Niacinimide: Brilliant Antioxidant or Over-hyped Ingredient

Niacinimide is the latest of a slew of popular “it” ingredients to catch the attention of skincare enthusiasts. But is it worth the hype?

Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 is popular with both commercial cosmetic formulators and dermatologists. offices for decades. Does it have a place in your skincare? Here is everything you need to know about niacinamide to decide if it’s perfect for you.

What is niacinamide?

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Niacinamide, a powerful antioxidant, is also known as nicotinamide. It is a form of vitamin B3 which is an essential nutrient in the body. B3 deficiency affects the skin, kidneys, and brain.

Niacinimide is especially important to the general health of the skin. There is still some research needed regarding the effects of topical niacinamide on conditions like acne and eczema.

Niacinimide vs. Nicotinic Acid

A common misconception when it comes to B3 is caused by the many different names its forms take. Nicotinamide is a specific amide form of B3.

Niacin, on the other hand, is the acid form of the vitamin. It is usually found at the drugstore and may cause unpleasant flushing of the skin while nicotinamide will not.

Benefits of Niacinimide

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The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% has always been one of our most well-loved products (so much so that we recently launched it in a cuddlier, larger 60ml format for die-hard fans of the formula). ⁣🧪 ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is a high-strength vitamin and mineral formula that helps to support barrier function, while reducing the appearance of visible shine and signs of congestion. This ingredient has also been shown to have a brightening effect on the skin, making it a truly multifunctional ingredient that can be easily incorporated into any routine. We have included Niacinamide at a high 10% concentration within this formula. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Additionally, this formula includes a 1% concentration of Zinc PCA, which works to support the skin's function as a protective barrier. ⁣☂️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Niacinamide can be applied in the AM and PM alongside other water-based serums, before oils and creams. We do not recommend applying Niacinamide in the same routine as pure Vitamin C as Niacinamide has the capacity to affect the integrity of Vitamin C, potentially reducing its efficacy. If you’d like to incorporate Niacinamide and Vitamin C into your routine, we would suggest applying them at separate times. ⁣☀️🌙⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ (30ml: CA$5.90/US$5.90/AU$9.90/£5.00/€5.90, 60ml: CA$10.60/US$10.60/AU$17.80/£8.90/€10.60).

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Like most other antioxidants, Niacinimide is extremely restorative and helps repair damaged DNA. It also reduces the immunosuppressive effects of UV rays. It also reduces signs of ageing like wrinkles.

Niacinamide has been linked to the prevention and reduction of brown spots as well as reducing redness due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help preserve hydration, strengthen the skin barrier, and improve the synthesis of healthy fats which makes skin appear more glowy.

What to Pair With Niacinimide

The best thing about Niacinimide is that it plays well with other products. In fact, it is one of the few skincare products that work better when paired with other ingredients.

“Concerning pigmentation specifically, nicotinamide is best paired with other ingredients like hydroquinone, kojic acid, arbutin, and soy, which can work synergistically on the ‘pigment pathway’ to best help clear brown spots and discoloration.”

said board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Jennifer Herrmann, MD.

Side Effects of Vitamin B3

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While Niacinimide is generally stable and recommended for those with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin. However, in high concentrations, it may react.

It is recommended to start with a lower concentration (1-2%) of vitamin B3 and slowly build up. Overuse can cause some redness or dermatitis.

How To Use It

To get the best results from vitamin B3 to choose your product carefully. Ensure that the formula will effectively penetrate the skin.

Ensure the B3 products you choose have enough scientific studies backing their formulation. The best time to apply Niacinimide to the entire face in the morning and evening before heavier creams.

Products with Niacinimide

Dr. Dennis Gross B3 Adaptive Superfoods Stress Rescue Super Serum 

Price: $74

A powerful serum developed by dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross. It is packed with niacinamide (B3), adaptogens, and superfoods to treat stress on the skin including acne, dullness, and signs of aging.

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Welcome to ‘More Molecules’. ⁣🔍 ⁣ We've called this category 'More Molecules' because the products within simply didn't fit into the other categories, so we created a place for them to call home. ⁣🏠🤗 ⁣⁣⁣ 🔬The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is a concentrated serum with purified alpha arbutin that reduces the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Alpha Arbutin can be incorporated into any routine without conflicts.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 🔬 The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is an eye serum that targets the appearance of dark circles and puffiness in the eye contour. It contains an extremely high 5% concentration of caffeine, supplemented with highly-purified epigallocatechin gallatyl glucoside (try saying that five times) from green tea leaves. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ As we’ve mentioned before, dark circles can be caused by a number of reasons (i.e., stress, lack of sleep etc.). Shadows resulting from hollowness in the eye contour cannot be addressed by topical skincare treatments, including ours.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 🔬The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a high-strength vitamin and mineral formula that targets signs of congestion, enlarged pores, and visible shine. The formula is further supported by the inclusion of zinc PCA to help balance visible aspects of sebum activity. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Although friendly, niacinamide doesn’t get along well with L-ascorbic acid and ethylated ascorbic acid. When niacinamide is mixed with LAA or vice versa, it causes a chemical discolouration of the products. As such, we suggest alternating between these formulas instead.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Yes, you can use all within this category together in a regimen as they make a lovely trio. ✨

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The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Price: $7

The Ordinary‘s formula has a high concentration of Niacinamide with 10%. It also has a zinc salt called pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible sebum production.

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