Niacinamide. Vitamin B3. Get Clear Skin. Boost Your Energy

Updated: 1/3/24

Are you constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest ways to promote a healthier lifestyle? Look no further, because we have an incredible nutrient that may just become your new best friend. Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, has been making waves in the health and wellness community for its numerous benefits. Whether you’re looking to improve your skin or boost your energy levels, this powerful vitamin has got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll dive into all things niacinamide and why it should be a staple in any health-conscious individual’s daily routine. So grab a cup of tea (or green juice) and let’s learn about how this vitamin can transform your well-being from the inside out!

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that is water-soluble, meaning that it dissolves in water. It can be found in the foods we eat, such as meat, fish, and grains, but it can also be added topically to our skincare routine. When applied to the skin, niacinamide can improve the appearance of enlarged pores, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. Additionally, it can help regulate oil production, making it an excellent ingredient for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Niacinamide is a potent antioxidant that helps protect our skin cells from damage caused by environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV rays. This ingredient also helps boost the production of collagen, a protein that keeps our skin looking firm and youthful. On top of all of this, niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for calming redness and irritation.

Interestingly, niacinamide has been utilized in wellness and medicinal practices for centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine, niacinamide (referred to as niacin) has been used to treat digestive issues, insomnia, and to detoxify the liver. Similarly, Ayurvedic medicine uses niacinamide (known as niacin in this case as well) to support digestion and reduce inflammation. Western medicine has also recognized the benefits of niacinamide, with prescription niacinamide being utilized to treat high cholesterol and certain skin conditions.

Where Does Niacinamide Come From?

Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B3, which is found in many plant and animal-based foods. Milk, eggs, meat, fish, and green vegetables are all sources of vitamin B3. But before it was used in skincare, it was primarily used to treat pellagra – a disease caused by vitamin B3 deficiency. In the 1930s, Dr. William Summerfield and Dr. Conrad Elvehjem discovered the benefits of niacinamide when treating patients with pellagra. They found that it helped to reduce redness and inflammation, which are symptoms of pellagra, on the skin. Soon after, it was also discovered that niacinamide could be beneficial for reducing wrinkles, improving skin barrier function, and lightening dark spots.

Niacinamide was initially isolated from yeast, which eventually led to the synthesis of the compound in laboratories. Today, niacinamide is often used in topical skincare products as a water-soluble ingredient that is easily absorbed into the skin. The manufacturing process of niacinamide typically involves the extraction of niacin from a plant-based source like corn or soy and then undergoing a rigorous purification process to obtain pure niacinamide. This process ensures that the final product is highly concentrated and stable enough to deliver skin benefits effectively.

Interestingly, niacinamide has a variety of uses beyond the skincare industry. It is also used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In food products, it is added as a preservative, while in pharmaceuticals it is used as an ingredient in medication such as blood pressure drugs and cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Niacinamide Benefits

Supports Heart Health

Did you know that niacinamide can also benefit your heart health? This nutrient can help to balance cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. It can also help to improve blood flow, reducing the risk of blood clots and heart attacks. If you have a family history of heart disease or are looking for a natural way to support your cardiovascular health, niacinamide could be an excellent choice.

May Boost Brain Function

It can also help to boost brain function, supporting memory, concentration, and overall cognitive health. This nutrient shows to support the formation of new brain cells, assist with the growth of nerve cells, and improve the health of the neurons. Niacinamide is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from memory loss, brain fog, or cognitive decline due to age.

Supports Energy Production

If you’re looking for a natural way to boost your energy levels, look no further than niacinamide. This nutrient plays a key role in the production of ATP, the primary energy source for your cells. When your body has sufficient levels of it, you’ll notice that you have more energy, better endurance, and improved athletic performance.

May Provide Antioxidant Protection

It is a potent antioxidant that may help protect your skin from free radical damage, which can cause premature aging and other skin issues. It works by neutralizing harmful free radicals that can cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the skin.

May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is at the root of many chronic health conditions, from arthritis to heart disease and even cancer. It shows to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, may helping to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can lead to a variety of health benefits, from reduced pain and swelling to improved immunity and lower risk of chronic diseases.

May Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles 

It is a powerhouse ingredient when it comes to anti-aging. It works by boosting the production of collagen, a protein that keeps skin strong and supple. With regular use, niacinamide can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving you with youthful-looking skin. Plus, it also improves skin elasticity, making it an essential ingredient in any anti-aging skincare routine.

May Improve Skin Texture 

If you have rough, uneven skin, it may help. This ingredient regulates the production of sebum, which is responsible for clogged pores and acne. As a result, it helps to improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of pores.

May Minimizes Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation 

It is a natural skin lightener that targets hyperpigmentation and dark spots. It helps to reduce melanin production, which is responsible for skin discoloration. With regular use, you’ll notice a more even complexion, making it an essential ingredient for those with sun damage and hyperpigmentation.

May Fight Acne 

It may show to be effective in reducing acne. As mentioned earlier, it regulates sebum production, which helps to prevent clogged pores. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe irritated and inflamed skin. With regular use, you can achieve clearer, smoother skin.

May Boost Skin Barrier Function 

Your skin barrier is responsible for protecting your skin from external stressors such as pollution and UV rays. It may show to strengthen the skin barrier, making it less susceptible to damage. As a result, it helps to improve skin hydration and reduce trans-epidermal water loss.

May Boost Skin’s Natural Moisture Levels

It is a powerful hydrator that can help to boost the skin’s natural moisture levels. By increasing the production of ceramides and fatty acids, niacinamide can help to prevent moisture loss, leading to a more hydrated and plump-looking complexion.

May Enhance Skin Brightness and Radiance

It can help to enhance skin brightness and radiance by promoting healthy cell turnover. By encouraging the shedding of dead skin cells and the production of new ones, it can help to reveal a brighter, more even-looking complexion.

Niacinamide Benefits

Side Effects of Niacinamide

Acne Breakouts

While niacinamide is great for calming inflammation and controlling oil production in the skin, it can actually lead to acne breakouts in some individuals. This is because it can cause skin to purge impurities. To avoid this negative side effect, start by using products containing it slowly, and only a few times a week as you build up your skin’s tolerance.

Headaches and Dizziness

Another potential side effect of niacinamide is headaches or dizziness. These symptoms typically resolve on their own, but they can be frustrating and make it difficult to go about your daily life. If you experience these symptoms, it’s a good idea to reduce your dosage or talk to your doctor about alternative treatments.

Dry and Irritated Skin

It can have a drying effect on some people’s skin. This can lead to irritation and even cause the skin to flake or peel. One way to avoid this is to make sure you are using a moisturizer alongside your niacinamide products. Another way would be to opt for a lower concentration of it in your skincare routine.


Like any other ingredient in skincare, some people may have an allergic reaction. This can present in the form of hives, itchiness, or redness, and can lead to pain and ultimately, damage. If you start to see any of these symptoms after using skincare products containing niacinamide, it is important to discontinue use immediately.

Nausea and Vomiting

One of the most common side effects of niacinamide is nausea or vomiting. While these symptoms are typically mild and go away on their own, some people may find them intolerable. If you experience these symptoms, it’s a good idea to reduce your dosage or talk to your doctor about alternative treatments.


Flushing is another common side effect. It occurs when the blood vessels in your skin dilate, causing a sensation of warmth, redness, and itching. Flushing is typically mild and goes away on its own, but it can sometimes be more severe and cause discomfort for some people. If you experience flushing, it’s a good idea to reduce your dosage or talk to your doctor about ways to minimize this side effect.

Liver Damage

While rare, higher doses of niacinamide can cause liver damage. If you’re taking large doses of niacinamide over a long period, your liver may struggle to keep up with the increased demand. This can lead to liver problems that may require medical attention. To minimize your risk of liver damage, it’s important to stick to recommended dosages and talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Skin Discoloration

There have been reports of niacinamide causing skin discoloration in some individuals, particularly in those with darker skin tones. This is because niacinamide can stimulate the melanocytes in the skin, which can darken any existing areas of hyperpigmentation or freckles. To avoid this, it is important to use sunscreen when you are using products containing niacinamide to prevent your skin from darkening

Blood Sugar Issues

Niacinamide can have an impact on blood sugar levels in the body, which can be a negative side effect for some individuals. It is important to speak with your physician before you begin to take large amounts of niacinamide supplements or to begin using skincare products with high concentrations of the ingredient if you have any underlying medical conditions.

Can Niacinamide Be Used With Vitamin C?

Niacinamide and vitamin C are two of the most popular skincare ingredients on the market right now – and for a good reason. Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, has many benefits for the skin, including reducing inflammation, evening out skin tone and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Meanwhile, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to brighten the skin and protect it against environmental damage.

So what makes these two ingredients work so well together? One of the benefits of this combination is that niacinamide and vitamin C both have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to soothe and calm the skin. Additionally, studies have shown that niacinamide can help to stabilize vitamin C, which is notoriously prone to oxidization.

When it comes to actually using niacinamide and vitamin C together, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s important to use products with the correct pH levels – vitamin C works best at a low pH, while niacinamide is more effective at a neutral pH. To avoid any interference between the two, it’s best to use a vitamin C serum in the morning and a niacinamide serum at night.

Are Niacinamide and Nicotinamide the Same?

While both supplements are in use to enhance overall health and wellness, they have different benefits. Niacinamide is famous to boost skin health, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels. On the other hand, nicotinamide may improve brain function, reduce the risk of diabetes, and boost the immune system. Both are essential for optimal health and can complement each other well.

One of the other main differences between niacinamide and nicotinamide is how they metabolize in the body. Niacinamide converts to NAD in the liver. Nicotinamide metabolizes directly into NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) in the human cells themselves. This gives nicotinamide an advantage over niacinamide as it is more efficiently utilized by the body.

When it comes to choosing between niacinamide and nicotinamide, it’s important to consider your personal needs and goals. Both supplements have their own unique benefits, and choosing one over the other will largely depend on your individual requirements and what you hope to achieve. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before making any major changes to your supplement or medication regime.

Niacinamide When Pregnant

Niacinamide offers several benefits for expecting mothers. It can help to ease some of the common skin issues that are often with pregnancy, such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and dryness. Niacinamide helps to regulate sebum production, which can prevent breakouts and keep skin with hydration. It also helps to reduce inflammation, which can help to calm down any irritated skin. Another advantage of using niacinamide is that it can help to improve skin elasticity. It can help to prevent stretch marks.

Niacinamide is safe during pregnancy, as it’s a water-soluble vitamin that is easily absorbable by the body. It does not accumulate in the body, and any excess excretes through urine. Moreover, niacinamide does not cause skin sensitivity, which is vital during pregnancy when hormonal changes can make the skin more susceptible to irritation. It’s essential to check the ingredients of skincare products to ensure that they’re safe to use, and niacinamide is a safe and effective choice for pregnant women.


The recommended daily amount of niacin for men is 16 mg a day. For women who are not pregnant, 14 mg a day. 500 milligrams daily is the recommended limit. Topical forms of niacinamide of 5 percent are ideal for use on the skin.

Niacinamide is highly beneficial to the skin and touted for its anti-aging benefits. Additionally, it combats acne and overactive oil glands, minimizes pores and reduces the appearance of fine lines. In fact, niacinamide may prevent or significantly reduce non-melanoma skin cancer.

The Bottom Line

Niacinamide benefits list is extensive, and the vitamin is one ingredient that should be included in your daily skincare routine. The ingredient is suitable for all skin types and works in many ways to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Whether you’re looking to combat fine lines and wrinkles or achieve even skin tone, the benefits of niacinamide make it an essential ingredient to add to your routine. So what are you waiting for? Start incorporating niacinamide into your daily skincare routine and get glowing, healthier-looking skin.

Niacinamide is generally a safe and well-tolerated supplement. It does have some potential side effects that are worth keeping in mind. By being aware of these risks, you can make an informed decision about whether niacinamide is right for you. Remember to always follow recommended dosages and talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms. With the right precautions, you can safely enjoy the many potential benefits that niacinamide has to offer.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Author: Ryan Quigley
Graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. Part-time sports journalist covering the Vegas Golden Knights.