Skincare Ingredient Spotlight: Niacinamide

Ingredients
Niacinamide
Skin Care
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Skincare Ingredient Spotlight: Niacinamide

Whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up, niacinamide can be the solution, checking all the boxes to be a favorite of any skincare devotee. Wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, breakouts, dull skin, no matter your concern, niacinamide has a fix for it.

If you don't know what niacinamide does for skin and haven't used it yet, I bet you'll make some space for it on your vanity cabinet after reading this post. The benefits of using niacinamide in your skincare routine are manifold. By adding it to your regimen, you'll increase hydration, shield the protective barrier, help diminish wrinkles, and improve skin's overall condition — regardless of your skin type. Learn why niacinamide is a cult-favorite ingredient among skincare enthusiasts.

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is the active form of niacin or vitamin B3. Like all B vitamins, niacin helps the body convert carbohydrates into glucose (fuel) needed to produce energy.1

The body can't make it, but it can synthesize niacinamide from niacin sources, such as fish, brown rice, mushrooms, avocados, or niacin supplements. Anyway, that only happens when niacin is taken in more significant amounts than the body needs. That said, the best way to reap niacinamide benefits for skin is by topical application.

What are the health benefits of Niacinamide?

Niacinamide has a few benefits for overall health, mainly needed to keep cells healthy and energized. The intake of niacinamide supplements prevents vitamin B3 deficiency, which can seriously affect health and even lead to pellagra. Additionally, niacinamide supplements help minimize acne, reduce the rate of skin cancer, prevent type 1 diabetes, improve joint flexibility, and can reduce the amount of phosphate in the bloodstream, making them good for the kidney. 2, 3

Niacinamide Benefits for Skin

  • Acne-fighting
  • Reduces inflammations and improves joint flexibility
  • Decreases phosphate levels
  • Helps prevent skin cancer

What does Niacinamide do for your skin?

Now, what you came for. Niacinamide benefits in skincare never end! I mean it. This is what happens whenever you give your skin niacinamide: it boosts collagen production, reinforces the protective barrier, evens skin tone, locks moisture in, reduces large pores look, diminishes dullness, and improves overall texture. 4,5

Moreover, niacinamide works as a potent antioxidant, hindering free radicals from damaging the skin. Notably, these effects happen when using a product with a minimum concentration of 5% niacinamide.6, 7

Briefly, these are niacinamide benefits for skin:

  • prevents dehydration
  • enhances barrier function
  • anti-inflammatory 
  • regulates sebum production
  • stimulates collagen
  • shields against oxidative stress

How to Use Niacinamide in Your Skin Care Routine

As a rule of thumb, the best way to get niacinamide's benefits for skin is to use it in leave-on products, like serums, moisturizers, and eye creams. And yes, niacinamide is safe to apply twice daily, all year round, and integrated with your other favorite ingredients. "Niacinamide is uniquely compatible with all products including retinol, peptides, HA, BHAs and AHAs, vitamin C and other antioxidants" says Rhea Grous, aesthetics director and founder of La Suite Skincare at Union Square Laser Dermatology for Today. "It's a one-size-fits-all for the entire face, neck and eyes, too! This is an ingredient that can be incorporated at any time, during any and every season," she adds.8

What are the potential side effects of Niacinamide?

Side effects of niacinamide on skin are rare. Yet, if your skin is on the sensitive side, you may experience mild redness or itching when using a product with niacinamide. Therefore, start with a mild niacinamide product to avoid any undesirable effect — a 2% strength will do. Then gradually increase the concentration to 5 and even 10% niacinamide if you don't experience any side effects.

In fact, niacinamide was found to "display distinct advantages over other ingredients with similar benefits, such as retinol, in that it is well-tolerated and is not subject to oxidation or photolysis." In layman's terms, niacinamide benefits for skin are similar to retinol but without the aggressiveness, nor as prone to degradation when exposed to light. Hooray!

Find the Best Niacinamide Products for You

We know it is not an easy task to find the best niacinamide products. Hence, we've clinically tested hundreds of products, and it turns out these are the most effective niacinamide-infused products that deliver

Check them out and stay patient: we're prepping the first self-activated skincare line filled with proven ingredients plus a smart packaging that keeps actives in and elements out. 

Words By: Ana Vasilescu

Footnotes

  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine. St. Luke's Hospital. Source
  • A Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Nicotinamide for Skin-Cancer Chemoprevention. October 2015. Source
  • Niacinamide. RxList. June 2022. Source
  • Hao 浩 Jiang 姜. High dose niacin in the treatment of acne vulgaris: a pilot study. Chinese Journal of Aesthetic Medicine. December 2016. Source
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin. October 2004. Source
  • Paul Matts. A Review of the range of effects of niacinamide in human skin. Research Gate. January 2002. Source
  • Zhen AX, Piao MJ, Kang KA, et al. Niacinamide Protects Skin Cells from Oxidative Stress Induced by Particulate Matter [published online ahead of print. November 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824628/
  • Jillian Ortiz. Niacinamide: How to use it and 8 expert-approved products. Today. April 2021. Source

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