5 Benefits of Niacinamide and the Gentle Skin Care Ingredient You Need to Know


Everyone loves multi-tasking skincare, and it's the ingredients that make others perform better and speed up serum wear (without sacrificing that coveted glow).

Whether you're a skincare enthusiast or just want to stay up to date on the latest in powerful ingredients, you'll want to know about all the benefits niacinamide has to offer.
Here, experts explain how easy it is to use, how gentle it is, and its top benefits for the skin.

What is niacinamide? Niacinamide (also known as nicotinamide) is a form of vitamin B3. "This is also called niacin, and it's an essential nutrient for cell development and function in the body," says Annie Gonzalez, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami.

You get niacin in foods like chicken breasts, tomato sauce, salmon and brown rice, and consuming it helps your body convert the food you eat into energy, she says.But there are many benefits to applying vitamins to your skin.

“Similar to how cells in the body use B3 to improve their function the skin uses B3 to optimize processes such as repairing damaged DNA, regenerating cellular energy, and reducing the effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays,” Dr. Gonzalez.
Niacinamide Benefits. Niacinamide has a variety of regenerative effects from the inside out, while also bringing a very special new vitality to the skin.

It improves skin tone and removes dark spots. If you have dark spots, sun damage, or age spots, consider covering them up.

"It is believed that at certain concentrations, niacinamide can block the enzyme responsible for pigmentation, melanin, and improve skin tone," says Dr. Gonzalez.

A 2016 study in the Journal of Dermatological Drugs examined a product containing a blend of skin lightening agents, including retinol, the antioxidant resveratrol, and niacinamide. 

Researchers concluded that after four weeks of use, pigmentation was reduced, clarity improved, and skin tone evened out.

It soothes angry acne. Purvisha Patel, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, says niacinamide can help balance oil and sebum production to reduce breakouts.

Additionally, it is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for soothing breakouts and reducing redness. Additionally, previous research has shown that nicotinamide gel is as effective as topical antibiotics in treating acne.

It fights harmful stressors. UV rays, pollution, stress, lack of sleep and other factors can create free radicals (unstable molecules) that damage healthy skin cells.
"This can lead to premature signs of aging, such as discoloration and wrinkles," says Dr. Gonzalez. Niacinamide has antioxidant properties that may protect skin from this damage and even reverse some of it.

It increases fluid intake. "When used in conjunction with common moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, it can increase the moisturizing effect of the product," Dr. Gonzalez.

It also supports the production of ceramides, natural oils in the skin that help improve the skin barrier and prevent moisture loss and the penetration of potential irritants. Benefits: Your skin becomes less reactive and sensitive.

It reduces irritation. One of the best things about niacinamide is that it supports the use of potentially irritating anti-aging ingredients that increase skin cell turnover including retinol and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid. "It soothes the skin and limits irritation caused by firmer peels," says Dr. patel.

Niacinamide side effects. The good news is that niacinamide is very mild. "It's a very safe ingredient. It doesn't cause irritation, and interestingly, I haven't found any intolerances," says Angela Lamb, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York City. patients suffering from it.

"People with sensitive skin, such as those with rosacea, can also use niacinamide. In fact, it is often added to moisturizers to treat rosacea due to its anti-inflammatory properties."

How to Use Niacinamide in Your Skin Care Routine. When shopping, look for a serum or moisturizer that contains 2 to 10 percent niacinamide, Dr. Gonzalez said. How to use: After cleansing skin, apply alcohol-free toner.

Then use an “active” anti-aging agent (like retinol, vitamin C, or an alpha hydroxy acid), and finish with niacinamide. Gonzalez recommends that if you use a serum, you can mix it with your favorite moisturizer and apply it at the same time.
Apply to face, neck and eye area for calmer, radiant skin. Not sure which product to start with? Shop dermatologist-approved, affordable products below.


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