hand of a woman holding a niacinamide serum bottle

Is niacinamide really worth the hype?

Niacinamide is one of the most used and reviewed skincare regimens for women and men of all ages. This wonder vitamin promises clear, bright, healthy skin cells, and helps in treating almost everything.

It's no doubt that niacinamide has become one of the beauty world’s favorite skin care product ingredient. However, niacinamide skin side effects may appear in some people with particular skin types. Today let's possible skin side effects of niacinamide.

Guide to Niacinamide Skin Side Effects

With the beauty industry's technology continuously emerging, many people hyped-up skincare ingredients — one of them is topical niacinamide. 

Because niacinamide is such a versatile skincare ingredient, it's often mixed with other compounds to modify the product's appeal and effect. Without adequately knowing these mixtures, this can result in niacinamide allergy reactions for allergy reactions in some people with particular skin conditions.

But first, what is niacinamide anyway and how does it benefit healthy cells?

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. It’s also called nicotinamide. Vitamins containing niacinamide in this group are especially well-known for their calming, healing qualities and its acne treatment as well.

As a vital nutrient, it participates in literally hundreds of bodily functions. In reality, topical niacinamide is responsible for turning food into energy and aiding DNA repair. Because it is a precursor to NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate), it also aids in the formation of ceramides, b vitamins, which are the glue that holds your skin together.

Moreover, niacinamide plays a vital role in keeping a hydrated skin, making it a common additive in the skin care industry. However, niacinamide still has side effects. Let's learn more here. 

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Side Effects of Niacinamide

The skin side effects can be pretty scary, but they're not common. Here are the most likely niacinamide skin problems or skin diseases that you might encounter:

Reddening of the Skin. 

This is one of the most common niacinamide side effects. It's caused when niacinamide dilates the blood vessels, which brings more blood to the surface of your skin. For most people, this redness is mild and disappears within a few minutes. However, for those with sensitive skin, it might be accompanied by itching, stinging, or mild burning.


Niacinamide skincare products can sometimes cause breakouts in people who are acne-prone. If you start to experience more breakouts while using niacinamide products, discontinue use immediately.

Skin Flushing. 

This niacinamide skin side effect is similar to the reddening of the skin, but it occurs when niacinamide is used in high doses. It's caused by the dilation of blood vessels, and it can cause a burning or tingling sensation.

Excessive Dryness.

Niacinamide can also cause you to have  excessively dry skin, especially if you're using products that contain other drying ingredients like alcohol or benzoyl peroxide. If your skin feels tight and uncomfortable after using niacinamide products, try applying a niacinamide moisturizer or niacinamide serums to reduce inflammation and regulate oil production.

Why Niacinamide Causes Skin Problems

Niacinamide can affect your skin health due to its high concentration when combined with other active ingredient products. It's also possible that taking niacinamide could be irritating your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Some may also have skin discoloration due to  using niacinamide combined with other active ingredients that are too harsh for your skin type.

Niacinamide can also cause problems when it's mixed with the following substances:

  • Acids, including lactic acid, glycolic acid, and azelaic acid
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or derivatives like tetrahydrocurcuminoids
  • Retinoids, like retinoic acid and tretinoin
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
  • Folic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide

Related article: Skincare Actives Not To Mix: The Deadly Sins of Skincare Mixing

When to Use Niacinamide in Your Skincare Routine

If you're not experiencing any niacinamide skin conditions, you can safely use niacinamide in your skin care routine. It's a great ingredient to use if you want to improve the appearance of your skin texture, reduce wrinkles and pores, fade dark spots and treat acne.

Niacinamide is also a good choice for those with excess oil or acne-prone skin. It helps control oil production, can reduce the appearance of blemishes and it also protects you from sun exposure and sun damage.

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How Much Niacinamide Is Too Much?

The niacinamide skin side effects usually only occur when niacinamide is used in high doses. If you're not experiencing any problems, it's safe to use up to a concentration of five percent niacinamide. However, niacinamide products that contain more than five percent niacinamide are less likely to be effective.

If you're using niacinamide serum or moisturizer with other skin-care ingredients like acids and retinoids, the risk of irritation from niacinamide is higher. For example, if your niacinamide moisturizer also contains vitamin C and salicylic acid that might cause your skin to become dehydrated.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Side Effects From Niacinamide

Niacinamide is an absolute skin care ingredient that will significantly benefit your skin care routine. However, niacinamide might not be for everyone’s use. However, you can always learn how you can better use it for your skin type.

Know Your Skin Type

Understanding your skin type allows you to know better what vitamins and minerals your skin needs. It’s essential for you to always check with your healthcare provider to ensure you take and apply the right skin care for your skin problem.

Niacinamide has amazing health benefits for certain skin types, especially if you have eczema or mature skin. However, it’s imperative that you know how and when to use niacinamide in your skincare products for better efficacy and results.

Get The Right Dosage

When taken in the recommended dose, niacinamide is generally safe for almost all persons. Niacinamide, unlike niacin, does not cause flushing. However, it might cause minor side effects such as stomach trouble, flatulence, dizziness, rash, itching, or worst case scenario, skin cancer.

Adults should avoid using niacinamide in dosages more significant than 35 mg per day to reduce the risk of these adverse effects.

More severe adverse effects may occur when doses exceed 3 grams per day. These include liver issues or high blood sugar levels.

When applied to the skin, niacinamide is most likely safe. However, excessive use may cause a minor burning sensation, itching, or redness on certain areas of the skin. 

Read the Labels

It’s imperative to always read the labels. With today’s skincare technology, almost all skincare routines include minimal (or more) niacinamide ingredients.

It’s essential to know the brand you are using, what for, and how much niacinamide is present in your bottle. This way, you can control the amount you are applying or taking for better results.

Just like they say, always make reading labels a habit!

Trust the Right Products

Having the right and trusted products matters. There are a lot of skincare regimens circulating the internet today. Some are backed with clinical studies, some are claims from non medical associations. 

It’s best that you reserve the right products for your skin. Remember that your skin is an investment. Doing more research and reading goes a long way. 

The Bottom Line 

Niacinamide is well-tolerated by virtually all skin types, whether you're taking niacinamide orally or in topical creams. But just like any mineral and vitamin, it’s always not perfect. Niacinamide may be a wonder ingredient for some skin types. For others, it may not.

However, there's no doubt that this wonderful ingredient comes with a ton of benefits for your skin health with the right efficacy and usage. 

Overall, niacinamide can be a great addition to your skin care routine. If you're not experiencing niacinamide skin problems. However, if you start to experience niacinamide side effects like redness, acne, skin flushing, or excessive dry skin, discontinue use immediately. 

So if you’re asking, is it really worth the hype? 

Yes! Niacinamide is a darling ingredient, one of the most recommended topical products. With guidance from a healthcare provider and professional medical advice, it can provide you with the satisfying effects your skin deserves.

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15 Questions About Niacinamide
Why People Love It : Niacinamide Benefits
Is Niacinamide Safe During Pregnancy? The Final Answer!
What Does Niacinamide Do: The Holy Grail Skin Care Ingredient

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