What is Niacinamide? When Do You Need It?
(Photo : Vecteezy / Irina Kvyatkovskaya)

Niacinamide is the talk of the town -- it is everywhere! It seems to pop up on every beauty and skincare corner.

But you know better than to ride the wave and gamble on our skins. The first thing to do is find out what niacinamide is and when you actually need to use it.

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that offers various skin benefits and is nowadays commonly found in skincare products like moisturizers and serums. Niacinamide strengthens the skin barrier, maintains moisture levels by boosting ceramide production, and has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe skin concerns like acne or rosacea. It is water-soluble and must be replenished through diet and skincare products.

What are niacinamide's benefits for the skin?

Niacinamide has a litany of benefits. The most popular is its anti-acne properties because it reduces sebum production, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, and keeps the skin pH balanced. It is also beneficial for eczema and sensitive skin as it strengthens and hydrates the skin barrier, increasing ceramides. It can protect the skin against UV damage and slow hyperpigmentation, melanin production, and photoaging.

When do you need niacinamide in your skincare routine?

Your skincare routine is tailor-fitted to your needs; don't take it any other way. Whether you need niacinamide depends on your skincare goals and skin condition.

Inflamed Skin

If you have redness, irritation, and puffy, inflamed skin, experts say using beauty products with niacinamide could help soothe your skin. COSRX Niacinamide 15% Face Serum is formulated with zinc and is skin-friendly. Users reported immediate relief from redness.

Dry Skin

If your skin needs a hydration boost, put your money on skincare products with niacinamide, like Rowse All-Day Hydration Serum with Niacinamide. This product boosts skin hydration and locks in moisture while stimulating skin repair.

Protection from the Sun

If you'll be staying under the sun for the day, experts suggest layering niacinamide-containing products under your sunscreen. Alternatively, you can get a sunscreen that is already formulated with niacinamide in it, like La Roche-Posay Anthelios UV Correct. This product is safe to use on the face and has SPF 70, protecting your skin from UV radiation and blocking sun damage and pigmentation.


If breakouts keep on coming, niacinamide products can calm your skin. Try CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser, which is formulated with three ceramides that protect your skin barrier, while the niacinamide content calms and soothes your skin and reduces the occurrence of acne.

How do you add niacinamide to your routine?

Experts suggest using niacinamide products twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. Layering it with other active ingredients could be beneficial, but it is safer to wait 15 minutes between products.

You can also, as experts recommend, use beauty products with active ingredients that have been formulated together. For example, a niacinamide product is formulated with vitamin C. This is considered safe because the designers of the formula have considered possible conflicts and have already made adjustments, as opposed to separate formulations of the two.