Niacinamide is in my skincare arsenal for lots of reasons that I will get to in a moment.
What Are The Benefits Of Niacinamide?
Niacinamide, also known as Nicotinamide, is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3 or niacin. Niacinamide stops the skin from losing moisture, increases protein production, reduces your chances of sun damage and stimulates ceramides and growth hormones. Quite the potent addition to your skincare routine.
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a water-soluble derivate of vitamin B. Its occurs naturally in fish, mushrooms and nuts. We don’t make it in our bodies which means we have to get it from our food. Niacinamide in our bodies does lots of beneficial stuff.
But we are concerned here with what niacinamide can do for our skin.
Ways Niacinamide Benefits Your Skin
Protects Against Sun Damage
The sun can wreak havoc with your skin by causing cellular level damage. On the surface, this damage takes the form of hyperpigmentation and skin laxity. Studies have shown that niacinamide can help protect your skin against sun damage. It does this by blocking melanosomes from becoming melanocytes. Melanocytes are what cause pigmentation issues if your skin.
Niacinamide increases the rate of your skin cell reproduce and ensures healthy DNA production.
This means your skin is repaired faster and it reduces the chances of developing hyperpigmentation or ‘sunspots’.
Even though niacinamide helps protect against sun damage it is not a substitute for sunscreen.
Helps Treat Acne
Niacinamide is a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient in skincare. This makes it useful in calming inflammatory conditions like acne.
Whilst it may not actively zap spots, it has been proven to help slow down the production of oil that your sebaceous glands make.
Combined with its antibacterial properties, niacinamide is a perfect preventative treatment.
Being an anti-inflammatory, it has also shown to also help with rosacea and eczema.
Relatively non-irritating compared to other acne treatments, it is perfect for all skin types, even if you have dry or sensitive skin.
As we age, our cellular reproduction slows down. So does your body’s collagen production.
This means your skin takes longer to renew, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. We already know that niacinamide has the ability to increase the rate of cell turn over and reproduction.
But it also is used by the body to produce collagen and keratin. Think of collagen is the ‘plumping’ factor in your skin. Keratin is the framework that holds the collagen in place.
The stronger your keratin is and the more collagen in your skin the firmer, plumper and youthful your skin looks
Protects the Skin Barrier
Niacinamide benefits your skins barrier function. It prevents water loss and protects against environmental damage. If you’ve got dry skin, it can be very beneficial by helping to lock in moisture.
It also increases ceramide and elastin production. Ceramides are tiny lipids that moisturize and hold healthy cells together. They keep your skin healthy, smooth, and hydrated.
Research has shown that niacinamide may be one of the most effective components in brightening the skin and helping to fade hyperpigmentation. It works to reduce the production of melanin, the pigment that causes darker skin.
Protects Against Free Radical Damage and Pollution
Niacinamide combines with coenzymes NADH and NADPH. These enzymes work at the cellular level as antioxidants.
This means they protect cell membranes from the damage of free radicals and oxidative stress. This is important for skin health as we are surrounded by environmental pollution and UV exposure every day.
Fossil fuel consumption has resulted in air pollution becoming a major health hazard for not only humans but the planet. Both indoor and outdoor particulate matter (PM – basically the tiny bits of toxic by-products from burning fuels) have been shown to penetrate your skin.
Fossil fuel by-products as you can imagine do your skin no favours. PM causes inflammation oxidative damage and protein disruption.
Niacinamide was shown in this study to suppress oxidative damage caused by PM.
Niacinamide can significantly reduce pore size and improved the texture of bumpy skin. This is because of its ability to reduce the skin’s oil production and it’s the exfoliating ability at the surface of the skin.
By producing less oil and removing the top layer of skin cells the pores become less clogged and stretched out. Pores that are not filled with debris appear smaller and tighter. Tighter pores mean a softer and smoother skin texture.
I just want to point out that there is no skincare product or procedure that I am aware of that get’s rid of pores. You can definitely make pores smaller and tighter and you can cover them with makeup. But the elimination of pores is just not possible, and anyone who tells you so is lying.
Do not buy any product that tells you it can remove or get rid of pores. Once you have visible pores you cannot remove them entirely. Nor would you want to! Pores bring sebum to the surface of your skin which is protective and also allows sweat to escape which prevents you from overheating.
Soothes and Calms Red, Blotchy Skin
As an anti-inflammatory, niacinamide helps to reduce redness and irritation on the surface of the skin. This is because of its ability to strengthen and improve the skin barrier function. This is good news for those who have had to resort to hard-hitting oral treatments like steroids or antibiotics.
No one wants to take steroids and antibiotics every day, as the side effects are huge. The benefits to the skin of steroids are short-lived and it’s not recommended to take long courses of steroids.
If redness and irritation is a problem for your skin then try adding in some niacinamide somewhere in your routine.
Niacinamide is a gentle exfoliant
As an added benefit, it has been proven to work as a natural exfoliant, helping with the removal of dead skin cells which can affect the skin tone and texture.
I much prefer chemical exfoliants to physical exfoliants as they don’t cause micro-tears in the skin. Gentle chemical exfoliation daily is good for all skin types except the most sensitive or reactive.
Niacinamide side effects?
When applied topically niacinamide has virtually no side effects. It is one of the safest active ingredients and is generally well tolerated by all skin types.
Niacinamide is mixed with other ingredients in products so while the niacinamide won’t cause a reaction other ingredients in products may irritate your skin.
It’s always useful to test new products on the inside of your wrist before smearing it all over your face, just in case.
Best results come from serums or moisturizers that can be left on the skin for maximum absorption and niacinamide can be used twice daily – morning, and night.
Where should I put niacinamide in my skincare routine?
You can add niacinamide into your skincare routine morning and/or night. As it is a common ingredient in skincare preparations it’s easy to add it into your routine.
The Bottom Line on The Benefits of Niacinamide
Niacinamide has proven benefits backed by science. It doesn’t cause skin purging or irritation and is a vegan addition to skincare. Niacinamide benefits of UV and PM protection alone warrant it a place on your skincare routine.
If you haven’t explored niacinamide yet, you should add it to your ‘must-try list’.
What Niacinamide Products I Recommend
I know that every skincare ingredient you read or learn about you probably want to add to your skincare routine if you haven’t already. To use every ingredient separately is just not doable. It would take your 3 – 5 step routine to 20 steps or more! Even the most die-hard skincare junkie would run for the hills.
This is why I use well researched and clinical evidence to back up products that combine ingredients. As much as I love my skincare routine 5 steps in the morning and 3 – 5 at night is my limit.
Because niacinamide helps boost the effectiveness of other skincare ingredients you will find it in lots of products and you may be using it already.
Some of the products I recommend are affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through one of these links I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You are under no obligation to purchase through my links, but if you do it supports the work involved in making this website. Also, I am genuinely very grateful, so thanks