It may sound a bit daunting, but nicotinamide is quite simply Vitamin B3. An essential nutrient for your skin.
Nicotinamide, also commonly known as niacinamide or nicotinic acid amide, is one of two forms of vitamin B3.
The other is niacin, which your body naturally creates and is converted into nicotinamide when it is taken in larger amounts than the body needs.
Despite the very similar sounding names, nicotinamide and niacin are not the same thing. They’re actually two different types of vitamin B3.
Nicotinamide is created when there’s an excessive amount of niacin in the body.
But this is no bad thing!
Nicotinamide can be found in many vitamin-rich foods and can help take care of the body from the inside, as well hydrate the skin and protect it from environmental damage on the outside. It’s generally a great allrounder, and pretty clever with it too.
Nicotinamide is a great multitasker. It’s known to support hydration, protect the skin from environmental damage and help renew your complexion from within.
Nicotinamide vitamin B3 supplements are widely available. It can be found either by itself or alongside other vitamins or minerals in doses ranging from 14 to 1,000 mg per serving.
The nicotinamide vitamin can be found in supplements such as:
Nicotinamide supports the proper function of fats and sugars in the body and helps maintain healthy skin cells. Unlike niacin, nicotinamide has no beneficial effects on fats and should not be used to treat high cholesterol or high-fat levels in the blood.
Nicotinamide is found in many skincare products. Versatile by nature, it’s been a common feature in cosmetics and dermatology for many years. But if you don’t know what it is, then you’re not alone.
Nicotinamide can help build skin protein and helps keep the skin hydrated against environmental damage by locking in moisture.
But it doesn’t stop there. There’s a number of ways that this hidden secret can do for your skin.
Nicotinamide can help build the skins immunity by supporting the production of keratin, a protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy. 1
Nicotinamide is known for strengthening your skins moisture barrier and improve its ability to hold moisture.2 It makes the skin less likely dry and helps it stay hydrated for longer. It helps reduce the size of pores, which locks in the moisture and improves skin texture.
Its ability to provide your skin with moisture also allows skin cells to rejuvenate properly. If you have oily skin.
It’s worth keeping in mind that ordinarily, nicotinamide makes up only five percent or less of formulations that contain the niacinamide vitamin.
Like many new skin products, it’s unlikely that you will see any immediate results. However, you may see smoother, toned and hydrated skin after around eight weeks of use but there is no specific timeline.
When it comes to general skin health, the best way to get micronutrients is from the foods you eat. However, nicotinamide is often used as part of a skincare routine that includes other active ingredients.
Many nicotinamide supplements work well alongside copper, zinc and folic acid to get better results.
B vitamins are a group of vitamins that help convert our food into fuel and offer a range of benefits for the nervous system and cell function.
In appropriate doses, nicotinamide is generally considered safe with few side effects. Usually, supplements or skincare products are used and applied twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening.4
When taken orally, nicotinamide is generally well-tolerated as large amounts are passed through urine. Its advised that adults should not have doses greater than 35mg per day.
When this dosage is exceeded, minor side effects can include:
People with pre-existing skin allergies may experience a reaction that could cause redness, itching, or tingling of the skin.
There is a low risk of side effects with nicotinamide supplements, however, you can reduce the risk of such reactions by following these steps before applying products containing nicotinamide:
If you have any concerns about using nicotinamide you should speak to a dermatologist or healthcare professional before application.
So now you know that nicotinamide, or niacinamide as can be known, is simply Vitamin B3 you can hopefully see why its so well respected in the world of skincare.
Its versatility means that it can help strengthen your skins structure, as well as keep it hydrated from the inside and out.
Last updated: 28 April 2021
Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019
BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science
Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.
After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.