Skip to main content
Skin Care Blogs

Niacinamide and Acne: Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin B3 and Blemishes

Niacinamide and Acne: Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin B3 and Blemishes
Writer and expert1 year ago
View dermstore-editors's profile

With rapidly advancing skin care technologies and ever-changing trends to keep up with, it can be tricky to know where to start and what works best for blemish-prone skin. Our experts at Dermstore are here to spotlight the multi-tasking, suitable-for-all skin care star niacinamide, and explore the many ways in which it can help with acne.

What is Niacinamide?

You might have noticed niacinamide plastered across product packaging for almost every pore-shrinking, spot-treating formula on the market in recent years - and rightly so. This powerhouse ingredient is certainly something to brag about. But what is niacinamide and where does it come from?

Essentially, niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, a water-soluble nutrient that supports many aspects of skin health. It is naturally derived from nicotinic acid found in many cereals and brewer’s yeast. Once isolated, it then undergoes a chemical reaction to become niacinamide.

The active is famed for helping with blackheads, blemishes and brightening dull and discolored skin, making it a strong contender to consider for your everyday routine.

Does Niacinamide Help with Acne?

Boasting several dermatologist-backed benefits, niacinamide is sure to help those prone to breakouts and alleviate some of the signs. What’s great about it is that it is truly a versatile, non-irritating vitamin that covers a multitude of bases. Notably, niacinamide is known best for the below:

Niacinamide Benefits for Acne

  • Improving skin texture
  • Decongesting pores
  • Reducing redness and inflammation
  • Regulating excess oils and sebum
  • Unifying and brightening the skin tone
  • Hydrating and fortifying the skin barrier

However, like with many skin care ingredients, you may need more than one active to comprehensively target all acne-related concerns. Enter salicylic acid and retinoids.

What Can I Use Alongside Niacinamide?

The good news is that you can use almost any other skin care ingredient with niacinamide – it’s perfect for layering and complementing your existing creams, cleansers and serums. But if you’re serious about treating breakouts and blemishes, you might want to seek a little extra support from salicylic acid, an exfoliating BHA that buffs away dead skin cells. It works to dissolve acne-causing congestion and can penetrate the skin in a way that niacinamide does not.

Retinoidsand retinolsare also said to work exceptionally well with niacinamide, as both blemish-busting actives reduce sebum production. Niacinamide is thought to counteract the irritating effects of retinoids too, working synergistically to tackle breakouts while protecting from sensitivities.

More Compatible Actives to Consider:

Best SPFs to Use with Niacinamide

And of course, no skin care ingredient should be without a sunscreen. Here are two of our editor’s top picks.

The La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50 is a great choice for everyday wear. It features vitamin E for antioxidant protection and hydration, which will support niacinamide in brightening your complexion. Plus, its ultra-light consistency and non-comedogenic formula won’t block your pores, protecting from future breakouts.

If you’re looking for a sunscreen that already features niacinamide, look no further than the EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. Formulated with a high-purity percentage, the sunscreen effectively protects those prone to acne.

What Are the Best Niacinamide Products?

At Dermstore, we offer a wide selection of vitamin B3-enriched products. Below are more hand-picked cult-favorites to help get you started on your niacinamide journey.

Browse all our niacinamide best-sellers and standout skin heroes here.
Writer and expert
View dermstore-editors's profile
From the latest hair and makeup trends to the best solutions for your skin issues, we've got all your beauty concerns covered!