Is Niacinamide Good for Dry Skin? A Review of Benefits and Side Effects

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Is niacinamide good for dry skin? If you’re asking yourself this because you want your skin to look its best, but you want to be sure that the ingredients you use don’t cause problems, you’ve come to the right place.

The answer is yes. Niacinamide can do wonders for dry skin. When used topically or orally, it reduces dehydration and itchiness while increasing skin cell turnover to reveal brighter skin beneath.

Learn about niacinamide, what it does for dry skin, and how you can use it on your skin for maximal effects in this article.

What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide, or nicotinamide, is a form of Vitamin B3 that delivers various health benefits. It occurs naturally in the body and you can also get it from supplements and foods such as cooked meats, fish, eggs, and milk.

It’s also an active ingredient in many skin care products such as creams and serums where it works with your body to fight many skin concerns while improving skin tone and texture.

Niacinamide is beneficial for dry skin because it can help your skin retain moisture, which will make your skin smoother and less wrinkled. Niacinamide also works to reduce inflammation and redness, which can be caused by dry skin.

What Does Niacinamide Do for Dry Skin?

1. Increases Hydration

“Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that plays a role in skin hydration by supporting the production of ceramides,” Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board dermatologist, explains.

According to him, ceramides are essential lipids in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin, and they help keep skin barrier function intact

Skin barrier function is important for those with dry skin because it keeps water molecules locked inside and prevents them from evaporating into the air.

2. Encourages Healthy Cell Growth

A common problem faced by people with dry skin is dryness and flaking due to dead cells piling upon their faces.

Niacinamide encourages healthy cell growth while also increasing cell turnover so that your skin has a healthy glow without peeling or flaking.

3. It’s Anti-inflammatory

One of the best benefits of niacinamide for dry skin is that it works as an anti-inflammatory ingredient. It does this by reducing levels of prostaglandins, which are chemical messengers that cause inflammation and pain in the body when released.

By reducing prostaglandins, niacinamide helps to ease pain caused by conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The hydrating properties of niacinamide help to relieve itching caused by such skin conditions as well.

4. Improves Barrier Function

Another major benefit of niacinamide is its ability to improve barrier function. By improving barrier function, niacinamide protects your skin against environmental factors such as bacteria, pollution, sweat, and fungal infections.

5. Treats Skin Conditions

“Because of its hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties, niacinamide can help improve the symptoms of rosacea, psoriasis, seborrhea, and atopic dermatitis,” Zeichner says.

In his words, it may also be effective in treating contact dermatitis, a skin condition brought on by exposure to certain irritants or allergens

Other Benefits of Niacinamide for Dry Skin

Reduces Fine lines and Wrinkles

As we age, our collagen breaks down, causing wrinkles and fine lines. Niacinamide works against these signs of aging by promoting collagen production in the skin.

Niacinamide also stimulates the production of new cells in your body, thus helping you to replace older, damaged cells. As these new cells replace old ones, you’ll notice fewer wrinkles and fine lines on your skin.

Treats Dark Spots 

One of the most important functions of niacinamide is to reduce the appearance of unwanted dark spots, also called hyperpigmentation.

Niacinamide can help to reduce hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin transfer from melanin cells to keratinocytes, which is the first step in melanin production.

Improves Overall Skin Tone

Niacinamide has also been shown to improve overall skin tone by increasing blood flow and creating a small warming sensation on the skin. This improves cell turnover rate and keeps new dark spots from forming.

Prevents Free Radicals Damage

Along with various antioxidants in the body, niacinamide can help protect your skin from free radical damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun and pollution.

As you age, your body naturally produces fewer antioxidants to fight off free radicals, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Using niacinamide can help prevent this type of damage.

Reduces Pore Size

As you age, your skin gradually loses the natural proteins that keep it smooth and supple. This can cause your pores to become enlarged, making your skin look rough and uneven.

Several studies suggest that topical application of niacinamide can help improve the appearance of enlarged pores.

In one 2006 study, patients who applied a topical formulation containing 2% niacinamide had a visible reduction in the appearance of pores after 4 weeks of use.

Side Effects of Topical Niacinamide

The most common side effects of topical niacinamide include redness, itching, or irritation of the skin. However, these symptoms are typically mild and temporary.

 “People who are allergic to niacin should avoid using products containing niacinamide since it is structurally related to this vitamin,” Dr. Samer Jaber, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, warns.

As with any skincare product containing vitamins, side effects can also occur if you apply too much regularly or if you use it with ingredients that make you more sensitive to sun exposure.

Side Effects of Niacinamide Supplements

As a supplement, niacinamide is considered safe when taken in doses not higher than 750 mg a day. But when taken in large doses, niacinamide may cause serious side effects like flushing, headache, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

“Niacinamide may also cause changes in your blood cholesterol levels, including an increase in fatty acid levels and a decrease in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels,” Jaber says.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to niacin. If you have liver disease, do not take this medicine without your doctor’s approval. For example, if you have active liver disease or a history of alcohol abuse, it’s best to consult your doctor.

That is because niacinamide supplements can cause a serious condition called liver toxicity in patients with unhealthy livers. This condition occurs when such a patient ingests too much of this vitamin.

It is also important to contact your doctor if you experience unusual symptoms while taking niacinamide. For instance, contact your doctor if you experience swollen hands, yellowing eyes, dark urine, or loss of appetite.

How Do You Use Niacinamide?

There are several ways to use this vitamin to improve the look and feel of your skin. Your doctor will probably recommend that you take a supplement or apply it topically by using products like serums and creams.

You can find topical niacinamide products over the counter at skincare stores, pharmacies, or online. When you apply these products to your skin, they are absorbed into your body and go to work on the affected area.

How to use niacinamide for best results:

  • Use a product with niacinamide in it every day. This can be a topical cream, lotion, or serum that you apply to your face in the morning or at night.
  • Look for serums and creams that include hyaluronic acid in addition to niacinamide. Hyaluronic acid holds up to 1000 its water weight and works well with niacinamide, increasing its hydrating effects on the skin.
  • Protect your skin from sun damage when using niacinamide because it makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays. If you’re planning on spending time outdoors, wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on your face.

Using Niacinamide With Hyaluronic Acid

First of all, let’s talk about hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of your skin and helps to keep it hydrated and youthful. As you age, your hyaluronic acid diminishes. And so, your skin gets dry, loses its elasticity, and wrinkles start to appear.

Hyaluronic acid works by binding water and retaining it in the skin cells. In other words, it helps to keep your skin hydrated. Using it alongside niacinamide can help even more.

How to use niacinamide with HA for maximal results:

  • Wash your face with a mild cleanser and water, then pat dry with a towel.
  • Apply niacinamide serum to your face, avoiding the eye area, lips, mouth, and other sensitive areas.
  • After about 10 minutes, apply a thin layer of hyaluronic acid serum over the niacinamide serum for an added boost.
  • After another 10 minutes, apply a moisturizer and sunscreen of your choice.

Proven Benefits of Niacinamide + HA

  • Increases skin hydration, softness, and suppleness
  • Helps to correct uneven skin tone and blotchiness
  • Reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Helps to soothe and calm irritated skin
  • Helps to improve skin clarity, texture, and overall complexion

How Do You Know if Niacinamide Is Working?

One of the best ways to know if niacinamide is working for you is by measuring your skin’s overall health.

  • Dryness: Niacinamide reduces dryness on the skin after a few weeks, and does not cause any flaking or peeling.
  • Tone and Texture: Your skin should appear more even in tone, with fewer lines and wrinkles. Some people notice a “glow” to their skin that they have never experienced.
  • Pigmentation: A reduction in age spots, sun spots, melasma, or acne spots is another sign that niacinamide is working well.
  • Acne: Another area where niacinamide can make a big difference is acne. If you have acne, it will reduce your breakouts dramatically. It takes time, but it works.
  • Inflammation: Within a few weeks after using niacinamide, you’ll notice that your skin is less inflamed and irritated. You’ll also notice that scars are less visible because of the increase in collagen production in your skin.


Does niacinamide make skin glow?

Yes, it does. Niacinamide is a skin-lightening agent that reduces the appearance of dark spots, moisturizes skin, and boosts cell turnover.

Niacinamide also plays a role in collagen function, meaning it helps strengthen existing collagen fibers and encourages new ones to form. This makes your skin smoother, younger-looking, and more even-toned.

Can you use niacinamide to treat acne?

Yes, you can. Niacinamide can help treat acne by regulating the amount of oil produced by the skin’s oil glands and helping restore the skin’s barrier function.

However, treating acne with niacinamide requires more than just taking it orally or applying it to your skin. Your doctor will likely recommend you use an anti-acne face wash that contains benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid to fight acne bacteria.

Can niacinamide prevent dryness?

Yes, it can. Niacinamide works by preventing the breakdown of the skin barrier, which in turn prevents water loss on the surface of the skin.

If you have dry skin on your face or suffer from dermatitis or any other dry skin conditions, niacinamide may be an excellent solution for you.


Niacinamide is a type of vitamin B3 that can help to improve the look and feel of dry skin. You can get this ingredient from supplements and topical products such as serums, creams, and gels.

Niacinamide provides many benefits. It can help to increase the hydration levels in the skin by increasing ceramide production. It’s also fantastic for improving skin tone, texture and pigmentation, making it one of the best ingredients for dry skin.

By regularly incorporating niacinamide into your skincare regimen, you’ll be able to experience the benefits of this amazing vitamin for yourself.

Thanks for reading.

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