There’s more hype around some skincare ingredients than others, and Niacinamide is definitely one of them. Because of the range of benefits for all skin types, we get why it’s so popular – in fact, we’re huge Niacinamide fans, and so should you be.
Whether you’re a seasoned user or new to the game, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about Niacinamide, from how it works and the biological interaction it has within the skin, to top-rated formulas worth trying.
Keep scrolling to read.
What Is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3 or Nicotinamide, is a water-soluble vitamin that works synergistically with the substances already found in our skin. Research has shown that when applied topically, the vitamin breaks down to a coenzyme called Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, which then interacts with our cells and influences overall skin health.
The benefits of Niacinamide are far-reaching: it visibly minimises the look of stretched pores, improves tone and texture, strengthens the skin’s surface and repairs signs of damage. In some cases, Niacinamide is also thought to regulate sebum production, which reduces the risk of breakouts.
What Are The Benefits Of Niacinamide?
No matter your skin concern or the type of complexion you have, Niacinamide is an ingredient that is of benefit to almost everyone. Think of it as having universal appeal: it brightens, strengthens, soothes, rebalances and reverses accumulated damage.
Skin benefits include:
Niacinamide is well-loved for its ability to refine the skin’s appearance, including the look of stretched pores. Not only does it regulate the pore lining, it also prevents congestion, which is the main reason our skin takes on a dimpled, uneven appearance (Google ‘orange peel skin’ and you’ll see what we mean). The short of it? Niacinamide can visibly shrink pores, and prevent them from becoming clogged, resulting in a smooth, toned complexion. That’s a big yes from us.
A strengthened skin barrier
Often called out as a saving grace for red, irritated or bumpy skin because of its barrier-repairing properties, when combined with moisturisers Niacinamide reinstates barrier integrity, preventing damage and dehydration.
Brighter-looking scars and discolouration
Niacinamide is also known to brighten the look of scars and pigmentation, because it disrupts melanin pathways: melanin is a pigment-producing cell responsible for most skin discolouration, so disrupting its process aids this brightening effect. For ultimate benefits, you can combine Niacinamide with forms of Vitamin C or Retinol.
Balanced oil production
This hard-working hero can also help if you experience excessive shine or breakouts or – both. While it’s not going to target existing blemishes, it is known to help balance oil production, minimising the risk of pores becoming clogged. Plus, the soothing benefits of Niacinamide are useful for acne-prone skin.
Who Should Be Using It?
You might have picked up by now that almost everyone can benefit from Niacinamide, but especially those with visibly damaged skin, an impaired barrier, redness, bumpy texture, dehydration, large pores or breakouts (phew).
In fact, we can honestly recommend that pretty much everyone works it into their routine in some way – it’s just too good of an ingredient not too!
On That Note, How Does Niacinamide Fit Into My Routine?
Unlike other actives, Niacinamide is compatible with most skincare ingredients. It can be used morning or evening, and pairs well with Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides, antioxidants like Vitamin C, Hydroxy Acids, and occlusives such as Shea Butter or Ceramides. It can even be combined with Retinol to mitigate any irritation.
Formulas To Try:
The jewel in our Niacinamide crown, this serum has a 10 per cent concentration for noticeable benefits in a few short weeks (it’s worth pointing out that concentration matters, and 5 per cent to 10 per cent is proven to have an ideal effect on the skin). Silky and hydrating, it also contains a Probiotic Complex, Cucumber, Aloe Vera, Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid for ample skin hydration.
Best for: All skin types, but especially those prone to redness, breakouts, textural irregularities and uneven tone.
Use it: Morning or night, on clean skin beneath your moisturiser.
Think you can’t exfoliate? Think again! Enzymatic Micro Peel is super gentle, sloughing off dead skin cells while simultaneously topping up hydration. This formula contains Niacinamide to boost barrier health and reduce redness, too.
Best for: All skin types, but especially super sensitive or dehydrated skin.
Use it: Morning or night, a few nights a week, on clean skin.
Nourishing and luxurious, this daily moisturiser is perfect for dry, damaged and depleted skin. It’s packed with moisturisers like Shea Butter, plus Niacinamide to soothe and replenish.
Best for: Normal to dry, damaged or discoloured complexions.
Use it: Morning and night, as the final step in your routine. But be sure to follow up with sunscreen during the day.
Sunscreen is a daily essential and Face The Day SPF 50+ combines modern sun filters, humectants and Niacinamide to protect and hydrate while mattifying the skin. Plus, it has an invisible, quickly absorbed texture – bonus!
Best for: Normal to combination and oily skin, plus those prone to breakouts.
Use it: Every single day, on top of your moisturiser but under makeup.
Want more soothing skintel? Read up on our top sensitive skin tips here.
Skinstitut Face The Day SPF 50+ Very High Protection Lotion: ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Avoid prolonged exposure in the sun. Wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear when exposed to the sun.