Niacinamide for Acne

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid. They are present naturally in the foods that we consume everyday and maybe present in the Vitamin or foods supplement that we take for the skins. Niacinamide is a component of important coenzymes involved in hydrogen transfer in cellular process in the whole body.  Recently, niacinamide have been shown to be effective in fighting acne and also improve skin moisture. Niacinamide works by nourishing and repairing the outer layer of our skin.

What are the benefits of Niacinamide

Niacinamide is added to skin care products for acne-prone skin because of its skin-repairing properties that can increase skin hydration, brighten skin tone and improve skin texture. It is also has anti-inflammatory effects and was shown to reduce the inflammation on the skin and make it less irritable. It’s anti-inflammatory effects in have been shown to be effective treatment in acne, rosacea and nitrogen mustard-induced skin irritation.

Topical application of niacinamide has a stabilizing effect on epidermal barrier function, seen as a reduction in transepidermal water loss and an improvement in the moisture content of outer layer of the skin. Niacinamide stimulate the production of ceramide, which are the natural moisture-retaining protein in the skin and prevent water loss through the skin.

It also has anti-aging properties and was shown to improves the surface structure, smoothes out wrinkles and inhibits photocarcinogenesis. It was shown to decrease the risk of developing skin cancer in people with high risks such as patients taking immunosuppression. 


Key benefits of Niacinamide

  • Increases skin moisture
  • Brightens skin complexion
  • Improve skin texture
  • Strengthens the skin’s protective barrier
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Reduces acne and redness
  • Anti-aging
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation

Are the use of Niacinamide for acne have been proven clinically? 

In the study published in International Journal of Dermatology (1995), 4% nicotinamide gel is of comparable efficacy to 1% clindamycin gel in the treatment of acne vulgaris. It is also considered a safer and cost-effective alternative to topical antibiotics because the use of clindamycin can promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant skin bacteria.

Study published in Cosmetic Laser Therapy (2006) shown that topical application of 2% nicotinamide gel is shown to be effective in reducing serum production especially in Asian skin type.

So, can i buy the nicotinamide gel over the counter or do i need a prescription from the Dermatologists?

For higher concentration of nicotinamide (>2%), you need the prescription from the doctors but nowadays you can buy some skin products that contain nicotinamide in the formulation which actually work fine too! La Roche Posay for example has product line formulated for acne-prone skin such Effaclar Duo which contains nicotinamide as main ingredients!


Active ingredient of Effaclar Duo

  • Procerad: helps protect against the appearance of red or brown marks.
  • Mannose: stimulates skin regeneration.
  • APF: helps durably restore skin’s balance.
  • Niacinamide: active ingredient for intensive soothing. Decreases redness.
  • Piroctone olamine to combat bacterial proliferation
  • LHA and salicylic acid micro-exfoliates without irritating.
  • Zinc PCA: reduces sebum secretion.

Myself am currently using this cream and i have to say that it works very well in reducing the acne on the face and is one of my favourite skin care products from this brand. You can also find the nicotinamide solution on the Amazon from brand called Ordinary which manufactures nicotinamide in higher formulation.


I also have this product in my toilet cabinet and i usually mixed this with my daily moisturiser.

Can Niacinamide be used by all ?

Niacinamide is very safe if used in the right amount and right technique but i advice you to start slowly and gently on the skin to prevent skin irritation. You should not be high concentration Niacinamide if you have

  • Liver disease
  • Active ulcers or a history of ulcers
  • ​Gout – niacinamide can increase the level of uric acid in the blood can cause gouty attacks

If you drink excessive amounts of alcohol, you should not use niacinamide cream as it can react with increased levels of alcohol in your body.

I hope this post will help! Feel free to comment and ask the questions and i will try to help with my best knowledge and from my previous and current experience.

With lots of Love,

Mr Marvelous