well together. Besides, niacinamide also can paired together with Vitamin C, retinol and licorice for enhance brightening and dark spots reducing benefits. A study showed that with comparison of a SPF 15 cream with and without niacinamide, the group that used niacinamide had noticeable improvement in hyperpigmentation after four weeks. 

Minimize the appearance of pores

Researchers have observed that niacinamide significantly reduce the look of pore size and skin texture. This likely happens because niacinamide can help to reduce sebum production as little as at 2% concentration. Pores will always appear larger when they are filled with oil and dead skin cells. With less sebum, pores looked smaller, more refined and skin texture looks smoother. 


Niacinamide can reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Some researchers suggest that it does so by increasing the production of collagen. Studies showed that a concentration of 5% niacinamide produces significant improvements in fine lines and wrinkles after eight weeks. Niacinamide also is an antioxidant, a molecule that neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. 


Its anti-acne benefits are due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and sebum controlling properties. Studies showed that at 2% concentration of niacinamide can lower the production of sebum. Excessive sebum production is one of the factor that cause acne breakout. It does not cause side effects like more common acne treatments, such as antibiotics and tretinoin. A 2013 study showed that 5% nicotinamide gel is as effective as 2% clindamycin gel for treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris

Increase skin hydration

Niacinamide helps renew and restore the surface of skin against moisture loss and dehydration. Niacinamide has been shown to boost the hydrating ability of moisturizers, thus reducing epidermal water loss. Niacinamide works amazing with other humectants and emollients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramide and plant oils. A 2005 study showed that niacinamide cream is more effective than petroleum jelly on atopic dry skin, and maybe used as a treatment adjunct in atopic dermatitis. 

So shall you incorporate niacinamide skincare in your routine? The answer is: Yes. Niacinamide delivers multiple skin benefits and it is well tolerated, even for those who have sensitive skin. You can use any product containing niacinamide from cleanser, toner, serum or moisturizer. Typically serums are the most potent. They deliver highest concentration of niacinamide to the skin for better and faster result. Generally it takes around 2-4 weeks to see the results, but depending on your skin concerns and product formulation. Ongoing use is required for continued improvement 


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