Potent and multi-tasking, niacinamide is one skincare ingredient that should definitely be on your radar. A specific and very stable form of vitamin B3, niacinamide is restorative and versatile; It soothes and fights inflammation, strengthens the skin barrier, fades fine lines and dark spots, normalizes oil production and even tames acne. This powerhouse ingredient can also be used by all skin types— even the most sensitive—and its potential for irritation when combined with other ingredients is little to none.
Read on to learn about the many facets of this do-it-all ingredient, including seven research backed benefits it offers.
1. EVENS SKIN TONE AND REDUCES HYPERPIGMENTATION
Although the specific mechanism of action remains unknown, research has shown that niacinamide can help fade hyperpigmentation on the skin. Scientifically, niacinamide is thought to help inhibit the transfer of melanosomes, which house and produce melanin, the brown to black pigment in our skin and hair. While the specific way in which this occurs is yet to be fully understood, the important thing to know is this: Adding niacinamide into your skincare routine can literally help lighten things up.
2. STRENGTHENS THE SKIN BARRIER
Your skin barrier is made up of lipids, ceramides and fatty acids, and together these components are responsible for keeping moisture in and foreign invaders (like bacteria and free radicals) out. When the skin barrier becomes weak or damaged, the fallout can manifest in a myriad of ways. Things like stinging, burning, and excessive dryness or flaking skin can all signal a compromised skin barrier, as well as more serious conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Because it promotes the production of ceramides and elastin, both vital components of the skin barrier, niacinamide helps strengthen the complexion’s natural protective shield, resulting in more hydrated, healthy skin that can better defend itself against moisture loss and outside irritants.
3. REGULATES OIL PRODUCTION
Niacinamide can also help regulate and stabilize oil production in the skin. This goes back to restoring the strength of the skin barrier, and more specifically, the sebaceous glands in the skin which produce oil). Excess sebum (oil) on the skin can contribute to clogged pores, which can lead to the formation of both comedonal (blackheads) and inflammatory acne (papules and pustules). In helping to even out the amount of oil the skin produces, niacinamide can help tame and even prevent acne.
4. IMPROVE SKIN TEXTURE, INCLUDING FADING FINE LINES
An intact lipid barrier promotes the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, which leads to more a more youthful-looking and supple complexion. As we age, our natural reserves of, and ability to produce, these essential proteins declines, and thus fine lines and wrinkles begin to set in. By replenishing what gets lost, skin’s youthful vitality is restored.
By replenishing what gets lost, skin’s youthful vitality is restored.
5. PROVIDES ANTIOXIDANT PROTECTION AND REPAIRS DAMAGED DNA
When applied topically, niacinamide converts into nicotinamide nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which has potent free-radical fighting antioxidant properties. This is crucial to skin health, as DNA damage can occur nvisibly in response to a number of everyday stressors, including environmental pollution and UV exposure. In increasing the amount of NAD, niacinamide works to reduce oxidative cellular damage within skin cells.
6. SOOTHES SKIN AND CALMS REDNESS
Topical use of niacinamide has also been shown to decrease redness and blotchiness in the skin, which also relates back to its ability to strengthen and improve the functioning of the skin barrier.
7. IMPROVES DULLNESS
Sallow is the term used to describe skin that is yellow or brown in tone. In another word: Dullness. Using niacinamide has been shown to improve and prevent sallowness in the complexion without causing irritation, making it an ideal topical for restoring skin tone.
Ready to add niacinamide into your own skin care routine? Try our Niacinamide Serum, which is formulated with 12% of the ingredient, alongside 2% zinc PCA.