Niacinamide, also known as a form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide, has been gaining popularity in the skincare community, and for good reason – it’s a versatile ingredient that can benefit a wide range of skin types and concerns. But how exactly does niacinamide work, and can it really help clear your skin? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the science behind this powerhouse ingredient and how it can benefit the skin. Whether you’re dealing with acne, hyperpigmentation, or signs of aging, understanding how niacinamide works can help you make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right products for your skin.
What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in various biological processes in the body, including the production of energy from food and the maintenance of healthy skin, among other functions. Niacinamide is often used in skincare because of its anti-inflammatory properties, ability to regulate oil production and its effectiveness in improving the skin’s barrier function. It has also been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation, making it a popular ingredient in products designed to improve the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone.
How does niacinamide work?
Water-soluble vitamins like nicotinamide are not stored in the body to the same extent as fat-soluble vitamins (i.e. vitamins A, D, E, and K) because they are not stored in fatty tissues. This means that we need to consume it in order to reap its benefits. We also have the option of applying it topically since niacinamide has been integrated into skincare products in the form of serums, creams, and other products due to its ability to improve skin health and appearance, as well as having anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
Benefits of niacinamide
Niacinamide works in several ways to benefit the skin. Here are a few examples:
Niacinamide has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce redness, swelling, and irritation in the skin. This can be particularly beneficial for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin.
Regulates oil production
Niacinamide helps regulate the amount of oil produced by the skin, which can be favorable to those with oily or combination skin. By regulating oil production, niacinamide can help prevent clogged pores and breakouts, allowing you to achieve your clear skin goals.
Improves skin barrier function
Niacinamide has been shown to improve the function of the skin barrier, which is important for maintaining healthy, hydrated skin. A strong skin barrier can help to prevent moisture loss and protect the skin from environmental stressors keeping your skin looking young and supple.
Niacinamide has also been shown to reduce the production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. This can help to improve the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Incorporating niacinamide into your skincare routine
The most effective way to reap the benefits of this vitamin B3 is to choose skincare product/s that contain a high concentration of niacinamide, ideally between 5% and 10%. Niacinamide can be found in many different skincare products, including serums, moisturizers, and toners.
Generally, serums are known to be the most potent skincare product since they are formulated with more concentrated actives.
Left: Antioxidant Line Diffusing Serum, Right: Mandelic 5 serum
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of niacinamide may vary depending on the concentration and formulation used, as well as the individual’s skin type and concerns. Consulting with your esthetician can help determine the best approach for incorporating niacinamide into your skincare routine.