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Niacinamide (Ingredient Focus Series 2)

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If you are a fan of Korean beauty products, you will be familiar with the ingredient called Niacinamide. It is an amide form of nicotinic acid, (don’t get me wrong, it is completely different molecule from nicotine that you know.) Sorry for the sudden organic chemistry class. To put this simple, niacinamide is a modified version of vitamin B3.

Niacinamide is strongly related to cell metabolism, by involving in oxidative phosphorylation. It is also known as cell communicating molecule, promoting brightening and preventing discoloration on your skin because niacinamide promotes the cells’ turnover cycle.  It also prevent the water evaporate from the skin by increasing amount of hydrophobic free fatty in your skin (but this doesn’t mean it increases sebum) so it shows good synergy effect with hyaluronic acids. It also improves fine lines and wrinkles by up-regulating collagen synthesis and increasing the NMF & managing the amount of GAG in the skin. . Also, niacinamide is also known as potent antioxidant, preventing cell damage from free radicals.

Probably, it sounds too good to be true. Is it a moisturizer with antioxidant, anti-aging and brightening properties? Yes, it is. Furthermore, niacinamide has very minimal side effects, and also resistant to heat or sunlight, meaning you may use this in the morning unlike retinol. Pure niacinamide does not cause redness because it lacks vasodilator. But if niacinamide is converted into nicotinic acid because of potential chemical reaction in the products, it may cause temporary redness on your skin 

Products with Niacinamide

 neogen lemon green caviar

Neogen Code 9 Lemon Green Caviar Essence & Tox tightening pack

Neogen’s Code 9 Lemon Green Caviar Essence & Tox Tightening pack contains niacinamide as brightening, anti-inflammatory agent. While hyaluronic acid moisturizes your skin, centella asiatica extract calm down and promote skin regeneration. The mesh structured wipe-off pads will gently but thoroughly removes dead skin cell.

Donginbi Daily Aging Preparation Essence 

Donginbi Red Ginseng Daily Aging Preparation Essence

This brown colored bottle contains everything you need for your skin. Niacinamide brightens your skin while preventing break out with its anti-inflammatory property. Ginseng root extract and ginsenosides boost radiant and vitality on your skin and adenosine intensifies its anti-aging and brightening effect.

 Skinfood black sugar perfect serum

Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect First Serum 2X Essential

 Skinfood’s Black Sugar Perfect First Serum is a one of the most selling boosting essence in Korea. This light textured and soothing boosting essence is formulated with skin brightening, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory agent niacinamide and adenosine strengthen its effect. Many fermented filtrate and 24,000mg of black sugar extract prepare your skin for your pleasant skincare routine.

 leaders coconut gel brightening mask

Leaders Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask

This high affinity coconut gel mask delivers its active ingredient into skin effectively. While concentrated niacinamide brighten up the uneven skin tone, chamomile flower extract, portulaca oleracea extract prevent skin irritation and breakout.  


Hakozaki, T., Minwalla, L., Zhuang, J., Chhoa, M., Matsubara, A., Miyamoto, K., ... & Boissy, R. E. (2002). The effect of niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer.British Journal of Dermatology147(1), 20-31.


Bissett, D. L., Oblong, J. E., & Berge, C. A. (2005). Niacinamide: AB vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatologic surgery31(s1), 860-866.


Bissett, D. L., Miyamoto, K., Sun, P., Li, J., & Berge, C. A. (2004). Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin1. International journal of cosmetic science26(5), 231-238.


Gehring, W. (2004). Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin. Journal of cosmetic dermatology3(2), 88-93.


Levin J, Momin SB. How Much Do We Really Know About Our Favorite Cosmeceutical Ingredients? Del Rosso JQ, ed. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. 2010;3(2):22-41.

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