What Is Niacinamide?
Benefits, Overview and Effectiveness
Hydration, antioxidants, and nourishment are always a good idea when it comes to your skincare. Lately, a lot of marketing has been involving niacinamide so today we're going to break down what it is and why it's helpful when in your skincare.
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a nutrient found in Vitamin B3. It is a water-soluble nutrient found in foods such as meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, beans, and some grains. This means you typically obtain Niacinamide through the food you eat, but you can also supplement Vitamin B3 when you are Vitamin B3 deficient or when you want to reap the benefits of Vitamin B3 skin care products.
What are the skin care benefits of Niacinamide?
- Improves past skin damage caused by the sun and exposure to pollutants
- Provides a protective barrier to protect against environmental pollutants
- Improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots
- Minimizes the appearance of pores
- Improves your skin’s overall texture and tone
- Improves the ability of the skin to take in hydration
- Reduces yellowing of skin
How does niacinamide work?
There are a number of studies showing the undeniable benefits of consistently using cosmetic (topical) niacinamide. In general, the research suggests using niacinamide in your skin care routine will reduce inflammation, increase cellular energy, and repair DNA damage. The chemistry involved is complex so be sure to check out the references below for an in depth read. However, research suggests niacinamide mitigates the oxidative stress of cells by either reducing the amount of free radicals or by enhancing the antioxidant capacity of cells. When I personally think of niacinamide, I always think antioxidants which are key for repair.
Skin care products containing niacinamide
Whether you understand the hype or not, niacinamide is an amazing ingredient to add into your routine. Oftentimes, brands will incorporate niacinamide into their moisturizers and hydrating serums. It can also pair beautifully with squalane or hyaluronic. Occasionally it's mixed in with vitamin C or retinol, so it's in a lot of products. Now you know its benefits and in this case we love it being added in the colder more drying months since it can help your skin repair but also retain a bit more hydration. Overall it's a win win, which is why I included some of my favorite products with it as an ingredient above.
Bissett DL, Oblong JE, Berge CA. Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Jul;31(7 Pt 2):860-5; discussion 865. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2005.31732. PMID: 16029679.
Boo, Y.C. Mechanistic Basis and Clinical Evidence for the Applications of Nicotinamide (Niacinamide) to Control Skin Aging and Pigmentation. Antioxidants 2021, 10, 1315. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10081315.