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There's no shortage of skin care products that address fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, large pores, dryness, dullness, and texture. However, did you know one notable ingredient tackles all of these common skin woes? It's called Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B found in foods like fortified cereals, bananas, eggs, milk, brown rice, poultry, and red meat.

So, then, what is Niacinamide in skin care? Good question. Read on to dive deeper into the science behind this ingredient, its benefits, and how to use Niacinamide in skin care so you can start incorporating it into your daily routine.


What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide (also known as Nicotinamide) is a vital water-soluble vitamin your body manufactures and uses to convert food into energy, and it supports your skin health and nervous and digestive systems. Your body produces Niacinamide when too much niacin (Vitamin B3) is present. To be clear, niacin is Vitamin B3, while Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 used in skin care products.


The Benefits of Niacinamide for the Skin

Niacinamide is a desirable active ingredient because it suits all skin types—even sensitive skin. Because it doesn't increase skin cell turnover, you don't have to worry about unwanted side effects like redness, dryness, or peeling, which are often linked to other popular skin care ingredients like Retinoids or alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids. But what is Niacinamide in skin care, exactly? The following benefits speak for themselves.

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Brightens and Evens Out Skin Tone

Niacinamide inhibits melanin production, reducing the appearance of sun spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation. This means a brighter, more even complexion.


Safeguards against Free Radical Damage

Niacinamide helps strengthen your skin's protective barrier, which is vital for healthy and hydrated skin. At the same time, it repairs damage from environmental aggressors like pollution and ultraviolet radiation. Over time, compromised barrier function can render your complexion weathered and lackluster. Niacinamide increases your skin's free fatty acid levels and ceramides to prevent transepidermal water loss, strengthening barrier defense.


Regulates Oil Production

When your skin produces too much sebum (oil), it can lead to clogged pores. This can make your pores look more prominent. Niacinamide minimizes their appearance by regulating oil production and tightening lax pores.


Softens Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Research suggests that, with regular use, Niacinamide significantly improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Again, Niacinamide encourages ceramide production, which helps nourish and protect your skin barrier. When your skin is healthy and plump, those creases aren't as prominent. So, the benefits of wrinkle reduction and improved hydration and skin texture all go hand-in-hand.


Calms Inflammation

Niacinamide boasts anti-inflammatory properties that help calm inflammation associated with acne, rosacea, or generally sensitive skin caused by an influx of cytokines. While these signaling proteins help control inflammation in your body, too many can have an adverse effect. Niacinamide helps reduce their production for calmer, clearer skin.


How to Use Niacinamide in Skin Care

There are no hard rules when it comes to how to use Niacinamide in skin care. It's compatible with all other ingredients, so you don't need to revamp your entire routine to safely incorporate Niacinamide. This is part of why you can find it in many skin care formulations, from eye gels and toners to serums and face creams.

You can even use several products containing this multifaceted ingredient simultaneously. That said, you may want to intentionally pair some ingredients with Niacinamide to help treat specific skin concerns.


Vitamin C

Forget what you've heard about Vitamin C and Niacinamide canceling one another out. That may have been the case when the two ingredients were unstable, but in modern times, both are stabilized. This means you can use them together to brighten your skin's appearance.


Retinol and Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

Since Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, it pairs perfectly with Retinol and alpha-hydroxy acid, which can cause redness, peeling, and flaking. Try soothing Niacinamide to help counteract any potential irritation while using these ingredients.


Hyaluronic Acid

Do your skin care goals include increasing hydration and softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles? Pair Niacinamide with Hyaluronic Acid. This superior humectant helps draw moisture into the skin, leaving it visibly plumped and dewy.



If you have acne-prone skin, pair Niacinamide with Zinc, which reduces redness, supports healing, and minimizes the appearance of acne scars.



Ready to try out Niacinamide for yourself? Get started with these formulations from PCA SKIN.

  • PCA SKIN Intensive Age Refining Treatment® with 0.5% Pure Retinol harnesses the power of 0.5 percent stabilized Retinol, Retinopeptide, and Stem Cell Extract technology to address fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. Niacinamide helps strengthen the skin's protective barrier while reducing age-related skin discoloration and redness.
  • PCA SKIN Dual Action Redness Relief is the perfect remedy for compromised skin, formulated with Niacinamide, ceramides, and other protective ingredients. It improves skin barrier function while calming and soothing sensitized skin for 10-plus hours thanks to a time-released OmniSome™ delivery system.
  • If you're dealing with discoloration or a dull complexion, try PCA SKIN Intensive Brightening Treatment with 0.5% Pure Retinol. This powerful nighttime treatment is formulated with Niacinamide, Resveratrol, Hexylresorcinol, and Retinol to provide the ultimate brightening treatment and help restore a healthy, glowing complexion.


Your Healthy Skin Journey

Niacinamide is one of the most buzz-worthy skin care ingredients out there, so it won't be difficult to incorporate it into your skin care routine. If you're a fan of TikTok, you already know. The beauty of this ingredient is that everyone can benefit from it because it doesn't have any side effects. Whether your goal is tackling fine lines or wrinkles, diminishing redness, or evening out discoloration, Niacinamide certainly earns its place on your radar.


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.