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Niacinamide As Strong As Hydroquionone in Reducing Scars & Pigmentation?

In SoapLab; one of the main question asked is; if we sold anything that was 'whitening'.\

Now the word whitening itself is such a huge taboo in SoapLab because every-time we get asked question like this; we automatically feel the person talking to us is looking for something that is fast solution. You know like the ones that wants to get fairer in 3 days.

And so because of that; anytime we get a potential client asking this; we straight away said no.

it's such a big no no for us because most of those fast acting whitening products contains mercury or hydroquinone; which is added at higher than allowed amount into the product; resulting in the users face to 'burn' and peel. Heres few articles i wrote about how these whitening product works (click here)

But now a days; we get diff question. like if there is a product that is for pigmentation.

Truthfully guys, as a pharmacist; i actually love hydroquinone for pigmentation because it gets its job done.

In Malaysia; we in medical profession have been using hydroquinone for years. When use in the range between 2-4%; its a completely safe ingredients.

However though; some unethical manufacturers had used more than that amount to give a faster whitening effect. Some even used up to 10-15% causing users to burn their face. And due to that; hydroquinone is now banned in Malaysia.

Only medical professionals (like me) are allowed to use and dispense them. its no longer an ingredient that is easily available outside in supply shops like SoapLab.

So anyways; because of that; if lets say a DIYer wanted to make something for pigmentation or scars, what should he or she use? They actually dont really have much solution thats as effective.

And so; thats when i started studying again; and it turns out niacinamide is not bad too! its almost as effective; and since its naturally derived; it also has different benefits like moisturising, and reducing acne too.

There are few studies that one can find in the net; but there was one study done where they used 4% hydroqunone cream on one side of the face, and 4% niacinamide cream the other side of the face and results were taken. Turns out; after 8 weeks; both side of the face showed a great improvement! (55% for Hydroquinone vs 44% for niacinamide). So its quite comparable. On top of that; the side that used niacinamide had lesser side effects as compared to the hydroquinone one. So all in all; niacinamide is more favourable.

Should i Start Adding Niacinamide Into My Product?

Although you can; i would suggest to use it strictly at 2-4%. anything more than that would probably result in similar side effects like hydroquione; where peeling and burning will be the most side effect seen.

Also. niacinamide comes in many quality; so make sure when you purchase them; get the ones that are better quality. there are many adulterated ones in the market that unfortunately wouldn't be suitable or might give a terrible side effects.

But If lets say you are making it on your own; always make sure that you check the pH and test small amount first before using on your whole face. The reason is because although they are 'safer'; some people do give different reactions towards niacinamide and some are not favourable.

If you are not confident in making it; dont! Niacinamide is a cosmeceutical. Its not general extract. which means just like pharmaceutical ingredients; using too little wont give any effect, but use too much you may get side effects. So do not take it lightly! Make sure your scale is good too!

If you are a business owner and would like to create a product like using niacinamide; you can always get us to OEM/ manufacture for you. Our min quantity is 10kg.

If you wanted to try and make it; always dilute niacinamide slightly with glycerin first before adding into products so that it doesn't clump.

Good luck!



  1. A. K. Gupta, M. D. Gover, K. Nouri, and S. Taylor, “The treatment of melasma: a review of clinical trials,” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 55, no. 6, pp. 1048–1065, 2006.
  2. A. R. Shalita, J. G. Smith, L. C. Parish, M. S. Sofman, and D. K. Chalker, “Topical nicotinamide compared with clindamycin gel in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris,” International Journal of Dermatology, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 434–437, 1995.
  3. T. Hakozaki, L. Minwalla, J. Zhuang et al., “The effect of niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer,” British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 147, no. 1, pp. 20–31, 2002.
  4. P. C. Chiu, C. C. Chan, H. M. Lin, and H. C. Chiu, “The clinical anti-aging effects of topical kinetin and niacinamide in Asians: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, split-face comparative trial,” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 243–249, 2007.

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