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Is Niacinamide Good For Oily Skin?

  • Post category:Skin Care
  • Post last modified:May 22, 2024
  • Reading time:11 mins read

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, has gained significant attention in the skincare world for its versatile benefits. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether niacinamide is beneficial for oily skin. This article delves into the properties of niacinamide, its benefits for oily skin, and how to incorporate it into your skincare routine.


Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3 that is essential for maintaining healthy skin. It is found in various foods such as meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereals. In skincare, niacinamide is used topically in serums, moisturizers, and other formulations to address a range of skin concerns.

How Niacinamide Works

Niacinamide works by enhancing the skin’s barrier function, improving its ability to retain moisture, and protecting it from environmental stressors. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for treating conditions like acne and rosacea. Additionally, niacinamide helps regulate oil production, which is particularly beneficial for those with oily skin.

Benefits of Niacinamide for Oily Skin

Regulates Sebum Production

One of the primary benefits of niacinamide for oily skin is its ability to regulate sebum production. Excessive sebum can clog pores, leading to acne and other skin issues. Niacinamide helps balance oil production, reducing the likelihood of breakouts and giving the skin a more matte appearance.

Reduces Pore Size

Oily skin often comes with enlarged pores, which can be a cosmetic concern. Niacinamide has been shown to minimize the appearance of large pores by improving skin elasticity and reducing sebum production. This results in a smoother, more refined skin texture.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties help soothe irritated skin and reduce redness. This is particularly beneficial for those with acne-prone skin, as it can help calm active breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.

Improves Skin Barrier Function

A strong skin barrier is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Niacinamide enhances the production of ceramides, which are essential for a robust skin barrier. This helps the skin retain moisture and protects it from external aggressors, reducing the risk of irritation and breakouts.

Brightens Skin Tone

Niacinamide can also help improve skin tone by reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. It inhibits the transfer of melanin to the skin’s surface, resulting in a more even complexion. This is particularly useful for those dealing with post-acne marks and other forms of discoloration.

How to Incorporate Niacinamide into Your Skincare Routine

Choose the Right Product

Niacinamide is available in various forms, including serums, moisturizers, and cleansers. For oily skin, a lightweight serum or gel-based moisturizer is often the best choice. Look for products with a concentration of 2-10% niacinamide for optimal results.

Patch Test

Before incorporating any new product into your routine, it’s essential to perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the product to a discreet area of your skin and wait 24 hours to check for any adverse reactions.

Application Order

Niacinamide can be used both in the morning and evening. Apply it after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing. If you’re using other active ingredients like retinol or vitamin C, it’s best to apply niacinamide first and wait a few minutes before layering other products.

Consistency is Key

To see the full benefits of niacinamide, it’s important to use it consistently. Most people start to notice improvements in their skin within 4-8 weeks of regular use.

Potential Side Effects

Niacinamide is generally well-tolerated by most skin types, including sensitive skin. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as redness, itching, or a burning sensation. These side effects are usually temporary and subside as your skin adjusts to the product. If you experience severe irritation, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.

Combining Niacinamide with Other Ingredients

Niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that pairs well with many other skincare actives. Here are some combinations to consider:

Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that draws moisture into the skin. When combined with niacinamide, it helps keep the skin hydrated and plump while niacinamide regulates oil production and strengthens the skin barrier.

Niacinamide and Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that exfoliates the skin and unclogs pores. Using it alongside niacinamide can enhance its acne-fighting properties and improve overall skin texture.

Niacinamide and Retinol

Retinol is a potent anti-aging ingredient that can sometimes cause irritation. Niacinamide can help mitigate this irritation and enhance the efficacy of retinol by improving skin barrier function and reducing inflammation.


Niacinamide is an excellent ingredient for those with oily skin. Its ability to regulate sebum production, reduce pore size, and improve skin barrier function makes it a valuable addition to any skincare routine. By incorporating niacinamide into your daily regimen, you can achieve clearer, more balanced skin. Always remember to patch-test new products and consult with a dermatologist if you have any concerns.


Should I use niacinamide if I have oily skin?

Yes, niacinamide is highly beneficial for oily skin. It helps regulate sebum production, reducing excess oil and preventing clogged pores and acne. Additionally, niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce redness and irritation, making it suitable for acne-prone skin.

Is 10% niacinamide too much for oily skin?

A 10% concentration of niacinamide is generally safe for oily skin, but it may cause irritation in some individuals, especially those with sensitive skin. It’s advisable to start with a lower concentration, such as 2-5%, and gradually increase it as your skin builds tolerance.

Is niacinamide good for oily skin or salicylic acid?

Both niacinamide and salicylic acid are effective for oily skin but serve different purposes. Niacinamide regulates oil production and reduces inflammation, while salicylic acid exfoliates the skin and unclogs pores. They can be used together for a comprehensive skincare routine.

What is niacinamide and how does it work on oily skin?

Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps regulate sebum production, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the skin barrier. It works by inhibiting enzymes involved in oil production and enhancing the skin’s natural barrier, making it effective for oily and acne-prone skin.

What are the benefits of using niacinamide on oily skin?

Niacinamide offers multiple benefits for oily skin, including regulating sebum production, reducing the appearance of large pores, minimizing redness and inflammation, and improving overall skin texture. It also strengthens the skin barrier, helping to prevent acne and other skin issues.