What is Niacinamide?
Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinamide, niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly minimize enlarged pores, tighten lax pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dullness, and strengthen a weakened surface.
Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B-3, an essential nutrient. A B-3 deficiency can lead to disorders of the skin, kidneys, and brain. Taking niacinamide can help prevent B-3 deficiency.
What are the benefits of using niacinamide?
- Immunity. Niacinamide helps build keratinTrusted Source, a type of protein that keeps your skin firm and healthy.
- Lipid barrier. Niacinamide can help your skin grow a ceramide (lipid) barrierTrusted Source, 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 inflammationTrusted Source, which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Minimizes pore appearance. Keeping skin smooth and moisturized Trusted Source 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. Niacinimide 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 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.
How long does it take for niacinamide to work?
You’ll notice some effects immediately although most of the studies on niacinamide showed results after 8-12 weeks. Look for products containing 5% niacinamide. That’s the percentage that’s been proven to visibly make a difference without causing any irritation.
Can Niacinamide be used on all skin types?
For sure. “Niacinamide is a brilliant all-rounder that the vast majority of people – of all ages and skin types – have no problem tolerating. I rarely see someone who doesn’t get on with it,” comments Dr Klaus.
Dry skins will benefit from its help with ceramide production and if you’re dehydrated, it’ll strengthen your barrier which in turn will minimize that all-important water loss. It’s safe to use when pregnant and breastfeeding, too. Make sure to choose a niacinamide product that is organic and free of nasty preservatives and silicone. Some serum are more concentrated then others the strongest found so far is the I’m Fabulous Cosmetics 20% Niacinamide organic serum.
Niacinamide is more frequently studied in combination with other topical medications—not on its own, which makes it difficult to know how effective it would be by itself. Based on the available evidence, well-studied options like prescription retinoids (and sunscreen!) or other antioxidants, like vitamin C, will probably do more for you than niacinamide if hyperpigmentation, fine lines, or wrinkles are your primary concerns. But if your skin is too sensitive to handle those other options, or you’re just looking for a gentler treatment for whatever reason, niacinamide might be a helpful alternative.
Can Niacinamide be used by men and women?
Absolutely, everyone. It is not too old, too young, too fancy, too feminine, too masculine, and certainly not too expensive.
You can use niacinamide-containing products around your eyes, too. Some might find applying a moisturizer or eye cream with niacinamide helps improve the look of under eye circles, helps soften the appearance of crow’s feet, not to mention enables this delicate area to retain skin-smoothing moisture and resist loss of firmness.
For best results, use leave-on niacinamide products and apply them to cleansed skin twice daily. Those with stubborn concerns around advanced signs of sun damage, orange peel texture, lax pores, and oil-related bumps should consider trying an advanced strength 20% niacinamide serum for use once or twice daily.