What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide, which is also called nicotinamide and a form of vitamin B3, is a well-tolerated ingredient that can be found in a range of skin-care products for moisturizing, brightening, and anti-acne purposes, among other benefits. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly minimize enlarged pores, tighten laxly or stretched out pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dullness, and strengthen a weakened surface.
Niacinamide also reduces the impact of environmental damage because of its ability to improve skin’s barrier (its first line of defense), plus it also plays a role in helping skin to repair signs of past damage.
"As we understand the importance of being gentle to our skin and supporting our skin barrier, niacinamide has become more popular as it provides a great option on its own to help target skin-care concerns, such as discoloration and redness while being gentle on the skin."
If you’re looking to add it to your skin-care routine, opt for a concentration of less than 5 percent and look for a product that is left on the skin for maximum absorption (like a moisturizer or serum).
What Benefits does Niacinamide offer?
Overall, niacinamide can help build proteins in the skin and lock in moisture to prevent environmental damage.
Individual benefits include:
- Immunity: Niacinamide helps build keratin a type of protein that keeps your skin firm and healthy.
- Lipid Barrier: Niacinamide can help your skin grow a ceramide (lipid) barrier, which can, in turn, helps retain moisture. This is beneficial for all skin types, especially if you have eczema or mature skin.
- Minimizes Redness and Blotchiness: Niacinamide reduces inflammation, which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Minimizes Pore Appearance: Keeping skin smooth and moisturized may have a secondary benefit — a natural reduction in pore size over time.
- Regulates Oil: The benefits of moisture retention aren’t just for those with dry skin types. Niacinamide can also help regulate the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce and prevent your glands from going into overdrive.
- Protects Against Sun Damage: Niacinamide can concurrently rebuild healthy skin cells while also protecting them from damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
- Treats Hyperpigmentation: Some research has found that 5 percent niacinamide concentrations can be helpful in lightening dark spots. Benefits were seen after four weeks, but not beyond two months. This benefit may be due to increased collagen production.
- Minimizes Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Research has also found that the same concentration was helpful in reducing some signs of sun damage that come with aging. This includes fine lines and wrinkles.
- Protects Against Oxidative Stress: Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins.
- Treats Acne: Niacinamide may be helpful for severe acne, especially inflammatory forms like papules and pustules. Over time, you may see fewer lesions and improved skin texture.