You might have seen a new hero ingredient being lauded on all the beauty sites, but what exactly is niacinamide and what can it do for your skin?
What is niacinamide?
With people becoming more interested in what exactly they are putting on their faces, niacinamide has stepped forward as a hero ingredient. Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that’s been used by skincare professionals for decades, from dermatologists to cosmetic manufacturers. It’s also known as nicotinamide and is a water-soluble, stable active ingredient. It’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, sebum reducing, soothing and photoprotective.
What does it do for my skin?
Niacinamide has a ton of benefits for skin. It can help improve skin texture and also improve the appearance of acne, rosacea, pigmentation and wrinkles. It does this by helping skin cells repair damage and function normally. It also helps your body absorb and neutralize free radicals, which can cause damage to cells and DNA. There’s also some evidence to suggest niacinamide can help with the production of ceramides, which help maintain your skin’s protective barrier. There’s also research that suggests niacinamide helps reduce dryness in skin.
But apart from skin health and aesthetics, one of the biggest benefits of niacinamide for the skin is in the prevention of skin cancer. Studies have shown that taking oral niacinamide could help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer in patients at high risk. This does not mean you can skip the SPF and just pop a pill every day – but if you’ve had a skin cancer scare, speak to your dermatologist about adding niacinamide to your routine.
Let’s talk acne…
Niacinamide could truly be a hero ingredient for those struggling with mild breakouts and acne. Research suggests that 2% topical niacinamide may help inhibit the production of oil, while not being as irritating as some other acne treatments. It’s also more gentle than certain retinols or Vitamin C serums, so if you only have mild acne or pigmentation, it could be a good choice for you.
How do I add niacinamide to my routine?
It’s as simple as buying a serum or cream with niacinamide and applying it as directed. If you feel any irritation, either try a lower percentage product or speak to your dermatologist. But generally, niacinamide is one of the most stable, safest ingredients for your skin, with hardly any side effects.
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