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Ingredient Highlight: Niacinamide

Stefanie Heinle

Jun 30, 2021 · 3 min read

Ingredient_Highlight_Niacinimide

A primer on an essential nutrient that also has lots of cosmetic uses


In 2020, niacinamide was an emerging star.

That's what Google Trends reveals:

Around the globe, interest in this useful personal-care ingredient grew steadily throughout the year. And for good reason: it has many applications that are valued by people wishing to enhance their beauty and well-being.

What Is It?

Niacinamide is a common name for nicotinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3, an essential nutrient. An essential nutrient is a nutrient that's necessary for normal bodily functioning, but that the body cannot produce (or can't produce enough of, at least). These nutrients must be obtained from the diet. Niacinamide can be found in foods such as yeast, fish, meats, milk, eggs, cereal, and green vegetables, as well as in vitamin B complex supplements.

It's also a useful ingredient in cosmetic formulations. According to the article "Final Report of the Safety Assessment of Niacinamide and Niacin," by an expert panel of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), niacinamide is used in products including shampoos, hair tonics, skin moisturizers, and cleansers.

How Is It Used?

Niacinamide may be used to help with conditions including:

  • Acne (both in tablet and topical form)

  • Aging skin (by improving skin elasticity, wrinkles, blotchiness, and redness)

  • Eczema (by improving skin hydration and minimizing redness and scaling)

  • Skin irritation (by reducing redness, dryness, and itching)

  • Discolored patches of skin on the face

  • Rosacea

The concentration of use of niacinamide varies from a low of 0.0001% in night preparations to a high of 3% in body and hand creams, lotions, powders, and sprays.

At concentrations found in cosmetic formulations, niacinamide is not a significant skin irritant, it doesn't sensitize skin, and it doesn't make skin more sensitive to the effects of light. According to the CIR, clinical testing of niacinamide produced no stinging sensation at concentrations up to 10%, use tests produced no irritation at concentrations up to 5%, and a 21-day cumulative irritation test at concentrations up to 5% resulted in no irritation. The abstract to the article concludes that niacinamide and its relative, niacin, are "considered safe as used in cosmetics."

How Can I, a Cosmetics Creator, Take Advantage?

Next time you're designing a cream or a lotion, and you think the effects of niacinamide might be a good addition, Goldn will be able to help you figure out if it's a good ingredient to include. Our Product Builder will allow you to easily determine the optimal ingredients for your formulation, and the partners you'll connect with will be able to advise you as well, if needed. We'd love you to sign up to be notified when our all-in-one cosmetics-creation ecosystem goes live!

Written by

Stefanie Heinle

Senior Sales and Business Development Professional

Connect with Stefanie Heinle on LinkedIn.

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