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Niacinamide for Breakouts: Does It Help?

Niacinamide for Breakouts: Does It Help?

If you struggle with breakouts, you know just how frustrating they can feel.

Blemishes seem to happen at the worst possible moments and can impact your self-confidence. Luckily, the right skin care products can help reduce the likelihood and severity of breakouts — as long as you look for the right ingredients.

However, if you’ve read the label on skin care products that claim to combat breakouts, you’ve also seen the abundance of ingredients they can contain. Often, you’ll see the same heavy hitters — retinoids, salicylic acid and niacinamide.

You may have heard of retinoids and salicylic acid, but can niacinamide help with breakouts? Let’s break it down.

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3 (also known as niacin). Not only is niacinamide frequently found in skin care products, but it’s also a crucial part of our overall health, keeping the body running smoothly from the inside out. Topical niacinamide is one of the most versatile skin care ingredients on the market.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of niacinamide:

  • Supports skin hydration: Niacinamide has a relationship with the all-important skin barrier, helping to strengthen the skin cells and lipids so that it can lock moisture in and keep toxins out. 
  • Soothes visible irritation: Niacinamide can also demonstrate soothing properties, especially with skin irritation and dry skin caused by certain breakout-busting skin care ingredients, like glycolic acid and retinol.
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores: The size of our pores doesn’t change much, but niacinamide can help regulate how big they appear by supporting oil production in your sebaceous glands and keeping the skin looking smooth. This is especially important for those with oily skin.
  • Fades the appearance of dark spots: Niacinamide has also been studied for its ability to minimize the appearance of dark spots and even out skin tone, especially when combined with retinoids. However, these cases of melanin pigmentation often take a little longer to fade.
  • Smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: Niacinamide also functions as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from sun damage and visible signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles.

Can niacinamide help with breakouts?

Obviously, niacinamide has plenty of benefits. But what does niacinamide do, and can you use niacinamide products to help with breakouts?

When applied topically, niacinamide soothes the skin and manages the production of sebum (leading to a lower likelihood of clogged pores and pimples). Plus, this calming nutrient typically has very few (if any) side effects.

To experience these benefits, it’s important to choose the right products.

One of our best-selling products, Youth Serum, contains niacinamide as one of its active ingredients. Youth Serum is a true multitasker, tackling dullness, a loss of firmness, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture and redness.

This hydrating formula also features hyaluronic acid, honey extract, a vitamin blend and a bioactive peptide to promote overall skin health and help reduce the potential for breakouts.
You’ll use half a dropper of this niacinamide serum both morning and evening after thoroughly cleansing your skin, followed by a supportive moisturizer. Over time, you may notice a glowing complexion free from breakouts — especially once you figure out your triggers.

What are common breakout triggers?

As much as breakouts may seem to occur out of nowhere, there’s almost always something that triggers them. Usually, it’s a combination of factors that team up and create blemishes. While not all of these factors can be controlled or changed, awareness of what they are can help you find ways to counteract them and address breakouts appropriately.


What you choose to put in your body can impact how your skin looks on the outside, which means your diet is incredibly important to your overall appearance. Many people with skin conditions find that certain foods, like sugar or gluten, tend to trigger breakouts more frequently.


We’re constantly in contact with bacteria, and if that bacteria makes its way onto your face, it significantly increases the likelihood of breakouts. This bacteria can get trapped inside the pores, which provides a great home for the bacteria to thrive. Skin concerns such as overactive sebum production can only exacerbate this.

Skin care products

While one skin care product can make a big difference, it’s your overall routine that can change the game. Your cleansers, toners, serums and moisturizers should all work together cohesively to support and improve your appearance. Choose ingredients that complement each other, and ask your skin care provider for recommendations on which products may be best for your skin.


Hormones are constantly in flux throughout our lives, most obviously during adolescence, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. As these hormones shift and change, they can also alter the amount of testosterone in your body (yes, even biological women have testosterone), increasing the risk of breakouts.


How you treat your skin outside your skin care routine can also impact how often you break out. For example, not washing your face before bed and not wearing sunscreen can significantly impact how your skin looks and ages. When you make more of an effort to take care of your skin, you can not only decrease your risk of breakouts but also improve your skin’s overall appearance.

The bottom line…

Can niacinamide help with breakouts? When used with the right skin care routine, it can promote overall skin health and make breakouts far less likely.

If you have blemish-prone skin or are just on the hunt for an ingredient that can help bring out the best in your appearance, niacinamide may be just what you’re looking for. The benefits of niacinamide are wide-ranging, so it’s an excellent addition to any skin care routine.

To learn more about skin care from our advanced practice providers, schedule a consultation!


Niacinamide | MedlinePlus Supplements

Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin | PubMed

Niacinamide | PubMed

The role of nicotinamide in acne treatment | PubMed


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