Niacinamide and Blackheads: Can It Help Clear Your Skin?

Niacinamide for blackheads

Blackheads – those tiny, stubborn spots that seem to have a permanent reservation on our skin. We’ve all faced them, and the journey to clear skin can sometimes feel endless, can’t it?

Enter Niacinamide, a skincare hero that’s been creating quite the buzz in the beauty world. But does it hold the secret to banishing blackheads for good?

Let’s dive into the world of Niacinamide together, exploring its potential powers and whether it can truly be the ally we need in our battle against blackheads. Your clear skin journey might just get a new companion!

In this article:

Understanding Blackheads

Blackheads, or open comedones, are pores clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. Contrary to common belief, the black color isn’t due to dirt but is a result of the oxidation of the materials clogging the pore.

Blackheads can lead to various skin issues, including acne and enlarged pores, affecting both the health and appearance of our skin. Knowing what we’re dealing with is crucial as we explore potential solutions together.

Common Solutions for Blackheads

Navigating through the myriad of blackhead solutions can be a maze. From pore strips, scrubs, and masks to professional treatments like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, the options are plentiful. But do they all work?

Pore strips and scrubs offer temporary relief but can sometimes be harsh on our skin. On the other hand, professional treatments might provide more lasting results but can be heavy on the pocket and require downtime.

It’s a balancing act of efficacy, cost, and skin health. But what if there was a gentler, yet effective solution hiding in plain sight? Let’s keep exploring!

What is Niacinamide?

Meet Niacinamide, a skincare ingredient that has been gaining popularity among skincare enthusiasts and experts alike. But what exactly is it?

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3. It’s celebrated for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a cherished ingredient for various skin concerns like redness, pigmentation, and yes, potentially even our tiny foes – blackheads.

It’s like a little skincare warrior, fighting various battles on different fronts, all while being gentle with our skin.

Niacinamide and Blackheads – The Connection

Now, let’s delve a bit deeper. How does niacinamide help with blackheads?

Niacinamide is celebrated for its multitude of skincare benefits, and when it comes to blackheads, it shines in a few specific ways.

Firstly, it helps regulate sebum production. By keeping our skin’s oil production in check, it minimizes the likelihood of pores becoming clogged with excess oil – a primary culprit in blackhead formation.

Moreover, Niacinamide helps to strengthen our skin’s barrier and improve its resilience. A robust skin barrier is less prone to the issues that contribute to blackheads and acne, such as irritation and imbalance.

Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties can soothe the skin, reducing the redness and irritation often associated with persistent blackheads.

The Efficacy of Niacinamide in Blackhead Removal

Let’s tackle a crucial question head-on: “Does Niacinamide remove blackheads?” The straightforward answer is no, Niacinamide does not pull out or get rid of existing blackheads.

Here’s why: blackheads form when pores are clogged with oil and dead skin cells, and removing them typically involves physical extraction or dissolving the material inside the pore.

Niacinamide, while a fantastic skincare ingredient, doesn’t have the ability to dissolve or extract the contents of the pore but it does offer benefits that can indirectly reduce the prominence of blackheads.

By managing oil production and soothing inflammation, it minimizes the factors that contribute to the formation and visibility of blackheads.

Less oil means fewer materials to form new blackheads, and reduced inflammation can make existing ones less apparent.

So, while it doesn’t eliminate blackheads, Niacinamide can be a supportive ally in reducing their appearance and preventing new ones from forming.

Speed, Duration, and Overnight Use of Niacinamide

Let’s dive into how fast Niacinamide can show results on blackheads and if it can work overnight.

Navigating through skincare, it’s crucial to note that Niacinamide isn’t a quick fix but a consistent, gradual ally in managing oil and inflammation.

“How fast does Niacinamide help with blackheads?” you might wonder. A study conducted in Japan and the USA found that using 2% niacinamide can show results in a matter of weeks by significantly reducing sebum production, a key contributor to blackhead formation, with effects being observed as early as 2 weeks in some individuals.

Considering overnight use? Niacinamide, while safe and beneficial for nightly use, won’t clear skin by morning. Its subtle, supportive benefits, like managing blackheads and improving skin health, emerge with steady use over weeks and months. So, while it’s a gentle friend to your skin, patience is your companion on this skincare journey.

the ordinary niacinamide

Potential Side Effects and Concerns

Embarking on our skincare exploration, let’s gently unpack a couple of pressing questions: “Can Niacinamide cause blackheads?” and “Does Niacinamide bring out blackheads?

Niacinamide is generally lauded for its skin-loving benefits, but like all skincare ingredients, it may not be a universal fit for every skin type. While it’s known for reducing sebum production and soothing inflammation, some individuals might experience a phenomenon known as “purging” when they initially introduce it to their routine.

Purging refers to a temporary increase in breakouts, which can indeed include blackheads, as the skin adjusts to a new active ingredient. It’s a process where the skin accelerates its exfoliation, bringing deep-seated impurities to the surface faster. So, while it might seem like Niacinamide is causing more blackheads, it may actually be expediting the appearance of pre-existing ones.

However, it’s crucial to differentiate between purging and an adverse reaction. If new breakouts appear in areas where you don’t usually experience them or if the skin doesn’t show improvement after 4-6 weeks, it might be worthwhile to reassess the use of Niacinamide in your routine.

In essence, while Niacinamide can be a potent ally in managing blackheads and enhancing overall skin health, it’s vital to introduce it mindfully into your routine, keeping an eye on your skin’s response and adjusting usage accordingly.

Additional Side Effects to Consider:

  • Redness or Irritation: Some individuals might experience redness or irritation, especially if they have sensitive skin or are using other potent skincare ingredients.
  • Itchiness: A sensation of itchiness or mild discomfort might be experienced by some users.
  • Dryness or Peeling: While Niacinamide is often tolerated well, there can be instances of dryness or peeling, particularly if used in conjunction with other active ingredients.
  • Allergic Reaction: Though rare, some individuals might experience an allergic reaction, which could manifest as swelling, redness, or persistent irritation.

How to Use Niacinamide for Blackheads

Embarking further into our skincare exploration, let’s delve into a step-by-step guide on how to seamlessly weave Niacinamide into our skincare routine, especially focusing on managing those pesky blackheads!

Step 1: Choose Your Niacinamide Product

  • Type Matters: Select a Niacinamide product that suits your skin type – serums for oily skin, or creams and lotions for dry skin.
  • Concentration: Opt for a Suitable Niacinamide Concentration
    • Start Low: Begin with a lower concentration, such as 2% to 5%, to allow your skin to acclimate.
    • Patch Test: Apply a small amount to a discreet area of your skin to ensure no adverse reactions.
    • Monitor Your Skin: Observe for any signs of irritation, such as redness or itching.
    • Gradually Increase: If your skin responds well, consider moving to higher concentrations, up to 10%.
    • Consult a Dermatologist: For tailored advice, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Step 2: Prep Your Skin

  • Cleanse: Begin with a gentle cleanser to remove impurities.
  • Tone (Optional): If you use a toner, apply it post-cleansing.

Step 3: Apply Niacinamide

  • Amount: Use a pea-sized amount of the Niacinamide product.
  • Application: Gently pat and spread it across your face, focusing on blackhead-prone areas.
  • Absorption: Allow it to fully absorb before moving to the next step.

Step 4: Continue with Your Routine

  • Additional Products: Follow up with any other serums or active ingredients. Niacinamide pairs well with other skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C but be cautious with using it alongside vitamin A to avoid irritation.
  • Moisturize: Apply a moisturizer to lock in hydration.
  • Sunscreen (AM Routine): Always finish with a broad-spectrum SPF in the morning.

Step 5: Observe and Adjust

  • Skin Response: Keep an eye on how your skin responds to Niacinamide.
  • Adjust Usage: Depending on your skin’s feedback, adjust the frequency and quantity of Niacinamide usage.

Step 6: Be Patient and Consistent

  • Consistency: Ensure regular application of Niacinamide for optimal benefits.
  • Patience: Remember, Niacinamide offers its benefits gradually over time, not overnight.

Frequency: While Niacinamide is generally safe for daily use, start by using it a few times a week and observe how your skin reacts before increasing the frequency. You can use it twice a day if your skin tolerates it well.

Navigating through the steps, remember that your skincare journey is uniquely yours. Listening to your skin and adjusting based on its needs will guide you towards a routine that supports and nurtures it best.

Best Niacinamide Products for Blackheads

Finding the right beauty products can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. So, let’s gently explore some of the well-regarded Niacinamide products, focusing on their efficacy against blackheads!

The Ordinary Niacinamide

‘The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%’ has emerged as a popular choice among skincare enthusiasts, especially when it comes to managing blackheads and oiliness.

With a 4.4-star rating based on 1735 reviews (as of Oct 2023), this serum promises to boost skin brightness and improve texture over time. Users have reported noticeable benefits such as reduced oiliness and improved skin texture with consistent use over several weeks.

However, it’s essential to note that experiences with skincare are deeply personal and varied – while many have found success with this product, a few have reported issues like peeling and an undesirable scent. Always patch test new products to ensure they suit your skin!

Glossier’s Super Pure Niacinamide + Zinc Serum

Exploring the skincare world, we find Glossier’s Super Pure, a Niacinamide serum that promises to reset and balance your skin in just four weeks. This lightweight serum, which combines Zinc PCA and 5% Niacinamide, aims to nourish the skin, promising visibly smoother texture, smaller-looking pores, and improved clarity.

In a clinical study, Super Pure showcased its potential by delivering visibly clearer and more balanced skin to its users. Here’s a quick glance at the study’s findings:

  • 80% of users experienced smoother skin after 4 weeks.
  • 80% noticed more even skin after 4 weeks.
  • 90% felt their skin was more balanced after 6 weeks.
  • 90% observed improved skin clarity after 8 weeks.

However, it’s essential to remember that skincare experiences can vary from person to person.

Tru Alchemy Spot Check

Navigating through the skincare landscape, Tru Alchemy Spot Check emerges as a notable mention in the realm of Niacinamide products. This all-over brightening serum and dark spot corrector are formulated to even skin tone and lighten imperfections, with Niacinamide as a key ingredient to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

The product also features a TriDroxy Acid Blend® to help gently lift away dulling surface cells, Polyglutamic Acid to help cells hold water, and Hyaluronix® to help your skin attract and retain healthy moisture.

The INKEY List Niacinamide Serum

Exploring further, The INKEY List Niacinamide Serum is another product that has garnered attention in the skincare community. This affordable serum is formulated with 10% Niacinamide and 1% Hyaluronic Acid, promising to minimize the appearance of pores and control the look of oil and pigmentation.

The product has received positive reviews for its ability to control oil and improve the appearance of pores without being too drying, and some users have noticed visible improvements in their skin after using the serum.

Farmacy Beauty 10% Niacinamide Night Mask

Moving on, Farmacy Beauty 10% Niacinamide Night Mask is a product that promises to even skin tone and refine pores while also restoring and soothing skin with Panthenol and beta-glucan. The mask is intended to be applied as the last step in your evening routine.

It’s available in various sizes and also aims to revive dull skin with antioxidant-rich blueberry seed oil. Clinical results indicate that after 4 weeks, 94% of users had improvement in skin tone clarity, and 91% showed improvement in radiance, overall appearance, and hydration.

Online reviews show that many people like this product and have seen clearer skin and better overall look. Additionally, users felt that the mask left their face feeling moisturized, soft, supple, and nourished after 8 weeks.


Navigating the world of blackheads with Niacinamide can be a gentle journey. While it doesn’t pull blackheads out, it helps manage oil and soothe skin, making it a helpful friend in reducing their look and stopping new ones from forming. Remember, seeing changes with Niacinamide takes time and paying attention to how your skin reacts is key to a happy skincare adventure.

Related content:

The Best The Ordinary Products for Large Pores and Blackheads
The Powerful Benefits of Azelaic Acid for Clearing Blackheads

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Petra Nakashian (previously Kravos) is a dedicated natural health and beauty blogger, driven by the loss of her parents to cancer, which led her to meticulously research beauty product ingredients. With over 10 years of experience, her in-depth knowledge has made her a trusted expert in the field. Founder of Be Healthy Now and Green Beauty Talk, Petra recently expanded her expertise with Beauty Insights Hub, exploring a wider range of beauty treatments. Committed to transparency and honesty, her work is a vital resource for navigating the complex world of beauty.