Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of Vitamin B3, a water-soluble vitamin that is an important precursor of many oxidation-reduction coenzymes involved in over 40 cellular biochemical reactions.  In addition, it can act as an antioxidant to improve epidermal barrier function, reduce hyperpigmentation, improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce redness, and improve skin elasticity.

Niacinamide can improve the barrier function of the skin by upregulating the synthesis of ceramides and intercellular lipids and by stimulating keratinocyte differentiation. 

It is thought that niacinamide can improve skin texture by increasing the epidermal turnover rate and thereby acting as a mild exfoliant.