Ingredient 101: Everything you need to know about Niacinamide

March 28, 2024

4 minutes Read

Jump to Products

Ingredient 101: Everything you need to know about Niacinamide

Ingredient 101: Everything you need to know about Niacinamide

The skincare savvy among you will already have heard of it, even if you can’t pronounce it. Niacinamide (pronounced - Niya-sin-a-mide) is the skincare superstar popping up on INCI lists left, right and centre, and here’s why… 

Benefits of Niacinamide

Whatever your skin type or concern, it’s likely this vivacious vitamin has a place in your beauty regime. Facialist and skincare expert Amba Logan describes niacinamide (AKA nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3) as a real buzz ingredient, and explains why it’s found in so many skincare products these days. “It offers endless benefits and plays nicely with other ingredients,” she says. “It’s a fabulous “bolt on” to super charge or add a calming element to other keen actives.” 

Research shows that when used regularly, niacinamide can help to reduce inflammation and hyperpigmentation, visibly reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and lead to a smoother and brighter complexion. “For this reason, it can be particularly beneficial to oily and acne-prone skin,” explains aesthetic doctor Dr Lubna Khan-Salim. “Not forgetting those with rosacea or uneven skin texture.” 

Niacinamide Benefits for Skin: 

5 Reasons to Use Niacinamide Skincare

  1. Barrier Strengthening: Rebuilds the protective lipid layer.
  2. Excess-Oil Regulating: Reduces sebum production and pore size.
  3. Anti-Ageing: Boosts “youth proteins” collagen and elastin. 
  4. Pigment Inhibiting: Controls pigmentation-causing melanin.
  5. Protective: Offers free-radical-fighting (and UV-shielding) properties.

Q: Why is skin barrier function so important?

The skin barrier, AKA the outer lipid layer, acts like a protective shield, keepingenvironmental stressors and bacteria OUT and essential moisture IN. Niacinamide is a hero barrier-bolsterer due to its ability to “re-build” the outer lipid layer. 

Niacinamide the Moisture Booster 

Hydrated skin is happy skin, and while so many products claim to be the skincare equivalent of a large glass of water, those containing niacinamide can be considered a cut above the rest. “It’s a very hydrating ingredient, so offers a gentle, non-drying and calming approach to tackling problem skin,” Logan points out. “This is why it’s often used alongside potentially irritating ingredients such as retinols and glycolic acid, as it can help balance any side effects and inflammation.”

As mentioned before, niacinamide essentially rebuilds the lipid layer by increasing ceramide and fatty acid levels, as well as epidermal proteins, including keratin. So, how does this effect the skin’s hydration? When the skin barrier is functioning as it should, transepidermal water loss is greatly reduced. 

Q: Is Niacinamide Anti-Ageing?

A: Yes. Niacinamide is known to boost “youth proteins” collagen and elastin. Topical Niacinamide converts to NAD and NADP on the skin, two co-enzymes that play a key role in biochemical reactions (including cellular energy production) but decrease as we age.

Niacinamide Serum Benefits  

From cleansers through to moisturisers (and even makeup with additional skin benefits), there’s plenty of ways to get your quota of niacinamide these days. But what’s the best delivery system in order for the skin to receive maximum benefits?

“Niacinamide is often used in serums, which, due to their molecular weight and texture, get to work much deeper and quicker, giving impressive results,” says Logan. She encourages twice-daily use for maximum results and encourages you to look for formulas where Niacinamide sits closer to the top of the ingredients list, meaning it’s a higher concentration. “Check for percentages of at least 5% if you are looking to tackle wider skin issues,” she adds, although dosages upwards of 2% have been shown to make a difference in clinical trials. Our HydraGlo serum is powered by niacinamide, alongside hero hydrators hyaluronic acid, glycerin and avocado oil. 

Sculpted by Aimee’s Go-To Skin Nourisher 

Our Niacinamide-laced line-up: 

Tint & Glow

WHAT IS IT? Second-skin coverage for a barely-there makeup look with ALL of the glow

→ SPF30 protection 

→ Niacinamide for antioxidant protection

→ Hyaluronic acid for boosted hydration

→ Melts onto the skin effortlessly 




WHAT IS IT? A fast-absorbing serum to strengthen and hydrate the skin post cleanse 

→ Ceramides strengthen the skin barrier

→ Niacinamide for antioxidant protection

→ Hyaluronic acid for boosted hydration

→ 92% felt skin was hydrated all day after 2 weeks use*

* Blind Panel results from 60 users aged 18+ of all skin tones



Brighten & Glow Sheet Mask

WHAT IS IT? A bio-cellulose mask packed with hydrators and nourishers

→ Adheres comfortably to the skin 

→ Niacinamide for antioxidant protection

→ Hydrating hero glycerine

→ Pre-vitamin B5 for a luminous glow



Niacinamide: The Ultimate Team Player

When we say you can mix niacinamide with all other skincare ingredients, we mean it. So perhaps the question is not what shouldn’t we team it with, but what should we, depending on our skin concern…

What Should I Pair My Niacinamide With? 

Dry, dehydrated skin… Niacinamide + hyaluronic Acid

Oily skin prone to breakouts… Niacinamide + Salicylic Acid 

Skin that’s displaying signs of ageing… Niacinamide + Retinol 

Uneven skin tone & texture… Niacinamide + AHAs & BHAs

Q: Are there any Niacinamide side effects to be aware of? 

A: Yes… happy skin! But on a more serious note, unless you have a rare allergy to niacinamide, it is extremely well tolerated at high doses. Those who steer clear of overly active skincare ingredients have nothing to fear from niacinamide; it’s super anti-inflammatory, making it a go-to for sensitive, acne prone, inflamed or reddened skin.

TOP TIP: Before applying any active skincare ingredient, an effective cleansing routine is vital. Why? Because stubborn skin oils, long-wear makeup and environmental pollutants can leave an invisible barrier on the skin, blocking your skincare’s entry into the skin layers they need to reach in order to make a difference. Find out how to boost the benefits of ingredients such as niacinamide, by reading ‘Benefits of Adding Double Cleansing to Your Skincare Routine.’

Products Mentioned