My #1 Ingredient for Putting a Stop to Seborrheic Dermatitis on the Face

I’ve been keeping this site with my musings on Ye Olde Dandruff for many years. And I have finally found my HOLY GRAIL for combatting facial seborrheic dermatitis. There is one ingredient that I want you to hunt down. No, it’s not pyrithone zinc or sulfur or even another favorite of mine, salicylic acid. Those are all good, but this magical ingredient I’ve falling head over heels for is both soothing, clarifying and oil-controlling.

Ok, as a blogger, I think I’ve done my due diligence in putting way too many words before introducing the reason you are all here.

The amazing ingredient that conquers face dandruff better than everything I’ve tried in my now 25 years of dealing with?

Niacinamide!!!

As a form of Vitamin B3, niacinamide helps control sebum, reduce the apearance of pores, soothes irritation, reducing signs of aging and just help skin look brighter and more even. It’s truly a cure all. But I know it is the thing working to keep my seborrheic dermatitis at bay, because when I run out . . . boy do the red/itchy/flaky patches flare up. It really works.

It’s not an ingredient you’ll see in tons of skincare products, but I think it will be soon. For now, you have to search a little. Here are a few to try:

Naturium serum

Naturium Serum 12% Niacinamide

Insta Natural

Insta Natural Serum

I have used both of these and they work! Simply apply after your washing/toning, and before moisturizing. Do not use the same time as your Vitamin C as they may react off each other.

Give this miracle ingredient a shot and you skin will thank you!

16 thoughts on “My #1 Ingredient for Putting a Stop to Seborrheic Dermatitis on the Face

  1. Should we be supplementing with Vitamin B3, niacinamide or applying it in a cream? Also, have you ever tried manuka or kanuka honey for Seborrheic Dermatitis? Thanks

    PS: The links in you email say “Oops! That page can’t be found”.

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    1. The niacinamide should be applied- look for a serum or moisturizer that has it. I’m wary of supplements personally. Yes I did go through a Manuka honey mask phase and it helps a bit! But I didn’t feel it was impressive enough to recommend to my readers.

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    1. I wish I did, honestly. Now that I’ve got my skin SD under control (thanks to chemical exfoliants AND niacinamide), I want to do the same to my scalp but it is hard for me with thick curly hair. The best thing you can do is use a shampoo with saliyclic acid, which is chemical exfoliant that gets in the pores and clears out oil and dirt, etc. Then alternate it with a tea tree oil shampoo, which is a natural ingredient that reduces oil. I’ve been searching for a good leave-on product and/or method for applying a leave on product.

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      1. Hi Emily, this has massively improved my face too! I am still struggling with my scalp too as I have wavy hair and all these medicated sulfate shampoos ruin it 😦 they also aren’t really working past 1-2 days!

        Do you have a niacinamide/salicylic acid shampoo to recommend or a tea tree oil one?

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      2. Hi Emily I’m paschal,I’ve been going through your blog about seborrheic dermatitis,mine has gone AWOL,it’s all over my body and face,especially my torso,I would really appreciate if I get a reply from you about your opinion on my next question.do you think I should go with healthcare or the routines posted on your blog? If it’s the latter,what best routines/remedies do you think will really suit my condition.

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      3. I do think it may be time to see a doctor because as it spreads to the body, it can actually cause damage. You could lose full freedom of movement and it could impact your ability to do basic tasks. That said, a doc is mostly likely going to prescribe a steroid. This, in my humble opinion, should be a short term fix. I’d suggest using the steroid to get it under control and wean off it very, very slowly. The doc may also suggest an anti-fungal oral medication, which is something to consider but do research and discuss thoroughly.

        Start a good routine of the following: Use a cleanser with salicylic acid all over your body. A great option is the CeraVe Rough & Bumpy Skin Wash https://amzn.to/3aMgGXB and you can alternate with a Tea Tree Oil body wash (Trader Joe’s has a great one for cheap!). And once a week use Nizoral Shampoo https://amzn.to/2NU72sUall over your hair, face (avoid eyes) and body. Basically, you need a body wash buffet. Variety is good with Seb Derm. The CeraVe Rough & Bumpy Lotion https://amzn.to/3pKsbmp is absolutely perfect for sebhorreic dermatitis on the body, but if you start feeling dry, just use the regular CeraVe moisturizer. Also, please wash your clothes and bed linen in a super gentle fragrance-free detergent. And wash the linens OFTEN.

        You could try this routine for awhile before going to the doc if you want. If it doesn’t work within a month, please seek medical care. But even with a doctor, you can probably follow this routine, along with what is prescribed. And then as you wean off the prescription, this routine will help keep you skin in good shape! Good luck and please update me!

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  2. I’m mexican and I hate to have my face always red. It’s so expensive to keep the treatment 😩 I go to the dermatologist once per year and the last creams were not even good for me.

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  3. I’m hoping not to jinx myself by posting this (I’m knocking on a lot of wood). I read this post on June 15 and ordered the Naturium product that day. It arrived on June 19 and since the day after, my skin has not been better in 28 years. It has been so amazing I will probably never come back to this site so I don’t see any reviews that it stops working after X weeks/months!!! So Emily, thank you a billion times for posting this and for me coming across it. I know everything doesn’t work for everyone, but this has been amazing so far. Just a little background for anyone else who might be in my shoes (sorry for the length):

    I’m a guy, so until I started getting some SD on the sides of my mouth when I was 20, I never took care of my skin in any special way. I have pretty fair skin (not bright white, but close enough) and blue eyes. And I would say my condition was mild, with 10-20 really bad days per year (where I would not want to leave the house; the rest of the time I knew it was there but just fought through it). Yen – some of those days with all the medication I was putting on my face, I would be basically all red as well – which frankly was better than the blotchiness I normally had. Also, it would get worse if I didn’t shower each day or waited more than two days to shave.

    At 20, hydrocortisone did not do anything, and I would just coat the SD with Vaseline. My first experience with real treatment was Elocon, which I used for years (maybe 5/10?). I pretty much used everything sparingly, but at least once per day on the problem areas. Elocon started losing its effectiveness and the SD redness was also appearing under my sideburns in front of my ears, on my chin, and under under my jawbone (although the jaw was the only place that it was just on one side). I also got scalier patches running from the top of the nose under both eyes and my nose constantly had scaly skin on it.

    After Elocon, I moved to Elidel, and basically had the same results. It worked pretty well at the beginning, but never really resolved the issue – it just helped minimize the redness to an acceptable degree.

    About 4/5 years ago I stopped Elidel and moved to Ovace plus Soolantra. I gave up on the Soolantra pretty quickly (after a month or two) as it made everything on my face feel tight. Once I moved to this regimen I also started using VaniCream Lite Lotion. Previously, any moisturizer/sunscreen would burn my face to the point I would wash it off after a few minutes of pain. VaniCream did not do that, but about a year ago it started making my skin really itchy and exacerbating the flareups. At that point I switched to CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion and that has been good since. Along the way I have also tried apple cider vinegar and other homeopathic remedies. BTW, during this time I went back to hydrocortisone (Exederm flare control cream to be exact) and it was pretty effective when I needed it – so if I had something important and had some bad patches, I would treat it the day before and normally things were controlled enough by the next day.

    However, over the past two years, I kind of gave up and just was hoping my skin would not get too much worse as I get older, and if I did, then I could just use makeup. But clearly during a recent bad flareup, I went searching for any possible solutions and found this article. It’s now been two months of the best skin I can ever remember having (and I cannot pinpoint any other major change I’ve made in my life over that time that I hadn’t tried before – like making sure to shave every day, etc.). If I shave before I shower, it does sting for 15-30 seconds after I apply it. But once I put the CeraVe on after that it stops. Also, in case there is a question, I have a very irregular schedule, so sometimes shower in the morning and sometimes at night. I only do that 1x per day at most, and only apply the Naturium and CeraVe when I shower (so if I skip a shower during a day, I don’t apply anything until the next time I shower).

    Sorry for the long message, but this is really the first time in 28 years that I feel I have something worth sharing. And I am hoping it works for any of you who try it as much as it has for me. Again, thanks Emily!

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    1. WOWWW!! I’m so happy for you! Niacinamide really is the BEST thing for seb term. If I run out, within a few days I’ve got scaly itchy spots on my face. I’m so thrilled that my little blog is helping people!

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  4. ive had the issue for a couple years, as a man i shave my head and use fluocininide which works well. its no longer covered by my insurance but the costs isnt so bad. $35/30ml for tyhe body i use mometasone furoate and it works like a dream, covered 100% by insurance. i still have a few spots on my face because i like wearing abeard. but every month i shave my head for scalp coverage, and my beard every 3 months to clear the problem entirely. i hope this info helps one of your followers. god bless

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