Niacinamide—Why You Shouldn’t Overlook This Powerful Ingredient

Niacinamide—Why You Shouldn’t Overlook This Powerful Ingredient

For this submit, I assumed I’d do an ingredient deep-dive into niacinamide. Chances are you’ve already heard of it, however chances are you’ll not have given it as a lot thought or consideration as different extra “standard” actives. The cause I needed to focus on niacinamide is that in relation to skincare, it’s one of the vital wonderful multitaskers on the market. Lots of people don’t notice simply how a lot it might do! I additionally thought December could be an particularly good time of yr to speak about the advantages of niacinamide because it’s nice for treating many skincare issues generally related to winter (though after studying this submit, you’re positive to need to make it a part of your routine year-round).

What is Niacinamide?

Let’s begin with the fundamentals. Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a type of niacin (vitamin B3). Our our bodies don’t produce niacin on their very own, however we get it from a well-rounded food plan. In our our bodies, niacin helps convert meals into power. It additionally performs a task in cell signaling and DNA restore.

Niacinamide is efficient as a skincare ingredient due to its capability to efficiently penetrate the outermost layer of our pores and skin. It additionally has an nearly impartial pH, which suggests it’s steady in most formulation and unlikely to trigger irritation.

How Niacinamide Benefits the Skin

Trust me after I say that, no matter your skincare issues, niacinamide has one thing to give you. Keep studying to study which circumstances it might enhance and the way it will profit you!

Dry or Dehydrated Skin

As I discussed, niacinamide can assist alleviate many skincare points generally related to winter. The primary concern I hear about this time of yr is dry or tight pores and skin, which as a rule might be chalked as much as a broken moisture barrier. Your moisture barrier is made up of lipids that assist the pores and skin retain moisture whereas preserving irritants and micro organism out. When this barrier is broken, it creates tiny, invisible cracks within the pores and skin. This permits moisture to flee extra simply and makes it troublesome in your pores and skin to remain correctly hydrated. A lot of components can contribute to a broken barrier, together with over-exfoliation, harsh merchandise, topical prescriptions, indoor heating, and dry climates.

How Niacinamide Helps

Now for the excellent news: niacinamide has been proven to enhance pores and skin barrier operate by stimulating the manufacturing of ceramides, one other identify for the lipids that make up a wholesome barrier. This helps your pores and skin retain water and prevents one thing known as transepidermal water loss—the method by which water evaporates from the outermost layer of your pores and skin.

Read: How to Repair a Damaged Moisture Barrier

Moisturizer for dry skin and redness

Sensitive or Redness-Prone Skin

At its core, niacinamide is a deeply therapeutic ingredient that repairs injury whereas boosting and supporting your pores and skin’s pure protection mechanisms. By strengthening your pores and skin, niacinamide makes it much less susceptible to exterior aggressors whereas serving to stop and heal sensitivity. It has additionally been confirmed to successfully scale back redness and even calm rosacea, each of which are sometimes accompanied by heightened pores and skin sensitivity. Another bonus? Niacinamide is so mild that it may be used to assuage pores and skin after skilled remedies corresponding to laser remedies or chemical peels, that are finest performed throughout winter months since we get much less solar publicity.

How Niacinamide Helps

Remember these tiny cracks in your barrier? Aside from letting out moisture, they permit irritants to enter into your pores and skin. By serving to restore your barrier, niacinamide strengthens your pores and skin so it’s much less susceptible to sensitivity and irritation. Niacinamide has additionally been proven to have fairly spectacular anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it preferrred for combating sensitivity, redness, and rosacea—circumstances all rooted in irritation.

Read: Six Tips For Soothing Skin With Acne and Rosacea

Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

In addition to serving to with dry pores and skin, redness, and sensitivity, niacinamide has been confirmed an efficient therapy for delicate to reasonable pimples. Now, when you’ve got vital breakouts, there are actually stronger acne-fighting substances you’ll be able to flip to corresponding to salicylic acid, retinoids or benzoyl peroxide. But one of many benefits of niacinamide is that it may be safely mixed with any of those substances to provide added advantages, like hydrating and soothing the pores and skin. This might be particularly helpful since many pimples remedies (together with these talked about above) might be considerably harsh or drying. In reality, niacinamide has been proven to enhance tolerability of substances like retinol and retinoids, particularly in delicate pores and skin varieties. So when you’ve been struggling to include retinol into your routine, attempt buffering it with niacinamide!

How Niacinamide Helps

Niacinamide tackles pimples in just a few alternative ways: it decreases irritation throughout the pores and skin, supplies a slight antimicrobial motion and helps regulate sebum manufacturing. As I already talked about, niacinamide has potent anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it particularly good for treating inflammatory pimples, like pustules and papules. Antimicrobial properties assist decrease the quantity of acne-causing micro organism on the pores and skin. Niacinamide also can assist stop comedones (non-inflamed clogged pores) due to its capability to control sebum manufacturing. Studies have discovered that it might successfully scale back the quantity of sebum (oil) your pores and skin produces in concentrations as little as two p.c. Since an extra of sebum is what finally causes the clogged pores that result in pimples, that is an efficient approach to decrease breakouts with out irritating the pores and skin.

Read: The Science Behind the Breakout—How Acne is Formed

Serum for Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin

Large Pores

If being an esthetician for thirty years has taught me something, it’s that individuals are obsessive about the dimensions of their pores. Everyone desires to understand how they will shrink and tighten their pores to provide their pores and skin an general smoother look. Well, because it seems, niacinamide can do this, too. (Told you there wasn’t a lot this ingredient can’t do!)

How Niacinamide Helps

Niacinamide’s capability to control sebum manufacturing is a part of what makes it nice at shrinking pores. It’s really been clinically confirmed to cut back pore measurement and enhance general pores and skin texture. Oil movement expands the pore partitions by placing strain on them, inflicting them to stretch out. A lower in oil movement equals much less stretching of the pores. Niacinamide also can assist stop our pores from stretching out over time by constructing collagen. Our pure collagen manufacturing begins to drop off after the age of twenty-five, and as this course of accelerates, the construction of our pore partitions turns into weaker. This results in extra stretching, which is among the key causes our pores begin to look larger as we age. Niacinamide stimulates the manufacturing of collagen by boosting microcirculation, so it’s a fantastic ingredient to make use of preventatively.

Of course, this isn’t the one approach to shrink your pores. Learn which merchandise I swear by for decreasing pore measurement.

Pigmentation or Uneven Skin Tone

If you wrestle with uneven pores and skin tone or pigmentation, think about including niacinamide to your routine. It has been well-established as a brightening agent and has even held its personal in opposition to hydroquinone, a bleaching agent, in research. Niacinamide can assist fade darkish or pink pimples marks in addition to hormonally pushed pigmentation, corresponding to melasma. For pigmentation issues, search for a product containing at the very least 5 p.c.

How Niacinamide Helps

Niacinamide helps lighten pigmentation by inhibiting melanosome switch from melanocytes to keratinocytes. Translation? It tells your cells that the whole lot is okay and that they will cease sending out SOS alerts. Pigmentation is your physique’s method of defending the pores and skin after it’s been wounded, often by irritation of some type. That broken pores and skin is now susceptible, so your physique sends alerts to pigment cells, telling them to return shield that susceptible pores and skin from environmental aggressors corresponding to solar injury. Think of pigmentation like a protecting umbrella! Niacinamide communicates to your cells that the whole lot is a-okay, and so they can cease sending pigment cells for protection. Its anti-inflammatory properties additionally assist decrease pigmentation by addressing the basis of the issue.

Read: How to Fade Dark Marks from Acne

Aging Concerns: Fine Lines, Wrinkles, and Dull-Looking Skin

Niacinamide can enhance the looks of ageing pores and skin in quite a lot of methods. Its talents to brighten, even out pores and skin tone and scale back pore measurement all assist contribute to a younger-looking complexion. But it might even go a step additional by really boosting collagen manufacturing, which makes it a fantastic addition to any routine concentrating on ageing issues.

How Niacinamide Helps

Niacinamide addresses ageing issues by boosting collagen manufacturing and defending the pores and skin in opposition to photoaging due to its antioxidant properties. For starters, niacinamide can stimulate microcirculation within the dermis in concentrations as little as 0.5%. As we age, our pores and skin typically begins to look a bit boring and should lack that “glow.” One method to enhance that is by boosting circulation, which niacinamide does to provide your pores and skin an general brighter, younger look. Most substances that increase circulation are inclined to have a excessive potential for irritation since they’re so stimulating, however niacinamide is exclusive in that the danger for irritation could be very low. Its capability to spice up circulation can also be how niacinamide stimulates collagen manufacturing, serving to to “plump out” superb strains and wrinkles. Finally, it has antioxidant properties that assist shield in opposition to photoaging (aka the breakdown of collagen attributable to damaging solar rays). For wrinkle discount and prevention, I counsel on the lookout for merchandise containing niacinamide in concentrations nearer to 5 p.c.

If you’re trying to get slightly extra critical about reversing indicators of ageing, I like to recommend wanting into stronger collagen-boosting substances corresponding to exfoliating acids, retinol or vitamin c. That mentioned, niacinamide might be safely mixed with these substances and may even make it simpler for delicate pores and skin varieties to tolerate them.

Read: The Ten Best Ways to Prevent Wrinkles—Starting Now

Moisturizing Toner For Dry Skin

Where to Look for Niacinamide

Now that you know the way many advantages niacinamide has to supply, let’s discuss how one can incorporate it into your routine. Thanks to its nearly impartial pH, niacinamide is a really steady ingredient and can be utilized in quite a lot of formulations. Since it’s water-soluble, the one factor niacinamide requires as a water-based components (no oil). Other than that, it may be safely utilized in something from cleanser and toners to serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens. If you’re trying to goal extra cussed points (howdy wrinkles and pigmentation), I counsel on the lookout for niacinamide in a serum. Serums are formulated utilizing smaller molecules which are designed to penetrate deeper throughout the pores and skin, in order that they’ll be capable to work on a deeper stage than one thing like a moisturizer.

Renée Rouleau Skincare Products

These are the merchandise in my line that comprise niacinamide:


Vitamin-Infused Cleansing Emulsion


Balancing Skin Tonic
Moisture Infusion Toner


Skin Correcting Serum
Pore + Wrinkle Perfecting Serum


Sheer Moisture Lotion
Hydraboost Rescue Cream


Dual Enzyme Softening Peel

In brief, there actually isn’t a lot this ingredient can’t assist deal with. Niacinamide is an particularly nice possibility when you’re attempting to handle a number of skincare issues directly. All in all, that is undoubtedly an ingredient that needs to be in your radar (and in your drugs cupboard!). Of course, it’s all the time vital to handle expectations in relation to skincare, and no ingredient is magic—however niacinamide will get fairly shut!

Renee Rouleau Author

Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician skilled in beauty chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching pores and skin, educating her viewers, and constructing an award-winning line of merchandise. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives across the globe, her huge real-world data and fixed analysis are why Marie Claire calls her “probably the most passionate pores and skin practitioner we all know.”

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