By Skincare Junkie Inc

Derm’s Guide to Niacinamide, a Versatile Skincare Superstar

The world of skincare never stands still. Yet, there are certain ingredients that stand the test of time. One such superstar is niacinamide, popular for its multifaceted benefits. Let’s dive into the world of niacinamide with our very own board-certified dermatologist Dr. Murphy-Rose and explore why it’s a must-have in your skincare routine in this short guide.

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. Its journey in skincare began with its discovery in the 1930s as a treatment for pellagra, a disease caused by vitamin B3 deficiency. Over the years, researchers uncovered its skin benefits, and it has been used in skincare since the 1970s. Today, it’s celebrated for its remarkable skin-rejuvenating properties. 

Niacinamide is a versatile ingredient and a skincare all-rounder, offering numerous benefits to enhance skin’s health and appearance. Its compatibility with various skin types (including sensitive skin) and skin concerns makes it a dermatologist-favored ingredient. 

Key Benefits of Niacinamide

How is niacinamide good for your skin? According to Dr. Murphy-Rose, niacinamide has a number of benefits, including the following:

  1. Enhances hydration. Niacinamide boosts the skin’s natural moisture content, keeping it plump and hydrated, which is particularly beneficial for dry or dehydrated skin types.
  2. Soothes inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory properties make niacinamide beneficial for conditions like acne and rosacea.
  3. Minimizes the appearance of pores. Niacinamide regulates sebum production, which reduces the appearance of pores and calms red and irritated skin. For those with oily or acne-prone skin, niacinamide helps reduce breakouts. 
  4. Improves skin texture. Niacinamide helps strengthen your skin’s protective barrier, resulting in a smoother and more even skin texture. 
  5. Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. Niacinamide boosts collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  6. Tackles hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide fades your dark spots and evens out your skin tone, giving you a more radiant complexion.
  7. Provides antioxidant protection. Niacinamide shields your skin from environmental stressors such as pollution and UV rays, which reduces the risk of premature aging and skin damage.

Any Contraindications? 

When considering incorporating niacinamide, Dr. Murphy-Rose advises to keep concentration and quality in mind. When choosing a niacinamide product, start with a lower concentration of niacinamide and choose reputable brands. 

The purity of niacinamide makes a big difference. Lower quality niacinamide can contain a metabolite called nicotinic acid, which can cause skin irritation. To ensure product quality, buy from reputable brands that invest in good manufacturing practices. Check product labels and read customer reviews. 

At high concentrations, niacinamide can be irritating for some skin types. If you have sensitive skin or are new to niacinamide, start with a lower concentration — well below 5%. If you notice redness, itching, or burning, it may be a sign that the concentration is too high or that niacinamide is just not for you. It is uncommon, but surely possible, to not tolerate niacinamide at ANY concentration (even the lowest) - so take notice of your reaction if any. True fact: Dr. Rose has found that higher concentrations of niacinamide aggravate her rosacea-prone skin!

How to Use Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is found in many serums, moisturizers, cleansers and toners. Choose a lower concentration (less than 5%). Apply niacinamide-containing products to clean skin (or as a cleanser) and before creams or oils. It can be safely paired with other ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol, and vitamin C. 

Niacinamide is generally safe for most skin types. However, if you have sensitive skin or allergies, perform a patch test before application. Listen to your skin and adjust your routine accordingly. If in doubt or if you need personalized advice, always consult a dermatologist.

Why Dermatologists Recommend Niacinamide

Dermatologists often recommend niacinamide because of its proven efficacy and safety. It is versatile — able to address multiple skin concerns, from aging signs to acne, making it a staple 

While niacinamide is a potent skincare ingredient, it should be part of a holistic skincare approach. Other essential elements include a balanced diet, proper hydration, sun protection, and a tailored skincare routine.

Did You Know? 

If you are wondering how to incorporate niacinamide into your skincare routine, Dr. Murphy-Rose recommends starting with a gentle concentration. For example, our Skincare Junkie Gently Jelly Facial Cleanser is a pH-balancing, gentle gel cleanser that contains a high quality, low concentration niacinamide. It effectively removes makeup, sunscreen, pollution, and excess oil, helping to prevent breakouts. BuzzFeed liked it so much they listed it as a product that will revolutionize your skincare routine! 

We have also incorporated niacinamide into our Skincare Junkie Discoloration Fade Wand. The innovative solid stick instantly turns from balm to fast-absorbing serum to target the places where you need it most. Treat many causes of discoloration including sun spots, post-acne marks, melasma, dark spots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Women’s Health called it one of the best brightening products of 2024!