What Does Niacinamide Serum Do? A Simple Guide to Niacinamide Benefits

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You may have heard of niacinamide serum, but do you know what it does?

Niacinamide serum, also known as vitamin B3, is an effective product with many benefits. It moisturizes the skin, reduces fine lines, improves elasticity, and increases the skin’s ceramide production.

It’s been studied for its effectiveness as an anti-aging product with promising results. Here’s a short guide that will show you what this highly beneficial product is all about.

What Is Niacinamide Serum?

Niacinamide serum is a skincare product that you can use to promote the health and radiance of your skin. This serum can help clear up acne, brighten or fade dark spots, and reduce fine lines. It also helps in keeping your pores smooth and tight.

Niacinamide serum works by penetrating deep into the top layer of skin (the epidermis), where it can have an effect. The thin liquid spreads quickly and easily into your pores, then works its way into the deep layers of your skin.

Niacinamide serums are typically more expensive than niacinamide moisturizers and lotions because of their concentration. The best niacinamide serums contain at least 4% of the active ingredient in a high-quality base formula.

This allows your skin to absorb the maximum amount of niacinamide possible while also providing hydration. The formula also includes other ingredients to increase the effectiveness of niacinamide.

What Does Niacinamide Serum Do?

1. Acne Treatment

Although niacinamide is not a cure for acne, it may contribute towards improving the appearance of your skin if you already have acne or are prone to developing breakouts.

“Niacinamide can balance oil production on the skin by inhibiting lipid production in the oil glands. This will prevent pore blockages, which will help to prevent blackheads and whiteheads,’ Dr. Ranella Hirsch, M.D, a board-certified dermatologist explains.

2. Improves Collagen Production

According to Dr. Hirsch, using niacinamide serum on your skin can help to increase the production of collagen in your skin.

The increased amount of collagen helps to thicken the connective tissue underneath your skin. This thicker tissue structure gives your skin more volume and reduces the appearance of blemishes.

3. Anti-inflammatory Benefits

The inflammation caused by acne can cause redness, swelling, and excess oil production on the skin. Niacinamide helps in reducing these effects by inhibiting the release of histamines that cause inflammation.

4. Treats Rosacea

Because of its barrier-strengthening effects, you can use niacinamide to treat skin conditions like rosacea. Niacinamide also helps improve a major symptom of rosacea, which is flushing, by inhibiting histamine release from mast cells.

A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that niacinamide significantly reduced inflammation in people with moderate-to-severe rosacea after taking it consistently for a short period.

5. Reduces Signs of Aging

As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity, and collagen production declines. This leads to fine lines, wrinkles, loss of firmness, sagging skin, deep creases around the mouth, eyes, and forehead, and enlarged pores.

Niacinamide stimulates collagen production and helps repair damage already done to the skin. This will help diminish fine lines and wrinkles and make your skin feel softer and smoother.

6. Evens Skin Tone

Another benefit of this product is that it can help to even out your skin tone by evening out any areas that are uneven in color. When you use a niacinamide serum, your body converts vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, which helps to even out skin tone.

It does this by inhibiting melanin production and exfoliating the outer layers of your skin. By reducing melanin and exfoliating, it decreases the formation of age spots and hyperpigmentation in the long term.

7. Prevents Free Radicals Damage

Niacinamide is one of the most effective antioxidants that you can use to prevent free radical damage. It helps protect skin cells from this damage by interacting with other molecules in the body to help suppress oxidative stress.

8. Strengthens Skin Barrier

The skin barrier is the outermost layer of skin and it’s made up of fats, ceramides, and other special fats called lipids. When these substances are healthy, they protect the skin from harmful substances while allowing necessary substances to enter.

Niacinamide works by penetrating through damaged areas of the skin barrier to stimulate ceramide production, thereby strengthening its barrier function.

9. Regulates Oil Production

The oil glands in your skin produce sebum (oil), a natural lubricant that keeps your skin looking smooth and prevents your face from drying out. This oil is essential to healthy skin and hair, but too much of it can cause breakouts and blackheads.

“Niacinamide is a vitamin that helps to regulate oil production by reducing the activity of your oil glands. If you’re dealing with acne or just want to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy, adding it to your skincare routine can help,” Hirsch says.

10. Fades Hyperpigmentation

As you may already know, hyperpigmentation occurs when melanocytes (the cells responsible for producing melanin in the skin) become overactive.

This causes the production of excess melanin, which gets deposited into the skin’s connective tissue. The result? Dark spots on your skin that are hard to get rid of.

“Niacinamide can help reduce hyperpigmentation and blotchiness by decreasing melanocytes’ activity. By decreasing these cells’ activity, niacinamide reduces the amount of melanin produced in the skin thereby reducing hyperpigmentation” Hirsch explains.

11. Prevents Skin Cancer

In Dr. Hirsch’s words, niacinamide is an antioxidant that can prevent skin cancer by helping the skin repair any damage done by ultraviolet rays. It also protects from further UV damage by fighting free radicals present in UV rays.

Treating Acne With Niacinamide Serum

Acne is a common and chronic skin condition that affects people of all ages, even infants. It’s not a serious medical condition, but it does have the potential to be very embarrassing.

“Niacinamide serum can help to treat acne in several ways such as reducing inflammation, increasing skin cell turnover, and decreasing oil production,” Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, a New-York based dermatologist, explains.

According to Stormborne, the anti-inflammatory effect of niacinamide makes it useful in treating acne. When a pimple erupts, there is an inflammatory response and niacinamide helps to soothe that inflammatory response.

By regulating the activity of oil glands, niacinamide reduces oil production and thereby decreases the likelihood of having breakouts. Niacinamide also inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause acne by helping to restore the skin’s natural barrier function.

Additionally, niacinamide helps to make pores smaller by increasing collagen production and skin cell turnover rate. This allows for smoother skin texture and creates fewer opportunities for dead cells and dirt to build up and cause acne.

Treating acne with niacinamide can be very effective and it works on all types of acne, from blackheads to inflamed cystic acne. It can also help you avoid getting nasty side effects from benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid-like peeling and flaking.

How to Use Niacinamide Serum

  • Wash your face before applying niacinamide serum. Make sure that your face is clean and free of makeup before you apply the serum. This will prevent the serum from reacting with dirt or other residues on your face, which may irritate it.
  • Use 1-2 drops of the serum on each side of your face. This will ensure that you get the right amount of serum for each side of your face.
  • Massage gently until the serum is absorbed into your skin. By massaging gently, you will be able to spread the serum evenly and make sure that your skin absorbs it instead of remaining on top where it can get rubbed off easily.
  • If you have time, let your serum soak in for a few minutes before applying moisturizer. This will help the products work better together.
  • Follow up with an SPF 30 sunscreen even if you’re using a daytime moisturizer with SPF in it.

If you’re new to niacinamide serum, start by applying it every two days. After two weeks, increase the frequency of use to once daily, then twice daily if needed. This will give your skin enough time to adjust to the effects of the treatment.

How to Choose a Niacinamide Serum

Many different brands offer niacinamide serums, so it’s important to check out their ingredient list before purchasing their product. Be sure the product is formulated correctly for your specific needs.

The concentration of niacinamide in serum also matters. Ingredients lists usually contain numbers like “4% niacinamide.” The percentage shows how much of the ingredient is in the product, but a higher percentage doesn’t always mean more benefits for your skin. 

A higher percentage may irritate your skin and even trigger breakouts, so ensure to talk with your doctor to determine which percentage is right for you.

Additionally, you’ll want to be sure that you purchase your product from a reputable company that can provide you with customer service in case something goes wrong.

How Long Does Niacinamide Serum Take To Work?

“You should see results in two to four weeks, but it may take longer depending on your skin type and condition,” Garshick says.

After using it for two or three weeks, look at your face every day in a mirror to see how much smoother your skin looks compared to before using niacinamide.

Are There Any Side Effects?

The most common side effect of using niacinamide serum is flushing or redness of the face. This happens when the body absorbs more blood than usual, causing temporary blotchy redness.

The amount of flushing varies from person to person, but it usually subsides within one week as your body gets used to it. If you’re worried about this side effect, start with a low concentration and gradually increase it to determine what works best for you.

Other side effects may include skin irritation, itching, rashes, headaches or migraines, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, or lightheadedness.


Is niacinamide serum good for wrinkles?

Yes, it is. Niacinamide serum can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging by increasing skin elasticity. It does this by increasing collagen production in the innermost layer of the skin.

Niacinamide also improves the appearance of large pores by reducing the activity of the oil glands that fill them in with sebum (skin oil). This helps to make pores less visible, while also firming the skin.

Does niacinamide serum brighten skin?

Yes, it does. Niacinamide regulates melanin production before it leads to pigmentation problems. This will also help brighten and even out your skin tone over time.

Niacinamide is also an effective skin brightener because it’s able to penetrate through the skin and increase cell turnover. When it does this, it sheds away dead skin cells, which helps to brighten overall skin complexion.

Is niacinamide serum good for acne?

Yes, it is. Treating acne with niacinamide can help reduce the appearance of your breakouts while being gentle enough for even sensitive skin.

While common skincare products like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are great at treating acne, they can often be harsh and irritate the skin. Niacinamide is a great alternative if you’re looking for a way to treat acne without powerful side effects.


Niacinamide serum benefits are many. For example, it’s an extremely effective skin-restoring and hydrating agent. This can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

Niacinamide serum also works together with your skin to fight free radicals, reduce hyperpigmentation, and treat acne and other skin conditions. The outcome is an even skin tone, with a soft, smooth, and supple skin texture.

Thanks for reading.

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