Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, has dramatically grown in popularity in recent years.
Benefits cited commonly include skin brightening, increasing hydration, and prevention of aging.
But how much of it is true, and is Niacinamide a crucial part of you skincare routine or just another fad?
Let's take a look, but first the basics:
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide, otherwise known as nicotinamide, is a unique form of vitamin B3. While it's an essential vitamin, it cannot be synthesized by the body meaning it needs to be taken orally or topically in order for a person to experience the benefits it offers.
It is a common ingredient in skincare products including cleansers, night creams, serums and moisturisers, as evidence supports it providing benefits for anti-aging and brightening.
Let's look more closely at these benefits:
Brightens Dark Spots
When applied correctly, niacinamide has been found to block the enzyme involved in the overproduction of pigmentation. This can prevent dark spots, reduce hyperpigmentation, and reduce the visibility of existing spots.
While many people suffer from dark lines or spots, previously there hasn't really been an effective skincare ingredient that specifically targets this, making niacinamide something of a revelation for those who have suffered with this.
Makes Complexion Clearer
Anyone who read our recent post on blocked pores know that they can cause all sorts of issues and should be avoided where possible. Daily topical use of niacinamide has been found to help balance sebum production. Since overproduction of sebum causes blocked pores and acne, this is a powerful way to prevent breakouts and even out your skin tone.
It's also worth mentioning that niacinamide has a soothing effect, meaning it could potentially help to reduce imperfections and pimples related to general irritation and dry skin, too!
Has an Antioxidant Effect
Your skin comes into contact with external stressors daily. This might mean smoke, pollution, general grime and dust, dead skin cells, UV rays, or even internal factors like stress or lack of sleep.
All of these things can lead to increased aging, wrinkles, fine lines, discoloured skin, spots and other problems.
Niacinamide has been found to protect skin cells from the oxidative stress caused by such contaminants, which helps to prevent aging, keep skin youthful and smooth, and helps keep pores clean at the same time.
Aids in Hydration
Niacinamide has been found to help hold moisture in skin cells and to improve the benefits associated with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.
This helps to top up the skin's natural defensive barrier and to protect it from stress, preventing aging at the same time.
Niacinamide has been shown to have both an anti-inflammatory response and to hold benefits for soothing and calming irritated skin. This makes it highly effective for people with sensitive skin who potentially suffer from redness, itching and irritation often.
It also makes it effective for use alongside other beneficial ingredients that can potentially be irritating with over use, such as retinol or glycolic acid.
Since these ingredients are powerful exfoliants but can leave skin red and irritated, the combination of them with niacinamide is an effective way to deep clean the skin and pores then soothe and further cleanse the area with none of the potential downsides of using the exfoliants alone.
How to Add Niacinamide to your Skincare Routine
The first step is to find a high quality niacinamide serum. In order to help with this we have formulated our own niacinamide anti aging cream. This is one of the purest and most effective options on the market and combines niacinamide with other beneficial ingredients including aloe vera and witch hazel, so if you are new to niacinamide we would recommend trying it first.
If you want to go for something else, just ensure you do your research and go for one with high quality niacinamide and few other ingredients, especially those that can be problematic for the skin such as alcohol or parabens. It is also crucial to stick with a brand you trust for obvious reasons.
It's also crucial to check the product's label as different products may need slightly different applications.
From here, you simply need to apply a thin layer to your face daily in line with the products' instructions - ideally after cleansing or toning, but before heavier serums and creams.