Niacinamide is one of the trendiest new skincare products on the market.1 Often used as a single-ingredient serum, niacinamide beauty products often promise to refresh and soothe the skin, as well as minimise pores and more.2
While we might be used to seeing niacinamide in our beauty products now, this hyped-up ingredient actually has a host of other reported benefits too. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth including in your wellness routine, we’ve got everything you need to know below.
What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide isn’t a mystical ingredient created solely for the purpose of beauty products. It’s actually a part of the vitamin B3 molecule (which is also known as niacin). It’s an essential vitamin, which means our bodies don’t produce it naturally, and we need to get it from external sources.3
We can get vitamin B3 (and consequently, niacinamide) from the food we eat. Dairy products, meat, fish, grains, and green vegetables all contribute to our vitamin B3 intake.4 As a compound, niacinamide is extremely water-soluble too, which makes it great for topical use. That’s why we often see it in beauty and skincare products – because it can be easily absorbed by the skin.5
Different forms of niacinamide
Like we mentioned above, niacinamide is often used in beauty products. You’ll often find it in serums, creams, lotions, and cleansers.6
You can also find niacinamide in specific vitamins and supplements. These include multivitamins or B-complex supplements. It’s also possible to get varieties that only contain niacinamide.7 If you’re looking for a supplement that contains niacinamide, remember to look for that name on the label. It may also be called nicotinamide or niacinamide.8
Most of us should be consuming all the niacinamide we need, as long as we’re eating a healthy and balanced diet. It’s best to speak to your doctor before starting any new supplements, especially if you have a health condition or take medication.9
Benefits of niacinamide
There is a range of reported niacinamide benefits. However, these do depend on whether your chosen product is taken orally or used as a topical treatment.
Some of these benefits may include:
- Skin health10
- Supports normal function of the immune system11
- Improved osteoarthritis symptoms12
If you’re worried about your health, it’s always best to speak to your doctor before trying out supplements.
Potential risks of niacinamide
Niacinamide is thought to be safe for most healthy adults, although it’s always worth proceeding with caution.13
If you choose to take niacinamide supplements by mouth, you might experience some side effects. These could include:
- Flushing or redness14
- Tingling sensation or itchiness15
- Insulin resistance16
- Nausea and stomach upsets17
Topical niacinamide treatments are thought to be safe for most skin types too.18 However, it’s worth keeping an eye on any irritation when using your chosen product. Remember to always follow the instructions to avoid using too much too soon and stop if you notice any unwanted symptoms.
Last updated: 2 April 2021