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Aako BV
P.O. Box 205
3830 AE Leusden
The Netherlands
KvK 31009627


Therapeutic use

General description

CAS: 98-92-0

Niacinamide, which is also called nicotinamide, is the physiologically active form of niacin or vitamin B3. It is a member of the B-vitamin family. Another name for this water soluble vitamin is Anti-Pellagra-Vitamin or PP(Pellagra-Preventive)-Factor. Pellagra, Italian for pelle agra meaning rough or burning skin is a deficiency symptom where the skin becomes extremely rough and skin areas exposed to the sun develop a severe, scaly dermatitis. Niacinamide forms the essential part of the coenzyme nicotinamide adeninedinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) that are used to generate energy inside the cells. More than 40 biochemical reactions have been identified and are of paramount importance for normal tissue integrity, particularly for the skin, the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system. Another form of vitamin B3 is nicotinic acid. Since both are effective as vitamins the term niacin is often used as group name despite some authors using niacin synonymously only with nicotinic acid. Nicotinic acid can cause vasodilatation of cutaneous blood vessels resulting in increased blood flow. It is thus used as rubefacient to enhance blood circulation in the skin and scalp, facilitating the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the skin and scalp. Nicotinic acid imparts a warm and tingling sensation.


Niacinamide is an active ingredient with an extraordinary breadth of cutaneous benefits. The multiplicity of effects and formulation benefits of niacinamide make it an ideal choice for a variety of cosmetic products targeting young and old skin alike.

In-vitro studies:

  • Niacinamide coenzymes, the energy “currency” units driving the cell metabolism in the skin are depleted with age. A localized supply of niacinamide or nicotinic acid can help normalize this imbalance.
  • Aged fibroblasts secrete less collagen than young cells; niacinamide can stimulate new collagen synthesis. Niacinamide has a positive impact on connective tissue and gel matrix components of the skin, which is of particular significance in aged and photoaged skin.
  • Niacinamide up-regulates epidermal ceramide synthesis with concurrent benefits to the epidermal barrier. Those results were confirmed in in-vivo in studies applying 2% niacinamide.
  • Niacinamide up-regulates markers of epidermal differentiation, which should have a significant positive impact on ageing epidermal tissue. It stimulates basal epidermal keratinocytes and increases the biosynthesis of epidermal intermediates critical to the formation of a fully functioning statum corneum.
  • Niacinamide helps to prevent UV-induced deleterious molecular and immunological events, supporting work in animal models demonstrate clearly the ability of niacinamide to significantly reduce photoimmunesuppression.
  • Niacinamide inhibits the transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes to keratinocytes. This could lead to a reduction in pigmentation with time without inhibitory effects on melanocyte tyrosinase activity.
  • Niacinamide is delivered effectively from a range of vehicles. From various formulations approximately 10 to 29% of the starting dose were detected after 1 to 2 days.
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Aako BV
P.O. Box 205
3830 AE Leusden
The Netherlands
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