Why Vitamin B3 Is Your New Best Friend

By Tamara Corin | 3rd February 2022

Better known as niacinamide, which is part of the vitamin B3 compound, this ingredient is quickly earning its place as the holy grail amongst dermatologists. Here, we reveal everything you need to know about niacinamide…

So what exactly is niacinamide? Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that can be taken as a supplement or applied topically to the skin. It’s a turbo-powered superstar skin ingredient which is proven to treat everything from fine lines and dehydration to acne and hyperpigmentation. As Dr Gary Goldfaden the dermatologist founder at Goldfaden MD explains ‘’niacinamide is as well-rounded as it is potent; it has the power to brighten, hydrate, and protect your complexion from the elements—as well as refine pores—leaving you with nourished, radiant skin.’’ It’s basically a one-size-fits- all ingredient.

How does niacinamide work on skin?

As a “cell-communicating” ingredient, niacinamide acts as a kind of mediator, talking to different kinds of skin cells and prompting them to make newer, fresher and healthier cells. “This helps generate the skin’s building blocks – the ceramides and keratin that make up the skin barrier, which in turn may make you look younger. “If the barrier is damaged, collagen and elastin break down, plus, the skin can’t stay hydrated, loses moisture and is unable to heal or repair itself – that’s when skin conditions worsen. Protecting and restoring the barrier is vital, which is where niacinamide plays a role,” says Dr Anthony Rossi, world-renowned dermatologist. 

Does it suit all skin types? 

In a word, YES! Frankly, everyone can benefit from the ingredient, no matter what your age or skin type. However, it’s specifically effective on acne-prone skin because of the anti-inflammatory and sebum regulating effects. Part of the beauty of using a niacinamide product is, it’s incredibly easy to add it to any skincare routine and won’t clash, so to speak, with any of your existing products (see below). 

It's the a turbo-powered superstar skin ingredient proven to treat everything from fine lines and dehydration to acne and hyperpigmentation

Can you mix niacinamide with other ingredients? 

Absolutely! It’s a real team-player. Similarly to vitamin C, niacinamide helps minimise the side effects from other ingredients such as retinol, which can be very drying on the skin. But when you use the ingredients side-by-side, skin is left hydrated thanks to niacinamide’s hydrating properties. Hyaluronic acid is another great ingredient to use alongside niacinamide. Both are humectants, and so incredibly hydrating on the skin. 

How should you use niacinamide?

Unlike most hard-working skincare, niacinamide can be used both morning and evening, typically after cleansing. Plus, it’s gentle enough to be applied everyday if you so wish. Trust us, you’ll soon be slapping it on 24/7! 

Is there any side effects? 

Like most hard-working ingredients, high concentrations may cause irritation. So, if you have sensitive skin or prone to redness, stick to 1-2% of niacinamide. However, if your skin is more tolerant, ideally, look for products that contain at least 5% niacinamide for best results and check that it features in the top five on the list of ingredients. 

The best niacinamide skincare to try now…

The products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however, The Handbook may make a small commission on some products purchased through affiliate links.

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