Let’s talk about 10 niacinamide skin benefits.
Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3. It’s used to minimise redness of the skin, reduce inflammation and regulate sebum production.
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3 used for skin problems. A deficiency of vitamin B3 can lead to skin, kidney and brain disorders.
Although more research is needed when it comes to overall skin health, topical niacinamide can help with certain ailments, including acne and eczema, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Niacinamide is present in cleansing gels and corrective treatments used in the care of problem skin.
Is niacinamide the same as niacin?
Despite the similarities in name, niacinamide is not the same as niacin. They are two different types of vitamin B3.
The body can produce niacinamide from the vitamin B supplements you take. This happens when there is an excessive amount of niacin in the body.
For example, tryptophan in the body can also be converted to niacinamide. It is a good idea to seek the advice of your GP before taking vitamin B3 or vitamin B complex supplements.
Niacinamide Skin Benefits
In general, niacinamide can help build skin proteins and block moisture, to prevent potential damage caused by environmental factors (wind, dust, etc).
Niacinamide skin benefits include:
1. Provides firmness to the skin
Niacinamide helps build keratin, a type of protein that keeps skin firm and healthy.
2. Strengthens the lipid barrier
Niacinamide can help the skin to develop a ceramide (lipid) barrier, which in turn can help retain moisture. This is beneficial for all skin types, especially if you have eczema or mature skin.
3. Minimises redness and inflammation
A notable niacinamide skin benefit is that it can reduce skin inflammation. This in turn can help alleviate redness associated with eczema, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.
4. Shrinks pores
Keeping skin smooth and hydrated can have a secondary benefit: a natural reduction in pore size over time.
5. Regulates sebum
The benefits of moisture retention are not just for people with dry skin. Niacinamide may also help regulate the amount of sebum produced by the sebaceous glands.
6. Protects against sun damage
Niacinamide can replenish healthy skin cells, also protecting them from damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
7. Reduces hyperpigmentation
Some research has found that niacinamide in a concentration of 5% can be helpful in illuminating dark spots.
8. Minimises fine lines
Research has also found that the same concentration of niacinamide has been helpful in reducing fine wrinkles with age due to excessive sun exposure.
9. Protects against oxidative stress
Niacinamide helps to form skin cells, also protecting them from the stress of environmental factors such as sunlight, pollution and toxins.
10. Helps with acne
Niacinamide skin benefits can be helpful in cases of severe acne, especially for inflammatory forms such as papules and pustules, reducing lesions and improving skin texture.
READ MORE: 10 Important Vitamin B3 Health Benefits
How to use niacinamide for skin?
A balanced diet is the best way to get micronutrients like vitamin B3. If there is a deficiency, your doctor will recommend a supplement (usually a vitamin B complex supplement).
When it comes to overall skin health, you can get some of the benefits of niacinamide from the foods you eat: eggs, cereals, leafy green vegetables, beans, fish and milk.
However, there is no safe way to guarantee that the nutrients in your diet have an impact on your overall skin health.
The only way to make sure that niacinamide is for your skin problems is to use it topically (in the form of gels, serums, creams, etc).
Many topical niacinamide products come in the form of serums, which must be applied after the toning step, but before hydration. Some cleansers and creams also contain niacinamide, an ingredient found in some face masks.
What should you pay attention to when choosing a niacinamide skin benefits product?
The concentration of niacinamide may vary. However, research suggests that a concentration of 5% is effective for reducing hyperpigmentation and sun damage.
If you have sensitive skin, it is good to start with a lower concentration. Formulas with 2% niacinamide can help alleviate the symptoms of eczema and similar conditions.
Niacinamide may be listed as ‘niacin’ or ‘nicotinamide’ on the labels of skincare and treatment products.
Niacinamide can be combined with other skin care ingredients to enhance the effect. For example, some reports suggest that niacinamide may work well with copper, folic acid and zinc to treat acne.
It is also possible to increase the effectiveness of niacinamide if you use it with a product containing hyaluronic acid. This is because hyaluronic acid increases the absorption of niacinamide.
Side effects of niacinamide
Topical niacinamide is generally considered safe to use. People with pre-existing allergies may be at increased risk for an allergic reaction.
This is because niacinamide has skin benefits that can stimulate the release of histamine.
You can avoid widespread allergic reactions and product sensitivities by doing a patch test: apply a small amount of product on the forearm and wait 24 hours.
If redness, itching, swelling, wash the area and discontinue use. If you do not experience side effects, the product should be safe to apply to another area of the body.
What results can you expect after using niacinamide
As with any new skin care product, you probably won’t notice significant results for a few weeks.
Although most available research describes notable improvements after four weeks of use, this varies from person to person.
You may notice more positive skin changes after eight weeks. These include smoother, more toned and more hydrated skin.