Supplier of: skin actives, cosmetic ingredients, cosmeceuticals, active ingredients, and skin care ingredients,  for DIY skin care and cosmetics, and homemade skin care products. 

BulkActives are DIY skin care suppliers of skin actives, cosmetic ingredients, cosmeceuticals, active ingredients, and standardized botanical extracts for diy skin care products and homemade cosmetics.

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Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)

Niacinamide in skin care - research


Topically applied  Niacinamide may:


  • act as an anti-inflammatory: [18] [17] [12] [11] [8] [6] [5] [3]

  • lighten and brighten skin (treat melsama/hyper pigmentation): [18] [16] [15] [14] [11] [9] [6] [5] [3] [2] [1]

  • repair and treat sun damage:  [18] [16] [15] [14] [10] [1]

  • prevent or reduce UVA and UVB sun damage:[14]  [13] [10]

  • prevent and treat acne: [18] [17] [12] [4] [1]

  • control oil/sebum levels: [8]

  • repair the skin barrier:[1]

  • increase hyaluroninic acid production: [18]

  • moisturize and prevent water loss: [18] [1]

  • reduce fine lines and wrinkles: [6] [2]

  • increase skin elasticity: [6]

Product details


Solubility: water

Suggested percentage: 5%


Storage: Cool, dry place. Do not freeze. Keep away from light and moisture!
Country of origin: China


Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) has many qualities that make it useful for acne medications, and for anti aging formulations. It has properties that make it effective for: anti contol, as an anti-inflammatory,  oil control, skin lightening, skin brightening, to increase ceramide levels, to prevent water loss in skin, and for its anti aging effects to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.

DISCLAIMER:Any statements about products sold by BulkActives have not been evaluated by the FDA.  Products sold by BulkActives are not intended to be used as nutritional supplements. Products sold by BulkActives are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 BulkActives: ingredients for DIY skin care and cosmetics

Niacinamide in skin care:


  • anti-acne
  • anti-inflammatory
  • oil sebum control
  • lightening & brightening
  • sun damage repair & protection
  • prevent water loss in skin
  • reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • improve skin elasticity





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References (full abstracts here)


18.      Navarrete-Solís J, Castanedo-Cázares JP, Torres-?lvarez B, Oros-Ovalle C, Fuentes-Ahumada C, González FJ, Martínez-Ramírez JD, Moncada B. A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial of Niacinamide 4% versus Hydroquinone 4% in the Treatment of Melasma. Dermatol Res Pract. 2011;2011:379173. Epub 2011 Jul 21.  PMCID: PMC3142702 PMID: 21822427  [PubMed]


17.         Iraji F, Banan L. Dermatol Ther. The efficacy of nicotinamide gel 4% as an adjuvant therapy in the treatment of cutaneous erosions of pemphigus vulgaris. 2010 May-Jun;23(3):308-11. PMID: 20597951 


16.         Jerajani HR, Mizoguchi H, Li J, Whittenbarger DJ, Marmor MJ. The effects of a daily facial lotion containing vitamins B3 and E and provitamin  B5 on the facial skin of Indian women: a randomized, double-blind trial. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2010 Jan-Feb;76(1):20-6. PMID:  20061726


15.         Bissett DL, Robinson LR, Raleigh PS, Miyamoto K, Hakozaki T, Li J, Kelm GR.  J Cosmet. Reduction in the appearance of facial hyperpigmentation by topical N-undecyl-10-enoyl-L-phenylalanine and its combination with niacinamide. Dermatol. 2009 Dec;8(4):260-6. PMID: 19958429 


14.         Kimball AB, Kaczvinsky JR, Li J, Robinson LR, Matts PJ, Berge CA, Miyamoto K, Bissett DL. Reduction in the appearance of facial hyperpigmentation after use of moisturizers with a combination of topical niacinamide and N-acetyl glucosamine: results of a  randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2010 Feb 1;162(2):435-41. Epub 2009 Aug 28. PMID: 19845667 


13.         Sivapirabu G, Yiasemides E, Halliday GM, Park J, Damian DL. Topical nicotinamide modulates cellular energy metabolism and provides broad-spectrum protection against ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression in humans. Br J Dermatol. 2009 Dec;161(6):1357-64. Epub 2009 Apr 20. PMID: 19804594 


12.         Grange PA, Raingeaud J, Calvez V, Dupin N. Nicotinamide inhibits Propionibacterium acnes-induced IL-8 production in keratinocytes through the NF-kappaB and MAPK pathways. J Dermatol Sci. 2009 Nov;56(2):106-12. Epub 2009 Sep 1. PMID: 19726162 


11.         Kawada A, Konishi N, Oiso N, Kawara S, Date A. Evaluation of anti-wrinkle effects of a novel cosmetic containing niacinamide. J Dermatol. 2008 Oct;35(10):637-42. PMID: 19017042 


10.         Damian DL, Patterson CR, Stapelberg M, Park J, Barnetson RS, Halliday GM. UV radiation-induced immunosuppression is greater in men and prevented by topical nicotinamide. J Invest Dermatol. 2008 Feb;128(2):447-54. Epub 2007 Sep 20. PMID: 17882270 


9.         Bissett DL, Robinson LR, Raleigh PS, Miyamoto K, Hakozaki T, Li J, Kelm GR. Reduction in the appearance of facial hyperpigmentation by topical N-acetyl glucosamine. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2007 Mar;6(1):20-6. PMID: 17348991 



 8.       Draelos ZD, Matsubara A, Smiles K.The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2006 Jun;8(2):96-101. PMID: 16766489 



7.      R. Osborne, Ph.D., L. A. Mullins, B.S. and L. R. Robinson, Ph.D. Topical N-Acetyl Glucosamine and Niacinamide Increase Hyaluronan. The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio USA



6.       Bissett DL, Oblong JE, Berge CA. Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Jul;31(7 Pt 2):860-5; discussion 865. PMID: 16029679 


5.       Hakozaki T, Minwalla L, Zhuang J, Chhoa M, Matsubara A, Miyamoto K, Greatens A,Hillebrand GG, Bissett DL, Boissy RE. The effect of niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer. Br J Dermatol. 2002 Jul;147(1):20-31. PMID: 12100180 


4.       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. PMID: 7657446 


3.       Greatens A, Hakozaki T, Koshoffer A, Epstein H, Schwemberger S, Babcock G, Bissett D, Takiwaki H, Arase S, Wickett RR, Boissy RE. Effective inhibition of melanosome transfer to keratinocytes by lectins and niacinamide is reversible. Exp Dermatol. 2005 Jul;14(7):498-508. PMID: 15946237



2.       Bissett DL, Miyamoto K, Sun P, Li J, Berge CA. Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2004 Oct;26(5):231-8. PMID: 18492135


1.       Gehring W. Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2004 Apr;3(2):88-93. PMID: 17147561

How it works


N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide block melanin production by interfering in the process at two different points - reducing formation and appearance of age spots.


A key enzyme in melanin biosynthesis is tyrosinase. It is initially produced in the cell as an inactive pro-enzyme, which is then glycosylated to the active form.

While n-acetyl glucosamine (a sugar itself) is not a direct inhibitor of tyrosinase, it does inhibit the activation of the enzyme, resulting in a decrease in melanin. Niacinamide inhibits the transfer of melanin-containing melansomes to the outer layers of skin, helping prevent the formation of an age spot.

A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial of
Niacinamide 4% versus Hydroquinone 4%
in the Treatment of Melasma.


(what is melasma?)


The therapeutic effect of topical niacinamide versus hydroquinone (HQ) in melasma patients was evaluated.


Twenty-seven melasma patients were randomized to receive for eight weeks 4% niacinamide cream on one side of the face, and 4% HQ cream on the other.


All patients showed pigment improvement with both treatments.


Good to excellent improvement was observed with niacinamide in 44% of patients, compared to 55% with HQ.


Niacinamide induces a decrease in pigmentation, inflammatory infiltrate, and solar elastosis.


Niacinamide is a safe and effective therapeutic agent for melasma.




Figure 1
Right side treated with niacinamide.

View at onset and 8 weeks later

Figure 2
Left side treated with HQ.

View at onset and 8 weeks later

Niacinamide and N-acetyl Glucosamine


What it does


Both N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide significantly reduce: amount and appearance of hyperpigmentation,melanized hyperpigmented spots and uneven melanin distribution, melanin content in skin cells in culture

Zoom to P&G article and pictures