Sienna Miller at Chloé F/W 24 Paris Fashion Week
The OG Boho Girl Sienna Miller has incredible skin. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The skincare world is always buzzing about new ingredients that promise to be the latest miracle cure to fight aging (or age backward in Jennifer Aniston's case). This can make navigating the endless skincare brands out there to unearth the best ones for your skin a bit of a minefield. There's one ingredient however that according to dermatologists and skincare experts does live up to its hype—niacinamide. If you're not familiar niacinamide is a powerhouse skincare ingredient praised for its anti-aging, acne-reducing, complexion-boosting, and brightening benefits.

Ahead, is everything you need to know about niacinamide according to the beauty gurus, and why it's being touted for its anti-aging and skin-boosting powers.

Skincare's New Superhero

Niacinamide is a vitamin B3 (niacin) derivative. It's not new, but it's become skincare's new superhero thanks to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and reputation for being the ultimate multi-tasker. It is celebrated for its ability to repair, renew, plump up collagen, reduce the signs of sun damage and aging, and rejuvenate the skin's texture, to make it look younger and glowing with radiance. Best of all, it's suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. "Niacinamide is a powerful antioxidant which is important for cellular repair, and fighting oxidative stress. It works at a cellular level to strengthen the skin's barrier, and leave skin more hydrated, plumped, smoother, and brighter, "says Carole Hazan, M.D., dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and medical director of Aesthetic and Surgical Dermatology of NY.

What's Behind The Niacinamide Buzz

Niacinamide has gained momentum and respect in the scientific world for its anti-aging, acne-reducing, complexion-boosting, and brightening powers. Its rise could be related to a renewed focus on the skin's biome. "In medicine, there is a sharp focus on gaining a better understanding of the gut biome which examines the healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the gut, and we are also looking at how to delicately balance the vital microorganisms or bacteria that live on the skin," says Dr. Hazan. What the derms do know is this. "Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties and works to stimulate collagen production so it's great for anti-aging and also has a nice brightening effect."


Niacinamide has been a key ingredient in my journey to clear dark spots and when I can find products that contain it, I’m always delighted! The Bright reveal serum by @L’Oréal Paris is no different and has been a favourite since last year! I love recommending it 😍 without forgetting that SPF is crucial when treating hyperpigmentation the Revitalift Daily Lotion is amazing to protect your skin! #clearskin#darkspots#acne #lorealparis #skincare #niacinamide

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Niacinamide Treats Acne and Breakouts

In addition to its anti-aging, brightening and rejuvenating powers, niacinamide is a great skin-clearing and perfecting solution for those who suffer from acne and breakouts, according to Dr. Hazan. "Its anti-inflammatory properties regulate oil produced by the sebaceous glands so they don't overproduce which is what causes acne and breakouts," she says. "Niacinamide has been proven to be an effective and gentle prebiotic for the skin that balances and promotes good bacteria and reduces bad bacteria," says Dr. Hazan. "From my personal experience, niacinamide is as effective as clindamycin, a topical antibiotic often prescribed for acne. It's also gentler and more effective in treating pigmentation and breakouts than lactic acid and Retin A."

Breaking Down the Niacinamide Myths

As with any buzzy ingredient, there are always myths to accompany the hype. Like that niacinamide causes skin purging, a reaction that can occur when an active ingredient sends cell turnover into overdrive making the skin shed faster. Not true according to New York-based skincare aesthetician of Sacred Touch, Monica Watters. "Niacinamide will not increase cell turnover or cause skin purging. It is gentle and non-irritating compared to more active topicals like retinoids or salicylic acid which make it a perfect solution for those with dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin."

Then there's the claim that you can't mix niacinamide with other ingredients, especially vitamin C. "Niacinamide and Vitamin C are synergistic and work well together," says Dr. Hazan. " Vitamin C has strong antioxidant and skin-brightening properties and can be combined and niacinamide is gentle but also has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect the skin from environmental and sun damage." Despite studies showing niacinamide reduces hyperpigmentation, like dark spots and discoloration, there are some that argue it darkens the skin. Watters shoots down this myth. "The data suggests niacinamide is an effective skin-lightening compound that actually protects against oxidative stress from pollution, toxins, and sun damage and treats hyperpigmentation. So it is actually beneficial at lightening dark spots and minimizing the fine lines and wrinkles that come with aging."

You Can Also Eat Your Niacinamide

Most beauty gurus will confer that your diet and lifestyle also have an impact on the health and appearance of your skin. And the good news is you can't just apply niacinamide topically, you can get your fill through your food. "Vitamin B3 is an antioxidant that works to repair skin health at a cellular level and is present in dietary sources like eggs, fortified cereal, legumes, bread, red meat, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds, and bananas," says Watters.

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