Find The Right Cleanser For You Start the Quiz

Niacinamide (also known as nicotinamide) is a form of vitamin B3, a water-soluble vitamin that’s essential for maintaining healthy-looking skin. First studied for its skincare benefits in the 1970s, this popular ingredient can be found in a wide range of skincare formulations—including many of CeraVe’s cleanserseye creamsfacial serumsfacial moisturizers, and sunscreens.

When used as part of a daily skincare routine, niacinamide may help calm the skin, reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and increase hydration in the skin’s uppermost layer. This makes niacinamide a beneficial skincare ingredient for those looking to promote hydrated, smooth, and even-toned skin.

Important Things To Know About Niacinamide for Skin

  • Niacinamide is a type of vitamin B3, a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in skin health. Although your body can produce niacinamide from the amino acid tryptophan, the majority of vitamin B3 must be obtained through dietary sources. Fortunately, this B-vitamin can be found in a variety of niacin-rich foods, such as fish, poultry, grains, nuts, and legumes. There are three different forms of vitamin B3: niacinamide (nicotinamide), niacin (nicotinic acid), and nicotinamide riboside. Of these three, niacinamide is the B3 derivative that’s ideal for use in skincare products.

  • When applied topically, niacinamide can support healthy-looking skin in numerous ways. For starters, it can boost skin hydration and help minimize moisture loss (which can lead to dry, flaky, dehydrated skin). Research also shows that niacinamide may help support a healthy skin barrier.1,2 Maintaining a strong, intact skin barrier is crucial for all skin types, as this protective outer layer helps keep essential moisture in your skin and harmful irritants out. In addition to its barrier-supporting benefits, niacinamide can also help calm your skin and has been shown to have antioxidant properties.

  • Niacinamide is commonly included in skincare formulas for its skin-brightening and hydrating properties. When used as part of a skincare routine, niacinamide can help your skin appear smoother, softer, and more radiant. Although research is still ongoing, studies have also found that niacinamide may help balance your skin’s oil production, which can make it a useful ingredient for those with oily skin and clogged pores.3


    And because niacinamide has antioxidant properties, it may help combat free radicals, which are known to cause visible signs of aging—such as wrinkles, sallowness, and sun spots. Niacinamide’s antioxidant properties may also help calm and soothe the skin, and reduce the look of redness and uneven skin tone.

  • This popular ingredient can be found in skincare products for multiple skin types and skin concerns—including CeraVe products for acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, and more. CeraVe’s formulas with niacinamide include cleansers, face moisturizers, sunscreens, and a hydrating toner. Always use these products as directed, according to the label, and consult the product packaging to better understand the benefits of the formula. For help finding the ideal face and body care products for your daily regimen, head to CeraVe’s Skincare Solution Finder.

  • In general, niacinamide is compatible with many other non-prescription skincare ingredients. This versatility is often considered to be a top benefit of niacinamide. In CeraVe products, you can find it included among other beneficial ingredients for healthy-looking skin, such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and glycerin.

  • Formulas with niacinamide are generally well-tolerated with a low risk of skin irritation. This means that niacinamide products are typically considered gentle, suitable options for most skin types, including those with sensitive and blemish-prone skin. For specific questions about whether or not niacinamide is right for your skin’s needs, it’s best to speak with a board-certified dermatologist.

  • Because it offers a variety of benefits, niacinamide can be used to help improve your complexion during any stage of life. With that said, niacinamide is often included in many anti-aging skincare routines. This is because niacinamide’s hydrating and skin-brightening benefits can be helpful for improving the appearance of age-related skin concerns like wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and uneven skin tone—depending on the formulation.

  • Niacinamide can generally be used daily as part of a well-rounded skincare routine. However, this may vary depending on the specific product you choose. Some products with niacinamide, such as CeraVe’s Skin Renewing Eye Cream and PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, are formulated for daily use. Other products may be intended for weekly use, or as needed. Always read your product instructions carefully and apply as recommended on the label (or as directed by your dermatologist).

  • Hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are skincare ingredients that you’ll find in many CeraVe products, such as our Eye Repair Cream and Skin Renewing Night Cream. Both have been shown to be beneficial for supporting your skin’s moisture levels—but each one functions in a different way. While hyaluronic acid is a humectant (meaning it attracts water to the skin’s surface), niacinamide helps your skin retain that much-needed moisture. If you’re trying to decide between the two, neither is necessarily better than the other. Rather, they can make an ideal pairing when used together in your skincare routine.

  • Niacinamide can be used as part of a well-rounded skincare routine. With that said, reaping the benefits of niacinamide may come down to choosing gentle yet effective products. We recommend those that are developed with dermatologists, fragrance-free, and suitable for your skin type. In addition to this, it’s important to apply your skincare products by following the instructions on the label.


    For a simple daytime routine that features niacinamide, we suggest starting with a non-drying cleanser that includes niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and three essential ceramides, such as CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. Next, apply a non-comedogenic facial moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen (CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a great option). In the evening, swap your moisturizer with sunscreen for a soothing niacinamide moisturizer designed for nighttime use, like CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.

Stay Informed On All Things Skincare

Sign up to receive information about new products, skincare routines, tips, and special offers.*

Download Chrome