You know quality skin care products are important for healthy skin, but with so many different ingredients out there, finding what actually works can feel daunting. Niacinamide is one ingredient you've probably heard a lot about, especially since it's been hailed as a solution for a variety of skin-related woes.

Well, it turns out there's good reason for all the hype. Niacinamide has some serious skin-health-boosting properties that lead to clear, vibrant skin. Read on to learn more about its benefits and understand how and when to use Niacinamide.

What Is Niacinamide and What Does It Do?

Niacinamide, also called Nicotinamide, is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3. Your body doesn't store it, so you have to keep replenishing it to reap its many benefits. You can get Niacinamide in the food you eat (more on that later), but it's most effective when applied directly to the skin.

Niacinamide has earned its reputation as a must-use skin care ingredient. It nourishes and hydrates the skin by increasing ceramides in the epidermis and acts as a potent antioxidant while strengthening the skin barrier. Niacinamide is also able to fight common signs of aging and sun damage by boosting collagen production and preventing glycation (when sugar byproducts crosslink proteins, disrupting their ability to keep skin firm).

Niacinamide also decreases redness and hyperpigmentation by reducing skin pigment transfer, giving you a healthier, more even skin tone. This is ideal for people with blotchy or discolored skin. It's also effective in lowering sebum production, which can make pores appear smaller and less congested.

Where Can You Find Niacinamide?

Niacinamide occurs naturally in many foods, especially chicken, turkey, fish, and liver. You can also get it through vegetables and grains, like avocado, green peas, potatoes, brown rice, and whole wheat foods. Your body can make Niacinamide from another form of Vitamin B called Niacin as well.

Niacinamide is also available in a wide range of topical skin care products, including serums, moisturizers, and creams. Popular examples include EltaMD AM Restore Facial Moisturizer and EltaMD Renew Eye Gel.

Is Niacinamide Right for You?

Niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that helps with many different skin care concerns. Whether you're concerned about aging, discoloration, or redness and inflammation, you can benefit from adding Niacinamide to your skin care routine. And because it's moisturizing and nonirritating, it works on a range of skin types—from dry to oily to combination skin. Niacinamide even benefits acne-prone skin by lowering excess oil production, which can reduce breakouts.

How Should You Use Niacinamide?

Now that you understand its benefits, the next thing to consider is how and when to use Niacinamide. You can incorporate Niacinamide into your skin care routine in a few ways.

For maximum benefits, use Niacinamide regularly and focus on products that have close, prolonged contact with your skin. Consider a serum or moisturizer that lingers on your skin, rather than a cleanser that rinses off. One easy way to incorporate Niacinamide into your routine is through a daily sunscreen like EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46.

Can You Use Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid Together?

Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid make a great pair. Niacinamide also complements other common skin care ingredients like Retinol and Vitamin C, and some formulas combine Niacinamide with similarly soothing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid. Since Niacinamide calms inflammation and improves barrier function, it supports these other active ingredients and helps reduce irritation.

When using Niacinamide with other active ingredients in your routine, always use the lightest formulation (like a serum) first, followed by heavier products (like a moisturizer).

Turn a New Page on Your Skin Care Story

Niacinamide is a popular skin care ingredient for good reason. It can help address many common skin concerns, from aging to discoloration to minimizing pore size. No matter how you use it, incorporating Niacinamide into your daily routine can help your complexion glow as bright as a warm, sunny day.



    Maria Robinson, MD, MBA is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist with over ten years of clinical experience. Dr. Robinson has a passion for nutrition and integrative dermatology, and is the co-founder of, where people can explore holistic dermatology treatments. Through her writing, she strives to empower people with accurate health information so they can make positive decisions that lead to healthy and vibrant skin.

    View all posts