Niacinamide reduces inflammation , which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions. Minimizes pore appearance. Keeping skin smooth and moisturized may have a secondary benefit — a natural reduction in pore size over time.
What does niacinamide do for your skin?
Niacinamide is most famous for its ability to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Research hasn’t come to a full understanding about how this B vitamin works its pore-reducing magic, but it seems that niacinamide has a normalizing ability on the pore lining, and that this influence plays a role in keeping oil and debris from getting backed up, which leads to clogs and rough, bumpy skin.
As the clog forms and worsens, the pores stretch to compensate, and what you’ll see is enlarged pores. Routine usage of niacinamide helps pores return to their natural size. Sun damage can cause pores to become stretched, too, leading to what some describe as "orange peel skin". Higher concentrations of niacinamide can help visibly tighten pores by shoring up skin’s supportive elements and often dramatically improving orange peel texture.
Other benefits of niacinamide are that it helps renew and restore the surface of skin against moisture loss and dehydration. When ceramides become depleted over time, skin is left vulnerable to all sorts of problems, from persistent patches of dry, flaky skin to increasingly becoming extra-sensitive.
If you struggle with dry skin, topical application of niacinamide has been shown to boost the hydrating ability of moisturizers so skin’s surface can better resist the moisture loss that leads to recurrent dry, tight, flaky skin. Niacinamide works brilliantly with common moisturizer ingredients like glycerin, non-fragrant plant oils, cholesterol, sodium PCA, and sodium hyaluronate.
How does niacinamide help discolorations and uneven skin tone? Both concerns stem from excess melanin (skin pigment) showing on skin’s surface. Niacinamide in concentrations of 5% and greater works via several pathways to keep new discolorations from appearing. At the same time, it also helps reduce the appearance of existing discolorations, so your skin tone looks more even. Research has shown niacinamide and tranexamic acid work particularly well together, and as mentioned above, it can be used with other discoloration-reducing ingredients such as all forms of vitamin C, licorice, retinol, and bakuchiol.