Vitamin B3 (niacin) occurs either as nicotinic acid or nicotinamide. As a component of the coenzymes NAD and NADP, hence dehydrogenases, it is found in non-processed food (meats, cereals) and involved in the biochemical redox reactions. The vitamin is reabsorbed as nicotinic acid in the intestinal tract. In cosmetic products, the nicotinamide (INCI: Niacinamide) is used for skin recovering purposes due to its better water-solubility1). Furthermore nicotinamide shows anti-inflammatory effects on acne vulgaris comparable with Clindamycin2,3). The penetration into the skin is improved by liposomal dispersions.
H. Lautenschläger, Vitamine in der Kosmetik, medical Beauty Forum 2011;1:14-16 and 2011;2:16-18
Shalita AR, Smith JG, Parish LC, Sofman MS, Chalker DK, Topical nicotinamide compared with clindamycin gel in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris, Int J Dermatol. 1995 Jun;34(6):434-7
Khodaeini E et al., Topical 4% nicotinamide vs. 1% clindamycin in moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris, Int J. Dermatol 2013;52:999-1004
Dr. Hans Lautenschläger