Everything you need to know about the hardest-working skincare ingredient: Niacinamide.

Let’s talk about niacinamide. 

“What does it do?” you ask. “What CAN’T it do!” I enthusiastically chant. 

“Niacinamide, also called Vitamin B3, is a skincare workhorse!” Dr Michele Squire, PHD qualified scientist and QR8 founder, told me. 

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“Because of its wide range of benefits, niacinamide can be used by just about any skin type,” Dr Squire said.

“It is particularly useful for those with an impaired skin barrier, or inflammatory skin disorders like rosacea and acne. It’s also a great companion if you’re introducing prescription retinoids.” 

By adding it to our skincare, it can produce benefits such as: 

  • Inhibiting sebum production to reduce pore size and improve skin texture and acne. 
  • Enhance skin barrier function and reduce irritation and redness caused by damage from things like manual exfoliation, acids or harsh cleansers. It does this by increasing production of skin barrier lipids and skin barrier proteins. 
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles by enhancing collagen production.
  • Reduce pigmentation by inhibiting the transfer of melanin from melanosomes to skin cells. 

Sounds pretty ace, huh? And because it’s so good, you can get it on your face in lots of ways. 

“Niacinamide is currently a cult ingredient, although it has been around for years. So you will find it in everything from serums to moisturisers to shampoo,” said Dr Squire. 

“There’s a solid body of science backing up niacinamide’s benefits for skin, but participants in these studies used at least a 2-5 per cent concentration daily for eight to 12 weeks. You will see improvement long before this, but effects are significant after this time.” 


So you gotta use it on the daily and for a while, okay? Okay. Now we all want to buy all of the products with niacinamide in them, but before you add to cart, heed Dr Squires’ clever shopping advice. “Look for products that specify the ingredient ‘niacinamide/nicotinamide’ or ‘B3’. 

In general, if niacinamide appears after the halfway point of your product’s ingredient list, you might want to ask the manufacturer some questions about the percentage of niacinamide in their product.” 

Here are some very good niacinamide products for your perusal: 

Alpha H Vitamin B serum, $59.45.

Image: Supplied.

Paula’s Choice Clinical Niacinamide 20% treatment, $66.00. 

Image: Supplied


ASAP Super B Complex, $81.90.

Image: Supplied.


Mukti Organics Vitamin Booster Vital B Elixir, $109.95. 

Image: Supplied.

This story first appeared in Leigh Campbell's weekly beauty newsletter. Sign up for our weekly "You Beauty" newsletter, where beauty guru Leigh imparts all her wisdom and shares her go-to products.

Feature Image: Instagram / Supplied.