If you're into skincare, or even if you're new to it, you've undoubtedly heard about niacinamide. It’s part of the Vitamin B3 family and offers several skin benefits. Niacinamide does wonder for relieving acne, fading dark spots and sun damage, and preventing signs of aging. This is why you’ll often find it in serums, facial wash, moisturizers, and even makeup.
Niacinamide is undoubtedly a hero of skincare. Let's take a closer look at how niacinamide works from the inside out and how you can start incorporating niacinamide into your skincare routine.
What Is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a specific form of Vitamin B3 called nicotinamide. It is a water-soluble vitamin which means it isn’t naturally produced by the body and needs to be externally sourced. If you want to experience its benefits, you’ll either need to take it as a supplement or apply it topically.
As a topical cream, you can apply it first thing in the morning or before you go to bed at night after mild cleansing. You can also get it in serum form which can be incorporated into your skincare routine. Because it makes skin photosensitive, niacinamide users are advised to use sunscreen during the day.
6 Skin Benefits of Topical Niacinamide
If you’ve been thinking of adding niacinamide to your skincare routine, here are 6 good reasons to consider:
1. Niacinamide Brightens Skin
Niacinamide is largely known for its skin brightening effect. There are several possible interpretations of the term "skin brightening," but it generally refers to niacinamide's ability to boost the skin's natural radiance and vibrance. Niacinamide can thus help revive tired-looking skin and restore its healthy glow.
It does this by helping fade acne marks and lightening hyperpigmentation. The vitamin B3 found in niacinamide has been shown to decrease melanin production while increasing collagen synthesis. A lower amount of melanin results in lighter skin and more even skin tone.
2. Niacinamide Can Treat and Reduce the Appearance of Acne
Niacinamide has proven to be a powerful ingredient in treating mild to moderate acne. As a potent anti-inflammatory, it can work wonders on acne-prone skin since it slows down the production of sebum.
When the skin is dry and irritated, it tends to overproduce oil which can lead to breakouts. It also helps tone down any swelling and redness associated with acne.
3. Niacinamide Minimizes Wrinkles, Fine Lines, and Pores
Niacinamide helps minimize wrinkles, fine lines, and pores by improving skin elasticity. Niacinamide can help minimize wrinkles because it helps boost the production of collagen.
Collagen is a protein that provides structure to your skin and keeps it firm and young looking. With age or sun damage, collagen production slows down which can lead to signs of aging like fine lines, sagging skin, and loss of elasticity which results in wrinkles. Niacinamide helps stimulate the production of new healthy collagen in your body which improves the overall appearance of your skin over time.
4. Niacinamide Maintains Skin Moisture
The topical use of niacinamide has been shown to increase skin hydration by preventing moisture loss. Moreover, it forms a ceramide barrier that not only helps the skin retain moisture but also shields it from external irritants.
Ceramides are naturally occurring fatty acid derivatives in the skin that support barrier integrity by minimizing water loss. Moisture retention and protection from environmental irritants improve skin's appearance.
5. Niacinamide Regulates Excess Oil Production
The key to healthy skin is the right balance of oil and sebum. Stress hormones throw that balance out of whack and lead to the overproduction of oil. Niacinamide helps restore the normal level of oil production, which calms the skin and keeps it looking clear and healthy. One study showed that niacinamide, even at a 2% concentration, successfully decreased sebum levels over four weeks.
6. Niacinamide Keeps Skin Supple
Want to keep your skin firm and looking healthy? Niacinamide can help in this regard because it stimulates keratin production.
Keratin is a type of protein that can be found in our hair, nails, and skin. When it comes to our skin, it aids hydration and promotes skin elasticity by keeping cells together. It also protects from cellular damage while promoting smoother, firmer skin.
As we age, our body generates less of this essential fibrous material which can cause it to sag and become less firm. Other factors that lessen keratin production include UV rays, stress, and unhealthy eating habits.
How To Use Niacinamide
Niacinamide is so popular that you’ll find it in most moisturizing creams today in addition to other skin-nourishing ingredients. SolRay Beauty's Niacinamide Brightening Cream, for instance, contains squalane, macadamia, and collagen. These ingredients work together to minimize the appearance of pores, even out skin tone, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and revive dull skin.
To get the most out of your niacinamide cream, apply it after your cleanser, toner, and serum to lock in moisture. You can mix a serum with your favorite moisturizer to create an all-in-one skin treatment. Gently massage it onto your face, neck, and very carefully around your eyes.
Since niacinamide is mild enough for daily use, it can be incorporated into your morning and evening skincare routines. You can also apply it before putting on makeup. Remember to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.
It's also important not to use it immediately with products containing vitamin C. Allow each application at least 10 minutes before layering on another product since they can counteract each other, reducing their efficacy. It may also cause breakouts among those with sensitive skin.
Does Niacinamide Have Side Effects?
While niacinamide is gentle enough for daily use on most skin types, everyone’s skin is different. Niacinamide can trigger the production of histamine, which can cause an allergic reaction. Always perform a patch test to see how a product reacts with your skin. Here’s how to do it:
- Apply a pea-sized amount of product onto your forearm.
- Wait 24 hours to see any effects.
- If you experience any redness, irritation, or swelling, wash the area thoroughly and avoid using niacinamide. If you don't notice any side effects, you should be able to use niacinamide without adverse reactions.
How To Choose a Niacinamide Product
Niacinamide is most effective when used topically. Opt for a cream, lotion, or serum that can stay on your skin for a prolonged period. Even though niacinamide is easily absorbed by the skin and penetrates deeply, you need to give it time to work. Face cleansers are not as effective since they get washed away quickly.
Niacinamide treatments are also useful around the eye area. Niacinamide treatments help the skin in that area retain moisture, which prevents the development of fine lines and wrinkles and slows skin sagging.
Picking a Niacinamide Product With the Right Concentration
If you’re new to niacinamide, it’s important to choose a product that has the right concentration. For example, if your skin is sensitive or has acne, start with lower concentrations like 1% or 2%. If you try a serum with too high a concentration for your skin type, you may experience some irritation.
For those who have built a tolerance to it, you may opt for a concentration of 5% to 10%. You should also make sure that the product doesn't contain other ingredients that might irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.
Niacinamide formulations will often have other beneficial ingredients mixed in with them. Combined with the right ingredients, niacinamide can be more effective and lead to more visible results.
Squalane, macadamia, and collagen can be found in Solray Beauty's Niacinamide Eye Brightening Cream and Niacinamide Brightening Cream. Emollient squalene rejuvenates dry, rough skin, improving its appearance, while collagen makes skin more elastic and less prone to wrinkles. In addition, macadamia oil's skin-replenishing antioxidants are a welcome ingredient to any anti-aging routine.
When Can You See Results?
You probably won’t see dramatic results after a few weeks of using your new skin care product. Though there’s no exact timeline, you might notice improvements like smoother, more toned, and hydrated skin after four to eight weeks of use.
If your skincare routine doesn’t seem to be working after a couple of months, it might be time to see a dermatologist. They are equipped to assess your skin and advise you on products, diet, and other changes that can improve skin health.
We’re always looking for skincare ingredients that go beyond moisturizing the skin. Niacinamide does just that with its long list of benefits.
Whether you’re interested in fighting acne, reducing hyperpigmentation, brightening your complexion, or combating aging, niacinamide can help. It’s no miracle worker, but it can provide excellent results when used properly.