As a derivative of vitamin B3, niacinamide finds application in cosmetics. It helps the skin retain water, makes it look healthier, lessens the look of wrinkles, and makes the skin more elastic. It can also help the skin keep its moisture, calm inflammation, and strengthen its protective barrier.
Niacinamide can strengthen the skin’s barrier, which is the skin’s first line of defense. This makes the skin less vulnerable to damage from the environment and helps repair skin that has already been damaged (3, 4). Without protection, this constant attack ages the skin, makes it look dull and lackluster, and reduces its natural glow.
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What benefits does niacinamide have on the skin?
Niacinamide’s versatility as a bioactive component allows it to perform its many useful functions. However, this supercharged B vitamin has a ways to go before it can benefit the skin and the surface cells that support it.
When niacinamide is put on the skin, it changes into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is a form of vitamin B3 that the body can use. Some people think this coenzyme is why niacinamide is good for your skin.
Here are some ways to maximize the benefits of niacinamide in your skincare regimen:
To get the best benefits, use a concentration of at least 5% niacinamide, commonly found in ordinary skincare products. At higher concentrations, there is a trade-off between more effectiveness and a higher chance of irritating the skin.
- To use it effectively: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, applying the ordinary niacinamide product to dry, clean skin. Apply ordinary products where they will do the best, namely the face, neck, and chest.
- Keep to a regular use schedule: Niacinamide is most effective as part of a comprehensive skincare regimen.
- Add to other components: Antioxidants, retinol, and hyaluronic acid are other skincare ingredients that effectively complement niacinamide. The effectiveness of niacinamide and the skin’s health can be improved by mixing it with these substances.
- Stay calm: Since niacinamide works slowly, you may have to wait a few weeks or months before you notice any changes. If you are consistent and give it time, you will start seeing this powerful ingredient’s effects.
The Benefits of Niacinamide for Skin
This multitasking ingredient is one that everyone can benefit from including in their routine, no matter their skin type or main area of concern. Everyone’s skin can benefit from niacinamide, but some people’s skin may have more issues that it can help with than others. That being said, let’s delve into the specific issues that niacinamide can help improve.
Shrinks Pore Size
Most people associate niacinamide with its ability to minimize the look of pores. As we said at the beginning, studies haven’t been able to figure out exactly how this B vitamin makes pores smaller. However, niacinamide seems to have a normalizing effect on the lining of pores. This aids in preventing the buildup of oil and debris that can cause blocked pores and bumpy, uneven skin.
The pressure from the clog causes the pores to get bigger, which also helps the pores get bigger. Niacinamide, when used regularly, can restore the normal size of pores. Some people with sun damage describe their skin as having an “orange peel” texture because their pores are dilated. It has been shown that a higher amount of niacinamide makes the skin’s structural parts stronger, making pores look smaller. This makes the “orange peel” look of some people’s skin much less noticeable.
Niacinamide also prevents moisture loss and dehydration by restoring the skin’s surface. Ceramides are essential fatty acids that make up the skin barrier. When they are gone, the skin is more likely to have problems like dry, flaky patches and a greater tendency to be sensitive.
It has been shown that putting niacinamide directly on your skin makes moisturizers work better at keeping your skin hydrated. This makes dry skin less likely to lose moisture, which causes it to stay dry and flaky. Niacinamide goes well with other moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin, plant oils that don’t smell, cholesterol, sodium PCA, and sodium hyaluronate.
How can niacinamide aid with skin discolorations and tone differences?
Both issues can be traced back to an overabundance of melanin (skin pigment) in the epidermis. At 5% or higher concentrations, niacinamide turns on many pathways to stop further discoloration (10). At the same time, it helps make spots look less noticeable, which gives the skin a more even tone. Researchers have found that niacinamide and tranexamic acid work together to reduce discoloration. They can be used with other things like vitamin C, licorice, retinol, and bakuchiol.
Niacinamide: How to Use It
Niacinamide works well with many other potent compounds. These include peptides, hyaluronic acid, alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, and antioxidants of many kinds.
Although niacinamide is fantastic, it is not the only component skin needs to look and feel its best, which is why a multi-ingredient strategy is essential. No matter how healthy kale is, if you only ate it, you would quickly become malnourished because your body needs many different nutrients to work well. The skin, the largest (and most vulnerable) organ, is no exception.
Niacinamide is also used to treat certain medical conditions, such as pellagra (a niacin deficiency disease) and high cholesterol levels. It is also a dietary supplement to help maintain overall health and wellness. Niacinamide costs different amounts in Pakistan based on the brand, type of product, and concentration. Niacinamide-based skin care products can cost anywhere from PKR 500 to PKR 3,000 or even more on average.