Niacinamide Is The Wonder Ingredient That Promises Clear, Calm & Bright Skin

Meet the multi-tasking ingredient that promises a multitude of benefits to every skin type


Take your pick of niacinamide-based products that will slide seamlessly into your current skincare regime. Photo / Carolyn Haslett for Viva Magazine - Volume One

Retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are just a handful of the all-star ingredients regularly touted by dermatologists and aestheticians alike. But every few years, a new ingredient skyrockets in popularity, cropping up in INCI lists and eventually, getting top billing in product names.

The latest ingredient to have made the “big time” in bold type on the front of tubes and tubs? Niacinamide.

This water-soluble form of vitamin B3 boasts universal appeal, working its magic on just about every skin concern — including redness, discoloration, acne, dryness and enlarged pores.

The most impressive skin benefit of all, however, is niacinamide’s barrier-boosting powers. It strengthens the skin’s superficial lipid barrier by stimulating the production of ceramides (the fats which protect skin and help retain its moisture).

READ: The Benefits Of Bakuchiol - Nature's Answer To Retinol

As a result, skin appears clear, bright and calm. Plus, its gentle enough for even the most sensitive or irritated skin.

As with any active ingredient, concentrations are important. What sets the best apart from the rest has to do with the amount of the ingredient you’re actually getting in the product. Familiarise yourself with a product’s INCI list, as ingredients are typically listed by concentration. The higher niacinamide is on the list, the more of the good stuff you’ll be getting.

Whether you’re after a nutrient-loaded serum, or a cosseting night cream, find eight top-notch options below to seamlessly sub into your current skincare regime.

The Cleanser: Essano Oil Control Niacinamide Deep Pore Cleanser, $15
Equal parts gentle and effective, this lightweight cleanser helps remove oil, makeup and dirt to reveal a clean, clarified complexion. The addition of niacinamide helps to balance sebum production, reduce redness and prevent clogged pores and blemishes, while zinc calms and soothes skin.

Essano Oil Control Niacinamide Deep Pore Cleanser, $15. Photo / Supplied

The Moisturiser: Ethique Quench, $45
The newest addition to Ethique’s range of solid skincare is Quench, a lightweight solid face moisturiser that harnesses niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 and jojoba oil to boost the skin’s hydration levels for a healthy-looking complexion. Housed in a home-compostable push tube, Quench is equivalent to three 60ml bottles of liquid face moisturiser.

Ethique Quench, $45. Photo / Supplied

The Serum: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, $55
This multi-tasking highlighting serum lends a glossy sheen to skin while locking in moisture. Here, niacinamide is flanked by watermelon and hyaluronic acid for a hydrating combination that brightens dullness, improves the skin’s barrier function, minimises the appearance of pores and smooths fine lines and wrinkles. Insert this dewy formula before your moisturiser or as the final step in your regime for a glass skin finish.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, $55. Photo / Supplied

The Eye Cream: First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Niacinamide Brightening Cream, $67
Niacinamide’s fortifying capabilities makes it an excellent ingredient in eye cream, to help restore the delicate under-eye area. This one by First Aid Beauty helps illuminate, brighten, hydrate and smooth under-eyes while niacinamide diminishes the appearance of dark circles over time by targeting skin pigmentation and puffiness in one fell swoop.

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Niacinamide Brightening Cream, $67. Photo / Supplied

The Waterless Option: The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder, $13
If you prefer to customise your concentrations, consider a powder-based option like this one from The Ordinary. Use a quarter scoop of powder with roughly four drops of any water-based treatment, provided your product of choice doesn’t contain any actives that don’t agree with niacinamide, or is too acidic on the pH scale. This should yield approximately 10 to 15 per cent concentration of niacinamide, which is considered a strong dose.

The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder, $13. Photo / Supplied

The Spot Treatment: Verso Blemish Fix, $145
Designed with acne-prone skin in mind, this gel-based spot treatment works to prevent and control breakouts by unclogging pores, balancing oil production and reducing inflammation for a clearer complexion. It twins Retinol 8 with niacinamide to reduce pore size and improve skin tone and texture, while antioxidants turmeric and purslane offer free radical protection, and zinc PCA controls excess sebum.

Verso Blemish Fix, $145. Photo / Supplied

The Pore Minimiser: Boost Lab Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue Serum, $35
Consider this super serum as your daily dose of vitamin B3. Formulated with acneic or oily skin in mind, the oil-free solution contains a 10 per cent concentration of niacinamide, alongside zinc PCA to visibly reduce the appearance of blemishes and acne, minimise enlarged pores and soothe redness. It's also loaded with anti-pollution ingredient pollustop to protect skin from environmental nasties. 

Boost Lab Vitamin B3 Blemish Rescue Serum, $35. Photo / Supplied

STOCKISTS: Boost Lab available exclusively from Farmers or online at Farmers.co.nz; Essano from selected health food stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, The Warehouse or online at Essano.co.nz; Ethiqueworld.com; First Aid Beauty from Sephora.nz; Glow Recipe and Verso from Mecca or online at Meccabeauty.co.nz; The Ordinary from Adorebeauty.co.nz.

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