Niacinamide one active substance, countless positive effects.

Last time the adverse effects of visible light were described. This time we keep it positive!
This time we are talking about niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3. It is an indispensable ingredient in the cosmetic industry whose effectiveness has been scientifically proven.

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is one of the eight B vitamins, the so-called essential vitamins. This means that only a small part can be stored in our body. It is therefore very important that we get these vitamins through food. Fortunately, they are found in many different food sources such as vegetables, grains, meat and nuts.

These B vitamins stimulate digestion and maintain energy production. Furthermore, Vitamin B-3 helps to keep your skin, hair, eyes, liver and nervous system healthy.

Vitamin B3 occurs in two forms.

– niacin – mainly found in plant products

– niacinamide – mainly found in animal products.

Regardless of origin, these two forms have the same functions and are both used in nutritional supplements. Although the effects of niacinamide on the skin were further investigated.

Why niacinamide on the skin?

Niacinamide has a lot of proven effects.

It primarily promotes the production of ceramides, free fatty acids and cholesterol in the human body. These are natural skin fats that provide a protective layer on the skin, which strengthens the skin’s barrier function and keeps the TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) as little as possible. The skin therefore loses less moisture and is more resistant to harmful external influences.

In addition, niacinamide provides more body-own antioxidants. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals that attack important molecules in your body. Since niacinamide has that property, this active substance is perfect for anti-aging products.

Niacinamide repairs DNA damage caused by UV rays in human melanocytes and inhibits pigment transfer from melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) to keratinocytes (skin cells). This reduces pigment-related skin problems such as hyperpigmentation after sun damage and melasma (pregnancy mask).

Niacinamide inhibits the inflammatory responses induced by propionibacterium acnes; that is a common bacteria on the skin, which plays an important role in acne. Niancinamide also has an inhibiting effect on sebum production, which in turn is beneficial for coarse pores and acne.

Niacinamide also has beneficial effects in patients with rosacea. Since the barrier function of the epidermis – top layer of skin – is affected in patients with rosacea, the skin becomes much more sensitive to external influences. This increases the chance of an inflammatory response. As described above, niacinamide helps to build and strengthen the skin barrier thanks to natural skin lipids such as ceramides and free fatty acids.

Since it penetrates easily into the skin, it can easily be applied to the skin in cream or gel form.

Did you know:

Niacinamide is not only obtained from food, but your body can also produce it itself!

How does your body do that exactly? Well, your body gets a certain amino acid called tryptophan from proteins in our diet. With the help of iron, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6, your body is able to convert that amino acid into niacin. The niacin is then converted to niacinamide.

Niacinamide makes the skin less sensitive and removes redness!

A recent clinical study by Nisbet (2019) investigated how facial redness changed in 59 female participants with cutaneous erythema (skin redness). The study included two test treatment groups with volunteers applying two different niacinamide substances twice a day for 28 days. The researchers found a statistically significant reduction in facial redness for both groups after 15 days compared to baseline. They also reported that after 29, treatment was more effective in subjects with severe erythema than in subjects with moderate facial redness.

Niacinamide can reduce the risk of skin cancer!

An Australian study has shown that the use of niacinamide can have a reduction in actinic keratosis (precursor of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma). A 1% niacinamide ointment was used in the test. Even low doses of UV radiation can cause measurable DNA damage in the skin. Niacinamide is able to improve this recovery and reduces the suppression of the skin’s immune reactions caused by UV radiation.

Niacinamide even more for men!

Men have a statistically higher risk of skin cancer. In addition, the risk of dying from skin cancer is also higher in men. This can be explained by immunosuppression – the suppression of the natural defense reaction against the body’s own substances. – due to UV radiation, which occurs 40% faster in men than in women. Immunosuppression is more extensive for men Applying niacinamide topically before exposure to the sun helps to counteract this process.


Iconic Elements Spotreducer contains a unique combination of 5% niacinamide and Ectione, which is the perfect formula to reduce pigmentation. Studies show that niacinamide is particularly effective at improving hyperpigmentation and age spots by inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes to skin cells. This allows the Spot Reducer to help even out the complexion of the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

Niacinamide Spotreducer

Natural ingredient ectoine is increasingly being used in skin care products due to the many benefits it provides for the skin. It is an amino acid derivative that can protect the skin against harmful external influences, such as UV radiation, air pollution and temperature changes. Ectoine acts as a kind of protective shield that protects the skin cell walls and prevents moisture loss. It also helps reduce inflammation and soothe the skin, making it an ideal choice for those with sensitive or irritated skin. Ectoine is not only effective in preventing skin damage, but it can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve overall skin texture and radiance. Do you want to know more about Ectoine

It’s not surprising that niacinamide is THE skincare ingredient of the moment.


Bissett, D. L., Oblong, J. E., Berge, C.A. (2005) Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves again facial skin appearance. Dermatologic surgery. 31:860-865.

Damian, D. L. (2017) Nicotinamide for skin cancer chemoprevention. Australasian journal of dermatology. 58, 174-180.

Damian, D. L., Patterson, C. R. S., Stapelberg, M., Park, J., Barnetson, R. ST. C., Halliday, G. M. (2008) UV radiation-induced immunosuppression is greater in men and prevented by topical nicotinamide. Journal of investigative dermatology. 128,447-454.

Farris, P. P. (2016) Efficacy and Tolerability of a Skin Brightening/Anti-Aging Cosmeceutical Containing Retinol 0.5%, Niacinamide, Hexylresorcinol, and Resveratrol. Journal of drugs in dermatology. 15(7).

Iliopoulos, F., Sil, B. C., Monjur Al Hossain, A. S. M., Moore, D. J., Lucas, R. A., Lane, M. E. (2020) Topical delivery of niacinamide: influence of neat solvents. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 119137.

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Dionne Smits

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