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Beautiful woman posing with Vitamin B3 products

While it's true that what you eat can impact your skin health, food isn't the only way to reap the benefits of vitamins like Vitamin b3, commonly known as Niacinamide in the skin care world. In fact, topical application is one of the best ways to leverage Vitamin b3 benefits for skin health.

Here's a closer look at why Vitamin b3 has become a skin care staple and how to incorporate it into your routine—no matter your skin goals.


What Does Vitamin b3 Do for Skin?

Vitamin b3 comes in three forms: niacin (nicotinic acid), inositol hexanicotinate, and Niacinamide (nicotinamide), the last of which helps protect and repair skin cells. As a multifaceted water-soluble nutrient that works well with all skin types, Niacinamide is a top pick among skin care professionals for treating many skin conditions, including rosacea and eczema.

Young woman applying moisturizer to her skin in the bathroom


Common Sources of Vitamin b3

Your body can't produce Vitamin b3 independently, so the only way to get it is through your diet or skin care routine. You probably already consume Vitamin b3-rich foods in your daily diet. Examples include green vegetables, eggs, milk, bananas, avocados, brown rice, legumes, fish, red meat, poultry, and whole grains.

However, if you truly want to reap Vitamin b3 benefits for skin, look to skin care products with Niacinamide.


Vitamin b3 Benefits for Skin

So, what does Vitamin b3 do for skin? In the form of Niacinamide, it's known to prevent transepidermal water loss, which allows moisture to leave the skin's surface, and neutralize environmental damage. But that's not all. Here are some other notable benefits.


Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Niacinamide stimulates ceramide synthesis and helps build keratin in your skin, resulting in a smoother, hydrated, more toned appearance. In one study, using 5 percent Niacinamide twice daily for 12 weeks significantly reduced fine lines and wrinkles while improving elasticity.


Diminishes Dark Spots

Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen is the best way to prevent hyperpigmentation, but reach for Niacinamide if dark spots arise. Vitamin b3 works by hindering the transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes (cells that produce melanin, which gives your skin color) to keratinocytes, which make up 90 percent of the cells on your skin's surface layer. Clinical studies found that Niacinamide significantly decreased hyperpigmentation after just four weeks of regular use.

While it's best to consult a skin care professional, you could pair Niacinamide with other brightening agents, such as Vitamin C, for a more powerful treatment.


Strengthens the Moisture Barrier

Your skin's natural moisture barrier can weaken due to environmental factors, harsh skin care products, and aging. Niacinamide helps the skin retain moisture, resulting in a strengthened skin barrier. This makes it an especially valuable ingredient if you have dry or mature skin.


Regulates Oil Production

While Niacinamide is a moisture-binding powerhouse, it also regulates oil production, making it perfect if you have oily or acne-prone skin. Healthy, balanced sebum levels mean less noticeable pores and fewer breakouts.


Reduces Inflammation

Niacinamide helps soothe inflammation associated with skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, decreasing redness and sensitivity.


How to Use Vitamin b3 in Skin Care

You can find plenty of skin care products that leverage the benefits of Vitamin b3. Whether you're hoping to fade dark spots, lessen the appearance of fine lines, or get your acne under control, remember that consistency is key to achieving your transformation.

Here are some PCA SKIN formulas featuring Vitamin b3 that can help you attain your skin care goals.


Eye Cream

Genetics, allergies, age, and hyperpigmentation are just a few causes of dark under-eye circles. PCA SKIN's Vitamin b3 Eye Brightening Cream is formulated with 5 percent Niacinamide to help brighten and refresh tired eyes while reducing puffiness and the appearance of fine lines. And because sun and screens are part of daily life, this cream helps protect the delicate skin around your eyes from both ultraviolet (UV) and blue light damage, too.



PCA SKIN's Vitamin b3 Brightening Serum improves skin barrier function and brightens dark spots by impeding melanogenesis. It also reduces redness and minimizes age-related skin yellowing—all thanks to 6 percent Niacinamide. Check out the before and after pictures after 21 weeks of use as proof.



Wondering whether you can combine Niacinamide with Retinol? Why yes, you can! With Intensive Age Refining Treatment®: 0.5% Pure Retinol, PCA SKIN takes the guesswork out of how to pair these potent ingredients. This refining treatment combines the anti-aging benefits of Retinol with the moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties of Niacinamide.

Another great pick, PCA SKIN Intensive Brightening Treatment: 0.5% Pure Retinol is formulated with a trifecta of the ultimate skin brighteners (Retinol, Niacinamide, and Resveratrol) to help promote a clear, even, radiant complexion. PCA SKIN uses a patented Omnisome delivery system to carry these potent ingredients deeper into your skin for superior results—minus the risk of irritation.


Incorporating Science-Backed Ingredients into Your Routine

Suitable for all skin types and concerns, Niacinamide is an ingredient everyone can get on board with. Still, if you have any questions about which products are best for you, chat with a PCA SKIN virtual skin care specialist or find a professional near you. Finding a partner in skin health makes the road to better skin that much easier.


Rebecca Taras
A Chicagoland native, Rebecca began her career catering to celebrity clientele as a licensed esthetician at the Peninsula Chicago Hotel. Her passion for skin care ingredients, formulations, and skin histology led her to create custom in-room skin, bath, and body amenities for the Sofitel Hotel Chicago. The Chicago Fashion Foundation recognized her efforts with the Style Maker, Rule Breaker award in the Beauty category. She later went on to co-found Terminal Getaway airport spas. Rebecca’s experience also includes serving as an editor for digital outlets such as Refinery29, PopSugar, Forbes Travel Guides, and Bustle. She continues to refine her skin care knowledge while spending time traveling the world with her husband.