All Topics
Bienfaits niacinamide peau.

What are the benefits of niacinamide for the face?

While it's currently becoming the star product of the moment, niacinamide has been around for years and stands out due to its versatility for almost all skin issues. Available in the form of cleansers, serums, sun care products, and moisturizers, it can indeed help to improve the appearance of the skin in many ways. Let's explore together in this article the benefits of niacinamide for the skin.

Benefit #1: Niacinamide enhances the epidermal barrier function.

Loss of moisture can lead to dry, flaky, and dehydrated skin due to an increase in the permeability of the epidermal barrier. However, research shows that the niacinamide can help maintain a healthy skin barrier, demonstrating a reduction in transepidermal water loss, an increase in skin resistance to allergens and other impurities, and an improvement in the moisture content of the stratum corneum. The proposed mechanisms that explain this property include:

  • an increase in the biosynthesis of ceramides as well as the level of other nonpolar lipids in the intercellular space of the stratum corneum (cholesterol, free fatty acids, etc.), known to play a central role in homeostasis and the structural and functional integrity of the epidermal barrier function, based on the activation of mRNA expression of serine palmitoyltransferase, the key enzyme in the synthesis of sphingolipids;

  • an enhanced and faster differentiation of keratinocytes through an influence on keratin K1, specifically expressed in the spinous and granular layers of the epidermis, which results in an increase in epidermal renewal.

By enhancing the structure of the skin's protective barrier, it helps to retain moisture and prevent pollutants or other potential irritants from entering, making the skin more hydrated and less sensitive.

Benefit #2: Nicotinamide soothes redness.

Several studies have demonstrated that niacinamide can help soothe redness caused by inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and eczema. The mechanism by which redness is improved may be related to the enhancement of the skin barrier function. Indeed, an increase in barrier function can lead to less irritation when the skin is exposed to environmental aggressors, and therefore less redness.

In addition to improving the hydration of the stratum corneum, niacinamide has also demonstrated anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties at the skin level. It modulates the production of cytokines by immune cells, such as IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α, in a dose-dependent manner. This is linked to the inhibition of the activity of the PARP-1 enzyme, which impacts the activation of NF-kB and MAPK signaling pathways, thereby reducing inflammation and improving clinical signs. Niacinamide also decreases the degranulation of mast cells and the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) induced by UVB by keratinocytes.

Benefit #3: Vitamin B3 prevents and reduces signs of aging.

It has been demonstrated that topical niacinamide has the ability to increase the levels of intracellular NAD and NADP cofactors, which decrease with age, and whose reduced forms (NADH and NADPH) possess antioxidant properties. Thus, it helps to limit the action of free radicals by trapping the oxidizing radical and protecting the skin from damage directly to DNA, lipids, and proteins caused by factors such as natural aging, UV rays from the sun, pollution, or stress. Some research has also shown that topical niacinamide reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It is believed to have the ability to stimulate the production of collagen in the dermal matrix and proteins in the epidermis, such as keratin, filaggrin, and involucrin.

Benefit #4: Niacinamide for a more even skin tone.

Several reports suggest that skincare formulas containing 5% niacinamide may also affect pigmentation and help to fade hyperpigmented spots. The benefits were observed after twelve weeks of use. It has shown to reversibly block the transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes to surrounding keratinocytes by inhibiting keratinocyte factors, distinguishing it from other brightening actives that have a direct action on tyrosinase activity. Indeed, an in vitro study showed that daily use of a moisturizer with 5% niacinamide inhibits 35 to 68% of the transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes to keratinocytes. By preventing the transfer of melanin into the skin, niacinamide thus helps to eliminate hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone.

Benefit #5: Niacinamide enhances skin clarity.

The glycation of proteins (collagen, elastin) with sugar leads to the formation of cross-linked products of a yellowish-brown color (Amadori products), which accumulate in the components of the skin matrix. These oxidation products are responsible for the dull complexion observed on damaged skin. Thanks to its antioxidant capabilities as a precursor of the coenzymes NADP and NAD, niacinamide inhibits these oxidative processes. It can thus help to improve the appearance of photo-damaged and photo-aged skin.

Benefit #6: Niacinamide, a solution against excess sebum.

While sebum can fulfill important functions (providing antioxidants, regulating transepidermal water loss, etc.), the presence of this sebum layer that covers the surface of the facial skin is considered unsightly and undesirable. It contributes to facial shine, and gives the skin a greasy appearance. However, the niacinamide applied topically has proven effective in reducing sebum production by the sebaceous glands, which can prevent skin breakouts and clogged pores. Its mechanism of action has not yet been fully elucidated.

Benefit #7: Nicotinamide for its antibacterial effects.

Topical niacinamide is also believed to have bacteriostatic effects on Propionibacterium acnes, which could be explained by its action on the Sir2 enzyme. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and sebostatic role, topical nicotinamide could thus have an anti-acne effect. Indeed, clinical trials on patients with moderate acne have reported that topical use of niacinamide has led to a regression of inflammatory lesions after eight weeks of treatment.

Benefit #8: Niacinamide has photoprotective effects against carcinogenesis.

The over-activation of PARP-1, an enzyme, by UV rays involved in cellular senescence, aging, and cancer, leads to a depletion of cellular NAD, which slows down the DNA repair process. However, nicotinamide replenishes cellular energy, as it is a precursor of NAD and NADP. Moreover, it has an inhibitory effect on PARP-1 through negative feedback, thus preventing cellular senescence. Lastly, nicotinamide also protects against UVA and UVB-induced immunosuppression. Therefore, nicotinamide could protect and mitigate the mutagenic and immunosuppressive effects of UV light on the skin, beneficial in the prevention of skin cancer.

Benefit #9: Nicotinamide can minimize the appearance of enlarged pores.

Nothing has been proven to reduce pore size, but niacinamide can help minimize their appearance. It's important to know that sebum is associated with the enlargement of pores. However, it appears that niacinamide has the ability to normalize sebum secretion and this effect plays a role in preventing pore congestion and therefore its dilation.


  • BOISSY R. E. & al. The effect of niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer. British Journal of Dermatology (2002).

  • BERGE C. A. & al. Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2004).

  • GEHRING W. Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2004).

  • BERGE C. A. & al. Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatological Surgery (2005).

  • MIZOGUCHI M. & al. Moisturizing effects of topical nicotinamide on atopic dry skin. International Journal of Dermatology (2005).

  • SMILES K. & al. The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy (2006).

  • ALESSANDRINI G. & al. Anti-inflammatory effects of a topical preparation containing nicotinamide, retinol, and 7-dehydrocholesterol in patients with acne: a gene expression study. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (2012).

  • LAUGHLIN T. & al. Ability of topical 5% niacinamide to reduce ultraviolet light-induced erythema, barrier disruption, and inflammation. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2013).

  • KREFT D. & al. Niacinamide - mechanisms of action and its topical use in dermatology. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (2014).

  • SHARMA S. & al. Nicotinamide: Mechanism of action and indications in dermatology. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology (2018).


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.