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You’ve been hearing a lot about niacinamide lately. It seems to be popping up in all sorts of skincare products. But what in the world is it? And, more importantly, what are niacinamide benefits for your skin?
To help you sort through the information, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to niacinamide and its skin benefits. Keep reading to learn about this ingredient and how it can help improve your complexion as a regular addition to your skincare routine.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Niacinamide?
- Top Niacinamide Benefits For Skin
- Side Effects Of Niacinamide
- Harness Niacinamide Benefits For Skin
What Is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 and is water-soluble so the skin can easily absorb it. Once absorbed, niacinamide works to improve the function of your skin cells.
You may have heard it referred to as nicotinamide before. It’s also commonly called vitamin B3 or niacin. However, niacin is not the same thing as niacinamide. Instead, niacinamide is derived from niacin.
Your body can convert niacin into niacinamide. So, if you take niacin, your body can change part of it into niacinamide if it’s needed.
But before you take niacin so your body can do its thing, it’s essential to understand that niacin has a flushing property. If you take too much of it, the capillaries under your skin might expand and cause some problems.
In other words, a large amount of niacin can lead to a red, hot, and itchy sensation. However, niacinamide doesn’t have this effect because your body can’t convert it back into niacin.
So if you've previously experienced a negative side effect from vitamin B3, it might be worth asking your doctor about trying niacinamide instead of niacin.
Types Of Niacinamide For Skin Care
Now that you know a little bit more about niacinamide, let’s take a closer look at the different types of this vitamin used in skincare products.
You can typically find this ingredient as part of an oral supplement, topical cream, or serum. When applying the niacinamide topically, you use it directly on your skin. This method can amplify the effects and lead to quicker results.
If you opt for a niacinamide serum, you can find them with a concentration of 10% or higher. However, these serums might be too intense for people with sensitive skin, and you can experience amazing results with a much lower concentration.
Your body can also use the niacinamide supplements you take orally. You can typically find these in capsule form, with 500 mg in each bottle.
Top Niacinamide Benefits For Skin
Niacinamide offers a variety of benefits for your skin. Here are some of the most notable ones.
1) Treats Acne
Niacinamide can help treat acne by reducing inflammation and controlling sebum production. Sebum is an oily substance secreted by your sebaceous glands. Too much sebum can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
By helping regulate sebum production, niacinamide can help keep your skin clear and acne-free.
In addition, niacinamide helps reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne. This can help improve the overall appearance of your skin and make breakouts less noticeable.
2) Reduces Wrinkles
Studies on niacinamide have shown this vitamin can slightly increase your body's collagen production.
Collagen is a protein that helps keep your skin looking firm and youthful. Unfortunately, as you age, your body's collagen production begins to slow down, which can lead to wrinkles and fine lines.
Since it boosts collagen, niacinamide can help reduce the appearance of those wrinkles and fine lines. This anti-aging effect can help keep your skin looking radiant as you get older, which it's why it's one of the top niacinamide benefits for the skin.
3) Fades Dark Spots From Melasma
Melasma is a common skin condition where dark, patchy spots appear. Pregnancy, hormones, sun exposure, and certain skincare products can all lead to the formation of these spots.
No matter what caused them, niacinamide may help fade dark spots from melasma. For example, one study showed that over 40% of patients noticed improvement when applying a 4% niacinamide cream to melasma patches during the trial period.
This treatment likely worked because niacinamide helps to suppress the melanosome transfer process, which can lead to the formation of dark spots in the first place.
4) Hydrates Your Skin
Moisturized skin is happy skin. Dry skin, on the other hand, is more susceptible to irritation, inflammation, and breakouts. One of our favorite niacinamide benefits is that it helps improve your skin’s moisture barrier function.
As a result, niacinamide helps reduce the amount of water loss your skin experiences through the natural evaporation process. This helps keep your skin hydrated and works to prevent dry skin.
5) Calms Irritations
Vitamin B3 plays a massive role in your skin. It’s thought to calm down certain skin conditions, like rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. That’s because it has anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe the redness, irritation, and inflammation associated with these conditions.
Since Niacinamide helps strengthen the skin surface against moisture loss and dehydration, you'll find vitamin B3 included in our Eczema Daily Calming Cream. Our formula also contains colloidal oatmeal and a proprietary blend of 22 botanicals to help relieve the itch and irritation associated with eczema.
6) Smoothes Your Pores
Large, visible pores can be genetic, but they often result from sebum and dead skin cells trapped underneath the skin. All this buildup can cause your pores to stretch and become more prominent.
Niacinamide helps smooth your pores by reducing the sebum your skin produces. Applying it can reduce the size of your pores, make them less noticeable, and improve your skin’s overall texture.
7) Protects Against Skin Cancer
Niacinamide also has sunscreen-like properties and helps protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This is likely because niacinamide helps increase your skin's natural protection against the sun and helps repair any previous sun damage.
Of course, the best way to prevent skin cancer is to wear sunscreen daily and practice other healthy sun practices. But niacinamide is a good option if you’re looking for an extra layer of protection.
8) Reduces Skin Yellowing
As you age, your skin may begin to take on a yellow appearance. This is due to a build-up of lipofuscin — a waste product that your body produces as you age — in your skin cells.
Niacinamide can help reduce the appearance of this yellowing by inhibiting the production of lipofuscin.
9) Boosts Antimicrobial Peptide Production
Your skin has a built-in defense system that includes antimicrobial peptide (AMPs) protein. Your skin cells produce AMPs to help fight off infection and disease. They also help keep your skin’s microbiome in balance.
When you take niacinamide, you’re helping boost the production of these critical proteins. And when you have healthy levels of AMPs, your skin can better protect itself from harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
A reduced bacteria load can help minimize your risk of developing certain skin conditions, like acne and psoriasis.
Side Effects Of Niacinamide
Vitamin B3 is a naturally occurring vitamin and is generally considered safe for people of all ages. However, you need to know about a few possible side effects of niacinamide.
The most common side effect from topical applications is mild irritation, redness, or itchiness when you first start using products with this ingredient. However, this usually goes away after a week or two as your skin gets used to the new formula.
If you experience more severe side effects, like hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, stop using the product and see a doctor immediately. These are rare but can be signs of an allergic reaction.
Harness Niacinamide Benefits For Your Skin
Vitamin B3, in the form of niacinamide, benefits your skin in many ways. It helps reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. It also helps improve your skin tone, reduces redness and inflammation, and protects your skin from the sun.
Niacinamide is a good option if you’re looking for an ingredient that can help moisturize your skin to improve its appearance over time. That's why here at Bodewell, we include this vitamin in many of our skincare products.
Better skin days are in your future!