There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to wellness, and the same is true for any skincare routine. But the advantages of niacinamide in skincare are simply too good to ignore. Continue reading to find out what niacinamide is and what it does for your skin.
What if I told you that there is a topical ingredient that can help with nearly every major skin concern? Spoiler alert: among those concerns are, but are not limited to:
- excess oil
- texture + uneven tone
What exactly is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is the active form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that provides skin benefits such as increased hydration, firmness, and skin tone evenness.
Because it is water-soluble, niacinamide can be found in water-based skincare products rather than oil. Furthermore, niacinamide is stable, non-irritating, and has a pH of neutral.
Niacin can be found in animal sources, whole wheat, rice, avocado, and peanuts. However, niacinamide penetrates the skin significantly when applied topically, making it one of the most effective and popular skincare actives today.
Niacinamide’s Popularity In Skincare
The popularity of niacinamide stems from its ability to help with a wide range of skin issues while avoiding the downtime associated with other active ingredients. Other popular skincare ingredients, such as retinol and chemical exfoliants, can cause irritation.
Furthermore, with many people communicating more through screens for work and leisure, there is a growing emphasis on skin health rather than concealing your complexion with makeup.
But, most importantly, it provides significant benefits, and a lot of them!
10 Benefits of Niacinamide For Your Skin
Niacinamide Reduces Skin Oiliness
First and foremost, one of niacinamide’s most significant advantages is its ability to regulate oil or sebum production.
In a 2006 study, Japanese participants experienced significantly lower sebum excretion rates after using a 2% niacinamide moisturiser for two to four weeks. Within six weeks of participating in the same study, Caucasian participants too had significantly lower sebum levels.
According to the study, many skincare products exist to absorb oil rather than reduce its production in the first place. Niacinamide not only helps to reduce shine from excess sebum, but also the resulting skin congestion in people with oily skin.
Niacinamide Stops Acne Breakouts
It’s only natural that niacinamide helps with acne because excess oil is a major cause of breakouts.
In a 2008 study, participants who used a 4% niacinamide gel for eight weeks saw a statistically significant reduction in the number of pustules, comedones, and papules. These are inflammatory lesions that should not be confused with cystic acne.
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that niacinamide is both safe and effective for acne treatment of mild to moderate grade acne.
Niacinamide Gives You And Even Tone Skin
If you want glowing skin, you should incorporate this all-star ingredient into your skincare routine right away.
While vitamin C is frequently cited as the gold standard for brightening your complexion, niacinamide is another deserving contender. Both of these work in a unique way to achieve the same result.
Vitamin C inhibits excess pigment production, whereas niacinamide inhibits the transfer of pigment from melanin-producing cells to our skin cells resulting in a lighter complexion.
So, should you go with one or the other, or even both? Both ingredients are important in correcting uneven skin and can complement each other well.
Niacinamide Reduces Skin Hyperpigmentation
In addition to its brightening properties, niacinamide can help fade hyperpigmentation, such as that caused by melasma and acne scars.
Participants in a 2002 study who used a niacinamide moisturiser with 2% to 5% concentrations for four weeks saw significant lightening of hyperpigmentation.
The researchers concluded that this key ingredient works by “inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes,” resulting in successful dark spot fading.
Niacinamide Reverses Skin Aging and Wrinkles
Then, if ageing signs are your primary concern, niacinamide can provide the rejuvenating boost your skin requires.
It aids in the inhibition of protein glycation of collagen, a natural process in the body that occurs with age and results in more rigid collagen fibres. Niacinamide can help to improve fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and bounce by preventing this.
Furthermore, a 2005 study backs up its anti-aging properties. Within 12 weeks of using a 5% niacinamide treatment, Caucasian women over 50 with existing photoaging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles saw a significant improvement in these markers of skin vitality.
Niacinamide Smoothens Your Skin Texture
Do you have problems with bumpiness and uneven skin tone? Niacinamide, you guessed it, can help.
In a 2010 study, Indian women aged 30 to 60 who used niacinamide lotion saw improved skin texture and more even skin tone in as little as six weeks. They also experienced less hyperpigmentation, which is a major concern for people with darker skin tones.
Niacinamide Shrinks Open Pores
Can you actually shrink your pores or just make them look smaller? This is a contentious issue, depending on who you ask.
However, a board-certified dermatologist stated unequivocally in a 2015 Dermatology Times article that niacinamide “clinically reduces pore size.”
Excess sebum, in any case, is linked to enlarged pores. And, as we discovered with the first benefit on our list, niacinamide aids in the regulation of sebum production. So, to summarise, niacinamide has a positive effect on the appearance of pore size.
As a result, it’s an essential ingredient for anyone looking to achieve seemingly poreless glass skin.
Niacinamide Improves Skin Hydration
You might be scratching your head at this point. After all, if niacinamide regulates oil production, how can it help dry skin?
Niacinamide can aid in the natural production of ceramides, which are lipids that act as natural moisturisers for the skin.
Because ceramides are regarded as one of the best ingredients for dry skin, this mechanism demonstrates how niacinamide can benefit almost any skin type.
Niacinamide Gives You A Stronger Skin Barrier
Next, niacinamide can help to strengthen your skin barrier, which is especially beneficial if you suffer from dryness, sensitivity, or other inflammatory skin conditions.
A 2005 study looked at the effects of niacinamide moisturiser on people with these conditions. The dermatologist in charge of the study confirmed improvements in both stratum corneum barrier function and skin hydration after four weeks of twice-daily application.
Furthermore, while other forms of vitamin B3 may cause irritation, niacinamide does not, making it suitable for use by people with sensitive skin.
Niacinamide Protects Against Skin Damaging UV Rays
Finally, niacinamide can complete your sun-safe skincare regimen.
According to a 2012 study, this active ingredient may help prevent UV-induced skin damage by suppressing UV-induced cell death and apoptosis.
While doing so, it positively influences DNA repair, in addition to making progress with all of the other niacinamide benefits for skin listed above.
Which Ingredients Work Best With Niacinamide
It is generally safe to combine niacinamide with other active skincare ingredients. In fact, the best way to incorporate niacinamide into your skincare routine is to use a product that combines multiple actives. Depending on your skin concerns, the following are some of the best pairings:
- vitamin C
However, avoid combining niacinamide with other forms of vitamin B3, such as nicotinic acid, as these can cause redness and irritation and are incompatible with other skin actives.