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Why Niacinamide Is a Must-Have Skincare Ingredient

A woman sitting at a vanity and using a dropper to put some Niacinamide serum under her eye.
Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

Ask any dermatologist about niacinamide, and they’ll have plenty of good things to say. If you’re dealing with skin issues, like dark spots, sun damage, or acne, say hello to your new BFF. Niacinamide is here to save the day!

Although it’s been around for decades and already has many devotees, new converts are joining the niacinamide fan club every year. While the target market consists of people with problematic skin, anyone can benefit from this magical ingredient. Let’s look at why and then check out some specific products that contain this wonder ingredient.

What Is Niacinamide, and How Does It Work?

Niacinamide is a specific form of vitamin B3, an essential nutrient with extensive restorative power. Because our bodies can’t synthesize it, we have to consume it to reap the benefits and avoid deficiency.

Although it’s known to support heart, kidney, and brain function, its most salient property is its ability to repair skin cell damage, which is why it’s been a staple in skincare products for decades.

In principle, niacinamide protects the skin from environmental damage by neutralizing free radicals and promoting protein building. This is crucial for repairing various skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, pigmentation issues, sun damage, and other inflammatory diseases.

The most prominent benefits of topical niacinamide include the following:

  • Regulation of sebum production: This is key for those who suffer from overactive sebaceous glands, such as people with acne and oily skin.
  • Blemish reduction: Not only can niacinamide reduce inflammation, it can also help clear up congested skin and minimize the appearance of pesky blemishes.
  • Sun protection: The sun’s UV rays are quite damaging to our skin. Niacinamide can shield you from that and help your body rebuild healthy skin cells.
  • Minimizes fine lines: Niacinamide prevents cell damage and promotes the production of keratin, a type of protein that keeps the skin healthy and youthful. As such, it can minimize the signs of aging and sun damage.
  • Acne management: The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of niacinamide are very effective against acne. It’s also non-irritating, which is ideal for people with sensitive skin.
  • Hyperpigmentation treatment: Due to niacinamide’s ability to stimulate collagen production, it can help lighten unwanted dark spots on your face and brighten your complexion.

In sum, niacinamide is an all-around cosmetic ingredient that most of us can benefit from. Possible side effects include mild burning and itching, although these tend to occur most often for those with hypersensitive skin prone to allergies.

Niacinamide is generally mixed with other ingredients in cosmetic formulas, and because of its properties, it’s often added to serums and moisturizers. If you’re sold on the idea of adding niacinamide to your skincare routine, below are a few options to get you started on this new skincare journey.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

A bottle of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% sitting on top of two quartz crystals.
The Ordinary

If you’re into skincare, chances are you’re already familiar with The Ordinary. The Canadian brand boasts a long list of no-frills products that do the job as advertised and for very affordable prices.

Their niacinamide formula is very lightweight and sinks into the skin with ease, leaving it moisturized, soft, and relatively matte-looking. Credit also goes to the added zinc, which helps control excess oil while improving hydration.

At less than $10 a hit, it’s the best way to step into the niacinamide game.

Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% + Zinc 2%

Product shot of a bottle of niacinamide by Naturium standing over two horizontally stacked bottles of the same product in front of a blue background, under the spotlight
Naturium

The team at Naturium was committed to maximizing their niacinamide serum‘s effects so they added two key ingredients into the mix: hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that draws in moisture to keep the skin plump and hydrated; vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the skin against sun damage. When these ingredients mix in with the powerful niacinamide-zinc duo, they make for an excellent product that’s bound to make a difference on your skin.

Tree of Life Niacinamide B3 Moisturizer

A woman with clear skin next to a bottle of Tree of Life Niacinamide Serum.
Tree of Life

If you’re passionate about natural and organic products, you should check out the niacinamide serum by the Tree of Life beauty brand. Not only is it a cruelty-free formula, but it’s also incredibly affordable considering the quality of the content.

It’s a great option for those with sensitive and dry skin that want a trustworthy serum that can leave the skin moisturized, youthful, protected, and silky smooth. Who would say no to that?


Niacinamide is a no-brainer. It’s the kind of skincare ingredient you won’t want to go a day without and will probably end up recommending to all your friends. So, go ahead and give it a try! Why wait to enjoy plumper, younger-looking skin?

Carla Cometto Carla Cometto
Carla has been writing professionally for five years and blogging for many more. She's worked as a journalist, photographer, and translator. She's also an avid traveler who hopes to inspire a sense of curiosity and adventure in others through her writing. Read Full Bio »

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