Niacinamide: A Powerful Active with a Plethora of Benefits for Your Skin

Niacinamide: A Powerful Active with a Plethora of Benefits for Your Skin

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3 and nicotinamide, is a powerful water-soluble ingredient in skincare that acts as both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Since niacinamide is not synthesized in the human body, it is only supplied through the diet and topical application.

Benefits from Using Topical Niacinamide

Niacinamide has a plethora of benefits for the skin. It helps build proteins in the skin called ceramides, which lock in moisture, prevent environmental damage and essentially maintain the skin’s protective barrier. Specific benefits include:

  • Decreased inflammation, redness, and blotchiness,
  • Improved skin barrier function,
  • Minimized oiliness and acne breakouts,
  • Improved hyperpigmentation,
  • Ability to rebuild healthy skin cells while also providing protection from UV rays,
  • Increased synthesis of collagen and keratin to keep skin healthy and firm, and
  • Reduced risk of UV-related skin cancers.

Although more research is needed, niacinamide has been successfully used to improve acne, eczema, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin conditions. Since it keeps the skin smooth and hydrated, pore size can be naturally reduced over time.

Benefits of niacinamide can be noticeable after four weeks of use, and more improvements to the skin can be noticed after eight weeks.

Natural Sources of Niacinamide

Niacinamide can be made from niacin in the body. Actually, niacin is converted to niacinamide when the body takes in more niacin than it needs. Along with helping the body maintain healthy cells, niacinamide is important for fats and sugars in the body to properly function.

When possible, it is recommended that you get as many vitamins as you can from eating a healthy, balanced diet. Foods that contain niacinamide include beans, cereals, eggs, fish, green vegetables, milk, and yeast.

That being said, it is difficult to determine if foods are absorbed enough to make a direct impact on the skin. For specific skin concerns, it is best to use topical niacinamide.

Oral niacinamide is prescribed by some dermatologists for patients who have had skin cancer and are considered high risk for developing another skin cancer. However, while niacinamide is available as a supplement, it should only be taken after a discussion with your doctor about a Vitamin B3 deficiency or other concern.

Topical Niacinamide

It is always important to read the labels of your skincare products. (You want to know what you are putting on your skin, right?!) In skincare formulas, niacinamide can also be called niacin or nicotinamide.

A high concentration of niacinamide is not necessary. In fact, using lower concentrations (2% or less) allows it to work with the other active ingredients to obtain the best results. Additionally, lower concentrations of niacinamide are good for individuals with sensitive skin. Most products with niacinamide contain a concentration of 5% or less.

Many topical niacinamides are in the form of a serum, which should be used after a toner and before moisturizing. Niacinamide can also be found in some creams, cleansers, and face masks. It is best to apply the products over the entire face rather than in targeted areas.

Niacinamide works well with most other skincare ingredients and it can make some other ingredients easier to tolerate because it helps strengthen the skin barrier. Vitamin C is the exception because, when used together, niacinamide can reduce the effectiveness of Vitamin C. It is recommended that products with these two ingredients are separated for morning and evening use.

Niacinamide in Kate Ryan Skincare Products

Yes, of course niacinamide can be found in KRS products! Even though this skincare ingredient has gained more attention in recent years, niacinamide has been included in KRS formulas since 2012 when our business was founded.

Total Nutrition Night Repair Complex  contains 4% niacinamide. The ingredient joins other powerful nutrients and antioxidants to provide the skin with the most essential nutrition. This products’ top benefits are what niacinamide is known for: hydrating, repairing, protecting, and boosting collagen production. If you are looking for a product with a higher concentration of niacinamide, Total Nutrition Night Repair Complex is at the top of our list!

As we mentioned above, lower concentrations of niacinamide allow it to work well with other ingredients and are ideal for people with sensitive skin. Kate’s Complete Daily Moisture contains 2% niacinamide and improves the condition of the skin while moisturizing and protecting.

At Kate Ryan Skincare, we like to take advantage of powerful skincare actives that work well with other skincare actives so that we can create multi-functional powerhouse formulas. Niacinamide is a great example of how we are able to do this in multiple products. Since niacinamide works so well with other skincare ingredients, it can also be found in Retinol Evening Renewal Serum, Collagen Booster Intense Repair Serum, and Advanced Eye Therapy Complex.

Last, we would be remiss if we did not mention Kate’s Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Serum. While the serum doesn’t contain niacinamide, hyaluronic acid (HA) is an ingredient that is a perfect pair with a topical niacinamide because HA helps increase product absorption.


Niacinamide is a skincare ingredient that we proudly stand behind! If you have questions about niacinamide or any other skincare ingredient, please send us an email at!

Claims on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.