What's the difference between B3 and B5?

With so many choices on todays product shelf when it comes to skincare I often get asked the question are all B's the same? NO - very different is my answer!

Although they can often be used to help combat similar skin conditions they each have their own unique list of benefits that makes them stand out as prescribed products for individual skins.

Both vitamin B3 and vitamin B5 are suitable for all skin types. Its very rare someone cant tolerate a B based ingredient (unlike its sister Vitamin C).

Vitamin B3 (otherwise known as niacinamide) is especially beneficial for sensitive and acne-prone skin, while vitamin B5 (known as Hb5, Hyaluronic Acid) is useful for normal to dry skin types.

Vitamin B3

 Has antibacterial properties, improves lipid barrier function (this means it increases your skins natural oils allowing for a healthy more protected skin cell to develop deep within your skin). Vitamin B3 is often recommended for skins prone to breakout and excess oil production as some properties of the B3 reduce redness and support healing.

  • Great for Acne Skin
  • An excellent inclusion over Winter time as it helps improve your skins lipid barrier reducing dryness, flaking and itchy skin conditions
  • Great for Rosacea skin types that need healing and support
  • An overall immune booster for any skin type


Vitamin B5

Known as the super hydrator Hyaluronic Acid often claims it can hold 1000x its weight is water! Impressive hey! Why do we need this? When living in an environment of heaters, air conditioner, low humidity we often loose our skins natural production of water within the cells creating deeper dehydration.

Dehydration means we are more prone to fine lines, flaking and barrier dysfunction and our products just don't work as well as they absorb only in the superficial layers. By adding a Hb5 you not only repair that water loss but also enable a supportive barrier to prevent it from happening again and again depending on your environment.

If you work in a large office (maybe not anymore - thanks COVID), fly a plane, work in a kitchen or swim for exercise HB5 is a non negotiable in the skincare routine.

  • Secretly great as an eye cream
  • perfect for skins who don't like a lot of heavy products
  • Excellent for warding off Peri Oral Dermatitis
  • A great post holiday skin boost 

There are two different weights when it comes to Hb5 - a low molecular and high molecular weight - think size - one is small and one is large. Products have improved so much over the past decade and we now have some any advancements in technology that superior product really does stand out. You want to look for a combo Low and High when purchasing your Hb5 so you work both on the surface of the skin and the deeper layers that come through as each day passes.


These vitamins are also very versatile antioxidants so they work as alternatives to the more common Vitamin C's and Peptides available.

As always keep it simple and if you need a little advice on some good B3, B5 options you know where to find me

Michelle x



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