Niacinamide: The Jack-of-All-Trades Skincare Workhorse

Let’s take a closer look at another one of the chemists’ favorite active ingredients: niacinamide (aka. vitamin B3). This is a prolific ingredient you can find in absolutely every type if skincare product imaginable — cleansers, serums, moisturizers, sunscreens, you name it. This is because it's a truly a jack-of-all trade ingredient with multiple proven skin benefits. Let’s take a look at all the things niacinamide can do for you!

Barrier function

First and foremost, niacinamide can improve your skin's barrier function in the long run. This is one of the main reasons why it's such a great ingredient for anyone regardless of skin type. Because of this barrier function improvement, niacinamide has been shown to improve skin hydration and even decrease retinol irritation.


Niacinamide has been clinically demonstrated to effectively treat hyperpigmentation (dark spots) at topical concentrations as low as 2%. What makes niacinamide’s brightening prowess special is the biological pathway that it targets is different from other brightening super stars like hydroquinone and vitamin C. So it pairs well with other ingredients without competing for the same target. You can learn more about it here!

Sebum regulation/pores

Oil control can be a very frustrating issue for people since almost nothing works for the long term. Niacinamide is one of the few ingredients out there that demonstrated long-term sebum regulation and pore reductioneffects when used consistently at topical concentrations of 2% to 4%.

How to choose a niacinamide product

products containing niacinamide

We have to confess, one of our favorite things about this active is that it’s just so darn easy to add to a product. It is highly soluble in water AND highly stable. So really, the main consideration for choosing a niacinamide product is just concentration. Niacinamide is demonstrated to be effective at as low as 2%, but most studies are conducted around 4%. So look for a product formulated around that range.

Because of niacinamide's recent surge in popularity, you can easily find niacinamide serums 10% or even higher. Even though niacinamide is a relatively non-irritating ingredient, too much of it can still be a bad thing especially for those with sensitive skin. We recommend looking for niacinamide-containing moisturizers with lower concentrations to start with.


  • Niacinamide is a great little multi-tasker with barrier strengthening, skin brightening, oil regulation, and pore reduction properties.
  • It's the perfect support ingredient in your retinol routine or hyperpigmentation-fighting routine

1 comment

Where does it state on the product what percentage of niacinamide it contains? I don’t see that you have listed any moisturizing products that fall within the 4% range.

Lynn Allen Slocum June 29, 2021

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