The benefits of niacinamide

Niacinamide aka vitamin B3 aka nicotinamide, is one of my favorite skin care ingredients. When I was struggling with my skin as a young adult, I used any face cream I could find and hoped for the best.

On a blessed day, I randomly picked one with niacinamide and wow -  clear skin for days.

 The star ingredient is niacinamide!

The star ingredient is niacinamide!

 

What does niacinamide do to the skin?

Lots of processes in the skin need niacinamide in order to work properly.

 

If aging (fine lines and wrinkles) is a concern…

Collagen is an important protein that keeps the skin plump, firm and flexible. Our body naturally produces collagen from amino acids.

However, collagen production decreases every year when we hit maturity (about age 21). This leads to a loss in firmness and elasticity of skin.

We would benefit from using skincare that encourages collagen production, like niacinamide.

 

If you have dark spots and uneven tone…

In darker skin tones, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH is a major skin concern. Melanin is part of the skin’s defence system. So when the skin is injured in any way (e.g. acne, irritation, sunburn) excess melanin is produced to help with the healing process.

When the injury is healed, the excess melanin leaves a dark mark. We can erase this reminder with niacinamide which discourages the production of excess melanin and evens skin tone.

 

If you have dry skin…

Ceramides, are an important part of the moisture barrier. Think of the moisture barrier as a fence around your house.

It's meant to keep intruders (like germs) out and keep your precious toddler (like water) from easily walking out into the road.

Due to age, poor skincare and genetics, some people have less ceramides. This means they have drier skin than others. Dry skin needs more oils to keep it moisturized. It is proven that niacinamide increases ceramides production.

 

If you have acne prone or oily skin…

Sebum is our skin’s natural oil. Genetics has made it that some of us produce more sebum than others. If you have oily skin you are more likely to have breakouts and shine.

Most matte beauty aims to absorb the extra oil, but the best way to deal with oily skin is controlling sebum production. Niacinamide does that!

 

If you have sensitive skin…

Like I mentioned above, niacinamide reduces sensitivity by improving the skin’s barrier function. When the skin isn't carrying out the barrier function well, then two main things can happen:

  1. Trans Epidermal Water Loss or TEWL. This is the amount of water your skin to the external environment. With poor barrier function, TEWL is high. The effects of high TEWL include dehydration, dullness, eczema, roughness, tightness.

  2. Increased sensitivity. Since there is no ‘fence’, intruders like irritants can easily enter the skin and make it itchy, painful and inflamed. Even skin care products you’ve never had an issue with could irritate your skin when the barrier is compromised.

If you're convinced that you need niacinamide in your life, here are a few of the best niacinamide products.

 

My favorite creams and serums with niacinamide

 

I love using treatments like The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum in the evening. It has really helped with hormonal breakouts. Have you tried using niacinamide skin care before? Let me know!