Home Beauty Skin Care Everything You Need To Know About Niacinamide: A ‘How-To’ Guide

Everything You Need To Know About Niacinamide: A ‘How-To’ Guide


I’m sure you’ve heard of Niacinamide – it could’ve been from a doctor, a dermatologist, or that one friend who’s REALLY into skincare. But what exactly is Niacinamide? Well, basically, it’s a skincare ingredient. Also known as Vitamin B3 or nicotinamide, it’s a highly versatile and active skincare ingredient that targets specific skin concerns, along with providing added benefits.

This thorough guide will take you through everything about a niacinamide serum, including niacinamide benefits for skin, how to use niacinamide serum, and the best niacinamide serums.

10 Niacinamide Benefits For Skin:

1. Improves Skin Texture: 

Niacinamide helps in refining the skin’s texture, making it smoother and more even, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Evens Skin Tone: 

It diminishes the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars, promoting a more uniform complexion, which is why niacinamide for hyperpigmentation is popular.

3. Reduces Enlarged Pores: 

Niacinamide for face can tighten enlarged pores, making them appear smaller and less noticeable.

4. Boosts Collagen Production: 

Niacinamide supports the production of collagen and other proteins, promoting skin elasticity and firmness.

5. Reduces Redness and Inflammation:

Its anti-inflammatory properties help in calming redness, irritation, and inflammation in the skin, making it suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin.

6. Regulates Oil Production: 

Niacinamide helps balance sebum production, making it beneficial for oily or acne-prone skin without causing excessive dryness

7. Soothes Irritated Skin: 

It can alleviate skin conditions like eczema and rosacea due to its calming effect on irritated skin.

8. Reduces the Appearance of Under-Eye Circles: 

Its ability to improve skin tone and reduce inflammation makes niacinamide effective in minimizing dark circles under the eyes.

9. Improves Dullness: 

Niacinamide promotes a healthier complexion, reducing dullness and giving the skin a more radiant glow.

10. Supports Wound Healing:

It aids in the healing process of damaged skin, making it beneficial for minor wounds and blemishes.

How Do I Use Niacinamide?

If you’re wondering how to apply niacinamide serum, there are two ways: either as an ingredient in your skincare routine or orally, in the form of supplements. Let’s look at these two forms in more detail:

Topical NiacinamideNiacinamide Supplements
Applied directly on the skin in the form of creams, serums, or lotions.Taken orally in the form of capsules or tablets.
Used for skincare benefits like hydration, texture improvement, and specific issues like acne and ageing.Consumed as a dietary supplement for nutritional needs and metabolism.
Applied to specific areas of the skin that need treatment.Impacts the entire body and influences overall health.
You can control the amount applied.You need to follow a recommended dosage.
Rare side effects, but even then only skin irritation or allergies.Possible side effects include flushing, upset stomach, or liver issues (especially at high doses).
Safe for external use after a patch test.Need to consult a doctor before starting supplements (especially at higher doses).

5 Sources Of Niacinamide

Everything You Need To Know About Niacinamide: A ‘How-To’ Guide

1. Food:

Naturally present in many food items, some of the niacinamide-rich foods include meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, legumes, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals.

2. Dietary Supplements:

These supplements are available in the form of capsules, tablets, or even multivitamin supplements. Niacinamide supplements are a concentrated source of Vitamin B3.

3. Skincare Products:

Niacinamide is even quite a popular ingredient in many skincare products, including serums, moisturisers, and some toners. Niacinamide for skin is integrated with various formulas to deliver skin hydration, better skin texture, and a reduced appearance of fine lines.

4. Topical Creams:

Many over-the-counter topical creams and ointments have niacinamide in them and are used for specific skin conditions like acne or eczema. You have to apply these creams to the affected skin area directly.

5. Prescription Medications:

In some instances, niacinamide-based prescription medications are even available to treat some skin disorders, but these meds are usually only prescribed by a doctor.

How Do I Decide Which Niacinamide Product To Try?

  • Identify your specific skin concerns (acne, uneven tone, etc.).
  • Choose an appropriate niacinamide concentration (2-10%).
  • Select your product type (serum, moisturizer, toner) based on your skincare routine.
  • Check for any complementary ingredients, like antioxidants or hyaluronic acid.
  • Consider your skin type (oily, dry, sensitive) to find appropriate products.
  • Read a lot of reviews, and seek recommendations from your trusted sources.
  • Perform a patch test before you start using it every day – very important!
  • Fix a budget, and then look for products within your range.
  • Evaluate the brand’s reputation, and opt for an already established skincare brand.
  • If you feel overwhelmed, you can always consult a dermatologist for personalized recommendations.

Who Should Use Niacinamide?

  • People trying to improve skin texture and appearance.
  • Those who have enlarged pores or uneven skin tone.
  • People with sensitive skin can also use it.
  • Individuals looking for hydration and a moisture balance.
  • Anybody looking for a solution to mild signs of ageing, like fine lines and wrinkles.
  • People with acne-prone skin.

How Much Niacinamide Should I Be Using?

If you’re wondering how does niacinamide work, and what are the niacinamide benefits for skin, it depends on whether it’s oral or topical.

1. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) Supplements:

The recommended amount for niacin (which includes niacinamide) depends on factors like your age, sex, and life stage. For adults, 14-18 milligrams per day should be good. If you’re pregnant or lactating you might need slightly more.

2. Topical Niacinamide (Skincare):

For niacinamide for skin, the concentration of the product should be around 5% as a good starting point, and in terms of frequency, once or twice a day is enough but you should follow the instructions given on your skincare product, or according to what your dermatologist says. Remember to start with a lower concentration and then gradually increase it according to how your skin responds, and always do a patch test before incorporating a new ingredient in your skincare routine.

Read: All About Vitamin C

How To Store Niacinamide?

1. Cool and Dry Environment:

Store your niacinamide supplements or any skincare products in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture, as exposure to heat or even humidity might degrade the quality of your product.

2. Seal the Container:

Make sure that the container holding your niacinamide is properly and fully sealed after each use. Airtight packaging will help prevent any air and moisture contamination, thus maintaining your product’s effectiveness.

3. Avoid Temperature Fluctuations:

Do not store your niacinamide in any areas that are subject to frequent temperature changes, like near the stove or in your bathroom. You’ll need a stable room temperature to maintain potency.

4. Check Expiry Date:

Make sure you always check the expiration date of your product. If you use niacinamide after its expiration date, it can reduce its effectiveness.

5. Keep Away from Children:

Obviously, store your niacinamide supplements out of the reach of any children to prevent accidental consumption.

Niacinamide + Other Skincare Ingredients

Niacinamide is a very versatile skincare ingredient and can absolutely be combined with many other actives to enhance their effects. It is extremely compatible with the following skincare ingredients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Peptides
  • Sunscreen Agents
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
  • Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

Niacinamide And Pregnancy

Yes, niacinamide is safe for pregnancy if had in normal dietary amounts. They could be present in prenatal vitamins or balanced foods. Even in skincare products, niacinamide is generally considered safe.

Niacinamide Product Recommendations

Let’s look at how to use niacinamide serum, so here are the best niacinamide serums and more:

1. Minimalist 5% Niacinamide Face Serum: 

This is the best niacinamide serum for any skin type. It contains 5% niacinamide and is fragrance-free and cruelty-free.

2. Dot & Key 10% Niacinamide Serum: 

This one is a good option if you want to see a more dramatic result, as it contains 10% niacinamide

3. Plum 10% Niacinamide Face Serum with Rice Water: 

Use this niacinamide for dry skin if you need more hydration as it has rice water, a natural hydrator.

4. The Derma Co 3% Niacinamide Foaming Daily Face Wash: 

Use this niacinamide for oily skin if you don’t want to use a serum. It has 3% niacinamide.

5. Suganda 5% Niacinamide Serum: 

This serum is affordable, with 5% niacinamide, and is fragrance and cruelty-free.

5 Niacinamide Side Effects

1. Flushing:

High doses of niacinamide can sometimes cause flushing, which is redness, warmth, and itching of your skin. This side effect is more common with niacin (another form of vitamin B3).

2. Upset Stomach:

Some people may even experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea if they take high doses of niacinamide.

3. Liver Function:

In very rare cases, high doses of niacinamide might lead to liver toxicity.

4. Allergic Reactions:

Allergic reactions are rare but can happen, and include a rash, itching, swelling, or even difficulty breathing.

5. Other Side Effects:

In extremely rare cases, these supplements might cause dizziness, headache, and low blood pressure.

This extremely versatile skincare active has a wide range of benefits, just waiting to be explored by you. Whether you use it topically, in your skincare, or take Vitamin B3 supplements, enjoy the myriad benefits of Niacinamide!

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