Niacinamide in cosmetics – effect of vitamin B3

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B3 (niacin), an active substance with a broad spectrum of effect on the skin. It’s very well tested dermatologically. Recently, this ingredient is gaining more and more popularity. Niacinamide is a stable form of vitamin B3 and it dissolves very well in water and it’s easy to make a product by yourself with it.

What is the effect of vitamin B3 on the skin?

Niacinamide has a comprehensive effect on the skin and can be used for all skin types. According to research, niacinamide has the ability to penetrate into the stratum corneum, which makes it effective and gives the desired result. This ingredient is most recommended for people with oily and acn skin.

Niacinamide for acne

It has been tested that the derivative of vitamin B3 supports the fight against acne. It has anti-inflammatory properties, accelerates the healing and regeneration of the skin. It gives effects comparable to one of the antibiotics. It’s base of a treatment that regulates the secretion of sebum.

Niacin for wrinkles

It has been proven its effect anti-wrinkle. It stimulates synthesis of colagen and elasitn. It rebuilds the skin’s hydro-lipid barrier, as it limits the transepidermal water loss and increases the production of ceramides, which allows it to maintain its proper hydration.

Vitamin B3 for discoloration

This substance effectively reduces post-solar and inflammatory discoloration. It can inhibit the transport of melanin from pigment cells to other cells surrounding it. It brightens the skin and restores its healthy color. It also supports the action of other brightening ingredients.

Cosmetics with niacinamide

In recent years, many face and body cosmetics with this ingredient have been created on the market and they are gaining more and more fans because of the visible effects of its action. In the INCI we find it under the name Niacynamide. Below are some examples of the products:

Face tonics

I chose a few tonics, essences that have niacinamide high in the composition.

  • Iossi. Cytrusowa Esencja z kwasami AHA, kwasem hialuronowym i niacynamidem
    INCI: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Water, Niacinamide, Aqua, Tilia Platyphyllos Flower  Water, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Water*, Sodium Lactate, Lactobacillus/Acerola Cherry Ferment, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin,  Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Thymus Hiemalis Leaf Oil, Lactic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract, Citral, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Eugenol,  Farnesol
  • Bielenda Professional – Supremelab Sebio Derm – Normalizujący Tonik z Kompleksem Antybakteryjnym i 5% Niacynamidem
    INCI: Aqua (Water), Propanediol, Niacinamide, Urea, Arginine Pca, Zinc Pca, Mandelic Acid, Lactobionic Acid, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil, Sodium Lactate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool


Many normalizing serums intended for acne skin contain the addition of niacinamide, but they don’t have the specified concentration, so it’s usually low. If it’s the main active ingredient of a given product then the concentration is given on the label. Examples of serums:

  • BasicLab – Esteticus – Redukcja i Zwężenie – Serum Zmniejszające Niedoskonałości z 5% lub 10% Niacynamidem
    INCI: Aqua, Saccharomyces/Rice Ferment Filtrate, Propanediol, Niacinamide, Inulin, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Alpha-Glucan Oligossacharide, Caffeine, Sebacic Acid, 10-Hydroxydecanoic Acid, 1,10-Decanediol, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyacetophenone
  • The Ordinary – Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% – Serum z Witaminą B3 i Cynkiem
    INCI: Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan Gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin
  • Bielenda Professional – Supremelab Sebio Derm – Specjalistyczne Serum Seboregulujące z 5% Niacynamidem
    INCI: Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Gluconolactone, Lactobionic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Zinc PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin


  • Duetus krem do twarzy na dzień
    INCI: Aqua, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa Starch, Squalane, Sorbitan Stearate, Sucrose Cocoate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Arctium Lappa Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Activated Charcoal, Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Limonene, Linalool.
  • Normalizujący krem na noc Vianek
    INCI: Aqua, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Squalane, Sorbitan Stearate, Sucrose Cocoate, Urtica Dioica Leaf Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Sulfur, Agar, Acacia Senegal Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Melaluca Alternifolia Leaf Oil, Betulin, Parfum, Dehydroacetic Acid

How to use niacinamide products?

The basic rule is to use cosmetics as recommended by the manufacturer. Products such as cream or tonic with a lower concentration can be used daily. Serum with higher concentrations is usually recommended for use several times a week. Remember not to overdo it with the amount of use niacinamide. If it’s in every stage of skincare, there may simply be too much of it. Excessive amounts of it may irritate the skin. If you are just starting to induct niacinamide into skincare, better start with small concentrations. If we aim to reduce the secretion of sebum and blackheads, it is worth combining this ingredient with acids, to work synergistically.

Can vitamin B3 be used in the summer?

Niacinamide is not photosensitizing and can be used all year round, also in summer.

Can niacinamide be combined with vitamin C, acids, retinol?

Niacinamide can be combined with retinol, and it is even advisable to minimize its undesirable effects by rebuilding the skin. However, it’s not recommended to use products with niacinamide and AHA / BHA acids directly after each other, because these substances have different pH at which they work. The only form of vitamin C that cannot be used in conjunction with vitamin B3 is ascorbic acid.

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