What is Niacinamide: Uses in cosmetics, side effects, how to use

by Johnny Jacks
If you are a follower of skincare and are interested in ingredients in cosmetics, you will definitely come across Niacinamide in many different types of skin care products, from popular to high-end. So, what is Niacinamide? How does this active ingredient work that “family members” are rushing to find?

What is Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)?

What does niacinamide mean?

What is Niacinamide? (Source: Internet)

Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B3  – an important vitamin that plays a role in solving skin problems such as acne, pigmentation, aging, dehydrated skin, skin in a degraded condition and signs of fatigue. . Our skin is protected by a barrier called ceramide (a type of natural fat), which plays a role in protecting the skin from environmental influences, maintaining the firmness of the skin’s surface. stretch ball.

With age, time with endogenous and exogenous aging factors, this natural barrier will gradually decrease, causing the skin to begin to have problems. So the best way to strengthen the skin barrier is to supplement or stimulate the production of natural ceramides in the body, and Niacinamide is one of the few active ingredients capable of stimulating the production of this ingredient in the skin. Research shows that Niacinamide also increases collagen production, tightens pores, helps skin look younger and brighter. In addition, Niacinamide is very benign, you can rest assured when using it.

6 Effects of Niacinamide in skin beauty cosmetics

1. Plays the role of linking skin cells

Niacinamide has the effect of stimulating skin cells to respond healthy, even in small concentrations can signal skin cells to increase metabolism, creating a response of healthy, youthful cells. You will notice an unexpected change in your skin overnight when using niacinamide. This is also the savior of tired, degraded skin.

2. Niacinamide retains moisture in the skin

Ceramides and fatty acids have a role in moisturizing the skin and as a barrier to protect the skin from external influences. Using niacinamide can strengthen and add ceramide to the skin more, this is equivalent to the skin will receive back the softness, smoothness and smoothness brought by ceramide. Furthermore, niacinamide is more effective in preventing moisture loss, and is easily absorbed. One study showed that 2% niacinamide reduced water loss by 24% in 4 weeks, fatty acids and ceramides were boosted by 64% and 34% respectively, completely beneficial for the skin.

3. Niacinamide has the effect of improving skin aging

The skin in the aging process will have major changes in the surface. At this time, it is important to supplement collagen and elastin fibers, niacinamide can stimulate fibroblasts up to 20% and collagen up to 54% to help improve skin aging, smooth wrinkles, increase elasticity.

4. Reduces hyperpigmentation problems

What is niacinamide?

Reduces hyperpigmentation problems (Source: Internet)

Niacinamide can help lighten skin safely, support to reduce the secretion of melanin, minimize hyperpigmentation causing skin pigmentation, dark spots, dark spots left by acne. Therefore, when you use this active ingredient for a long time, you will discover that melasma, freckles, dark spots, brown spots fade and the skin is noticeably brighter.

5. Increase immunity, firmer skin

If you are interested in skin care, you probably already know that the skin barrier is made up of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. These ingredients work together to help retain essential moisture and prevent bacterial and free radical attack. If the skin barrier or natural immunity of the skin is impaired, the skin will suffer from many environmental influences, causing a variety of problems.

Timely addition of niacinamide promotes the production of ceramides and elastin, which strengthen the protective barrier for healthy skin. As a result, the ability to self-heal and resist external irritants is also significantly improved.

6. Anti-oxidant for the skin

When applied topically, niacinamide converts to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which has strong antioxidant properties that fight cell-damaging free radicals. This is extremely important for the overall health of the skin because UV rays and environmental factors can disrupt cellular connections.

Through the addition of niacinamide, skin cells will be repaired, increasing metabolism, creating new, healthier cell layers. At the same time, it also helps to protect cells from harmful effects from the environment in general, especially the sun.

TOP 5 cosmetics containing Niacinamide voted best in 2022

1. Serum The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + ZinC 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + ZinC 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + ZinC 1%


  • With an ingredient of 10% Niacinamide, which has anti-oxidant and anti-aging effects on the skin, controlling oil and sebum on the skin, the product helps to stimulate collagen production, bringing smooth skin.
  • Besides the ability to remove brown spots, acne and freckles, users will feel brighter and more even skin tone. At the same time, 1% ZinC also has the ability to support soothe swollen, inflamed acne spots on the skin, treat and prevent acne from returning.


  • You can use the product twice a day, morning and evening.
  • The product is applied after cleansing the skin: makeup remover, cleanser, toner.

2. Paula’s Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster Essence

Paula's Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster Essence

Paula’s Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster Essence


  • Paula’s Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster has a fairly high 10% Niacinamide composition compared to other product lines on the market. This active ingredient helps to improve uneven skin tone, shrink pores, regenerate skin and smooth wrinkles.
  • From there, help your skin become bright, radiant and smooth thanks to the ability of antioxidant ingredients after only a short time of use.
  • With an average pH along with other ingredients, even at the highest concentration (10%), this product is still extremely safe, even for sensitive skin. Niacinamide will help moisturize the skin in time thanks to its high moisture content.

3. Niacinamide EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 sunscreen for sensitive and post-treatment skin

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 46

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 46

One of the leading Niacinamide product lines today is EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. It provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays and pollution, leaving skin glowing, improved, and radiant. acne problems, reduce irritation and fade uneven skin tone. In addition, the product also enhances skin resistance, reduces skin redness (rosacea), and helps prevent skin darkening.


  • With 5% pure Niacinamide essence, the product helps to safely whiten skin, regulate sebum, shrink pores, improve aging skin, resurface rough skin, and moisturize skin.
  • Complex of active sunscreen ingredients Zinc Oxide 9.0%​,​ Octinoxate 7.5%, the product helps protect against UVB and UVA rays, or short and long wavelengths.
  • In particular, the product contains Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E) which has good moisturizing ability for the skin and strong antioxidant.

4. Skinceuticals Renewal B3 Anti-Aging Essence Contains 5% Niacinamide

Skinceuticals Renewal B3 Anti-Aging Essence contains 5% Niacinamide

Skinceuticals Renewal B3 Anti-Aging Essence contains 5% Niacinamide


  • Skinceuticals Renewal B3 contains 5% Niacinamide that has the ability to reduce pigmentation on the skin. At the same time, peptides and 15% Glycerin help smooth, healthy skin, and improve wrinkles on the skin. Moreover, amino acids can stimulate collagen production for radiant and bright skin.
  • When using Skinceuticals Renewal B3, your skin will always retain moisture, improve signs of aging, and limit the possibility of acne formation.

5. The Inkey List Niacinamide Serum Soothes Oily Skin

The INKEY List Niacinamide has a diverse list of ingredients in moisturizing and soothing the skin. In addition, because the serum has a base of squalane, it is very suitable for those of you with oily skin that need an additional step.

The Inkey List Niacinamide Anti-Acne Serum for Oily Skin

The Inkey List Niacinamide Anti-Acne Serum for Oily Skin


  • Niacinamide: helps improve skin barrier, control oil, regulate sebum, effectively reduce acne, …
  • HA (Hyaluronic Acid): Hydrates the skin.
  • Glycine Soja Seed: anti-oxidant, smooth skin. At the same time, anti-inflammatory and slows down facial hair growth.
  • Panthenol: restores damaged skin, heals wounds, reduces irritation and anti-inflammatory.
  • Citric Acid: evens skin tone, effectively treats acne, unclogs pores.

Side effects of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) you need to know

Each person should be limited to about 35 mg of Niacinamide in a day to avoid skin irritation and redness. In addition, the active ingredient can also upset the stomach, cause nausea or headaches. Therefore, to avoid encountering the above situation, you should consult the instructions from your doctor.

When Should and Shouldn’t Take Niacinamide?

When should Niacinamide be used?

It is clear that Niacinamide brings a lot of benefits to the skin. However, to maximize the benefits of this divine nutrient, you can consider using it if you are experiencing the following problems:

  • Skin with signs of aging: If your skin is having problems such as sagging or wrinkles, supplementing with niacinamide at this time is essential. Through stimulating the production of elastin fibers and improving skin texture, your skin will gradually become firm, smooth and effectively reduce wrinkles.
  • Oily skin with large pores: This is a common condition in oily skin, not enough sunscreen or using too many products with dense textures that clog pores. At this time, the skin needs to “breathe” so the pores will gradually expand, easily visible to the naked eye. Adding niacinamide will help control oil, balance moisture and help skin firmer. As a result, pores will gradually shrink, giving you smooth, youthful skin.
  • Skin is red due to acne or acne: Usually, dark spots or redness after acne take several months to fade with proper skin care. However, if you use products containing about 2% niacinamide, these problems will quickly be resolved. Thanks to its effective ability to prevent the formation of melanin pigments, acne blemishes will gradually fade and become more even.

When should you take Niacinamide?

When should niacinamide be taken? (Source: Internet)

Which skin should pay attention to or should not use Niacinamide?

  • Pregnant or nursing women should not use more than 35mg Niacinamide/day by food or by external use. You should consult your doctor first to protect the health of both mother and baby.
  • Experts recommend that people with a history of liver disease or related diseases should not use  niacinamide.
  • If you have very sensitive skin or are undergoing skin treatment, consult your doctor before using Niacinamide.

Note how to use the correct Niacinamide serum for the best results

How to use serum Niacinamide to treat acne skin

Cleanses and balances the pH of the skin

Like the most standard skincare process, you should remove makeup and wash your face with a cleanser carefully. Then, use toner or rose water to balance the skin’s pH, and at the same time, toner is also a derivative of nutrients from the serum that penetrates the skin better.

Use a serum containing Niacinamide

Use the dropper to apply an appropriate amount of product to the palm of your hand. Or you can also dot the solution on 4 areas of the face such as: forehead, cheeks and chin. Gently spread the serum all over the face, and don’t forget to pat it so that the serum can be absorbed into the skin faster.

Continue to perform intensive skin care steps

Is it better to take Niacinamide morning or night?

Niacinamide is a very safe ingredient for the skin, so you can use it both morning and night for better skin care if you have normal skin. For acne-prone or sensitive skin, you can use it at night when the skin is resting, then the nutrients will be better absorbed.

Can Niacinamide be used with BHA/AHA?

BHA and AHA are two of the most popular exfoliants in recent times. These ingredients are often used in the treatment of acne skin or daily skin care for normal skin. However, for sensitive skin or acne-prone skin that is in the process of being treated with cosmetics containing BHA and AHA, if combined with Nia, it may cause irritation. Therefore, you should limit the combination of these ingredients together.

Can Niacinamide be used with Retinol?

Retinol, also known as Vitamin A derivative, is a very good anti-aging ingredient, but it can cause irritation if you don’t know how to use it correctly. Therefore, many beauty experts recommend using it in combination with Nia to reduce symptoms of skin irritation. Both of these ingredients are well known in anti-aging, so when combined, they will maximize their benefits.

In addition, Niacinamide also has the effect of supporting acne treatment, anti-inflammatory, reducing sebum congestion. The plus point of this substance is that it is benign on the skin, more stable than other famous anti-aging agents such as retinol and vitamin C, this is also the reason it is loved and used so much. Hopefully, Dep365’s article has been able to explain the question “what is niacinamide” for you.

Frequently asked questions about Niacinamide

Which brand of Niacinamide should I use?

There are many cosmetic companies that produce products containing Nia ingredients, of which the following 5 brands are the most popular and hotly discussed today:

1. The Ordinary.
2. Paula’s Choice
3. EltaMD
4. Skinceuticals
5. The Inkey List

Should you take Niacinamide?

According to experts, niacinamide is considered a rare ingredient that brings many benefits to healthy, beautiful, firm skin without causing irritation. This makes niacinamide suitable for even the most demanding skin or those with extremely sensitive skin. So it’s a must-try ingredient in your skincare routine.

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