This Is the Underrated Skincare Ingredient I Think Everyone Should Know About

Rarely in the world of beauty do you come across really impressive ingredients. In fact, when you consider just how many products and ingredients out there promise to change the appearance of our skin, there’s probably only a handful that really matter. The powers of renewing retinol, glow-boosting vitamin C, plumping hyaluronic acid and moisture-restoring ceramides have been shouted about from the beauty rooftops loud and clear for years now.


(Image credit: @KRISTENGRACELAM)

However, while everyone has been caught up in a frenzy over the ingredients that offer up instant, noticeable results, I can't help but feel as though one very important guy got left behind. It's not that I have anything against the likes of retinol and vitamin C, it's just that their promises are quite presumptuous and their aggressive nature makes finding a way to work them into your skincare routine without disrupting things time-consuming. Niacinamide, however, is one powerhouse ingredient that will never give you a tough time or discriminate. Whether you're prone to breakouts, dryness or pigmentation, niacinamide has got your back. Here's everything you need to know.

What Is Niacinamide?

A form of vitamin B, niaciamide is commonly labelled as "B3" on packaging and bottles. One reason that I think niacinamide has slipped through the cracks a little (beside the fact it's a total tongue-twister), is that it is often referred to in many different ways, causing confusion amongst shoppers. Looking out for B3, niacinamide or niacin on labels is a good indicator you'll reap the benefits.

What Does Niacinamide Do?


(Image credit: @CLAIRE_MOST)

Vitamin B3 is predominantly known for its ability to soothe and heal, but the powers of niacinamide on the skin go so much further. Celebrity facialist and skin expert, Abi Oleck says, "Typically, it's an ingredient used in products that help dark spots, sun spots and hyperpigmentation. On top of that, it also plays a vital role in repairing skin and also helps the production of the skin's ceramides, thus protecting and repairing our skins' natural barrier function. It's considered a bit of a wonder ingredient and will even skin tone, brighten and restore the skin's natural inner glow." On top of all of this, it is also thought to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and sebum regulator.

Who Will Benefit Most from Niacinamide?



Considering the fact it's basically some sort of skincare marvel, there are very few people who won't benefit from incorporating niacinamide into their routines. For me, I find that using a niacinamide serum or cream every day keeps my unsightly pores and oil production in check. I also know that it's one of the first things I reach for the minute I have a breakout to ease inflammation and reduce the risk of scarring.

Plus, for those that suffer from dryness, sensitivity or any sort of skin irritation, it does a fantastic job at repairing the skin barrier and getting everything back on track. According to experts, there is no skin type or age that won't benefit from using niacinamide. Oh, and it has no negative side effects either.

The key to finding the perfect niacinamide product isn't in examining strengths and monitoring dosage as it is for other powerhouse actives, it's actually just in ensuring you're choosing the right formula for your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, stick to lightweight serums. If your skin is dry, go for a weightier cream that delivers intense nourishment.

Sound like something you could get on board with? Keep scrolling for the best niacinamide products around.

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.