Niacinamide: what it is, what it is used for and best products

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Do you really want to know about niacinamide? In this guide you will find the answers to all the questions: what is it, what is it used for, what skin types is it recommended for and what are the best skincare products based on this ingredient.


Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide or vitamin B3is a derivative of vitamin B. It is also a very stable molecule water soluble, synthesized in the laboratory and very useful for skin health and physical well-being. In the cosmetic field, it has become one of the most popular and trendy ingredients. It is used in particular in skincare products for oily or acne-prone skin. But not only ! Has a’high tolerance and, thanks to its multiple properties, it is suitable for all skin types. Especially when you know in what quantities and concentrations it should be used!



What is niacinamide used for? Why has it become one of the most popular ingredients in the beauty world? Simple, niacinamide provides many advantages to the skin and is considered a ingredient teacher. In fact, it has the ability to teach the skin the importance of self-regeneration, stimulating the production of ceramides that make up the skin barrier.

On the skins dull, dry or ripe niacinamide has useful properties for:

  • hydrate;
  • to light up;
  • act on the signs of aging;
  • protect from UV rays.

Thanks to its power antioxidant neutralizes free radicals, responsible for premature aging of the dermis. It also prevents yellowing and graying of the complexion, acting as a lightener and illuminator. Against the sun’s rays, it has a strong photoprotective power, preventing cell decomposition and the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines or dryness. It also helps to replenish the hydrolipidic barrier: the skin avoids the loss of subcutaneous hydration to jail water in the dermis. For deep anti-aging, niacinamide can be used in combination with retinoids.

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Niacinamide on mature or dry skin

On oily or damaged, acne-prone or blemish-prone skin, niacinamide is used to:

  • soothe and relieve;
  • reduce blemishes due to accumulations of melanin;
  • refine the skin texture;
  • keep an eye on sebaceous production.

Niacinamide has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. He also has the ability to redirect the distribution of melanin in the skin, acting on red or brown spots due to inflammation or acne breakouts. The good news is that in addition to eliminating the consequences of a problem, niacinamide also helps prevent it! By controlling the production of sebum, it avoids the greasy effect on the face, especially in the T zone. It helps to refine the skin texture and visually reduce the size of the pores, avoiding the accumulation of impurities that can lead to rashes. or inflammatory. Result: the complexion appears more even.

Niacinamide for oily or acne-prone skin


Niacinamide is a highly tolerable ingredient, but should be used in good percentages and according to the objectives to be achieved. Depending on the concentration in the products, which varies from 1% to more than 10%, it acts in different ways and on different skin problems. Does niacinamide have any contraindications? Definitely a concentration too high it can cause irritation of the most delicate skins. An example might be Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum among The Ordinary’s best products, in which 10% niacinamide can cause problems for sensitive skin, even if it is oily and acne prone. In case of inconvenience, you can opt for products with lower percentages. Or choose niacinamide powder, to independently manage the amount of pure actives, mixed with neutral serums or creams. If you want to learn more about which products to mix it with, you can read our reviews of Niacinamide The Ordinary.

Niacinamide Powder

In general, however, niacinamide it has no contraindications details and also the taboo on combination of niacinamide and vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is a myth to be dispelled. “The result of a dated laboratory research (60s) who used pure forms of niacinamide and ascorbic acid. Combined and subjected to very high temperatures, they have shown the formation of nicotinic acid, which can lead to skin irritations.said Dr. Meena Singh. Today, we are not only in the presence of more stable forms of vitamin Cbut the need to be confronted with such high temperatures during a classic beauty routine session is reduced to a minimum!

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As Dr. Emily L. Arch of the Dermatology + Aesthetics Center points out”vitamin C is naturally present on our skin. If the two ingredients were not compatible, we would all suffer from the topical use of niacinamide!“For an extra eye on our skin, however, it is good to check that in the recommendations Vitamin C is not advised on the use of any specific product.

Doctor Meena Singh
Doctor Meena Singh, dermatologist – photo: @drmeenasingh


Does niacinamide cause pimples? The answer is no. However, it activates the so-called process of purging the skin. The expression refers to the process of purification of the skin during the introduction of a new exfoliating or purifying product in your skincare routine. After an initial worsening of the skin condition and the panic that can ensue, ingredients such as niacinamide begin to show positive results. As for example in the case of mask treatment, acne mask. It’s about waiting almost a month, continuing to apply purifying products with consistency and thoroughness. After the reaction and purification process come the real results.

Niacinamide and skin purging


Given the many properties of niacinamide, there are dozens of products on the market that make it their main ingredient. Go on multitasking products halfway between make and skincare towards the essential but effective so-called skinimalism. From new face serums to new face creams, there are plenty of niacinamide products out there.

Niacinamide can be used alone or in combination with other active ingredients to act on certain skin problems. Some examples are:

  • niacinamide + hyaluronic acidfor a moisturizing action;
  • salicylic, azelaic or glycolic acids + niacinamide act even more effectively on the ports and grains of impure skin;
  • retinol + niacinamide for an anti-aging action;
  • peptides + niacinamideto stimulate the production of collagen;
  • niacinamide + N-acetylglucosaminefor an anti-stain action
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Use of niacinamide
Textures of different vitamin B3 products – photo: @theordinary


So if you want to include it in your beauty routine and are looking for product suggestions to try, here are our tips for 3 niacinamide products: a cleanser, a face serum and a niacinamide face cream!

  • CeraVe Foaming Cleanser, dedicated to normal to oily skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid and is designed to give the face a boost of hydration while cleansing. It has a gel texture which on contact with water transforms into a soft foam, to remove make-up and impurities and keep sebaceous production under control (price €8.95 – buy here).

CeraVe Niacinamide Cleanser

  • face serum Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, dedicated to oily and acne-prone skin. As its name suggests, there is 10% concentrated niacinamide and 1% zinc intended to exert a deep purifying action on the skin. The semi-liquid gel texture of the face serum makes application comfortable and easy. Available in 30 or 60 ml format (price from €7.49 – buy here).

Ordinary niacinamide serum

  • Purito Deep Sea Water Face Cream, one of the best Purito skincare products. It is suitable for dry and dehydrated skin, even sensitive, as it is free of essential oils and fragrances. Concentrated 2% niacinamide acts as a nourishing active, alongside hyaluronic acid, panthenol and mineral-rich seawater. With a semi-gel texture, it can be used as a day and night cream (price €23.45 – buy here).

Purito niacinamide face cream


By browsing e-commerce, it is easy to come across pages dedicated to niacinamide products. An example is this Lookfantastic page, which divides the products on sale equally according to the assets that characterize the formulas.

Did you already know the benefits of niacinamide? Do you use niacinamide cardiac products? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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