Any skincare-savvy person has come across niacinamide. It is also called Nicotinamide and is the water-soluble form of Vitamin B3. This post will explain why including Vitamin B3 in your skincare diet is a BRIGHT idea, pun intended.

Top things to know about Niacinamide

Given that I am especially guarded about what I put on my face (I’ve had a horrible experience once), my favorite things about niacinamide are:

Niacinamide has been in the cosmeceutical industry for close to fifty years. The proven efficacy of niacinamide has been tried and tested in several scientific research. 

It’s very unlikely to react with other skincare ingredients, including Retinol. Thus, layering it with other products should be no cause for concern. For these reasons, niacinamide is a staple in most skincare products.

It’s a very gentle ingredient compatible with almost all skin types

It’s an anti-inflammatory ingredient. It’s basically medicine!

Choosing the correct Niacinamide 

Be careful not to buy Niacinamide serum with a concentration too high. Know that anything 5% or below is fine. Higher concentrations will only cause the things it’s supposed to fix.

When to expect results

Most studies suggest visible results after about six weeks. To lose patience is to lose the battle. 

The Three Main Dermatological Powers of Niacinamide.

Shrinks enlarged pores

Higher concentrations of Niacinamide will visibly tighten enlarged pores. 

We visualize how skin pores get enlarged: Pores stretch out due to a buildup of dead cells, dirt, and sebum. The challenge is toning down sebum production. While healthy sebum production is great, oily skin types tend to hyper-secrete sebum. Here is where niacinamide comes in. Niacinamide actively controls sebum hypersecretion. 

Tip: Use a serum that has combined Niacinamide and Salicylic acid to treat concerns of enlarged pores and bumpy surfaces. Such a formulation is an additional benefit for oily, acne-prone skin.

Brightens and Evens skin tone

Niacinamide is one of the popular and safer brightening agents in the cosmeceutical world that receives rave reviews from dermatologists. In various clinical studies, the vitamin decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness compared to placebos. But how? 

Skin pigmentation occurs in different ways. So Niacinamide inhibits this transfer, slowing melanin production. Here’s a simplified diagrammatic illustration:

Tip: If you struggle with hyperpigmentation, try correctly using a serum with both niacinamide and zinc as your first option. Thank me later!

Aging Gracefully

Among my absolute favorite skincare ingredients are ceramides. So it excites me that niacinamide fires up ceramide production. Ultimately, this means an improvement in the surface structure of your skin. Here’s how:

Ceramides are natural components of the skin’s topmost layer (the stratum corneum) that work to prevent water loss and strengthen the skin barrier. Also, naturally, their production decreases with age, so you expect your skin to grow dryer as you age. Applying Niacinamide means replenishing these precious anti-aging chemicals.

In addition, Niacinamide is a good humectant, drawing water onto your skin. It’s perfect for dry skin.

Tip: If you are terrified by the thought of aging skin or struggle with the appearance of fine lines, try a serum that combines Niacinamide and Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid).

Benefits of niacinamide image

How to apply Niacinamide Serum Correctly

Cleanse your skin

Imagine you bought these exquisite pearls. Imagine throwing them in a pig sty. The pigs won’t know not to stomp on them, and they won’t know their value. They won’t use them either.

Now imagine buying this “magic” serum that’s supposed to fix dark marks over time. You even did tons of research before buying it. You believe in it. Serums are normally potent, but applying them to dirty skin is equally futile. Cleansing creates a clean slate for the serum’s maximum absorption. Your skin will respond, and you’ll get value for your money.

Always cleanse before applying your serum. Need a guide to cleansing?

A woman cleansing her face before applying niacinamide

Click here: How To Do Face Cleansing The Right Way.

Apply Niacinamide Serum

Now to the fun part. Besides cleansing, applying a serum is among my favorite steps in a skincare routine.

Use the dropper to apply three drops: One onto your forehead and the rest onto each cheek. Enjoy the cool feeling of the serum drops. It has an element of surprise almost every time. If you prefer to use your palm instead, estimate a pearl-size drop onto your palm and then apply.

In the spirit of being purposeful with your skin and appreciating precious moments we normally take for granted, massage the serum gently into your skin for 30-60 seconds. 

Let it sit and absorb into your skin layers for twenty minutes. You can take this time to think about someone or something you love, read something, or eat a bowl of fruit. 

A woman applying niacinamide serum


Use your moisturizer as usual. A moisturizer will seal in the niacinamide for its absolute maximum effect. Remember, we want value for our money… at least most times.

Find a crash course on moisturizers here: Everything You Need To Know About Moisturizers

A woman moisturising her face after applying niacinamide

Parting shot

There you have it, a brief rundown of all things niacinamide. We hope you find the information in this blog post helpful and informative. Now that you know so much more about this ingredient, we want to hear what you think? Do you think it is something worth incorporating into your routine? Let us know in the comments below!